NHL Rumors: Nash, Edler, Bennett, and a Matthews Deal

In today’s rumor rundown, there were rumors Rick Nash was about to retire but he’s since said that may not be true, the Vancouver Canucks may be looking at moving Alex Edler even though he doesn’t want to leave Vancouver, Calgary isn’t quite ready to trade Sam Bennett and there is some speculation the Maple Leafs may be switching their focus.

Rick Nash Not Ready to Retire

Rear Admiral posted on Twitter that he heard from a source Rick Nash will file the paperwork and announce his retirement from the NHL. Quickly thereafter, sources started suggesting that information was false.

Rick Nash Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins left wing Rick Nash (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Darren Dreger reported that Rick Nash’s agent Joe Resnick said, “There is no truth to the tweet that Rick Nash is retiring today. Our position has not changed since July 1.” Aaron Portzline of The Athletic said after an exclusive interview with Nash that there are other things that make his decision complicated. Nash said:

“But my family is what’s most important to me, and I have to get my health in the right spot before I figure out what my plans are, and I don’t know when that will be. There’s a chance I could get healthy, come back and be great. But there’s definitely a chance that I don’t.”

source – ‘Rick Nash waiting for concussion symptoms to fade before he decides on NHL future’ – The Athletic – Aaron Portzline – 10/09/2018

If Nash is able to return, the Columbus Blue Jackets could be one of five or six teams that would be interested in signing the free agent. There are reports he’d only want to sign with a Cup-contending team. Shawn Simpson of TSN 1200 said, “I’m feeling a Rick Nash reporting to the Marlies in the New year, signs with the Leafs for the stretch drive and playoffs, at the league minimum.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Duchene, Mason, Nylander Trade, More

Edler a Potential Rental?

The Vancouver Canucks have seen some strong performances by some of their young players but they’ve been unable to string together wins. With wins and losses being the key factor in how the team will decide who to hang onto and who to keep, there is some speculation the organization might be looking at Alex Edler as a trade-deadline option.

Alexander Edler Canucks
Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks, Nov. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The team has allowed a ton of goals and is moving around pieces on the blue line but Edler is trusted, which while good for the team, also makes him attractive to other teams. Edler has said he wants to stay in Vancouver but he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. As such, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet points out in his latest 31 Thoughts column, Edler would be an attractive rental piece at the trade deadline for a contender.

He is averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time through the first three games and is coming off a strong 2017-18 campaign. There is no doubt Vancouver would like to have a steady d-man on the blue but if teams are making strong offers, those offers may be too good to ignore.

Related: NHL Rumors: Panarin, Bennett, Maple Leafs Contracts

Shore to the KHL

Igor Eronko is reporting a source is saying that forward Nick Shore is close to signing a contract with Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the KHL. Shore split time between four teams last season and simply couldn’t find a home despite scoring 19 points in 64 games.

Sam Bennett Talk

Despite Bennett not finding a solid footing in Calgary, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet is saying the Flames may not be interested in trading the 22-year old forward. Among the teams that have contacted the Flames about Bennett, the past few years include the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sam Bennett - Calgary Flames
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He has the potential to breakout and other teams know that. It makes sense the Flames would be hesitant to move on even if they’re not sure where to use him.

Auston Matthews Deal First?

Elliotte Friedman was also on Sportsnet with Tim and Sid and said he believes the Toronto Maple Leafs might shift gears in respect to William Nylander negotiations and say to Auston Matthews, ‘let’s get your deal done first and then we’ll worry about Nylander.

The reasoning seems to be that as Matthews continues to tear it up this season, his money will be what it is. He’ll make more than John Tavares but he’s also said that he’d be willing to take a deal to stay in Toronto. If Matthews is good on his word, is willing to re-sign during the season and he sets the tone for players taking discounts, it may be easier to persuade Nylander to do the same.