NHL Rumors: Nylander, Carter, Howard, More

In today’s rumor rundown, we have the latest updates on the William Nylander situation, the Detroit Red Wings might hang onto a goaltender they were almost certain to trade, the Boston Bruins might be working on something with the Los Angeles Kings according to TSN Insider Darren Dreger and Edmonton’s own GM is calling his blue line inefficient in certain areas.

The Latest on William Nylander

Elliotte Friedman was on Sportsnet 960 and was asked about the latest updates on William Nylander, including teams that might be interested. He maintained the Carolina Hurricanes top the list but, “the Kings have been involved. I think Minnesota has been involved. I have speculated Philadelphia as a team that makes a lot of sense, although I can’t prove it.” Friedman added that a team like the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins might have kicked tires.

Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs
Nylander and Matthews both reached the 100-point plateau this past week. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

The trick becomes what Toronto wants in return and if the interested teams have those kinds of assets to offer. Friedman isn’t convinced the Maple Leafs are demanding a right-shot defenseman back, but that they’ll take the best deal available to them, regardless of position. “They’re going to go out for the best they can get, and they’ll worry about their defense somewhere else.”

Others in the media agree that it may not be about the blue line. Gus Katsaros at katshockey.com tweeted, “They have depth scoring issues that won’t be addressed by bringing ‘defensive stability’. One player won’t make them better defensively & Nylander’s loss will be felt heavily.” Scott Wheeler of The Athletic said, “I’m not even sure the Leafs should target a defenceman as the outcome of a potential Nylander trade.

All anyone knows at this point is that the Maple Leafs are actively looking at the optics of the trade and doing the due diligence required to make a move by December 1.

Related: NHL Rumors: Kings, Senators, Rangers, Oilers, More

Red Wings to Keep Jimmy Howard?

Ansar Khan of MLive is reporting the Detroit Red Wings might have changed their opinion on keeping versus trading pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Jimmy Howard. Originally, Howard was a trade piece the Red Wings were going to offload before the deadline, now it looks like his improved play and how happy both sides are with each other, the Red Wings might look at extending him to a multi-year contract.

Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard
Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

Things got as far as perhaps the LA Kings looking at Howard when Jonathan Quick went down with an injury and even though the Red Wings have Jonathan Bernier under contract, their lack of netminding prospects makes hanging onto Howard more appealing. He should come in at a fraction of the almost $5.3 million per season he’s making now.

Related: NHL Rumors: Nylander, Quenneville, Panarin, More

Bruins and Kings Working Together?

Darren Dreger said on TSN 1050, the Boston Bruins are seeking “an established player” to add depth scoring and that the LA Kings might be a fit. He wondered about the availability of veteran center Jeff Carter.

Kings center Jeff Carter
Mar 3, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77) on the ice during the second period of the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Dreger also linked some chatter regarding Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy to Toronto’s William Nylander but didn’t put much weight into that chatter. Dreger does think they might offer up young players like Anders Bjork or Danton Heinen.

Oilers Not Sold on their Blue Line?

Peter Chiarelli was recently a guest on Oilers Now and said, “none of our Dmen are exceptional passers.” It’s hard to know if this was an indication Chiarelli was looking to make changes or just excited about the prospect of a player like Andrej Sekera coming back, but that doesn’t speak well to the blue line he put together.

He traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson, signed Kris Russell to a long-term deal, left Oscar Klefbom as the team’s top-rated blueliner and sent the one passer down in Evan Bouchard that had a knack for making those passes. The Oilers are on a four-game losing skid and there may be changes coming.