NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Golden Knights, Lightning, Senators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs have told teams that Wayne Simmonds is available and they want to get him in the right situation.

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Meanwhile, there is an update on Nic Hague and his contract battle with the Vegas Golden Knights, news about Alex DeBrincat and his talks with the Senators, and Ian Cole has denied sexual assault allegations made against him.

Maple Leafs Have Made Simmonds Available

As per Elliotte Friedman, the Toronto Maple Leafs sent an email to each team saying that veteran forward Wayne Simmonds is available via trade. In that email, the team noted that their organization isn’t concerned about the return but just about “doing right by the player.” Simmonds has a 10-team no-trade list but would likely be flexible with it if it means getting to continue his NHL career.

Wayne Simmonds Toronto Maple Leafs
Wayne Simmonds, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Simmonds was put on waivers yesterday and is still hoping to play in the NHL. Harman Dayal of The Athletic writes:

Wayne Simmonds is the ultimate teammate and leader. He’s adored wherever he goes and his physicality and toughness still hold value. Simmonds’ speed, unfortunately, started to become an issue last season as the Leafs’ fourth line was narrowly outplayed and outscored when he was on it.

The 34-year-old only has one year left at $900,000 though so he could be useful to a young, rebuilding team looking for protection, a leader and mentorship.

source – ‘NHL’s best waiver targets: Mike Reilly, Wayne Simmonds, Connor Ingram and more’ –

Hague Wants Between $2 and $3 Million

Jesse Granger of The Athletic is reporting that Golden Knights defenseman Nic Hague is believed to be seeking an annual average salary of around $2 million on a two-year contract or just under $3 million per season on a three-year agreement.  Considering those asks seem somewhat reasonable, it’s hard to understand why there’s such an issue between the player and the team and that this deal hasn’t been completed yet.

It boils down to cap issues for the Golden Knights who don’t have the room to give Hauge what he wants. They are rumored to be open to a one-year deal at $1 million which would give him arbitration rights at the end of that contract and some more flexibility to seek a better deal at that time.

Update: The Golden Knights and Hague came to an agreement on a three-year contract extension worth $2,294,150 per season.

Ian Cole Denies Allegations

The Tampa Bay Lightning have suspended Ian Cole after allegations of sexual assault were made against the defenseman. He has denied the allegations and said he will work with the team, the league, and investigators to clear his name. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted a response from Cole:

I take the allegations made against me today in an anonymous tweet very seriously. I completely deny these allegations and will fully cooperate with the NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning, their officials and legal departments in the forthcoming investigation. I look forward to clearing my name and demonstrating to the NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning that these allegations are unfounded. I will have no further comment until the NHL’s investigation concludes.

Senators and DeBrincat Not In a Rush

While Kevin Weekes had reported there were contract extension talks taking place between the Ottawa Senators and Alex DeBrincat, Friedman is reporting that there is no rush by either side to get this done. During his 32 Thoughts podcast, the NHL insider explained that the two sides are just starting to talk and noted “there really is no incentive for anyone to rush here cause you know he’s making nine this year and nine next year. So I don’t know how quickly this is going to happen.”

Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks
Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Friedman added, “If he’s a great player and I think if you’re signing great players, you sign them for as long as you and as quick as you can as the price never goes down. But, I think if you’re Ottawa, there is some reason to wait and look and see here how the marriage works too. I don’t know if anyone here is in a rush.”

For the player, it makes sense to wait as well because the feeling is that he’s gong to explode offensively and the better the plays, the more his value goes up.