In today’s rumor rundown, there are whispers of the Toronto Maple Leafs looking at the optics of a trade that includes William Nylander. Meanwhile, Matt Duchene has told his agent how little he wants to be involved in contract negotiations, Nick Ritchie continues to hold out, the Wild know this is a show-me season and Steve Mason turned down a contract offer because he may be calling it quits.
Nylander Trade Coming Soon?
Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun is reporting that Kasperi Kapanen has potentially worked his way up in Toronto’s lineup and landed on a line with Patrick Marleau and Auston Matthews. Tyler Ennis has been demoted and the better Kapanen plays, the more Nylander’s camp and the Maple Leafs might be paying attention.
The Maple Leafs and Nylander are rumored to have a gap of around $2 million in their contract expectations still and there are some rumblings — with the ineligibility date for Nylander to play this season is December 1 — that GM Kyle Dubas might have no choice but to start looking at trade options.
Among those names rumored are Carolina’s Justin Faulk and Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba.
Meanwhile, Dubas continues to have talks with Auston Matthews about a new deal because he seems willing to sign an extension during the season and could be the trigger for all other deals. Marner and Nylander want to know if they take a deal they aren’t getting shafted. If Matthews goes first, it does answer some questions as far as both players are concerned.
Duchene Wants No Part of Contract Talks
It’s not rare for players to have less and less to do these days with their contract negotiations but Matt Duchene has told his agent he wants absolutely nothing to do with any contract extension talks that might happen during the season with the Ottawa Senators.
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet is reporting that Duchene has told his agent not to involve him unless talks progress far enough that his input is needed. Duchene realizes that going to free agency may be unavoidable but he doesn’t want it to be something he has to think about during the season while he should be focused on hockey.
Steve Mason Retiring?
While people have been watching the status of goaltender Steve Mason, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet is reporting that Mason is believed to have turned down an offer from the Carolina Hurricanes and is contemplating retirement instead. Concussions and knee issues have him doubtful about his status in the NHL.
Wild Changes Coming?
Sarah McLellan of the Star Tribune recently reported the Minnesota Wild’s veteran core group of Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, Eric Staal, Devan Dubnyk, Nino Niederreiter and Matt Dumba all realize changes could be coming to the team and they could be part of those changes.
The Wild made the postseason in each of the past six seasons if they fail to make the playoffs this season, Paul Fenton will look to make changes as a new general manager. He was inclined not to overhaul the team upon his arrival but isn’t afraid to do so if he doesn’t like what he sees after his first season at the helm.
Nothing New on Nick Ritchie
Nick Kypreos reports there’s nothing new regarding the Anaheim Ducks’ contract impasse with restricted free agent winger Nick Ritchie. He’s holding out for something more than the three-year offer the Ducks have put on the table. They aren’t prepared to budge and there will come a point where Ritchie has little choice but to accept a deal.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”