NHL Rumor Mill – January 19, 2019

by | Jan 19, 2019 | Rumors | 104 comments

Latest on William Nylander, Vladimir Tarasenko, Wayne Simmonds, Kevin Shattenkirk, Cam Talbot and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


Could the William Nylander rumor mill grind back to life in the offseason? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPORTSNET (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): Brian Burke predicts the Toronto Maple Leafs will move William Nylander this summer. He feels the winger’s contract is structured in such a way (front-loaded) that it’ll make it easy for the club to move him this summer.

Burke suggested several factors as to why Nylander could be traded so soon after the Leafs re-signed him. He considers the winger a valuable asset who’ll fetch a good return, noted the Leafs have too many highly-skilled forwards “who aren’t big”, and he’s a good player but not a difference maker. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A month ago, it would’ve been laughable to suggest the Leafs could trade Nylander next summer. After all, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas told Nylander he won’t be traded.

But with Nylander struggling since returning to action last month following a lengthy contract standoff, there’s growing discontent over his performance and how much the Leafs have invested in him. If he fails to improve over the remainder of this season and the Leafs suffer another early playoff exit, the Nylander trade chatter will intensify in the offseason. 


PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said Wayne Simmonds will be re-signed or moved by the Feb. 25 trade deadline. The club isn’t willing to lose Simmonds to free agency this summer for nothing. 

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cited Elliotte Friedman’s appearance yesterday on Edmonton’s 630 CHED discussing Simmonds’ future. He believes it more likely than not that the 30-year-old winger will be traded. He suggests Nashville or Boston as possible destinations. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Joe Rexrode acknowledged Simmonds would bring the Predators a strong net-front presence but believes the Flyers’ asking price will be too expensive. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I also believe Simmonds is more likely to be traded and I think the Bruins will be among the frontrunners. I don’t doubt the Predators would have interest but not at any cost. Simmonds isn’t the only Flyer available in the trade market. After forward Dale Weise cleared waivers, Fletcher reportedly told him to stay home and wait for a trade. 


STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat with his readers, Tom Timmermann said he believes the St. Louis Blues will be sellers at the trade deadline unless the Central Division standings do a complete 180-degree turn. He doesn’t see them trading prospects to make a run for the postseason, suggesting unrestricted free agents such as Carl Gunnarsson and Jay Bouwmeester could be moved.  

While the Blues might get better returns for Brayden Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo by trading them with a year left on their contracts, moving them if they can’t get a good return now would be a bad idea. 

BOSTON GLOBE: Matt Porter noted the trade speculation surrounding Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko. While he would be a great fit with the Bruins, the Blues would probably want a combination of top draft picks, high-end prospects and young standouts such as Charlie McAvoy and Jake DeBrusk in return. Porter also notes the Bruins have only $3.8 million in salary-cap space while Tarasenko carries an annual average value of $7.5 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt the Bruins want to add another scoring winger but I daresay they’re looking at affordable rental options. Tarasenko is well out of their price range. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the San Jose Sharks are in the market for a center. He thinks they checked into the availability of Pittsburgh Penguins center Derick Brassard.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford apparently wants a roster player who can fill the third-line center position. The Sharks won’t be able to help them there unless Rutherford uses assets received from the Sharks to bring in a center in a separate deal. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggested the recent improvement of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk could hasten his departure from the Rangers. He has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $6.65 million and a 10-team no-trade list. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk is a right-shot puck-moving defenseman with five 40-plus point seasons on his resume. He’s also been hampered by injuries in recent years. Unless the Rangers are willing to pick up part of his cap hit or take back a toxic contract, I’m not sure they’ll find much interest in his services. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Sportsnet’s Brian Burke talking about the trade value of Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot, who’s due to become a UFA this summer. “I don’t think you can move him at that salary. I just don’t think he’s moveable. But I don’t think anyone is going to take a UFA that is making that kind of money and hope he gets his game straightened out for the last month of the year.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Staples points out, Burke is telling Oilers fans a hard truth: Talbot has little or no trade value. His salary-cap hit is $4.16 million and he’s playing poorly this season. 


DALLAS MORNING NEWS: During a recent live chat with his readers, Matthew DeFranks speculates Stars GM Jim Nill isn’t done dealing after shipping Devin Shore earlier this week to Anaheim for Andrew Cogliano. While the Stars are pressed for cap space to add a top-six forward, DeFranks suggested putting Martin Hanzal, Marc Methot or Stephen Johns on LTIR could clear some room. He also doesn’t rule out the possibility of Nill trying to find a trade partner for someone like Brett Ritchie, Valeri Nichushkin, or Julius Honka. 


  1. With the holdout, his dad, soft play and playoff performances I can’t see nylander getting that great of a return. He’s a buyers beware player especially with a 7 million cap hit

    • He missed 2 months, guys come back from injuries all the time in similar situations, look at Weber even.

      Enough with the excuses already, I said it then and I’ll say it again signing Willy for $7 million will be considered a mistake at some point in time and a learning experience for Dubas…should have let him sit, team was doing fine without him.

      Should have turned that asset into a rhd especially considering how well we played without him.

      • leafforlifeforever,

        Yes yes yes

        I had posted the same many times.

        My first choice was a trade pre season for a D upgrade; but once the season progressed; I feared a capitulation by GMKD…. and it happened

        So now he (GMKD) has moved the negotiation power needle somewhat in the direction of the AM and MM camps and has an underperforming asset almost untradeable in season

        After season was 3 weeks old …. and he sensed a long hold out …. he should have sat him for the year.

        Team was rolling early season without him…need to sign was certainly NOT imperative

        Trade him after the signing bonus is paid for D upgrade …. preference at gritty prime career RHD

      • I agree nylander good player not worth $7 million should move him for a dman..Toronto doesnt have problems scoring goals..

    • BigBadBruins

      Your prob right . But I’m glad at least there is at least some media reporting a WW trade

      His value does increase for sure in the summer though as once his SB is paid Jul 1 (Leafs have buckets of cash) then receiving team actually pays an AAV of <$5M but does still get hit with Cap at basically $7.0 ($6.996)

      A cap rich team with tight internal budget would IMO be interested (Carolina ????)

      He does have potential (shown in previous 2 years) that has obviously been apparent since his return. I'm thinking that there will be GMs that believe a change in scenery will bring him back to form

      The right move, IMO, is to move him off-season

      What's your thoughts on Simmonds as a Bruin ; and if so … price to pay?

      • Sorry , should have been “obviously NOT been apparent “

      • Pengy, what concerns me more than anything is the possibility that GMKD is narrow minded in the sense that he see’s building a team as being done only one way, his way.

        And from I have been able to ascertain as to whats GMKD way it seems like he thinks the league is going towards being like an allstar game and that scares the s**t out of me.

      • Pengy

        And this concerns me as well, seems to me that maybe Dubas is reading his own press clippings as well describing him as boy wonder and how he does things different.

        Part of me thinks he believes the league was changing to a league that more resembles an all star game than hockey.

        And honestly if hockey ever goes that route I might actually be done with hockey as well which would be a damn sad day for me.

        Yes we need skill and I love what I see from Sandin for example but you still need guys like a Ferland and or an even better option a guy like Kreider who brings what Ferland does and more.

        Plus something for the back end like a gudas or shoot higher but then it costs more.

      • How does his value increase if he continues on this torrid pace or anything close to it ? There were a few gm willing to meet his demands pre signing by report , the rest thought 7 was too much . Do you think they will line up in the summer on this hope if this play continues and with better offers than were presented pre signing ?

      • PENGY…Watching afternoon game here in los Angeles ducks at devils ducks up 3-1 goals by sprong nd grant its like Pittsburgh west rowney also a great game.. i liked Derrick grant wish we would have kept him..thought he was a solid 4th line player..sprong has 7 goals now but i thinl pettersson has been good for the penguins…good deal sprong had chAnces with us just didnt work… hell Gibbons is on tbe duck wasnt he a penguin too???

      • BlackNGold

        Sorry been out for most of the day and just getting back to reading posts now

        I do like Petterson and believe he has even more to give

        I did like Sprong and just felt he was repeatedly miss-cast and improperly used . I wish All the best for Sprong

        As I said …. Peterson has been a very pleasant surprise …. still on his ELC and less than 800 K

        He has certainly saved JJ’s mistakes on many occasions

        I would have kept Grant … I don’t know anything on Blandisi… and the few shifts I saw him play was not a lot to go on. When the trade was made it appeared that Pens were getting a player never to likely crack the line up… well one single game proved that wrong

        Grant was absolutely fine ..,, you can’t have a player on the 23 man roster and pay him less … he got league min and has certainly been worth more to Pens than Ruhweedel who is also being paid league min.

        Grant can and did play both C and wing and was a fairly good face-off guy

        We’ll see what comes down the pipes re Blandisi

        The best part of the Petterson acquisition is that his play has now provided Pens with an additional top 6 D

        Pens won’t move JJ but have Shultz returning soon so they have the flex to move a D …, will need to off-season anyway for cap reasons

        If it is done off – season I’m guessing that Maata is the more likely Cap casualty

        However , as has been talked about by TSN and SN , perhaps GMJR is looking at moving Jamie O soon in a move for a forward … I also like Jamie O…. far better than JJ

        Ruhweedel taking up a spot on the 23 man roster AND cap space …, really has to go

        I will not be surprised if there is a trade before first game back after all-star break

      • Grant and Wilson are as vanilla as you can get. Neither brings much of anything to the table. Happy to see Grant gone and hoping they get rid of Wilson as well. Blandisi is an agitator and has decent offensive skills. He’s a very poor mans version of one of the Tkachuk boys. The Pens need to bring up Blueger and double A and see what kind of players they can be at the NHL level. If I had my way I would take Matt Cullen out of the lineup and get Sheahan back to centre. I’m not advocating for a Brassard trade but his days in Pitts are numbered regardless.

    • Hey bbb, I just saw your buddy bigbear over in the coffee headlines section. Boy, you TWO are up early this morning.

      • Snicker

      • Hey look fd I see your buddy shticky is posting you guys sleep in a bit?

      • PENGY… agree with you post confusing on rudwhedel move him. HEARING lots of contact between kings penguins on Muzzin..buddy here works for kin
        gs organization says muzzin Martinez carter quick stro g possibly of going..Penguins get muzzin makes our top 4 great add a mathhew perreat a charlie coyle we are set..hornqvist strong possibility to pkay tonight vs Vegas..be flew to Arizona yesterday..fingers crossed.

      • DEE…..Brassard yes his days are numbered.
        Grant is a solid ayer had 13 goals last yeaR in Anaheim how many does sheahan have 4 5..

  2. Yeah dealing Nylander probably helps with the cap after all we need to sign the guy who has 1 goal in his last 11-12 games to his new 100 million dollar contract right? Funny how this is getting with everyone whining about Nylander and the Golden child who is being just about as bad is a no brainier for the big contract? Marner has 13 goals in his last 14 but yeah Matthews is the man must be how good he is defensively that makes him worth that big contract or offersheet right?

    • There are obviously issues with Auston but on the surface its easy and fair to say he is having mental issues as it relates to his shoulders and going into the difficult areas.

      This team has gone downhill since Willy came back and while the players no doubt like him I can’t see how some don’t look at waiting till the last 30 mins before the deadline before he had to sit for the year as selfish and looking out for #1.

      Simple fact that has been proven time and again, team does well more often than not the players do well, these things have a way of taking care of themself but when they are pushed as Willy did then the only logical conclusion one should arrive at is Willy means more to Willy than the team means to Willy.

      I want him scoring at an 80 point clip on this team….but for gods sake already work for your money.

    • Big physical center. Truly a difference maker. Burkie missed the part where they were winning without Matthews as well?

      • Good day

        Shticky ….I love how you Cherry pick things that are immediate to the news cycle and use that to paint a brush over the entire scenario…hence now Matthews is not worth the money coming his way ….and you give it a horrible negative tone and create a situation that if someone were to disagree with you on that tone that they would be an idiot or imbecile.

        Not only 2 weeks ago you scolded me and talked down to me and directed other posters to look at me like I am an ass…in an arrogant fashion about how Nylander was way better than Kapanen ..
        (hence why i don’t post here much anymore)
        which I still disagree with as a complete player ….and you made it your mission to disparage me in my posts about league wide events and players and especially this topic.

        you have great posts and you used to provide quality information but your attitude and condemnation in a snarky vitriol sense is not very becoming of you and the quality posts that you used to write that i have read of yours in years past….JUST an FYI !

        So your saying Matthews is a big bag of pucks now and has no talent what so ever in his slump….LOL …OK..

        I agree with leafforlifeforever on the issues …well said and still you could elaborate further actually on more issues.

        First off Matthews has always been this way …its just not as noticeable when he is not scoring on the one or 2 shots he gets per game …every game …after being at the Sabres game when he scored that game I posted that he was absent in that game and it looked bad …and that him scoring that goal was the only one thing he did that game
        He has not been the same player since being back from injury no doubt …its gotten worse….but that does not take away all of his talents and what he is worth overall.

        Ive wrote extensively about this situation….and said the he was floating to much after his injury as well as I was a VERY big ANTI Nylander signing …hence my
        # tradenylandernow inclusion in my posts before he signed he was not a player that the team needed moving forward as they have too many of these players …Trekkie and Pengy can back up my posts on that …

        Id rather have Trevor Moore in there right now than Nylander …I have also posted extensively over the past year about of terrible it is to keep Gardiner and Zaitsev …..
        Shoreorpark and I had this conversation as well as Iowa boy ,…and they stated it was a high risk high reward situation ..but I still diassagree …they can not keep or resign these players into the future regardless of his points …he makes way to many giveaways and coughs up pucks in terrible decision making plays and is the softest D man in the league BY FAR!!

        Zaitsev is a worse signing than Nylander for the money!

        How …anyone can say trade Kapanen is beyond me ..he is EXACTLY the style player the Leafs need to trade for on the opposite wing to replace Nyalnder ..LMAO

        I would be willing to give up a First rounder and Liljergen and possibly either Trevor Moore or Johnson for a high quality stud D man but Iam not trading Kapenen or Sandin in… ANY… deal !

        this is enough of my Leaf post ..Id like to discuss the rest of the league …

        Cheers have a god day guys….

      • Kal you hit it right on the head

      • Kal I think you have it right I would trade Matthews and Nylander both are talented but to soft. I’m a die hard leaf fan but the team as a whole plays soft no hitting at all.

      • I have a solution that should make everyone happy. Matthews, Nylander, and Gardiner to Edmonton for McDavid and Lucic. Money over the long term is close and it gives both teams some flexibility at the trade deadline. Edmonton will have the cap space to resign or match for Matthews and no I don`t believe for a second Matthews would ever except a 1 year 16 mill offer sheet because of how easy a career-ending injury could happen to him. No team would make an offer sheet for 1 year because no player would accept a contract for less after and you can`t negotiate on an offer sheet to include the next contract. Toronto can afford to buy out or eat part of Lucic`s contract if they want to get rid of him. Edmonton can either trade Gardiner or let him walk as a UFA. Edmonton gets 2 young great players, gets rid of an albatross of a contract and yes Toronto does get the best player in the deal. It`s only a matter of time before McDavid wants out of that mess in Edmonton and this at least gives them a chance to reset

      • Even peter would laugh at that trade! Mcdavid is by far the best player in the league

      • I think Edmonton should eat half mcdavid salary add Leon Bouchard and nurse .
        Hahaha Yogi , if Pete is just on a mission to help Toronto as you layed out why not add in a few more pieces , take zaitsev the Horton contract and Marleau back .

      • That’s a great solution, for Toronto. However, I don’t think PC is that stupid. Stupid , yes… just not that stupid.

        Money being close, doesn’t mean anything. This is not happening.

      • And even if player value was equal. I don’t think there has ever been a trade of this magnitude in the cap era.

        And I don’t think you’ll ever see one quite like it.

        Mathews imo, will have a deal similar to Mcdavid. Gardiner will want 6.5-7 next year.

        This doesn’t help Edmonton, it hurts them. Even with shedding Lucics deal.

      • Come to think of it, the money isn’t even close.
        Mcdavid and Lucic make a combined 18.5

        Conservatively, Mathews takes 10. ( I doubt it but….)
        Nylander makes 7
        Gardiner settles for 6

        That’s 23 million with conservative numbers .
        More than likely Mathew gets 12, Nylander has 7 , Gardiner gets 7. That’s 26 million. Not even close $ wise.

      • One bb is an idiot so his point of view doesn`t matter. 2 you guys still haven`t figured out the value of cap space. 3. you guys are saying Matthews has little value. So all the yapping you guys have been doing about Toronto having to worry about offer sheets is just you guys yapping nothing more. 4 if Edmonton doesn`t right the ship pretty fast, McDavid will want out and if he forces the trade Edmonton won`t even get this unless you think picks and unproven prospects are worth more. You guys are saying Shticky`s comments are right.

      • Yogi you’re the idiot that to even say that trade you can’t even get the money right!……..go back to sleep you maroon

      • Yogi.

        #1. I’ve NEVER stated Mathews or Marner will receive an offer sheet. As a matter of fact I’ve stated the exact opposite numerous times.
        Playing devils advocate, does moving to Edmonton make him exempt from an offer sheet anyway?

        #2. As I point out above. The numbers aren’t even close as you sell it. A difference of 4.5 million conservatively, and 7.5 realistically. That’s another solid player worth of dollars being handed out that Edmonton can’t affort.

        #3. As I also point out, can you think of ONE single trade in the cap era of this magnitude? I can’t? But I’m willing to hear one.

        #4. If the losing Atmosphere is too much on Mcdavid (Who happens to be Canadian) how will it fair on a young American player? Probably just as bad or worse. Meaning , he’ll want out as well?

        This trade is insanity from top to bottom. It makes a lot of sense for Toronto and zero from Edmonton’s perspective.
        Really, it doesn’t make any sense at all.

      • NY4life did you read, I said trade Gardiner or let him walk as a UFA. McDavid 12.5 Lucic 6 and Matthews 12, Nylander 7 fairly close. Never said that trades can`t be tweaked

      • Enough with homer trades yogi take the blue and white glasses off, that trade would be hard pressed to pass on PlayStation you donkey

      • Yogi
        The value of cap space ? And your proposing an equal money trade ?
        To be followed by trading or buying out Lucic ?

      • IF it’s the cap space you crave they can save the same amount by keeping Mathews and Willie and letting gardiner walk . (Which is a foregone conclusion at this point)

      • So why involve Gardiner in the deal at all?

        Did you read?

        When is the last time a deal of this magnitude took place ? 1991?

      • Nyr4life never mentioned anyone by name and why are you bringing in the U,S, verses Can. thing. I was just kinda going on Matthews just as a hockey player. Not as a States vs. Can, you can if you want to. Yes McDavid is the best player in the world, but I don`t see Matthews being all that far behind

      • And I hate the “if Wayne Gretzky can be traded “ bs.

        If every time a trade comes up that involves an elite player being moved we have to refer back to a trade from nearly 3 decades ago….. I think we all clearly see that it’s not often…. It’s more of a Halley’s comet than it is the sun rising tomorrow. Pretty much once in a lifetime.

      • Just stop yogi save face a little…….to bad you couldn’t take back all the dumb things you say

      • Because I think it would be easier for a Canadian to deal with that atmosphere than it would be for an American.

        Mcdavid has seen the pressure of being the next one since he was a kid. Mathews in Arizona? Not so much…

      • Gardiner involved because Edmonton was looking for powerplay help on the point. So Nyr4life you`re saying a trade of this magnitude involving any 2 teams in the NHL can`t happen because it hasn`t happened in a long time, so if it hasn`t happened in a long time it won`t happen now, correct… It is harder to do with the cap now. But Edmonton does have to do something and fairly soon. Personally, I`d start by cleaning house. and Nyr4life I was born and raised in Edmonton

      • bb have you ever passed an I.Q. test

      • Can you even read one?

      • You know ny… these guys are amateurs at this whole infernet bickering… I’d say we should show em how it’s done but having my posts removed is something I’m gonna aim to avoid.

      • Let’s go! It’s on! First to get banned wins!

      • Ummmm. You’re a banned.

        I’m too tard. Maybe tomorrow.

      • Dude ,

        Mcdavid 326 points in 255 games!

        Mathews 174 points in 177 games!

        Stop !

        They are 1 million miles apart ! Not 5 miles apart!

        Beyond ridiculous homer trade! NEVER Happening!

        This is beyond a PS4 trade! This is insanity!

    • What point are you trying to make? Your comments are completely irrelevant. There’s a difference between a guy being in a slump and a guy holding out for big bucks and then no showing

      • K so when the guy making 100 mill is in a slump the same as the guy making 60 I’m sure that makes ok hope that helps ya sleep better..maybe there just isn’t that much of a difference? Keith Yandle manhandled Matthews last night and it’s not the first time it’s happened but Im not sure I heard the boos or am seeing much notice of this kinda play

      • Shticky with the deflections everyday! Lol he will never answer the question that is asked

      • Who’s making 100 mill?

    • I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Matthews’ game kind of went south after Nylander was put on his line.

      • Do you think it was coincidence that they were winning without them both?

      • And another deflection from the shtickster

    • I don’t get how everyone says Matthews will get same as McDavid or even more? The guy never had 30 assists in a season and is a center, his playoffs last year sucked. 11 million sure but league max or crazy money no way.

    • When Matthews can get same assists and goals in a season as McDavid then he can have 12.5 million

      • THIs sounds eerily similar .

        “Willie can’t get pastranak money , he is no pasta , what makes him worth pasta money ? He hasn’t produced pasta numbers “
        Not exact quote but an idea that was repeated by several posters many times . Haha

  3. I hope Sweeney doesn’t give up all those assets for Tarasenko.
    Sure he would be nice but not giving up that much and then take on that salary. I wouldn’t move the first,Mcavoy,Debrusk,Vaakanienen or Studnicka. I would be hesitant on moving Donato,JFK and Frederick but those are the guys that will get you something decent.

    Nylander has become a mess in Toronto. What team would take him on now with that contract with how he’s playing. Nobody is giving Toronto a top four defenseman or first rounder for him and the contract.

    • Dave, it’s not happening and to be honest I don’t think Don Sweeney would give St. Louis McAvoy straight up for Tarasenko. Not because McAvoy is better (he isn’t at this point) but he projects to be much better.
      Understanding Tarasenko has great value I also don’t like the idea of packaging Debrusk. I be ok with Krug and a 1st plus Frederick. More then that; thanks but no thanks.

      • Agree they would have to take salary back or retain some. Only way to fit him under the cap. Either Krug or Backes.
        If they took Backes salary I would give more back.
        Krug,Heinen or Donato, second rounder plus lower prospect
        Backes,Donato,Studnicka or Vaakanienen, and a second plus a decent prospect like Frederick.
        Seems fair to me.

    • Caper and Dave

      As a Leafs fan of course I’d like to see many Bruins good assets given up to get Taresenko

      Taresenko would be a great add to any team and would definitely add an explosive infusion of offence

      Were I making the decisions in Bos I don’t think it would be wise giving that all up to get him. Great add no question but eliminating those other pieces might have a net effect of weakening the club over-all now; and will so IMO in the out years

      These next few weeks are going to be very interesting

  4. Leafs dropped the ball big time on Nylander. Dubas caved and now Mr accountability is giving him minutes based on his contract rather than his performance. They need to quit babying him. There’s backup goalies with as many points as him. Nobody forced him to sit out for a contract he’ll never be worth. And to top it all off they’ll end up trading away cheaper, harder working players. Unfortunately it seems to be a growing trend around the league that young guys play for the big contract. Maybe it’s time to restructure the contracts a little bit, maybe something after the ELC. A 2 or 3 year contract up to a max of 6 mill. Basically make the bridge deal mandatory. I think it could be beneficial all the way around

    • What’s Auston’s excuse?

      • He’s playing with Nylander.

      • Cucumber kid lol good answer

      • What’s the Leafs win loss record when Matthews isn’t playing?

      • 18-10 and 2 without the frabchise
        player (and no one worried about what happens if he plays a heavy game he’s missed 30 games in under 2 seasons?) the supposedd difference maker…how do the look without Andersen or if Riley or Marner go down? Young team with lots of talent is struggling getting outworked. It’s not 1 or 2 guys that are always the easy target it’s all of them.

    • Should have played hardball with him and either let him sit out and ruin his career or traded him.
      Boston dealt with Pastrnak that way. He held out a bit in the preseason before agreeing to a team friendly deal. I’m sure Sweeney said this is fair as you are a restricted free agent.

  5. Surprised to see islanders in first place tied in points with Toronto.
    Guess they are fine without Tavares.
    How’s LA doing with Kovalchuk.
    Sometimes adding the big name doesn’t help.

    • especially when you are 35 years old and don’t care too much about backchecking …

    • The Islanders lost Tavares but they added a pretty good guy behind the bench. Just ask his former team.
      BTW, Shtickey, keep your head up. You have plenty of us on your side.

  6. Nylander and Matthews with Hyman will come around and by the end of the season and will be the leafs best line.

    As for an offer sheet for Matthews the only team that can probably do it is Arizona, which every team in the league should have a problem with. Arizona has been sucking millions out the league every year, now they are going use that money to buy a top player. That is wrong in so many ways and getting a home town boy is not going to bring fans in the building.

    • Atlantic is a funny division Toronto can hang with Tampa – tampa domiates Boston and Boston does well against Toronto..

    • Arizona as a franchise is wrong in so many ways.

  7. I hope this is true…but I am not sure…that the Leafs had a strategic plan when they signed Tavarres and Nylander…an organization spending that kind of money better have one or the Board should fire the whole lot of them

    To be generous to Dubas lets say there is one…and lets say it is based on the window not being now based on being now but in 18 to 24 months

    The Nylander contract becomes cheap/reasonable after July 1….that is when you trade him to a team like Carolina….in the meantime play him with Matthews and until they find their mo-jo ..if they don’t that tells you something about Matthews and maybe he should go in the summer with Nylander

    The bringing in of Tavarres and the cost only money which is good but it disrupted the roster….too many centers…center is a position many teams need…and defense for centers is a trade that sometimes work at mutual face value

    If there is a strategic plan it might be partly based on the next building action is this summer for success in the out years…

    All of this maybe giving the Leafs planners more credit than they deserve…while they have achieved a lot since Shanahan right now they do not look like a team.

    They look like 23 sub-contractors each worrying more about their individual futures rather than a group of players who want to do well as a team.

    Leaf fans like me should look to Montreal where a group of players are putting it all out on the ice….for the sake of the team…..

    • There is some good thought to this, I agree with the point that you look at the whole that’s what I’m saying Matthews or Nylander I’m saying both there just isn’t that big a difference as I’ve been saying since all the contract nonsense started with everyone mouthing about how much more value Matthews has, both are great young players but how great and is there really that much of a difference? Over 3 years and 2 playoff appearances it doesn’t appear to be. Is Matthews really McDavid money? Or is he more like Draisaitl or any number of great young player who has ups and some downs? Do you really wanna bet that much on it considering? Look how some are reacting to guys like Gardiner Nylander Kadri and the rest but no eyebrows get raised when a soft D like Yandle starts out working a 6’4 center?

  8. Here my prediction after the leafs have their 8 days off they’ll all be on the same page as far as rest and freshness, this will allow Nylander to catch up with the rest of his teammates and he’ll be a point a game player or better from February 1st forward.

    • Nylander a problem was too much rest. I’m not sure another week helps him more than hurts him.

      • It’s not the Nylander rest but the rest of the team will come back sluggish after being off for 8 days, allowing Nylander to be on the same page.
        We will see soon enough, then again I could be wrong again.

  9. All the talk about Nylander, Mathews , Marner value all brings me back to something I’ve been saying since Hall, Eberle, RNH were handed big $$$’s right out of the gate…. STOP handing players big $$$’s straight out of their elc deals!!!!

    Unfortunately, I think those days are gone. And I think 2 years is WAY too short of a window to hand out a deal 4 X’s the length and 8-9-10… 12+ X’s the $$$’s.

    Fire away, but no argument is going to make me change my mind or justify these type of deals.

    ***Disclaimer ***

    This isn’t about any one player or organization. This is about the state of RFA’s in general .

    • Totally agree but when guys start holding out it makes it tough and all the agents know the cap is going up

    • Agree Chiarelli again screwed all other GM’s.
      Restricted free agents have no leverage except to hold out.
      More gms should be tougher with the agents.
      Mcdavid should never have gotten 12 million as restricted.
      That doesn’t help Edmonton long term.
      Maybe a cap on restricted free agents would help like 5-6 million.
      Most gms are paying for promise of hype other than performance at this age.

      • I believe those deals were before PC.

    • Certainly agree with that Ny4life but 31 GM’s don’t. Players with good starts to their careers are overpaid for too long simply because teams do not want to lose face.

    • Exactly, but i will suggest that its more than the state of RFA’s; it’s the new nhl.

      In fact, its the same in all business models. 75% of the players in the NHL, that people think are stars are in fact one dimension shinny hockey players. This is intentional, to make the game more appealing, parity, and international, all for the sake of maximizing greed. But what the idiots didn’t forsee (don’t ask me how), is that contracts have been based on offense for 30+ years. So with all their changes (cap, penalty riddled games, glowing pucks, smaller goalie eq, no checking/fighting, hooking/holding) They have ruined the game with an greed based offense first mentality & are now wanting a complete 360 degree reversal LOL. The solution is not more changes, but to revert back 20 years ala MAGA lol. I don’t care who you are, a 60 point player is NOT worth $7m. Let all the GM/League/Media/Fans complain…you deserve it. Hope the whole league fails. Today, Gretzky/Orr/Lemieux would be getting 500 point and a $50 salary in comparison to today’s “hockey”.

      Additionally, do you “people” even realize you are arguing (online) about whos right or wrong, and even referring to previous comments to prove your points, OVER RUMORS 😛

      It’s like arguing if santa clause is black or white, but don’t stop its amusing.

  10. It has repeated itself many, many times. A player signs a big deal and craps the bed. The list is long
    Monahan AND Gaudreau did . They don’t so bad right now

    Nylander will continue as is until the year is finished. Maybe in playoffs he will perk up but I am not counting on it. Next season and following seasons you will see the player.

    • You hope numerous players never snap out of it though

  11. I suspect Matthews and Babcock do not see eye to eye hence his slumping play. I don’t think Matthews wants to play for Babcock and that will show up this summer when he will bolt to Arizona.
    I really like Babcock as a coach but too many young stars with the entitlement mentality knowing full well they will get paid are tuning him out.
    Throw in a young inexperienced GM and you start going backwards.
    As I have said many times the salary cap forces you to manage differently, Leaf fans are just starting to catch on to this after 10 years.

    • I don’t think it’s just Matthews, Babcock doesn’t have a good track record of getting along with players

    • He can’t bolt to Arizona….he can only sign an offer sheet….which the Leafs would match and then (maybe) trade him for something of higher value than 4 firsts….no way they let him go for that

      He can arrange his contract so that he can bolt in five years ( I think) but that is as soon as he can do it of free will

      • Yes old blue dog you are correct, the big question is, can they win with salaries of 11.5 for Taveras, 12 for Matthews, 10 for Marner, 7 for Nylander?
        Something has to give, you cannot eat up half your salary cap on 4 players

        Let’s be honest, signing Taveras was a gamble that is back firing on Toronto. I don’t say that because he is playing bad, I say that because they did not think through the ramifications of signing their own players in a cap world. Nylander contract validates that.
        Chicago is a prime example that two players do not make a team that can win.

        The options, in my mind are they keep 2 out of these three players, Taveras, Marner or Matthews and Nylander has to go.
        If Dubas is hell bent on keeping all of them, then they will have a bunch of AHL players left to fill the roster. That is not a recipe for success

      • You think a player whose salary is say… 13 mil a year after the offer sheet is worth more to a team than 4 1sts? I’m actually intrigued by this. I guess it would depend on what the team needs. Mathews might actually garner that true top d man and 1 or two other nominal assists back in return… is that worth 41sts? For a competing team it might be

  12. I’m not saying anything other than its a young talented club that’s slumping it’s normal for younger clubs Matthews Nylander are both good there just isn’t the difference that many Leaf fans thought with all the nonsense over contracts so it seems funny to me that now they are firing everyone in to the sun usually the easy targets without recognizing that they are doing it to likely do the same thing all over again with Matthews. The 5 year plan seems to have become 3 year..give it some time look at the whole thing don’t be clammering sending this guy and that guy tickets outta town so you can line up guys to throw more rocks at when the same thing happens and it looks like it might. Get rid of Gardiner he’s soft and gets out worked, get rid of Nylander hes soft and doesn’t score we need space to sign Marner and Matthews and that’s gonna be 10-12 mill for Matthews… this is all people have been saying pretty much most the year when really Matthews isn’t all that different (they win without him and he struggles just as hard and gets out worked just as much) the guys Leaf fans want to fire in to the sun in order to give him a giant contract to keep him away from offersheets..it’s madness lol.

    • Blah blah blah deflect deflect deflect

    • Says the habs fan pretending to be a bruins fan

      • Oooooook FD

    • Shticky, all this Nylander talk is so reminiscent of the Marner discussions on this board last year. I’m pretty sure I was the only one defending Marner at that time, guess it’s Nylander’s turn.

      Nylander was real good Thursday, quite frankly I’m never seen him play with so much physicality. He wasn’t Wilson physical, but for Nylander it was very nice to see. He fought for pucks as did Matthews most of the night. This is the stuff young kids need to learn. These are the things they missed the last two playoffs, it’s coming, they are growing.

      Nylander’s game will come around, he’s getting chances and that quite frankly is the most important element. And yes he was god awful last night as was the whole team.

      • I think the whole thing is overblown and overreaction Trekkie as most things around the Leafs always seem to be. Line em up to knock em down

    • I agree with you about everything, except comparing matthews to nylander. Your stats are correct (i like the added wins vs losses instead of typical stats) but where the logic is flawed is that goals & fan fave (hits/backcheck/fight/heart/ leadership/position/age/salary/pedigree) are of more value than just assists (or points), all things being equal.
      This is what separates Tavares from & Matthews/Pasternak (soon to be kapanen) and even hyman, from Nylander.

  13. stirring the pot….would Leafs fans condone an off season block buster trade of Matthews, Nylander and a D prospect for Barkov and Ekblad ? Barkov a very affordable 5.9 for the next 3 seasons and Ekblad @ 7.5 for the next 7. Frees up a chunk of cash by not having to ink Matthews.

    • Panthers would be nuts.. well more nuts Imo Barkov is one of the most underrated players in the game and again I like both Matthews and Nylander but..

  14. Dear lord Toronto fans are nuts.. trade Austin Mathews.. too soft..overrated ?!?!? Lmao!! Sometimes I cant believe the things I hear but then I see the comments and yup there it is .. the stupidest thing I well read today.

  15. leafs will trade nylander this summer, let gardiner go unless he gives them a discount (8 years with leafs, hard to replace him) and i bet matthews gets signed and leafs get draft picks in compensation. tavares signing was probably the greatest insurance move KD has done. marner will get paid mad $ as he is proven to be healthier and more consistent (3 60 point seasons) and makes other players better (JT on fire). lastly, reilly gets the C for the next season. just you watch!