On the Pittsburgh Penguins and Phil Kessel …
TSN: Bob McKenzie on TSN’s Insider Trading said it’s possible that the Penguins trade Phil Kessel this offseason, but there isn’t a guarantee that they will.
“So they’ll listen on Kessel, if they get the right deal he could be dealt, but it’s not absolutely a forgone conclusion that Kessel won’t be back in Pittsburgh next year. Lots of teams interested in him, Los Angeles Kings amongst others.”
On the Montreal Canadiens and Max Pacioretty …
TSN: Darren Dreger on TSN’s Insider Trading said there has been trade speculation regarding Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty since before the trade deadline, but there has also been some preliminary contract extension talks.
“But here’s something that interesting specific to the leaders that they have had preliminary discussions – they being Marc Bergevin, the general manager, and Pat Brisson of CAA – on the possibility of an extension for Max Pacioretty. Not saying it gets done, but they are at least considering the option.”
On the Montreal Canadiens and Tomas Plekanec …
TSN: Pierre LeBrun on TSN’s Insider Trading said that pending free agent Tomas Plekanec would like to return to the Canadiens.
“And it’s not a huge priority for Montreal, but they have huge respect for the player, obviously Marc Bergevin trying to get a No.1 centre and that’s the priority right now for them, but if all things being equal, I think there’s mutual interest in him returning to the Canadiens.”
On the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander …
James Mirtle of The Athletic: Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas and William Nylander’s agent Lewis Gross aren’t saying much about the pending RFA.
As of a few days ago found out that there have been no contract negotiations, but they are expected to get underway very soon.
Nylander is not arbitration eligible. The sides could look at a bridge deal or a long-term contract.
Comparables on a long-term deal are David Pastrnak (six years at $6.67 million cap hit), Johnny Gaudreau (six years at $6.75 million cap hit) and Brandon Saad (six years at $6 million per). Gaudreau, Saad and Nylander have the same agent. Other comparables could be Vladimir Tarasenko, Leon Draisaitl and Nikolai Ehlers.
The best comparables on a bridge deal could be Nikita Kucherov (three years at $4.766 million per.
Going long-term is what thinks the Maple Leafs should do with Nylander.