NHL Rumors: Nylander, Duchene, Upshall, More

In today’s rumor rundown, things are not looking good between the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander, the Ottawa Senators may have just irked the wrong forward and the Oilers have cut Scottie Upshall from his PTO but may be presenting another opportunity to him.

William Nylander Not Budging

It is being reported that Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander may be holding firm on his ask from the Leafs. This could pose problems for the two sides to come to any kind of contract extension in the foreseeable future.

William Nylander Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander battles for position with Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Darren Dreger was on TSN 1050 on Monday and said he doesn’t get the sense that either side has talked much and he believes Nylander may not be moving much from their original asking price. Dreger suggested that if Nylander is looking for a number in the high 7’s for salary, this could drag out. He said, “I just don’t see the Toronto Maple Leafs coming anywhere near that given what they’re seeing in camp and the fact that they have to be mindful moving forward of the cap hit.”

When asked if a sign and trade was possible, Dreger said yes but warned that not a lot of teams would be interested in Nylander at over $7 million per season. He said a bridge deal is more likely so that Nylander can earn that extra money he’d get paid down the road.

Related: Should the Oilers Claim Zack Smith

Unrest in Ottawa

The Ottawa Senators placed Zack Smith on waivers Tuesday and from many accounts, there are a number of Senators players extremely unhappy with the organization for doing so.

Zack Smith #15 of the Ottawa Senators
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 02: Zack Smith #15 of the Ottawa Senators skates with the puck under pressure from Colin Miller #6 of the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Smith may be overpaid but he’s a loyal leader on that team and speculation is this move by the Senators may backfire. There’s not much chance a team will claim Smith at the $3.25 million he’s making over the next three seasons and knowing coach Guy Boucher plans to plug him back into the lineup where he would have been slotted had he not been waived, it makes little sense for the Senators to upset the current roster, many of which are rumored to already be unhappy.

Specifically, Matt Duchene was upset calling it a “kick in the balls” to the locker room. If the Senators were hoping to keep Duchene after this season, upsetting him going into the regular season might not have been the wisest idea.

Related: NHL Rumors: Zetterberg, Karlsson, Stone, More

Door Not Closed on Scottie Upshall

The Edmonton Oilers released Scottie Upshall from his professional tryout with the team on Monday. The reason is that he wasn’t physically healthy enough to give a roster spot to.

Scottie Upshall St. Louis Blues
Scottie Upshall, St. Louis Blues, January 6, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There are reports however that the team has not closed the door on Upshall and are interested in offering him a spot on the AHL squad with the intention of seriously taking another look at him for NHL duty when he’s healthy enough to contribute.

The Oilers also are rumored to be without center Ryan Strome for a little while as he tweaked his groin and they will be keeping an eye on him. He’s currently day-to-day and it’s not expected he’ll miss any of the regular season.

Related: NHL Rumors: Faulk, Bobrovsky, Josi, More

Sharks to Trade Tim Heed?

Kevin Kurz of The Athletic wrote in a mailbag segment on Monday that the San Jose Sharks will need to make a decision when it comes to having too many defensemen on their roster. He believes Tim Heed has earned a spot but that the Sharks might trade him versus lose him for nothing.

Kurz wrote:

“The other option would be to trade the 27-year-old Heed, who might have some value, rather than risk losing him for nothing on waivers. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent. Simek just signed a two-year extension in the offseason, so I doubt he’s going anywhere.”

from ‘Sharks mailbag: Reflecting on Marleau’s decision to leave, some insight on the defense pairs” – The Athletic – Kevin Kurz – 09/24/18