Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The focus has shifted toward the new season. Teams are always looking to improve, and the excitement of a new NHL season is upon us.
In this Sunday edition of NHL Rumors, we’ll examine the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, and the Montreal Canadiens.
NHL rumors in this edition include:
Is a major blockbuster trade involving William Nylander and Brock Boeser in the works? Three landing spots for Elias Lindholm. Is Juraj Slafkovsky a bust?
Toronto Maple Leafs – William Nylander
Rumor: Per Rob Ellis – nhltraderumor.com. A proposed trade with Nylander being dealt to the Vancouver Canucks has heads spinning.
William Nylander has 14 points in 10 games this season, and he will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. With his recent success, he will demand a new contract north of $10 million to replace his current deal of $6.9 million. While he has stated that he is willing to negotiate a new contract to stay in Toronto, the Leafs cap situation is tenuous at best. For this reason, he has been mentioned in NHL rumors. If the team decides that they cannot meet his salary expectations, then trade rumors like this will continue to pop up.
For Brock Boeser, the same type of situation may apply, with his name being circulated as trade bait over time recently. He is having a terrific start to his season as well, with 13 points in 10 games. He signed a three-year deal worth $19.9 million, good through the 2024-25 season. This is the best part of this proposed trade… their salaries are almost identical. Boeser’s comes in at $6.65 million. That means the two deals are only $312,000 apart.
Some say that the Leafs should receive a draft pick in addition to Boeser to make the deal more equal. In any case, these are two very talented players who could help any team excel in the NHL. The only question is….which team will each player be playing for at the end of the 2023-24 season?
Analyzing the numbers, the Leafs would save $3.85 million if they took on Boeser’s contract and hypothetically gave Nylander a deal worth $10.5 million. The Canucks are working on trading Conor Garland and his $4.95 million pact good through 2025-26. Since they, too, are low on cap space ($162,500), they will need to increase that so as to sign Nylander to the deal he expects. One thing is certain, the Canucks are going for it with this deal if it happens. They have already started the season with an excellent 7-2-1 record. One would think adding Nylander would only make them an even stronger team.
Calgary Flames – Elias Lindholm
Rumor: Per – Rob Couch – nhltraderumors.me. Three potential teams where Lindholm may be headed.
The Calgary Flames are not having a great start to the 2023-24 season. They are 2-7-1 and have dropped six games in a row. At first, it appeared that Lindholm may sign and stay in Calgary. Now, it is uncertain what may happen. If he does get traded with this his last year of his $4.85 million contract, here is three potential landing spots.
- Arizona Coyotes – The Yotes centers include Logan Cooley, Barrett Hayton, Nick Bjugstad, and Jack McBain. Adding a top scorer like Lindholm would really increase their offensive firepower. Lindholm has played 753 games, with 205 goals and 316 assists to his credit. He averages 0.69 points per game and has also tallied 61 power-play goals. Arizona possesses multiple draft picks to entice the Flames for a trade. If a rebuild is in order, those draft picks may become valuable.
- Winnipeg Jets – The Jets need a second-line center who can score. Mark Scheifele re-signed and adding a player of Lindholm’s capabilities can only increase the Winnipeg club’s chances this season. The Jets aren’t as loaded with draft picks as the Coyotes, but they have two second-round choices that could offer the Flames. Of course, they would need to sweeten the deal in addition to draft picks.
- Colorado Avalanche – The Avs could always use another scorer, and with injuries that have hit this team, he would be a welcome addition. Not sure what return the Colorado club would offer the Flames, but with the uncertainty of when captain Gabriel Landeskog‘s (remember him?) return may happen, Lindholm would do nicely in his place.
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Montreal Canadiens – Juraj Slafkovsky
Rumor: Per Rob Ellis – nhltraderumor.com. With patience as a guide, is Slafkovsky a draft bust?
It was just 16 months ago that the Canadiens chose Slafkovsky with the first pick in the draft. With just one point to his credit this season, fans and analysts are wondering if he is the worst number-one draft pick since Nail Yakupov. Will he be sent to the AHL, or worse yet, traded? Of course, he would not be the first number-one pick to have a lousy start to his NHL career. Joe Thornton, Steven Stamkos, and Jack Hughes had their share of early struggles but managed to jump those hurdles to successful careers.
Slafkovsky could very well run out of time to play to the level of a first-overall draft pick. There isn’t any set timetable for him to improve. Yet, as the trade deadline approaches, if he hasn’t improved his level of play… then moving him would almost seem a logical next step. The 6-foot-3, 238-pound forward certainly seemed to be a sure thing or else the Habs would have passed on him. They saw something in his game that attracted him to the team’s decision-makers. Time will tell, but as of now, he seems to have a long road to continue to earn a spot in the lineup. Perhaps some seasoning in the AHL is in order.
This concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to catch our next article, and thanks for reading!