NHL Rumors: Doughty, Nylander, Penguins, Senators, More

In today’s rumor rundown, there are rumors William Nylander and the Maple Leafs are meeting in Switzerland today while Matt Duchene and the Senators have already met. Drew Doughty talked about using Toronto as a negotiation tool and the Pittsburgh Penguins are sticking with what they have in spite of the bad news that fell regarding Justin Schultz.

Drew Doughty Used Maple Leafs

Cory Wilkins of theScore wrote that before Drew Doughty signed his $88 million, eight-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings, he used the Maple Leafs as a tool to leverage more money. There was ‘speculation’ Doughty might have been interested in signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but that never came to pass. The reason, was because he never truly intended to leave L.A.

Drew Doughty #8, Los Angeles Kings
Drew Doughty #8, Los Angeles Kings – December 18, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Doughty admitted to using the Maple Leafs to his advantage and as a negotiation tool. Doughty told reporters, per Sportsnet. “I kind of always knew I was going to stay here, but I just said that (Leafs) stuff in the media just to kind of make sure (the Kings) didn’t try to screw me.”

It was never his intention to leave but because Doughty signed that deal without the help of an agent, he was doing his best to make it known he had options and would consider them if the money wasn’t right. “I was an L.A. Kings fan since I was a little kid, and I’ve always wanted to be here,” Doughty admitted. In the end, he said, “I wanted to show my loyalty to the club and try to stay here forever.”

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Nylander Looking Overseas?

Darren Dreger was on TSN 1050 radio talking about William Nylander and a report that a KHL team has a ‘strong interest’ in Toronto Maple Leafs restricted free agent.” Dreger thinks the interest isn’t in the $7 million per year range, but it is around there.

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

This shouldn’t really be that surprising of a development. Dreger explained that the KHL often looks at NHL players without contracts and tries to pluck them from the league. Whether or not Nylander has interest in going to the KHL is another matter.

There is also apparently speculation that the Swedish Elite League is interested in Nylander.

With the news that there may be interest from other teams, Lance Hornby of Postmedia reports that the Maple Leafs and Nylander’s camp will meet in Switzerland today. Hornby writes:

A source told the Toronto Sun that Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is in Switzerland on Wednesday for a meeting with Nylander and his representatives, with a Dec. 1 deadline looming to sign the restricted free agent. Switzerland would serve as a neutral locale for the summit, with Nylander having been training in Sweden on his own to date.

source: ‘EXCLUSIVE: Maple Leafs GM Dubas meeting with William Nylander in Switzerland’ – Toronto Sun – Lance Hornby – 10/17/2018

It may be nothing more than a quick meeting to see if things have changed. For all anyone knows, maybe the Leafs are letting him know they aren’t in a rush to get him back.  Kasperi Kapanen has been nothing short of a fantastic fill-in during Nylander’s absence.

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Penguins Not Going To Add Defenseman

It was announced the Penguins would be without one of their better defensemen in Justin Schultz for four months after he underwent surgery to repair a fracture in his left leg. That might have opened the door for the Penguins to look for a d-man but reports are that may not be the case.

Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh Penguins
Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh Penguins, March 7, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that GM Jim Rutherford indicated that they plan to give their remaining players a chance to fill that vacancy first before considering making a move:

“We’ll deal with it from within.  It won’t be any different than anything else. If our team doesn’t play as well as we’d like, then we have to consider other options.  At this point in time, we have guys who certainly deserve that opportunity.”

That means Olli Maatta will take on a larger role even though he’s been in the doghouse as of late and the team will evaluate Juuso Riikola.

This doesn’t mean the Penguins won’t add someone, but that they’ll stick internally first. If they do go outside the organization, they only have under $800K to spend as per CapFriendly.

Related: NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Canucks, Jets, More

Bruins Dangling a Forward?

During the latest edition of Insider Trading, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the Boston Bruins are looking to add a veteran forward, preferably a center. He noted young wingers Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen could be moved to land that center.

Right now, David Backes is filling in where the Bruins are missing depth but that’s not what the team wants long term.

Senators and Matt Duchene Meet to Talk Extension

Bob McKenzie said on Insider Trading that Matt Duchene’s agent Pat Brisson and Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorian met up in Toronto yesterday, likely to talk a possible contract extension. McKenzie said, “he’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and he’s eligible for an extension at any time now.”

McKenzie explained the lines of communication are open, but there’s “nothing more than that at this point.” During a different radio spot, McKenzie said he thinks the Senators and Duchene will only agree on a new deal if and when the season becomes more clear.