Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 25, 2018

by | Nov 25, 2018 | Rumors | 47 comments

Updates on William Nylander’s contract standoff with the Leafs plus the latest on the Flyers, Canadiens, and Hurricanes in your Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

William Nylander’s contract standoff with the Toronto Maple Leafs could reach its conclusion by the end of this week. (Photo via NHL Images)


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports the clock is ticking on the Toronto Maple Leafs ending their contract impasse with restricted free agent William Nylander. If no agreement is reached on a new deal by Dec. 1, he’ll be ineligible to play the remainder of this NHL season.

Johnston said a six-year deal remains possible, with the Nylander camp perhaps willing to accept something around $6.9 million per season. Elliotte Friedman reports the two sides aren’t that far apart, “within about half-a-million dollars with each other and they both feel like they’ve come a long way.”

TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski speculates the Leafs could trade Nylander if they cannot hammer out a new contract by Dec. 1. He feels blueline help is key to any swap.

He notes the Carolina Hurricanes discussed trade scenarios with the Leafs, and while they won’t part with Jaccob Slavin, they have high-end defensemen such as Brett Pesce, Justin Faulk, and Dougie Hamilton. There’s was talk suggesting Anaheim Ducks rearguard Brandon Montour would be a good fit with the Leafs.

Minnesota Wild d-man Matt Dumba was linked to the Leafs but the Wild couldn’t pay Nylander more than $7 million annually if they hope to re-sign Eric Staal and Mikael Granlund. The Philadelphia Flyers need offensive help but probably won’t part with defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.

Some pending free agent targets that might work include “Columbus winger Artemi Panarin, Winnipeg defencemen Tyler Myers and Jacob Trouba, Ottawa center Matt Duchene, Philadelphia winger Wayne Simmonds, and Buffalo winger Jeff Skinner.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One way or another, folks, the Nylander contract saga will be coming to a close by the end of this week. Of course, if he’s unsigned and the Leafs opt not to trade him, it’ll pick back up again next summer, but at least we’ll have a respite from it over the remainder of this season.

It wouldn’t surprise me if negotiations between the Leafs and the Nylander camp go down to the wire. If they’re as close as Friedman believes, Nylander will re-sign by next Saturday.

As for those trade targets, the Hurricanes would be the best option and they’re likely waiting to see what happens with Nylander but they could look elsewhere for a scorer. The Ducks probably won’t part with Montour, especially with Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm sidelined.

The Wild aren’t parting with Dumba while it’s obvious the Flyers’ priority is finding a quality goaltender. Of those possible free-agent targets, Simmonds is the only one who might be available at this time. Speaking of the Flyers…


THE INQUIRER:  Sam Carchidi suggests changes might be coming soon for the struggling Philadelphia Flyers if they don’t turn things around soon. Noting the club’s inconsistent play during head coach Dave Hakstol’s tenure, Carchidi wonders if general manager Ron Hextall will make a major move via trade (Wayne Simmonds?) or behind the bench. He points out former Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is available, “at least for now.”

THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor recently pointed out that Simmonds, a pending UFA next summer, is skating on the Flyers’ third line and is no longer being used as a core player. He thinks the winger could be the Flyer most likely to be moved in a “shake-up” trade this season. 

Other trade candidates could include forward Jordan Weal and defenseman Radko Gudas. Forward Jori Lehtera, defenseman Andrew MacDonald, and goaltender Michal Neuvirth could be available but O’Connor doesn’t see a market for their services. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goaltending is the Flyers’ biggest weakness. Hextall would probably love to trade for a reliable starter but there’s really no one available to fill that role right now. Despite the decline in Simmond’s play, he could be a valuable trade chip for clubs seeking a physical scoring presence on the wing. Whether he’ll fetch a return that helps the Flyers right away, however, is another matter. 


SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos said the feeling is if the Montreal Canadiens remain in the playoff chase they could pursue an experienced defenseman. He speculates they could target the St. Louis Blues or Los Angeles Kings if those clubs continue to falter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings blueliners Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin have frequently surfaced of late in the rumor mill. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Canadiens looked at one of those guys. Forget about prying Drew Doughty away from the Kings as that’s not happening.

As for the Blues, they’re probably willing to part with the fading Jay Bouwmeester, the struggling Jordan Schmaltz or the oft-injured Carl Gunnarsson. However, I don’t see any of them filling the Habs’ need for an experienced blueliner who can help them right away. 


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports the Carolina Hurricanes could have a logjam in goal with Scott Darling, Petr Mrazek, and Curtis McElhinney, who’s played very well for Carolina since being plucked off the waiver wire earlier this season from the Maple Leafs. Some are wondering if this could mean the end of the struggling Darling’s tenure with the Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Darling’s been a big disappointment since joining the Hurricanes in 2017 as their starting goalie. Hampered by injuries (and poor conditioning last season), he’s in danger of losing the starter’s job to McElhinney. Cap Friendly indicates he two years left on his contract with a $4.15 million salary cap hit and a 15-team trade list. Good luck peddling that. 



  1. GMKD

    Don’t capitulate. Stay your ground ; better off in the long run (other players, other deals).

    Sit … have 30 teams talking offers in off-season … as at now …. that’s my fav option

    Second best … trade to upgrade D now …. my dream would be WW to Phi for Sanheim and Simmonds

    Leafs doing fine now w/o the services of AM and WW…. Scoring not an issue. Goalie great ( they are vulnerable if he goes down but put that aside)… so winning reg season and finishing near top of Div …. no problem

    Playoffs however … much tighter game and D that much more important in today’s NHL playoffs … so D improvement needed

    A trade now or in off-season , IMO ; a wayyy better solution than signing WW now and capitulating to his “new” “lowered” demands

    Will be an interesting week

    • Philly has plenty of scoring if the players show up, they need goaltending and a coach that can get them to play consistently on a nightly basis. The difference between good games and bad games is so wide, it can only be their motivation and preparedness which both fall on the coach. Don’t even get me started on the PP (another coaching issue).

      Philly has been patient as a town, but that is coming to an end. Inconsistent play has been the only consistent thing about Hakstols tenure. It’ll be Hak or they will (rightfully so) turn on Hexy…

      • How about Simmons for Talbot? This would help both teams fill a need. The Oilers are desperate for an NHL winger that can shoot and bang. The Flyers need a goalie. Currently, Koskinen is playing unreal. The Oilers appears to trust him more then Talbot. Simmons is in the dog house and will not be getting out anytime soon. A fresh start for both players could be good. The money is basically the same.

      • Simmer is not in the doghouse. He is just the 3rd best in his position right now.

    • @ Pengy

      Iam not sure if you read my post the other day after the Canes game…I was saying that while everyone is suggesting the Canes are the best partner for the Leafs for a trade with Nylander…I was suggesting that this would not be wise by Dubas regardless of the return.

      The Canes LOOK REALLY good and giving them another weapon that you will have to come up against in a playoff round some day soon could be a disaster in the making …I think the Leafs would be helping out the Canes more that the Canes helping out the Leafs ..I think you have to look elsewhere if your making any deal.

      There are equal quality D men available just the same as Pesce or Slavin that have been discussed in other divisions that may translate better long term and not come back to bite you more often than not in a points race or in a playoff round…this is why I am also an ANTI Philly trade as well.

      After watching a lot of Western games this past week …I think Jake Muzzin should be the guy they are going to target…he is a BIG GUY can jump in a rush has great net presence and is really hard on the puck in the corners and makes guys PAY A PRICE !!

      The Leafs need a guy who makes teams pay …not another …Dermott Gardiner type player …plus he comes with 2 cups on his belt…and that is HUGE in the room ..especially on the back end to change the momentum of any game that may have been lost …they have no one to fear on that back end …and its the key piece they are missing …you can really notice that in games they played especially against the Jackets this week ..they had no answer for Atkinson or Anderson …and they will need an answer for Marchand and the Bs top line or the Caps Tom Wilson at some point !

      • Kal El, you nailed it with the Muzzin suggestion. He has been a beast this year for LA and has been their team MVP thus far.

        It’s nice to see someone actually watch LA play before spouting off on here.

        I’d hate to see him go but it’s a means to an end. Kings need to rebuild this thing and trading guys like Muzzin is necessary in getting some picks/prospects to help speed things along. Oh and potentially adding Hughes or a Cozens will go a long way in setting a solid core.

      • @ Canadian King

        Been reading your posts for years…like 6 or 7… LOL …I had a different handle back then

        I always watch a lot of hockey as much as I can but Ive really tried to watch a lot of Western games this year to just try and evaluate what is going on and what a REAL & LEGIT trade scenario should be for Nylander and at the same time what the other team needs….

        I think though that for what ever reason …this week has been eye opening and for some reason things have really changed in the over all dynamics of the league and what direction teams either want or need to go …I really see the Kings needing scoring and speed and a youth injection…BIG TIME!

        And watching the Leafs play 5 games this week at varying degrees of success …and after evaluating the jackets Canes …Kings Canucks Flames and Flyers …it seems as the missing peice was that hard nosed D man for the Leafs a guy who makes people pay a price to pay …and through and through its Jake Muzzin ….at the same time ..your Kings need a guy who can play both Center and wing and who has speed and be a set up man …the Kings are really missing a set up man as per what I see anyways..Toffoli and Kovolchuk are finishers …and Brown is a net guy …your team has no passers or play makers ona rush or a set up man on the PP…

        If only we were on the pay roll…LOL

        PS ….I really like your Goalie ..Cal Peterson, he looks really good and is wayyy better than Jack Campbell or Budaji I hope the Kings see that !

        You guys also really miss Braden McNabb as a depth guy on the 2nd pairing

        Cheers 🙂

      • Hi Kal El

        Was out shopping and just back in loop now… love Muzzin … great add now and next year.

        However, no matter what changes they look at … I really can’t see Leafs out of the East this year.

        I stick with my belief that they have to look at a 5-7 year window (starting in spring of ’20) when they are year in year out deep threats and with that … good chance at 2 cups; small chance at 3 over that 5-7 yr span

        So… using my assumptions .. adding Muzzin now gets him in the window I’m talking about …. when he’s 31-38.

        I’d rather add a D (similar ilk) but younger and on the move up now…. that will maybe be mid 20’s to start that 7 year window

        I’d still love a WW for Sanheim and Simmonds now

        Sanheim is same height as Muzzin (6’3″) and 7 years younger; and moving up in his development quickly.

        I expect he’ll be 200 Lbs in 2 years and in around Muzzin’s current weight in his late 20’s

        That’s just me … obviously would love a cup sooner ; but I’ve been pragmatically patient for 50 plus years and I just think cup this year is just too great a longshot unless ALL of the following teams have a big collapse: Bos, TBay , Winner of Metro (TBD) AND winner of West …. can’t see anyway that Leafs could best either Winn or Nsh or SJ

        fingers crossed

  2. why do you refer to William Nylander each time as WW? just curious, am I missing something?

    • Wee Willie…

    • WE Willy Nylander…its a Joe Bowen Leaf
      ( commentator ) Phrase …LOL

      On another issue ….

      I don’t see how Hakstoll in Philly survives this weekend …he has lost that team …and they should be better considering the team they have and the young D core everybody wants, Giroux was a points leader last yer great power forward in Simmonds Voracek Koneckny Cotourier Nolan …. Sanhiem
      Provorov , Myers, Ghost…

      and they have $8 million in cap space

      This team is not translating coaching is a major issue !

      I don’t see Nolan being with this team long term …he is a very odd player almost Kessel like …he is there but not there most nights …might ha one good game every 5 or 6 then disappear for 10….he is also is injury prone….not sure if he is a keeper long term for a team like Philly …IMO.

      • Not sure we can judge any of the new players (Patrick) until we get a real coach in place. Look at Provy and Ghost, they have proven to be very reliable players in the past but are off their game (like almost everyone else). Something systemic affecting the whole team…

        Patrick could be a great player, just needs some time and a coach that can help him…

    • WW … Wee Willy Nylander… that’s how Leafs play by play guy Joe Boewen (sp?) refers to him

      • Oops

        This posted later than entered … looks like already answered by time it posted


      • @ BadcowboyDan

        I am a firm believer in giving players time ..i.e.. Jake Virtanen …Sam Bennet and others …but I don’t see a quailty future for Nolan Patrick in Philly…there is something OFF about this players development in the NHL and on that team.

        I think they should turn over the asset personally !

        Not hating on him ..but it just feels that way every time is watch them play.

  3. I dont get why the Canes traded Skinner for peanuts and are now looking for scoring help when he would have been the perfect solution.

    If Nylander doesn’t sign I would rather him sit than make a bad trade for the sake of it.

    A hard no at trading WN for Joe Komisarek Schenn Pesce.

    • Letting him sit will pay off in other ways down the line… For the whole league.

      • Bad Cowboy Dan

        Yes … even the Leafs benefit … as I believe many many more teams will be preparing a trade offer in off-season, than now.

        More offers to pick from… better final deal

      • Bad, I can’t imagine one GM out there not rooting Dubas. Fully agreed this battle sets the stage for many of the RFA coming next season, there are alot of highend guys including two Leafs.

        WM will be signed by the end of the week, the rumor is 6.8ish over 6 years.

  4. just a side note toronto’s back up got a shut out to all you naysayers

    • And on Friday, Daniel, the two goalies the Leafs lost on waivers both won and gave up a grand total of one goal between them.

      • Goalie – SV%

        Sparks – .924

        McElhinney – .919

        Pickard – .863

        I think the Leafs did ok here.

  5. As per Babs post presser, leafs should have them both back(WN, AM) this week. I can live with 6.85 for Willie.
    Habs look tired and that late double was ill advised.
    Wonder if Kane is back to his old self again?

  6. I agree 100 percent on Kal El’s Above comment , as per acquiring Jake Muzzin .
    Leafs are bullied with various teams , and this type of addition is mandatory, as they are thrown off of their game .
    Nylander , they will not trade for Muzzin , 1 being the age difference , and the upside, as per Nylander .
    Leafs do not need another Taylor Hall deal haunting them .
    Kings are desperate to do something .
    Dubuis should pursue this deal , as Leafs have lots to offer, other than Nylander .

    • @Ken while I agree Toronto needs to add sme toughness, Muzzin is not the player Toonto has to target. Muzzin is to od, too slow and at 4 mil overpaid in todays NHL. Even if L.A. ate half his contract, it only runs for another year making him basically a rental. Dubas would have to go after someone like Nurse, still young, has upside and can skate. Lou showed trading assets for stop gap players isn`t the way to go. You just don`t trade a player like Nylander for guys like Muzzin and Simmonds, because of the cap won`t be resigned or in Simmonds case can`t be resigned because of the cap

  7. The Leafs have proven, that being 2 points out of first overall in the Eastern conference, that they can do without Nylander.
    Trade him already.

  8. Trade Nylander…sure.

    What happens if Marner gets hurt? Trade for a Nylander?

    Leafs shouldnt take their depth for granted. This team is beyond regular season standings. They need to win playoff rounds and depth goes a long way. Keep the high end talent you drafted. Lets not go back to the days of trading them away.

  9. I wonder what the cost to the Habs would be for Faulk from the Canes? Fills a VERY important LD need for them.

    Think the Habs could trade a token player (Hudon?) to the Canes for Faulk + Darling, then send Darling to the minors? Canes lose a good player in Faulk but also get out from the heavy weight of Darling’s contract. Habs have the cap room with only a small move or two.

    Then Habs trade Lindgren in the minors for a better replacement for Hudon? There’s reportedly interest in Lindgren

    • Faulk is RD. Not sure how he fits with Weber and Petry already there.
      The canes have no salary cap issues either ao doubt they make this move.
      Lastly, Faulk is not very good defensively

      • My bad, Taz! I thought he was LD. I still wonder if the Habs could scoop up a Canes LD in a trade like this.

        While Canes have no cap issues, they are much more cost-conscious than the Habs. Saving $8M/yr and getting out from under Darling’s contract may be something ownership would push for, regardless of the cap.

      • Taz,

        The pairing of Calvin De Haan and Faulk has been Carolinas best defensive pairing this year. Faulk hasn’t played this well in years and its because of De Haan’s consistency and their chemistry together. It appears to have resurrected Faulks career. Slavin is Carolina’s best defender but he and Hamilton still do not play as well together as he does with Pesce. I don’t think Carolina will or should trade Pesce, Slavin, Faulk, De Haan or Hamilton but if they do I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Hamilton.

      • I am right with you, GP, on all your points. Including that I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamilton was the RD to go in trade. I hadn’t seen much of him up until this year, but i am surprised how weak he is defensively. That “effort” on Filppula’s goal yesterday was shocking.

    • I think a lot of GM’s in the league are quietly rooting for Dubas to sign WW to a good cap friendly deal.
      I am sure almost everyone on here is aware of the great young talent that is coming out of their entry level deals that could command 10 million dollar deals but would cripple a teams chances of fielding a strong compete active team with At least 3 good lines.
      It makes no sense to me that the league has shut down 2 times to get a cap and player control to just cave to players when they don’t have to.
      The only player I agree with giving a big contract to is McDavid, he is heads above every other player in the league, but giving Draisaitl, Eichel, their big deals is crazy

      • I wrote competitive not compete active

    • You can have Jack Johnson for Hudon, he plays LD. JJ is right about what the Habs usually are looking for in a dman. Hell you can have him for MCCarron or Shinkaruk at this point.

      • Who the f wants Pittsburgh’s ball and chain? Hudon is a decent player – I cant see the Habs making that deal. You guys are stuck with that albatross contract.

      • FD,

        How about we give you JJ for 4 Reuben’s (with side slaw) from Schwartz’s and a half dozen official NHL pucks (unused) …. deal?


        Pretty please

  10. how about Z. Smith and Ceci from Ottawa for Darling and de Haan. Both teams unload a contract that has soured. I believe that Darling could regain his form if he played 35-40% of the remaining games.I realize 4+ is a lot to pay for insurance but they need to get Anderson some backup help. Smith, while overpaid can play 3rd or 4th line center or wing. de Haan would be a nice add to play with Chabot, defensively reliable. Ceci is 3 years younger than CDH and an RFA next year.

  11. What is Tom Dundon’s track record?

    It is well documented that he didn’t want to pay market value for a good GM.

    He hired a coach and general manager that were already on the payroll.

    He traded Lindholm because he didn’t want to pay him what Calgary was willing to.

    He traded Skinner without an NHL player in return.

    Last spring he went on a rant about how it was his job to replace his players with better players and said everyone except Aho’s job was on the line. Then he kept Darling and Rask, last years biggest under performers, because he didn’t want to either take back salary or buy them out.

    He hasn’t signed his own players with expiring contracts Aho, Teravainen or Ferland which is his entire first line.

    He didn’t sign a starting goalie which is and has been the teams biggest weakness.

    And last but not least his team continues to have the lowest payroll in the NHL.

    Tom Dundon has stated many times that money is and will not be an obstacle to making Carolina a consistent playoff team, but he has yet to back that statement up. Therefore, I have had a hard time believing Carolina is “all in” on Nylander at the term and salary he is reported to be asking.

    • Wow this comment reads like one of those smear campaigns for local politicians. Your last line should be “Tom Dundon- he’s everything hockey shouldn’t be.” With a very unflattering closeup as the final frame. At the same time everything you said is %100 the truth. The guy is the next Melnyk.

      • Dee,

        You are right, the intent of the post was to state why I didn’t think Carolina was likely to trade for Nylander and I made it too much about Dundon.

        Tom Dundon has done some good things. He improved the defense by signing De Haan. I liked hiring Brind’Amour as the coach and bringing Daniels back as an assistant. He also went and got some badly needed grit in Ferland and Martinook. Claiming McElhinney off waivers may have saved the season.

    • Wasn’t the Canes GM job up for 200k? Some passed on that one. Guess you get what you paid for.

  12. Of the D listed Muzzin would be the one the Habs should target. The key, of course,is what to trade. Not really sure the Habs have the pieces. It seems to me that the best asset for trade the Habs have is cap space, sadly. Accumulating draft picks, I think, is key. No way the Habs are Cup contenders this year, at best a really favourable draw with a banged up opponent in round 1 to sneak into round 2. It means a middling 1st round draft pick and no shot at #1 or moving up at all in the draft.

  13. Gallagher was playing with dynamite by spearing Miller couldn’t believe he didn’t get what he deserved. If that were Wilson or Marchand they would be in prison now.

    • Ya because Marchand has gotten anything severe from the league for his antics he’s one guy who should have had the book tossed at him but he’s Jacobs boy and Jacobs is Bettmans boy

  14. Flyers need changes now-get rid of the college coach, trade Giroux and Vorachek (most overrated player in the league and most overpaid!), Simmonds to Toronto for prospects? WS would be a fit for their second line, adds grit, wold love to play in his hometown?
    People will argue over Giroux but despite the point production he does not fit for the future…