NHL Rumor Mill – November 28, 2023

by | Nov 28, 2023 | Rumors | 38 comments

Check out the latest on the Leafs plus more speculation linking the Coyotes to the Flames’ Noah Hanifin in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving is still in contract extension talks with winger William Nylander. He’s also awaiting clarity on defenseman John Klingberg’s hip injury.

Treliving provided no details regarding the contract discussions with the Nylander camp. He remains hopeful of getting the 27-year-old winger signed before he becomes eligible for unrestricted free-agent status next July.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an encouraging sign that the lines of communication between the Leafs and Nylander’s representatives remain open. There’s still no guarantee that a deal could be hammered out before season’s end but the odds are better if there is ongoing dialogue.

Nylander’s outstanding play this season almost certainly ensures he’ll receive a significant raise over his current $6.9 million average annual value. Estimates range from $8.5 million (too low in my opinion) to $12.25 million (too high). I think it’ll land somewhere between $10 million and $11 million annually.

As for Klingberg, Treliving revealed his hip ailment began during the fourth game of this season. He underwent double hip surgery in 2014. The 31-year-old blueliner is being examined by doctors in New York and it’s believed a decision regarding surgery or physical therapy will be made by the end of this week.

The Leafs need to know how long Klingberg will be sidelined. That will determine if they need to find another defenseman and how much cap space they’ll have to do so.

It’s rumored the Leafs are interested in Calgary Flames blueliners Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev. Zadorov recently requested a trade and his agent indicated he has an interest in coming to Toronto, where he would be reunited with Treliving.

TSN: Darren Dreger also recently noted the Leafs’ rumored interest in Tanev given their need for a right-shot defenseman. He also listed former Leaf and current Anaheim Ducks rearguard Ilya Lyubushkin, the Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Walker, and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Andrew Peeke.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames management isn’t in any rush to move Zadorov or Tanev now that the club has moved up in the standings into a wild-card spot. I doubt the Flyers are that keen to move Walker right now given their ongoing solid play.

The Ducks probably won’t shop Lyubushkin until closer to the March 8 trade deadline. Peeke, however, could be available. Reports earlier this season claimed the Jackets were gauging the trade market on Peeke and Adam Boqvist.


GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan noted the recent rumors that have linked the Arizona Coyotes to Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin. He said the rumor “has some legs” but indicated their level of pursuit in the 26-year-old pending unrestricted free agent is “a bit exaggerated”.

Morgan acknowledged the Coyotes’ need for someone like Hanifin on their blueline. He thinks they really need another top-four option because offseason acquisition Matt Dumba hasn’t played like one.

If the Coyotes acquire Hanifin, Morgan believes they’d have to do so without giving up any of their top prospects. They’d also have to sign him to a contract extension that would fit within their long-term budget.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those are the two factors that make a Hanifin trade to Arizona unlikely. The Flames will probably want one of the Coyotes’ top prospects as part of the return. Hanifin could also prefer testing the UFA market in July.

I don’t blame the Coyotes for looking into Hanifin’s availability. They’re a club on the rise with a promising future. However, he could prefer joining an already established playoff/Stanley Cup contender.


  1. Until Ariz gets it’s arena figured out and stops selling off pieces every year, I don’t think free agents (or pending free agents like Hanifin) will go there and re-sign.

    • I agree.

    • Who knows where AZ will play next year….❓ In that 4,500 seat barn for 2-3 more years….. I don’t think they are a draw for a Top UFA……❗️🤔

      They have been a poor team for so long now, nobody cares
      The Ownership’s group can’t get there crap together to sort out an deal for a new home.. that’s 3-4 years now they have been playing this song…

      Garry want it close to his place in AZ….😂

  2. See…there ya go. It is absolutely annoying that every player is somehow connected to the leafs. It’s so rediculous, that even the player is saying they wouldn’t mind being apart of Toronto. NHL hockey analysts, fans now players themselves…when does it end?

    • Jealous much? lol

      A lot of it is to bring attention. I’m sure that’s why Zadorov’s agent mentioned Toronto.

      Rant warning (that no Leaf-hater will ever acknowledge has any validity):
      Like it or not, the Leafs have the largest fanbase in the NHL. With that comes a lot of attention, and a lot of jealous hate, but you’ll be glad to hear it also has it’s drawbacks. When the Leafs are playing a team that is struggling to sell tickets, the officiating SEEMS to favour the other team. I’m SURE it doesn’t, but…every time?… hmmm… The same thing happens in the playoffs. That American dollar, in those American markets, they are VERY important to Bettman. No wonder why penalties and suspensions SEEM to play out different for different players. Kadri suspended twice (one for a VERY similar hit to Bennett’s, for protecting Marleau after several non-calls). Can’t argue that it was warranted, despite Boston’s ability to get away penalty-free on every dirty play, but Bennett takes out Knies with an elbow and it’s not even reviewed? Just a couple examples of why the Leafs, and any Canadian team, will NEVER win the Stanley Cup. But you keep whining about the Leafs being in the news. ;P

      That rant felt good.

      • WestBrantKid, I’m pretty sure Bettman isn’t telling refs how to call a game.
        Whether it’s Forex or any other reason folks can dream up, although that one was one of the funniest I have read on here. So if you were joking, well played!

      • @Ray Bark, I wish I was joking. If you don’t think all sports are fixed, and that it’s just a silly conspiracy theory, well… Enjoy your next booster, because we all know conspiracies aren’t real. Hahaha
        Bettman certainly would fix games for profits.
        To be clear, my rant was about the Leafs, but if you watch, say Boston play Arizona, you’ll see penalties called in a way that takes momentum for Boston, and penalties not called if it will take momentum from AR. If it was obvious everyone would be reporting on it. It’s more about timing.
        Mind you, they won’t favour a team that is tanking for a rebuild, like SJ, but a team that is trying to compete, and not selling tickets…
        This is my “conspiracy theory” based on observation. I’m 48 years old and watch NHL for a couple decades, all teams when Center Ice came out, but I stopped supporting this NHL when this became obvious to me about 15 years ago. Now I only watch the Leafs. In my dreams, 24 of the strongest markets leave the NHL to start a new League, and take the Stanley Cup with them.

        I know most people will think I’m looney, and that okay, mind mind can be a scary place. ; )

        Side note: I wonder how that would work, theoretically. The cup was originally donated to Canada by Lord Stanley to be challenged by any hockey team. The NHL later formed around this, but I don’t think they actually “own” the cup. Maybe they have rights to it? If so, rights given by whom?
        Anyone know? Lyle?

      • Wow.
        I actually thought there was a reasonable chance you were kidding.
        I stand corrected.

      • Largest fan base? Hard to metric that but if we take merchandise sales Toronto would be third largest.

      • Glad your rant felt good. However, I didn’t read it.

      • The league has its favorites: Rags, Tonto, Pitt.
        Those 3 always get preferential treatment from
        6th. Ave in NY. Ratings rule!

    • When fans quit watching, reading and clicking on it.

      • That’s pithy… haha. Good old school type thinking — but wayyy too logical and dare I say “true” for 2023.

    • Toronto won’t win the cup with their current d core. They need to drastically overhaul their blueline. Out: Brody is atrocious, his absence will immediately make Toronto better. Lilly is overvalued, he will never amount to more than a borderline AHL journeyman, I wouldn’t even put him as our 8th option. Klingburg is a failed experiment. What we need on our back end are: Goudas, Lybushkin, Schenn, Zdorov, Tanev and Reilly. These 6 guys in our lineup every night will get us to the Lord Stanley Mug and we shall all drink out of it when it’s all said and done. Until the backend is addressed swapping out ballerinas with warriors, there is no end to the Stanley cup drought. McCabe and Giardano are injury options.

      • Well Mike, while it’s refreshing to see a Leafs fan offer a scathing opinion on 2 current players – Liljegren and Brodie – didn’t you put forward a proposal yesterday having them join a 5′ 9″ 178 lb “stud” who has yet to prove anything at the NHL level along with a 3rd round pick, for Zadorov and Tanev?

        Don’t you think Calgary’s new regime is equally aware? How would that deal make them any better?

  3. Nylander or not…. can Leafs go far with the D-core and goalies…. even with the big 4 upfront?
    Nylander is the only one with a M-NTC. If they resign him somehow their backend will be even worse next season

    • But when Tavares re-signs at a very team-friendly 8 years x $2M, they’ll be money to spend on the back end.

      Yes, JT is worth much more than that, but for how long? 8×2 is guaranteed $16M. On the open market at age 35, his lack of speed will prevent him getting another big contract. Maybe some GM would give him 3x$5M, but that would be his last contract. 8x$16 allows him to get paid with taking up cap space AND retire with his childhood team.

      • Wow that is some strong leaf kool aid you have been sipping. Better save some for the playoffs 🤣

      • WBK, now I know you’re messing with us.

      • 16 measly bucks Wbk? Surely the guy is worth a couple beers and a meal at the ACC?

        So yeah, $11.5 million sounds about right

      • I hope the Pajama Boy never wins the Cup.

      • 2 million??? No way Tavares takes that amount of money. None of those guys have given a discount to make the team better. Why would one of them start now?

      • Yes, Pavelski’d lack of speed at 35 led to that 7 million per year deal, then another deal at 6 million per.
        Hello Jeff Carter is making 3+ million.

        I am sure all the NHL GM’s will have no interest in JT as a UFA, because he is 35 years old.

        Get out of here with that.

    • The Leafs have 1 more year of $11.M John Tavares❗️
      It a shame they can’t trade JT
      And speed up the process

      Then they will spend that JT money on good D/men and improving 3rd line scoring

      They have 2 good young goaltenders
      It’s a waiting game….

    • I just wanna mention that as a Leafs fan I do not agree with what WBK is talking about. We are not all the same.
      That is all

  4. I would be skeptical about trading with Brad after he hamstrung our future with bad contracts. It always depends on the offer, but he deserves no favours.

    Also, we’re not taking Broadie in a trade. Brad let him walk for free as a Flame, so why would we trade for him back?

  5. Wonder if Robert Bortuzzo would be a depth option for the Leafs. He would come CHEAP, and bring some size, toughness, cup experience, and locker room presence—maybe a 6th to the Blues.


  6. Leafs CAN afford a d. They have
    Brodie 5 Mill
    Domi 3 mill
    Klingberg 4.25 mill
    Bertuzzi 5.5 mill

    all falling off next year- thats 17 mill- Matthews only got a 1.6 mill raise and even if Nylander gets a 3 mill raise. Thats over 12 million left. so the doom and gloom is unwarranted. The following year Tavares’ 11 mill comes off (fully or partially if they resign him)
    Letting Nylander go bc he wants 10 mill is bad business when Marner will want 12 and isnt worth it…

    • The money works, but you still need to fi d someone in backoffice that recognise that 🏒 hockey today needs D that can skate and have some kind of hockey IQ.

    • Leaf’s will have around 24 mil for next season with 12 players signed (assuming they sign Nylander).

  7. You know, if we’re going to talk about the Leafs, I, for one, would like them to play well enough for it to matter.
    Right now, they are playing like s**t.
    Let’s talk Leafs after they have a five game winning streak.
    How about those Flames? Red Wings? Oilers Maybe?

    • Big win for the Flames last night over Vegas BCLeafFan! They have been playing pretty darn good lately and had their backup tender win one for them last night with an EBUG on the bench.

      Big one for the Oil tonight against those same Knights. Would be nice to get on a 3 game streak. Just maybe they are getting it turned around if they can?

      B’s seemed to have hit a low patch, not surprising, need to get it going again. Keep that confidence up.

      Ref gave every skater on the ice a 10 minute misconduct with 7 minutes left in the FLA vs OTT game last night. I can’t remember seeing that before.

      How’s that BCL?

      • Should have included the Jets in “how about ?”
        Things are heating up north of the border, that’s for sure.

  8. Corey Perry’s on waivers for the intent to terminate his contract. Now I am wondering if the rumours ARE true…

    • Frank Seravalli was unequivocal that the Corey Perry rumours were utter and complete BS. Frank actually used the f-word.

      Someone on twitter attempted to claim the rumour was started by an unknown person (i.e. not an on-air personality) at TSN. Seravalli portrayed the Bedard family as all American/Canadian as Leave it to Beaver’s family.

      • I always wondered what happened when the cameras were off… after dark.

    • Leaf’s will have around 24 mil for next season with 12 players signed (assuming they sign Nylander).

  9. This particular place has a number of posters who are TML and Boston supporters and that skews the supposed interest regarding movement of players.

    I see nonsense posted regularly about the Habs and who coming to Montreal.

    Tavares, Duchene, Dubois were all coming to Montreal, their agents were bff with Bergevin.

    Zegras is coming to Mpntreal to play with Caufield.

    Montembeault is being trade for a 1st rounder.

    Habs have a future Vezina winner in Boston College, Jacob Fowler.

    Habs have the next Cale Makar in Lane Hutson at Boston U.

    I can go on and on but it seems to me that there is talk for talks sake by “media” that have little if any actual contact with live sources.

    It also seems to me that the active gambling and ability to bet on any and every facet of the game and tying it to analytics on steroids driving rumors as opposed to the eye test.

    One thing I have learned over time is that more often than not trades, drafts, hiring and firing of coaches come as a total surprise to the fan base and the pundits.