NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2023

The Leafs and Canucks could be in the market for defensemen while the Oilers could be scouting the Blue Jackets goalies. Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman noted the Toronto Maple Leafs are down three defensemen with Mark Giordano, John Klingberg and Timothy Liljegren sidelined by injuries. He wondered if this was the year for the Leafs to spend key assets on rental replacements.

THE ATHLETIC: Chris Johnston believes it’s not difficult to draw a line from Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving to his former club in Calgary, where the Flames have a blueline that features several attractive trade targets.

Johnston rules out Noah Hanifin given the expense of his next contract and the fact the Leafs are believed to be on his eight-team no-trade list. However, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov could hold some appeal.

Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (NHL Images).

Other options include former Leaf Ilya Lyubushkin of the Anaheim Ducks and Sean Walker of the Philadelphia Flyers. As for what the Leafs could use for trade capital, Johnston noted that they have nine picks in the 2024 draft, including a first-rounder.

DAILY FACEOFF: Chris Tanev tops Mark Larkin’s list of seven possible trade targets for the Leafs. Others include Zadorov, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Andrew Peeke, the Nashville Predators’ Alexandre Carrier, the Seattle Kraken’s Will Borgen, the San Jose Sharks’ Mario Ferraro and the Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Sanheim.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zadorov’s recent trade request makes him the most likely among this group to be moved. Given the Flames’ recent rise in the standings, however, they’re probably not in any hurry to move Zadorov, Tanev or anyone else.

Peeke could be the next most likely to be available. He was among three defensemen (Adam Boqvist and Jake Bean being the others) that the Jackets were reportedly shopping back in October. Lyubushkin and Borgen could also become available if their respective clubs fail to gain ground in the standings.

Ferraro is signed through 2025-26 and the Sharks might not be keen to move him unless it’s for a substantial offer. The Preds might not be sellers if they continue climbing in the standings.

The Flyers are reportedly willing to listen if they get offers that could build up their foundation but they’re not listening on every player. They might move Walker later in the season but I doubt they’ll part with Sanheim. He has 16 points in 22 games and carries a $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2030-31 along with a full no-trade clause.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman noted the Vancouver Canucks cleared cap space by trading Anthony Beauvillier to Chicago earlier this week. He claims they’re scouring the market for a blueliner.

One option could be bringing back free agent Ethan Bear, though he’s not expected to be ready to return from offseason shoulder surgery until late December. He also noted the Conor Garland sweepstakes have slowed down because he’s playing well and the Canucks no longer have a cap crunch. They’re also not interested in moving their first-round draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman’s colleague Iain MacIntyre reported Canucks GM Patrik Allvin acknowledged his club’s need for more blueline depth. “I think we can get help on the back end, yes,” he said.

They could be waiting for Bear to be ready to return or they could consider other options like those suggested for the Maple Leafs. Given how well they’re currently playing, the Canucks don’t have to rush into making a move. Nevertheless, they could be worth watching before the holiday trade freeze (Dec. 20-27) kicks in.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman noted three Edmonton Oilers executives/scouts were in Columbus for the second time this week. They were there on Monday when the Blue Jackets defeated the Boston Bruins with Spencer Martin getting the win in goal. They were also there on Wednesday when Elvis Merzlikins faced the Montreal Canadiens.

With Danill Tarasov due to return from injury soon, the Blue Jackets could have one goalie too many unless they intend on carrying three. Friedman also noted that it’s possible the Oilers could recall Jack Campbell if he plays well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers were also linked to Montreal Canadiens goalies Sam Montembeault and Jake Allen but that speculation has recently subsided. Montembeault played well in a 4-2 win over the Jackets so perhaps the Oilers might revisit their interest in him.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2023

Recaps of Tuesday’s games, the Blackhawks’ move to terminate Corey Perry’s contract and acquire Anthony Beauvillier from the Canucks, injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid continued his torrid scoring pace with a goal and two assists in a 5-4 shootout victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins netted the winning goal for the 8-12-1 Oilers as they’ve picked up three straight victories. The Golden Knights (14-5-4) picked up a point to retake first place in the overall standings (32 points) but they’ve managed just three wins in their last 10 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was McDavid’s third straight multi-point game. It’s not a coincidence that the Oilers have improved of late as a result.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

The Vancouver Canucks got two goals from Brock Boeser and 30 saves from Thatcher Demko to down the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Boeser now leads the league with 17 goals as the Canucks (15-7-1) sit one point back of the Golden Knights in the standings. Ryan Strome replied for the struggling Ducks (9-13-0) as they’ve dropped seven straight games.

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger kicked out 27 shots to shut out the Winnipeg Jets 2-0. Joe Pavelski and Tyler Seguin were the goal scorers as the Stars (28 points) rose to 13-5-2 on the season. Connor Hellebuyck made 19 stops for the 12-7-2 Jets as they sit two points behind the second-place Stars in the Central Division.

The Nashville Predators nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 to pick up their sixth straight win. Michael McCarron scored twice while Filip Forsberg potted the winner in overtime as the Predators improved to 11-10-0 and moved into the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 22 points. Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust scored for the Penguins as they overcame a 2-0 deficit to force the overtime period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Penguins placed defenseman Will Butcher on waivers and released blueliner Mark Pysyk from his professional tryout offer.

The Minnesota Wild picked up their first win in John Hynes’ first game as their new head coach by beating the St. Louis Blues 3-1. Filip Gustavsson made 23 saves for his first victory since Oct. 24 while Frederic Gaudreau’s first goal of the season proved to be the game-winner for the 6-10-4 Wild. Colton Parayko had the only goal for the 11-9-1 Blues.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Curtis Lazar rallied the New Jersey Devils over the New York Islanders 5-4. Hughes finished the night with a goal and two assists for the Devils as they improved their record to 10-9-1. Islanders center Mathew Barzal also had a goal and two assists as his club dropped to 8-7-6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton did not play in the third period with an upper-body injury. There was no postgame update as to his status.

The Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the Florida Panthers 2-1 on a shootout goal by Noah Gregor, who also scored their only goal in regulation. Joseph Woll made 38 saves for the 11-6-3 Maple Leafs. Kevin Stenlund tallied for the 13-7-2 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers appeared to win this contest on a shootout goal by Evan Rodrigues but a video review determined that he touched the puck after shooting it, which is not allowed in the shootout. It was a costly win for the Leafs as defenseman Mark Giordano left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He’s expected to miss some time as a result.

Two-point performances by Michael Bunting and Sebastian Aho gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 28 shots for the Hurricanes (13-8-0). Travis Konecny replied for the 11-10-1 Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Flyers announced that forward Noah Cates will be sidelined for six to eight weeks with a lower-body injury.

Arizona Coyotes winger Michael Carcone scored twice and Connor Ingram made 30 saves to upset the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. With the win, the Coyotes improved to 10-9-2 (22 points) and sit behind the Predators for the final Western wild-card spot. Brayden Point scored for the 10-8-5 Lightning.

The Chicago Blackhawks got a 33-save performance by Petr Mrazek to hold off the Seattle Kraken 4-3. MacKenzie Entwistle scored what proved to be the winning goal for the Blackhawks (7-13-0) while Matty Beniers had a goal and an assist for the 8-10-5 Kraken, who also lost winger Jaden Schwartz to a lower-body injury in the third period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game was overshadowed by the Blackhawks’ announcing earlier in the day that they had placed veteran winger Corey Perry on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. Speaking of which…


SPORTSNET: Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said the decision to release Corey Perry from his contract was a “workplace decision” but he declined to disclose the specifics about the incident.

Davidson did say that the situation didn’t involve any other Blackhawks players or their families, calling any suggestion to the contrary “disgusting.” He said the club first learned of the incident last Wednesday prior to a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The decision was made at that time to pull Perry from the lineup while an internal investigation was conducted. According to Davidson, the results of that investigation indicated he engaged in “conduct that is unacceptable, and in violation of his Standard Player’s Contract and the Blackhawks’ internal policies intended to promote professional and safe working environments.”

Perry, 38, was on a one-year, $4 million contract. The NHL Players Association is reviewing the matter and has 60 days from when the contract is terminated to file a grievance.

ESPN.COM: A source told Emily Kaplan that Perry traveled with the Blackhawks to Columbus last Tuesday, a day before the game, and an incident occurred that day involving a team employee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks did the right thing by attempting to address this issue with Perry immediately upon learning of the incident and launching an immediate investigation. However, they could’ve done a better job with their statements regarding his absence leading up to Davidson’s press conference.

The Blackhawks management insisted that Perry’s removal was a “team decision” but offered no other details. That was likely because they didn’t want to risk compromising the investigation. Perry’s agent attempted to address this by saying his client was dealing with a personal matter and asked that his privacy be respected.

Unfortunately, the conflicting messages raised more questions about Perry’s absence. It also resulted in baseless and salacious speculation on social media that may have caused unnecessary emotional distress to those who were the subject of such mean-spirited rumors.

THE PROVINCE: Speaking of the Blackhawks, the Vancouver Canucks traded winger Anthony Beauvillier to Chicago in exchange for a 2024 fifth-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired last January as part of the Bo Horvat trade with the New York Islanders, the 26-year-old Beauvillier struggled in Vancouver. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent and carries a $4.15 million cap hit for this season.

The Canucks didn’t get much of a return for Beauvillier. Nevertheless, this move clears his cap hit from their books, giving them room to add a defenseman or another scoring forward.

Meanwhile, Beauvillier will get an opportunity to improve his game with the rebuilding Blackhawks. They were short two wingers with Perry’s contract termination and Taylor Hall sidelined with a season-ending knee injury.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers yesterday placed Kaapo Kakko (lower body) and Filip Chytil (upper body) on long-term injury reserve.

TSN: The Buffalo Sabres assigned goaltender Devon Levi to their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Levi showed promise in a handful of late-season games in 2022-23. However, he’s really struggled this season to play up to expectations. Meanwhile, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has emerged as the Sabres’ starter this season.

NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators forward Zack MacEwen was fined $2,018.23 by the department of player safety for unsportsmanlike conduct during Monday’s game against the Florida Panthers.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 28, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 28, 2023

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.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 27, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 27, 2023

A look at questions facing the Bruins, Sabres, Avalanche, Oilers, Panthers, Wild, Canadiens, Islanders, Flyers, Sharks and Leafs in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen recently listed one question facing all 32 NHL teams at the quarter-mark of this season. Among them:

Boylen wondered if the solid performances thus far of Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha might shift the Boston Bruins’ trade focus away from adding a center to seeking a scoring winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Or maybe they might consider adding a player or two to bolster their defensive game. Their goalie tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman were able to paper over their leaky defense but they’ve given up at least five goals per game in three of their last four contests.

The Buffalo Sabres have been frequently mentioned as a destination for free-agent winger Patrick Kane but will they get him?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boylen pointed out that salary-cap space isn’t an issue. Of late, however, the Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings have been mentioned more frequently as possible landing spots for Kane. We’ll hopefully find out by this week where he intends to spend this season.

Boylen pointed out the Colorado Avalanche’s need to boost their depth scoring. This could be an area they look to the trade market to address if no one steps up in the coming weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of Patrick Kane, The Athletic’s Peter Baugh believes the Avs are “monitoring the situation” but doesn’t see them among the front-runners.

Which goaltender will the Edmonton Oilers add?

Florida Panthers winger Sam Reinhart (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s been the biggest question in the rumor mill throughout November. They don’t appear any closer to acquiring one while recent speculation suggests they could look at recalling Jack Campbell if he regains his form with their AHL affiliate.

Boylen also pondered the possibility that Sam Reinhart could prove too expensive for the Florida Panthers to re-sign. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent but sits among the league’s leading scorers with 13 goals and 25 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He carries a $6.5 million cap hit and could seek between $9 million and $10 million annually on his next contract.

Given the Minnesota Wild’s struggles, Boylen raised the question of whether head coach Dean Evason will make it to the all-star break. The Wild are capped out and have several key players struggling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild general manager Bill Guerin is sticking by Evason and insisting the answers to his cap-strapped team’s woes must come from within. It remains to be seen how much longer that will last.

Will the Montreal Canadiens get Sam Montembeault signed? He’s earning an average annual value of $1 million and is eligible for UFA status next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montembeault has been linked to the Oilers in the rumor mill but I think the Canadiens will get him signed. As Boylen noted, he’s starting to build on last season’s promising performance.

Boylen wondered how long the New York Islanders could continue with such a meek offense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been an issue for the past couple of years. They might have to shift their focus on finding a short-term replacement for defenseman Adam Pelech, who injured an arm during weekend play.

Philadelphia Flyers center Morgan Frost has been a frequent healthy scratch this season, prompting questions over his future. He’s signed through next season with an AAV of $2.1 million. So far, he hasn’t asked for a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers reportedly denied rumors that Frost was available in the trade market but his situation could be worth watching. GM Daniel Briere is reportedly willing to move players for returns that will improve his club’s foundation going forward.

Boylen wondered which players the struggling San Jose Sharks will trade this season. Forwards Anthony Duclair and Mike Hoffman are on expiring contracts while Mackenzie Blackwood could interest goalie-needy clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Duclair and Hoffman aren’t moved by the March 8 trade deadline. Blackwood could be available for the right price but they could opt to move pending UFA Kaapo Kahkonen.

Turning to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boylen is curious how they’ll address their blueline corps. With John Klingberg going on LTIR, he wonders what kind of defenseman they’ll go after.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Your guess is as good as GM Brad Treliving’s. He opted for a puck-moving defenseman by signing Klingberg during the offseason while bringing in physical forwards like Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi and Ryan Reaves. Perhaps he’ll look to add more “snot” to his blueline.

NHL Rumor Mill – November 21, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 21, 2023

Leafs winger William Nylander’s performance is pushing up the cost of his next contract, a look at the goalie market for the Oilers plus an update on the Avalanche in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Travis Yost believes William Nylander’s torrid scoring pace will raise the cost of his next contract if he maintains his production throughout this season. He pointed out that the 27-year-old Toronto Maple Leafs winger had closed the gap with teammates such as Mitch Marner, including outperforming them in the playoffs.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman observing that the difference between Leafs management and the Nylander camp over the summer was thought to be around $1 million per season in the $8 million to $9 million range. “I just do not think that’s realistic anymore,” said Friedman. Hornby noted that talks are continuing between the two sides.

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran wondered if Nylander has priced himself out of Toronto. “Looks like the supposed $10-million-a-year ask over the summer might have been a bargain,” he writes.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun spoke to team executives in rival front offices across the NHL to get their views on what they felt would be a fair contract extension for Nylander. The numbers came in with an average annual value between $8.5 million to $12.25 million on a seven or eight-year contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if the AAV is below $10 million on his next contract if he maintains his current level of performance throughout this season.

Nylander is the Leafs’ leading scorer thus far and among this season’s league leaders. He’s on pace to reach 100 points for the first time after two seasons between 80 and 87 points. He’s earned far less than teammates Marner and Auston Matthews. His summer asking price indicates that he wants fair market value.

I think Nylander’s asking price is now between $11 million and $12 million. Maybe he accepts a little less if he wants to stay in Toronto but I doubt that number goes below $10 million. If the Leafs won’t pay up, plenty of other clubs will line up to do so if he hits the open market on July 1.


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell believes the Edmonton Oilers’ salary-cap constraints mean they must find a way to shed the contract of struggling goalie Jack Campbell to free up cap dollars for an upgrade between the pipes.

Mitchell believes it’ll cost the Oilers at least three good prospects/draft picks being bundled with Campbell as sweeteners. He wondered if they could find a team that would accept their 2024 first-round pick, top prospect Xavier Bourgault and a “more established asset” such as Philip Broberg or the sidelined Dylan Holloway packaged with Campbell.

Mitchell then looked around at possible options in the trade market. They include Montreal’s Sam Montembeault and Jake Allen, St. Louis’ Jordan Binnington, Calgary’s Dan Vladar and Detroit’s James Reimer. He felt Vladar was the right choice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are in a very bad state with their goaltending right now. I concur with Mitchell regarding what it would cost them to entice a rival team into taking Campbell off their hands. That club could then buy him out next summer if he doesn’t improve over the remainder of this season.

Nevertheless, I still think moving out Campbell’s contract is very difficult with so many teams pressed for cap space this season. The Oilers have no leverage which other clubs will attempt to exploit.

Mitchell mentioned Montembeault and Allen because of recent reports indicating the Oilers had scouted the Canadiens goalies. Binnington’s come up because of rumored concerns in St. Louis over his performance in recent years (though he’s playing better this season) as well as the difficulty of carrying his $6 million AAV. Like the Canadiens, the Red Wings are carrying three goalies which is why Reimer got mentioned. Meanwhile, the Flames could be willing to move Vladar to bring up promising Dustin Wolf.

Binnington, however, has a full no-trade clause while Allen carries a seven-team no-trade list for this season. Given the Oilers’ struggles this season, the attraction of playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl might not be enough of a selling point to convince either guy to come to Edmonton.

The Red Wings and Canadiens could have the room to take on Campbell’s contract but I don’t think they’re keen to do so even if they got a package of sweeteners in the deal. The Flames, meanwhile, lack the cap space plus I don’t see them and the Oilers making a deal unless a third team gets into the mix. Indeed, it could take a three-team deal to spread Campbell’s cap hit around to make this happen.


SPORTSNET (via NHL WATCHER): During his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said Artturi Lehkonen’s injury is pretty significant. He added the Colorado Avalanche are in the market to add some depth scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on who they might pursue and what they’re willing to offer. Perhaps we’ll learn more in the coming days.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 20, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 20, 2023

William Nylander extends his points streak as the Leafs win again in Sweden, tough times for the Blue Jackets and Wild, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander extended his season-opening points streak to 17 games with the overtime winner in a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild in the NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden. Nylander and Auston Matthews each had a goal and an assist while Morgan Rielly had a goal and two assists for the 10-5-2 Maple Leafs. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist for the Wild as they slid to 5-8-4 on the season.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nylander remains the Leafs’ best player this season, leading them with 27 points and sitting among the league’s scoring leaders.

The Wild, meanwhile, have been struggling this season, prompting general manager Bill Guerin to express his unhappiness over the club’s performance during a team meeting with players and coaches.

Guerin recently attempted to bolster his blueline by shipping Calen Addison to the San Jose Sharks and adding Zach Bogosian from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Handcuffed by over $14 million in dead cap space due to buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter two years ago, there’s little the Wild GM can do to help his cap-strapped club.

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2, handing the latter their ninth straight loss. Ryan Poehling had a goal and two assists for the Flyers (10-7-1) as they extended their win streak to five games. Blues Jackets winger Patrik Laine was a healthy scratch as his club fell to 4-11-4. Jackets defenseman Damon Severson left this game during the second period with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets have tied their franchise record for the longest losing streak in a season. The Athletic’s Blue Jackets beat writer Aaron Portzline wondered who’ll take the fall for this club’s poor performance. He doesn’t see head coach Pascal Vincent getting the axe less than two months after being hired. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen has been criticized by Jackets fans but he still has the support of team president John Davidson.

The Flyers, meanwhile, placed goaltender Felix Sandstrom on waivers after taking him off injured reserve.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic returned to the lineup with a 38-save performance to shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0. Ryan Graves, Noel Acciari and Evgeni Malkin scored as the Penguins improved to 9-8-0. Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill stopped 30 shots as his team remains on top of the Western Conference with a record of 13-4-2 (28 points).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jeff Carter returned to the Penguins’ lineup as Vinnie Hinostroza is sidelined by a lower-body injury. The Golden Knights activated Nicolas Hague off injured reserve for this game.

The Buffalo Sabres snapped a three-game losing skid by nipping the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and two assists for the 8-9-1 Sabres. Philipp Kurashev has a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks as they fell to 5-11-0.

St. Louis Blues netminder Joel Hofer had a 30-save performance in a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, handing the latter their third straight loss. Pavel Buchnevich scored what proved to be the game-winner as the Blues moved to 9-7-1. John Gibson stopped 28 shots and Mason McTavish scored for the 9-9-0 Ducks.


THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins winger Milan Lucic will appear in a Boston court on Monday to face a charge of assault and battery on a family member. Lucic was arrested on Saturday morning following a domestic incident and is on an indefinite leave of absence from the Bruins.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov is listed as day-to-day with a knee injury and will miss Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.