Despite Kyle Dubas travelling to Switzerland to meet with William Nylander, no numbers were exchanged and the Leafs and their star winger remain far apart on a deal. Brayden Point will also be looking for a big contract out of his entry-level deal, has there been any progress with Tampa? The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss this and much more in Insider Trading.
Nylander talks continue
When news broke that Kyle Dubas was flying to Switzerland to meet with William Nylander, there was a collective jump to conclusion from Leafs fans that a deal was imminent but not necessarily so.
LeBrun: I don’t think so, obviously with both sides being very quiet on this, but my understanding of the situation is despite that meeting, which is absolutely a positive step and a needed step to get this thing going again, but no numbers were exchanged. I think there is a lot of work still to be done in this negotiation to salvage this thing. Certainly the next week to 10 days are a critical juncture for this either way, but still a lot of work to be done.
League-wide tours from Parros and the NHL department of player safety
Coming to an NHL dressing near you is George Parros and his buddies from the NHL department of player safety, what’s the purpose of this league-wide tour?
Dreger: To encourage communication and transparency. This is George Parros’ idea to resurrect the tour. It hasn’t happened since Brendan Shanahan resided in the office of the department of player safety in his first year. Among the things being discussed, Parros is warning players [to] ‘stop with the knee push’. Now this takes us back to last January and that was Jared Spurgeon of the Minnesota Wild on Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Palat was injured on that play and he was out for several weeks so the warning is ‘this is on our radar, among other things so don’t do it.'
Eeli Tolvanen was expected to have a big impact based on his international resume and still might, but is stuck in the minors and a decision looming.
McKenzie: The Nashville Predators sent Eeli Tolvanen to the minors during training camp and they said he needs to get more used to small ice and the pace of professional hockey. But he has also got a clause in his contract that says once he has played 10 games in the AHL, if he wants to leave the AHL and go back to the KHL and make millions more playing for Jokerit, he’s entitled to do so. He’s now played five games in the AHL, one goal and three assists, the Predators are hoping that he’ll decide to stay for the whole year, whether it's in the minors or whatever, but Tolvanen has got to make that decision. If he does go to the KHL, he can’t come back this season to the NHL, so five games from now he has a tough call to make.
Players going from entry-level deals to big pay raises
Other than Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, there are other players coming off entry-level deals looking for big pay raises.
LeBrun: Not the only guys going from their entry-level deals after this year. Brayden Point, pretty good young centre for the Tampa Bay Lightning. I’m told his agent Gerry Johansson met GM Julien BriseBois of the Lightning this week and essentially they said ‘listen, let's shelve these discussions until after the season, let's let him focus on hockey, it’s a big year again for the Lightning. But make no mistake, this is a very important contract when it happens for Tampa Bay. And yet again because they draft so well and have so many good players, it's going to be salary cap gymnastics for that organization when it's time to re-sign him.
The Dotchin situation
Tampa Bay terminated the contract of Jake Dotchin when he reportedly came to camp really out of shape and the NHLPA launched a grievance. What’s the rationale here?
McKenzie: The rationale is two-fold. Now that Dotchin is signed with the Anaheim Ducks at $800,000 pro rated and he had a contract for $925,000 from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dotchin is going to be out over the course of this season about $189,000. So first and foremost, they want to try and get that money back for him. But second and maybe broader issue, more important, the NHLPA does not want to set a precedent that teams can terminate a contract for material breach if a guy shows up to training camp vastly out of shape.
When will the NHL see female officials?
Female officials are in the NBA and the NFL. Could it happen in the NHL and how soon?
Dreger: Yes, the NHL is 100 per cent open to it, it’s inevitable it is going happen. What we don’t have is a timeline as to when it’s going to happen. There have been women who have attended the NHL officials combine in Buffalo in the past, but I know the NHL is putting out the invite to say look the college players, national team women absolutely come to this combine go through the experience and if you're up to the pace, we’ll find a way to get you in.