NHL Rumor Roundup Is Jimmy Howard the an

By Harry Sandhu February 23, 2022

Can’t get enough NHL rumors? Lyle Richardson’sRumor Roundupcolumnserves as a one-stop guide to the latest rumblings around the league.

Latest on William Nylander standoff

With the Dec. 1 deadline for getting William Nylander under contract fast approaching, there’s mounting speculation over what the Toronto Maple Leafs will do with the restricted free agent.

Last Thursday, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun speculatedat least one-third of the league have contacted the Leafs about Nylander’s status. In a recent column for The Athletic, he listed the Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche as po sible destinations.

The Hurricanes have been Aaron Donald Jersey linked to Nylander for weeks. Carolina GM Don Waddell admittedhe’s interested in the 22-year-old forward but believes the Leafs still intend to re-sign him.LeBrun’s colleague Bob McKenzie said their priority remains to get the winger under contract.

MORE: Michael Peca offers thoughts on William Nylander-Maple Leafs impa se

LeBrun believes the Leafs face three options. They can re-sign Nylander before Dec. 1, trade him prior to that date, or attempt to move him at the trade deadline if they don’t get a suitable trade offer by the December deadline.

Under the last scenario, Nylander would be ineligible to play this season. However, LeBrun thinkshe could be attractive to non-playoff clubs looking to get an early start on retooling their rosterfor next season.

Another option would see the Leafs let Nylander sit out the season and attempt to re-sign him over the summer. According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, they’re comfortable with that scenario if unable to re-sign or trade him by Dec. 1.

Considering the Leafs are riding high in the Eastern Marshall Faulk Jersey Conference standings without Nylander, or sidelined center Auston Matthews for that matter, thiscould be their most preferable course of action. It also shifts more pre sure upon the Nylander camp. Rather than risk losing one of his prime earning years to a contract standoff, perhaps he’ll consider accepting a short-term bridge contract.

MORE: William Nylanderrumors mount as deadline to sign with Leafs nears

More moves coming for Penguins?

After a couple of weeks of speculation, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford pulled the trigger on a trade last week, shipping left wing Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings for left wing Tanner Pearson.

So far, however, the move hasn’t snapped the Penguins out of their current skid. With just two wins in their last 11 games, they’re sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

On Saturday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Rutherford might not be done dealing. Friedman’s colleague Johnston noted young winger Chris Sprong and defenseman Olli Maatta have surfaced in the rumor mill. He also claimed there were, renewed whispers about Phil Ke sel’s availability, but considers that move unlikely because Ke sel remains among the Penguins’ leading scorers.

Much of the recent speculation suggests Sprong is the likely trade candidate, though Rutherford could be reluctant to move him for fear he’ll blo som elsewhere. Maatta’s been in coach Mike Sullivan’s doghouse this season and might benefit from a move. Forwards Bryan Rust and Riley Greg Zuerlein Jersey Sheahan could also become trade chips if Rutherford feels a further roster shakeup is in order.

Flames’ goaltending a concern

The ongoing struggles of starting goaltender Mike Smith is a growing concern among Calgary Flames followers. Entering this week, the 36-year-old won just five of 13 starts, sporting a bloated 3.48 goals-against average and a .876 save percentage.

During an appearance last Friday on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, Friedman was asked about po sible goaltending options via the trade market. Among those mentioned were Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils, Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings, and Jaroslav Halak of the Boston Bruins.

However, Friedman doesn’t see Bobrovsky waiving his no-trade clause to come to Calgary andSchneider isstrugglingto regain his form following offseason hip surgery, which doesn’t make him an attractive option. As for Halak,Tuukka Rask is going through a difficult start to theseason andFriedman doubts the Bruins will part with their backup.


Howard, on the other hand, could be an intriguing option. He’s playing well of late and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. While there are rumors the 13-year veteran — all with Detroit –is looking at signing a short-term extension with the Wings, Friedman believes that Michael Brockers Jersey doesn’t nece sarily mean anything.

Considering how Howard’s recent performance helped the rebuilding Wings recover from a sputtering start, they’re unlikely to move him right now. Perhaps at the trade deadline, though that talk of a short-term extension could become reality if he keeps them in playoff contention.

Fortunately for the Flames, backup David Rittich (seven wins in 10 games played with a1.93 goals-against average and.931 save percentage) is playing well. GM Brad Treliving will likely remain patient in hopes Rittich can buy time for Smith to regain his form, take over the starter’s job full-time, or for the goalie trade market to improve.