In today’s rumor rundown, the Leafs are holding firm on their offer to William Nylander, there is talk the Edmonton Oilers have to respond to San Jose acquiring Erik Karlsson, Kevin Hayes thinks he’ll stay in New York and a Blues’ goaltender might be back sooner than expected.
Nylander and Leafs Still in Standstill Mode
Regardless of how important William Nylander is going to be to the Toronto Maple Leafs upcoming season, GM Kyle Dubas is sticking firm on his unwillingness to give Nylander more money than what works for the team moving forward. Dubas conducted a Q&A with students from Brock University on Saturday morning and his response to a question about Nylander was telling. After being asked when he thought the team might get Nylander signed, Dubas responded, “As soon as possible. Interestingly, he added, “if we want to sustain success here we can’t be setting any marketplace records.”
According to Kevin McGran of the Star, rumors are Nylander wants $8 million per season and the Leafs have him valued at $6.5 million. Dubas isn’t going to budge and isn’t concerned if Nylander misses some of training camp. The optics of Nylander missing a few games versus Dubas putting the Leafs in a precarious salary cap position make the decision to let Nylander sit an easy one.
Jake Allen Back Earlier Than Expected?
According to Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Blues got good news when it was told to them goaltender Jake Allen was ahead of schedule in respect to his return from back spasm injuries. It was expected Allen might miss the first 10-14 days of training camp, but Allen said, “It’s progressed way better than when it first happened.” He added, “It’s a lot better than I thought it was and I’m feeling really good right now.”
While St. Louis made some big changes this summer, a key to their success will be a strong showing by their goaltending and Allen bouncing back is important for the organization. He posted a career-low 2.75 GAA and a poor .906 save percentage last season. He will share netminding duties with Chad Johnson who appeared in 36 games for the Buffalo Sabres last season and had a 3.55 GAA and .891 save percentage.
Sticking With the Blues
Defenseman Colton Parayko is considered one of the game’s good young d-men but he had a bit of down year after signing a five-year, $27.5MM contract a year ago. According to Fox Sports’ Andy Strickland, Parayko has come to camp in great shape, finishing near the top in off-ice testing. Many in St. Louis are expecting that a big year could follow.
Edmonton Oilers Response to Erik Karlsson Trade
While the Edmonton Oilers were not really a team in the forefront of any rumors that included Erik Karlsson before the star defenseman was traded to the San Jose Sharks, there was talk about how badly the Oilers could have used a top-tier blueliner. Not only did they not get one, more importantly, Karlsson went to a division rival in just another example of teams the Oilers will have to play regularly getting much stronger.
Oilers’ GM Peter Chiarelli did admit that an expletive came out of his mouth when he heard Karlsson was headed to the Sharks and said, “You know, he’d be nice to have here. We weren’t on his list. It was really a non-starter from the beginning.” He also said the Oilers were never in any negotiations.
It does lead to questions about what the Oilers might do in response considering Calgary, Vegas, San Jose, and Los Angeles all added major pieces while the Oilers did not. There is some speculation that the Oilers might make a move to free up space to sign Darnell Nurse on a longer-term deal and go after a defenseman like Justin Faulk but that is all speculation at this point.
Hayes Did Not Sign One-Year to Hit Free Agency
John Giannone is reporting New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes said, “I had a great conversation with Dru (Chris Drury) and Gorts (GM Jeff Gorton) as soon as I signed my contract. I believe there’s no inclination of me being trade bait or me thinking that I’m going to be out of here. I did not sign a one-year deal to go to free agency.”
Hayes said he loves the Rangers and wants to stay there over his entire career. Hayes was hoping a long-term deal was possible and while it wasn’t, believes that one could cover over time. He believes things will take care of themselves when the time is right.
Miles Wood and New Jersey Not Talking
Chris Ryan of NJ.com reported that restricted free agent Miles Wood wants to join teammates at the Devils’ training camp but the two sides are not talking. Devils GM Ray Shero said on Thursday there hasn’t been communications this past week and Wood’s agent Peter Fish agreed things have been quiet. Both sides agreed the gap between the two sides is not something that they can’t overcome but right now it sounds like the Devils aren’t making any secondary offers.
Fish said, “Miles would be open to anything.” That comment suggests Wood would just like an offer he can find acceptable. Fish added that his client “just wants to be there and keep proving to the Devils that he can help them.”
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.”