TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun have the latest on what Auston Matthews' salary range will likely look like, William Nylander and the Maple Leafs digging in during contract negotiations, the Capitals saying Tom Wilson will appeal his 20-game suspension, why there was no discipline for Brad Marchand and much more.
Will Matthews be in the $12.5 million range?
Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan infers that star players should do their part to fit into the Leafs salary structure. Does Auston Matthews have to go along with that or is it a whole different ball game with him?
LeBrun: I think it is a different ball game because he is the franchise player. You treat this guy a little differently, you think about the Oilers and Connor McDavid, the Sabres and Jack Eichel, that’s the similar treatment Auston Matthews I believe will get. The bottom line I think it’s going to be $12.5 million, is the kind of ball park of what you're looking at right now when he eventually signs over the next 12 months. And I know a lot of people are going to hear $12.5 million, which is Connor McDavid’s salary, how does that make any sense, McDavid is the best player in the world. Yes he is, but he signed that deal two years ago. At the time, McDavid signed for 16.6 percent of the cap. The cap is going up and let’s say it goes up to $82 million next year, but that’s a conservative estimate. Well, $12.5 million for Matthews would be 15.2 percent of the cap, in fact lower than what McDavid signed for. That’s the kind of thing I think the Matthews camp will be looking at and at the end of the day, I don’t think the Leafs will have much choice.
Dreger: I don’t think there is a big argument against the number for Auston Matthews but you know that William Nylander and Mitch Marner are going to fight for their piece of the pie. And obviously the Nylander fight continues with the Toronto Maple Leafs and our information suggests that Nylander to date is not willing to come off the number of $8+ million per year so that makes it pretty easy for Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs to continue their position to dig in. Last week, Pierre talked about the possibility of teams calling. Teams have been calling no doubt, inquiring about Willie Nylander, is he available? The Leafs are saying he’s not available, but if this drags into early November, they’re at least going to have to think about it.
What's the process for Wilson to appeal his 20-game suspension?
The Washington Capitals say an appeal is coming for Tom Wilson's suspension for his hit on Oscar Sundqvist.
McKenzie: The process is, it’s got to go through the National Hockey League Players' Association as of 6 p.m. on Thursday evening. That hadn’t happened, but that’s more of a formality. They’ve got until Friday afternoon to file that appeal on behalf of Tom Wilson and his agent Pat Morris. Look at the money that he loses and I mean, what do you got to lose by going to the appeal? Nothing. You might as well go for it. Now people are going to say Gary Bettman hears the first appeal and why would the commissioner of the league reduce a number? Keep in mind, that’s not very often. Raffi Torres had a 25-game suspension for hitting Marian Hossa, Bettman reduced it four games to 21. So that possibility exists to some degree and even if Bettman doesn’t reduce it, then there’s independent arbitration and the last time that happened in this CBA, Dennis Wdieman’s 20-game abuse of an official got cut down to 10. So that’s worth looking at. Speaking of independent arbitration, last week an independent arbitrator heard the case of Austin Watson, the Nashville Predators forward who is suspended 27 games by the league after a conviction of misdemeanor domestic assault. That arbitrator is expected to rule by next week some time, he said at the time it would take two weeks so sometime next week we’ll get a clarification on Austin Watson’s status.
Why didn't Brad Marchand face supplemental discipline for his fight against Lars Eller?
There are questions why Marchand wasn't disciplined for instigating the fight with Eller.
Dreger: Some [are] wondering why Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins didn’t face supplemental discipline for effectively pummeling Lars Eller of the Washington Capitals. I’m told that look, it’s pretty simple, there are a lots of instigators that get handed out and you don’t suspended for instigating a fight. It was brutal, in fact it was downright nasty. Eller even in self defence tries to get his hands up, I mean is he fighting back? Is he not fighting back? If this had occurred a minute and change later, then Marchand would’ve been suspended for instigating a fight with less than five minutes.
What do the Columbus Blue Jackets do with Panarin?
Artemi Panarin has made it clear he wants to go to free agency. What kind of quandary does that put the Blue Jackets in?
LeBrun: Well if that’s not bad enough because it shocked the organization in the summer, my understanding is that he doesn’t want to sign with anyone, period, during this season. In other words, if and when he gets traded, he will be traded as a rental which will greatly diminish the return for him, compared to if he would be gone in a trade like Max Pacioretty, who signed an extension with Vegas which gave the Montreal Canadiens a greater return. Sounds like instead it will be like Erik Karlsson leaving Ottawa, which hurts your return if you’re Columbus.