NHL Rumors: Blashill, Nylander, Marijuana in Hockey, More

In today’s rumor rundown the Detroit Red Wings are struggling but not ready to make changes yet, the Toronto Maple Leafs have once again met with Nylander’s agent, the Bruins are talking extension with a young defenseman and there are specific groups in hockey looking into the idea of using marijuana as pain relief for hockey players.

Jeff Blashill’s Job Is Safe, For Now

The Detroit Red Wings are off to a terrible 1-5-2 start this season. They have yet to win one game in regulation and the team is among the worst in the NHL in goals for and goals against. But, that doesn’t mean changes are on the immediate horizon.

Jeff Blashill - Detroit Red Wings
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan says not to expect any major changes and expects the team to keep head coach Jeff Blashill around for a little while longer.  Blashill is in the final year of his contract and is likely not going to have his contract renewed next season. But, having Dan Bylsma take over this season isn’t likely to dramatically improve the team’s record. The organization must figure, ‘why bother now if the season is likely going to be hard to salvage?’

Next season seems to be the season that major changes will take place and it is likely the team will be active at this year’s trade deadline.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Predators, Hot Seat Coaches, More

Nylander’s Agent Met With Dubas

It was recently reported that Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas met with William Nylander in Switzerland to let the forward know the team still wanted to get a deal done. It is being reported that Dubas met with Nylander’s agent again in New York while he was on hand for the recent New York Rangers-Calgary Flames game. Originally, Dubas being in New York led to speculation of a trade brewing but the meeting with Lewis Gross now going public seems to have people thinking a deal for Nylander might be forthcoming. At the very least, it shows the team has kept the dialogue “open” according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic.

William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs
William Nylander is due for a significant raise at the end of the season. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

That meeting has been confirmed by Chris Johnston on Sportsnet 590, as well as Bob McKenzie of TSN but McKenzie said it could be as simple as Dubas liking to watch and scout hockey games that brought him to town. Still, the consensus has now turned away from Nylander being traded to a possible bridge deal and one that might come sooner than later.

Related: NHL Rumors: Duchene, Point, Rinne, More

NHL Alumni Association and Others Behind Cannabis?

John Matisz of the Score recently posted an article where Glenn Healy, executive director of the NHL Alumni Association, said Monday, that they would fully endorse the use of marijuana as a method pain relief for its members. That is, if future research can prove the drug’s supposed healing capabilities.

He said the group has been working with a couple of neurologists and is “diving into this in a huge way.” He added, “We’re all-in.” People don’t really seem to know what ‘all-in’ means but with the recent light shined upon former players like Joe Murphy, it makes sense there are groups looking into alternatives.

The NHL and NHLPA test active players for cannabis. That said, a positive test does not warrant any kind of punishment or suspension.

Connor McDavid Oilers
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Arguably the best player in hockey is intrigued. Speaking more to the CBD side of the debate, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers said, “You’d be stupid not to at least look into it.” He added, “When your body’s sore like it is sometimes, you don’t want to be taking pain stuff and taking Advil all the time. There are obviously better ways to do it.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Ritchie, Panarin, Lee, Red Wings, More

Bruins and McAvoy Talking Extension

It looks like the Boston Bruins are ready to start talking a new deal for their top young defenceman, Charlie McAvoy. According to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, McAvoy wants a long-term deal and would “He’d love to avoid the bridge contract.”

Kypreos said during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada that McAvoy’s representatives will look towards the Aaron Ekblad contract extension as a comparable.” That would earn McAvoy around $7.5 million per season.