Red Wings, Flyers, Predators, Leafs

Andreas Athanasiou, Claude Giroux, Rumors, Top Story, Toronto Maple Leafs, William Nylander

The first night of action kicked off in the NHL on Wednesday and less than 24-hours from the opening puck drop there are rumors surrounding some of the NHL’s most popular teams.

Red Wings and Andreas Athanasiou Talking

The Detroit Red Wings and forward Andreas Athanasiou have resumed talks on a contract extension but things are not developing. Athanasiou still wants $2.5 million per season and the Red Wings have offered under $2 million. They have a one-year $1.25 million deal on the table as well as a two-year $1.9 million. They are sticking to those numbers.

(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The situation is getting to the point now where a trade might be in the cards. If both sides are firm and this becomes a situation where the player is unhappy with his position and perceived value, he may look for another opportunity and request a move. Elliotte Friedman believes there are interested teams and among them are the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks. Friedman believes those teams will wait and see if the Wings might consider a trade before considering an offer sheet.

Flyers and Claude Giroux

Claude Giroux and Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg Jets vs Philadelphia Flyers – November 17, 2016 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While Philadelphia Flyers’ general manager Ron Hextall scoffed at any notion of trading center Claude Giroux at the NHL Entry Draft this past summer, there are some that believe Giroux is one average season away from being shopped. He’s a player that seems to pop up every now and again in the rumor mill.

However unlikely, he was originally linked to the Montreal Canadiens when the rumors started, but a trade is not that easy if one is actually being considered. Giroux has five more years on his contract at an $8.275-million cap hit and a no-movement clause.

Ironically, Giroux scored the very first goal of the 2017-18 NHL season on Wednesday. If he bounces back in any way, these infrequent rumors should go away and not hamper the player or the organization this year.

Nashville Looking for a Forward

The Predators are unhappy with the forward depth and are looking for a way to improve it without subtracting a piece from their roster. Nashville was one of the teams hit hardest by the NHL Expansion Draft when the lost James Neal and have yet to really replace his production.

In his “31 Thoughts” article, Friedman speculates if prospect Eeli Tolvanen might be a target for some teams when trading with the Predators.

Leafs Contract Situations

After a hot start and seven goals in a dominant Toronto Maple Leafs performance on opening night, it won’t take long for people to start talking contracts for some of the Leafs young stars. One of those high on the list is forward William Nylander.

William Nylander has five goals in the last six games for the Leafs and will look to help them to a win against Dallas on Tuesday. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet is reporting that Nylander has no interest in negotiating a deal during the season. Now that games have kicked off, he’s prepared to let his production this year do the talking and he wants no distractions from focusing on the team and his own effectiveness.

Nylander said:

“Well, I’m a guy who just wants to: If we do it, (either) before the season or after,” Nylander told Sportsnet prior to Wednesday’s opener at Bell MTS Place. “We’re just trying to focus on the team, and the way I’m playing during the year.”

The comparisons for his next contract will start with a player like Nikolaj Ehlers who just signed a lucrative extension with the Winnipeg Jets. If the Leafs do reach out to Nylander’s agent during the season, he’s already given his agent instructions not to bother him with it.

If the game last night is any indication of the type of season Nylander is going to have, this could get expensive for the Leafs.

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