NHL Rumors: Gardiner, Simmonds, McAvoy, More

In today’s rumor rundown, William Nylander’s deal is having reaching effects in both Toronto and for other teams in the NHL. Another forward in Philly is salivating at Nylander’s extension and in Boston, Charlie McAvoy seems to know what he wants.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Wayne Simmonds asking price might mean the Flyers are looking at a trade.

Jake Gardiner Extension Still Possible?

A name not often mentioned out of Toronto is that of defenseman Jake Gardiner, who while getting somewhat lost in the shuffle that is the William Nylander, Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner contract talks, still needs a new deal at the end of this season. With the news yesterday that Nylander had signed, speculation is that the Leafs might not have room for Gardiner’s contract.

Jake Gardiner Maple Leafs
Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dec. 12, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Gardiner is a pending free agent and will certainly earn a raise over the $4.05 million salary he’s making this season. Nick Kypreos said on Saturday’s Headlines segment that Gardiner could look for $6 to $7 million if he hit the free agent market and that’s not likely something the Maple Leafs can match. But, according to the panel, the organization might not have to compete.

Kypreos argued, “If he’s willing to take a slight increase from the that he is presently earning then perhaps they’d be more than willing to put him on a long-term contract.” So too, as Elliotte Friedman pointed out, one way to help with Gardiner’s contract is to go heavy in signing bonuses, which might be enough incentive to overlook the lower annual salary.

Alternatively, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun believes the Nylander signing and the new contracts due for Matthews and Marner means the Leafs have no room to re-sign Gardiner.

Related: NHL Rumors: Nylander Decision Day, Murray, Karlsson, More

Simmonds Six-Year Ask Could Mean a Trade

John Boruk of NBC Philadelphia is reporting that prior to Ron Hextall being relieved of his duties in Philadelphia, he was working with forward Wayne Simmonds on a contract extension. Simmonds, who is a pending free agent was among the many forwards rumored to be traded around the NHL Draft and throughout the offseason. Hextall maintained that he wanted to keep him in the organization but also recently said the two sides were never close to finding common ground.

Wayne Simmonds - Flyers
Paul Stastny and Wayne Simmonds (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

With Hextall now gone, things have gotten interesting. The last talks took place around November 1st and on Friday, it was said the two sides were “a ways apart.” Part of the reason is that Simmonds was, and might still be, looking for a six-year deal. If Simmonds is still holding onto the idea of a six-year contract and if the Flyers continue to struggle, the odds of him being traded go up dramatically.

Related – NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs’ Nylander, Matthews, Marner All Connected

Charlie McAvoy Wants His Money Sooner Than Later

Now that William Nylander’s deal is done, eyes will shift to other restricted free agents to see how Nylander’s contract affects the rates of young players moving forward. One of those players is Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy.

Charlie McAvoy Bruins
Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins, Dec. 2, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Reports have that the Bruins are already negotiating with McAvoy and have opened those negotiations not far off from what Nylander received, according to The Athletic’s Joe McDonald. McDonald writes:

Despite this injury, a massive payday will be in his future… and according to sources, the offer was in the range of $6.5 million per season for seven years. At this point, he would likely be better served by finishing the season and then negotiating a long-term deal in the range of $7.5 to $8 million for eight years.

source – ‘What will William Nylander’s signing mean for the Boston Bruins?- Joe McDonald – The Athletic – 12/01/2018

Speculation is that  McAvoy isn’t interested in a bridge deal and if the Bruins don’t find a long-term salary that works, could have troubling contract negotiations on their hands. Perhaps not as troubling as Nyalnder’s was, but problematic nonetheless. The Bruins might have to pay as much as $8.0 million per season over eight years and there’s no doubt the team is different without him. They’re simply not as good and have trouble getting out of their own end when he’s out of the lineup.

Related: Sabres Should Move Jeff Skinner While They Can

Flyers New GM Will Have Hands Full

PHILLY.COM’s Sam Carchidi believes Flyers winger Travis Konecny will benefit from contract Nylander just signed. “TK is 21 and has scored 42 career goals. He is an RFA after this season. Nylander is 22 and has 48 career goals and will have a $6.9M cap hit after this season. So there’s that for the Flyers’ next GM.”