Insider Trading: Leafs-Nylander talks still ongoing
TSN Hockey Insiders Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger discuss the latest on the Maple Leafs and William Nylander, the Canucks and pending RFA Elias Pettersson, why the Golden Knights aren’t concerned with news of the Oakland A’s going to Vegas, the NHL eyeing a Vegas draft and NHLers investing in a muscle recovery product.
Is it a good or bad sign that we haven’t heard anything new about William Nylander’s contract talks?
William Nylander Toronto Maple LeafsPierre LeBrun: Well, I think that people should be careful when reading into it. It’s been quiet by design. Both sides made a pact before the season started. They did not want any leaks whatsoever. Both sides wanted to be tight-lipped and that’s exactly the way it’s played out so far. The reality is that, if this thing had gone off the rails, in regards to contract talks, we would be hearing more because you’d get some message sending from one side or the other.
The reality is that the dialogue is ongoing. My understanding is that both sides keep going back and forth and they hope to get something done between now and July 1 but it’s a difficult contract to get done. William Nylander has been spectacular and his salary leverage keeps going up but the Leafs keep dealing with the salary cap so we’ll see where it goes.
Where are the Canucks in their talks with Elias Pettersson?
Darren Dreger: There’s less of a sense of urgency in Vancouver as compared to what’s going on with William Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs but that’s not saying that Elias Pettersson isn’t a high priority for the Vancouver Canucks, obviously he is, given the talent and everything he brings to the organization.
General manager Patrik Allvin acknowledged earlier this week that there’s good communication between the Canucks and CAA Hockey, who represent Pettersson. But it’s still too early to get to a place where you’re swapping comps or you’re swapping parameters.
There’s a chance this gets done in-season but we’re going to have to wait and see.
Are the Golden Knights worried about having to battle another pro league for ticket sales following the MLB approving the relocation of the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas?
LeBrun: Right now that’s not the feeling you get from the organization. When the Raiders got to Vegas, as big as the NFL is, people wondered how that was going to play out. I can tell you that the Golden Knights’ ticket and sponsorship revenue is at an all-time high in their seventh year so the impact of the Raiders hasn’t been as big as some feared for the Golden Knights.
I think this idea of “Vegas born” for the Golden Knights, that they are an expansion team born in that city, rather than the transplanted Raiders or A’s.
The thing that you can talk about is NBA expansion. Which seems to be coming at some point. That would have overlapping arena dates and an overlapping schedule. That would be a different beast but for the moment the Golden Knights are secure in where they are business-wise.
There has been talk about Vegas hosting the NHL Draft in June but nothing is official yet. What’s going on there?
2023 NHL Draft Floor
LeBrun: Almost December and still no announcement on the draft. I’m told the league continues to grind away on trying to find a way for a Vegas draft for late June. They’re working through the finances. It’s still not done but it’s believed that it could get done and that they hope to have one last normal draft before they go to a decentralized format but that could be affected if this keeps dragging on.
Tell us about the new creative product from current and former NHLers James van Riemsdyk, Karl Alzner, Eric Fehr, and Jay Beagle.
Dreger: We’re always interested in the life after hockey stories and in this case you have ex-NHL players teaming up with current players who have invested in a company called LactiGo, which produces a topical gel which many teams are using. This is a gel that they apply to muscles to help recovery and help get through tough periods and tough games, especially for the older players in the back-to-back scenarios. Many NHL teams are using it so it seems like it’s good business. It’s most definitely a hands-on business.