Auston Matthews, New Jersey Devils, NHL Rumors, Rasmus Ristolainen, Ryan Dzingel, Taylor Hall, Top Story, Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Sabres, Devils, Dzingel, More

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In today’s NHL rumor rundown, does the signing of Marcus Johansson in Buffalo change any of their other plans? Is it true that Auston Matthews is not a fan of playing with one particular Maple Leafs forward? Did Kadri almost get traded to the Flames and is Taylor Hall happy with what the New Jersey Devils have done this offseason?

Maple Leafs Notes and Rumors

Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote a column about Kawhi Leonard leaving Toronto, but in that column, he talked about players on the Maple Leafs looking for contracts and dictating terms in much the same way he says Leonard did.

Auston Matthews
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Simmons notes that newly acquired d-man Tyson Barrie will be motivated because has a year left on his contract and it is believed he’s looking for an eight-year contract at around $8 million per season on an extension. The Maple Leafs also have Jake Muzzin and Cody Ceci on the last years of their deals.

Simmons noted that he’d also be told that Auston Matthews was dictating terms of where and how he’d like to be slotted on the ice.

Simmons writes:

Last year, Auston Matthews wanted more ice-time and more power-play time and Zach Hyman playing on another line. This year, we’re told, he would rather not play with Kasperi Kapanen. So don’t be surprised if after the early season injuries are dealt with, Matthews ends up centring a line with William Nylander and the Russian rookie Ilya Mikheyev.

source – ‘SIMMONS SAYS: Kawhi wanted to be part player, part GM’ – Toronto Sun – Steve Simmons – 07/06/2019

Is this Matthews being difficult? Is it anything like Kawhi in Toronto where he wanted the team to acquire Paul George and speculation is that because they didn’t, he moved on?

Still with the Maple Leafs, James (@Account4hockey) cites a report from Chris Johnston that when the Maple Leafs decided to re-sign both Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnson, they also decided to move Nazem Kadri. Kadri was almost traded to Calgary in a deal that would have sent Kadri and Connor Brown to the Flames for T.J. Brodie and Mark Jankowski. Kadri said no.

Related: NHL Rumors: Penguins, Oilers, Jets, More

Sabres May Revisit Trade Options

Lance Lysowski reports that the Buffalo Sabres gained some flexibility after signing forward Marcus Johansson. It was originally believed they would try and trade defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, but with a scorer like Johansson and around $6.6 million in salary cap space, there may not be a need to move him.

Why Nothing on Ryan Dzingel?

With Ryan Dzingel maybe the biggest name still available in free agency, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks writes that some teams are worried about how productive a player he’ll actually be.

Columbus Blue Jackets Ryan Dzingel
Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Dzingel (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

After posting career highs in Ottawa last season, Dzingel recorded just 12 points in 21 games with Columbus and things got worse with one point in nine games in the playoffs. Eventually, he became a healthy scratch. Brooks thinks that one of the “red flags” for teams is that Columbus seems to have little-to-no interest in keeping Dzingel. The thinking is, if a local player isn’t wanted in Columbus, what does that say?

The other thing to remember is that it might not be that teams aren’t interested, but they aren’t jumping based on his asking price. Speculation is that he wants a long-term deal at $5 million per season.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canucks, Flames, More

Taylor Hall Happy With Devils?

One of the reasons Ray Shero went out and made the moves he did this summer for the New Jersey Devils was because he wanted to show Taylor Hall there were plenty of reasons to stick around.

Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils, NHL
Taylor Hall (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

In an interview with TSN, Hall said this is exactly what you want to see if you’re in his shoes. He noted that Shero asked his opinion of the P.K. Subban trade before it was made and that he was totally on board and excited about the idea of the Devils landing Subban.

This is good news for the Devils who could really use a player like Hall over the long-term and not just one more season.

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