In today’s NHL rumors rundown, it appears there have been more management changes in Edmonton where the Oilers have lost someone who was, at one time, believed to be a big part of their future leadership team. That executive is now likely headed to the Ottawa Senators. Meanwhile, how complex are the negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander getting? Finally, Jonathan Toews sent a goodbye letter to fans of the Chicago Blackhawks, but does that means he’s retiring?
Steve Staios Departs the Edmonton Oilers
In an unexpected development, Steve Staios has reportedly severed ties with the Edmonton Oilers’ front office, sparking intrigue as earlier reports noted he was likely next in line to become the team’s general manager. Staios’ conspicuous absence from the official hockey operations webpage got the rumors started and the situation gained credibility when Tom Gazzola, on a recent edition of the Oil Stream podcast, shared insights obtained from sources close to the team.
While some sources conveyed uncertainty, Gazzola’s closest informant indicated Staios has left the team, reportedly after an interview with other executives about his future didn’t go terribly well. Some are wondering if this was intentional as a way to get out of his position, but the reality is more likely that with the change at the top and the hiring of Jeff Jackson as CEO of Hockey Operations, Staios saw the writing on the wall.
Jackson’s appointment and the elevation of Paul Coffey’s role within the club, likely reshaped the path for Staios, potentially altering the team’s prior intentions concerning his involvement.
Staios Heading to the Ottawa Senators
Staios shares a history with the Senators’ new ownership, particularly due to his association with former superior Michael Andlauer in Hamilton. Given Andlauer’s position as the predominant owner of the Ottawa Senators, Staios’ linkage to their management strategy isn’t surprising.
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As Andlauer assumed control, Staios reemerged in relation to the team, possibly eyeing Pierre Dorion’s GM position.
News on Nylander’s Contract Negotiations
The intricate negotiations between Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs have gained further complexity, as highlighted by Shayna Goldman of The Athletic. Two crucial aspects are coming into play in this ongoing saga and while the news isn’t a sign that Nylander is likely to be traded, there are concerns.
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Firstly, Goldman underlines that until Matthews’ contract is finalized, little progress is anticipated in Nylander’s negotiations. Matthews’ impending deal holds immense significance in shaping the future salary-cap framework for the team. Goldman asserts: “His contract is going to set the tone on the future of the team’s salary cap, so Nylander’s probably can’t be discussed until that’s settled.”
Secondly, the Maple Leafs are keen to avoid negotiations spilling over into the start of the season. The scribe explains:
“…Brad Treliving knows the risk of waiting until after the season to work with a big free agent. Johnny Gaudreau, who is represented by the same agent as Nylander in Lewis Gross, walked from Calgary and left the general manager with the impossible task of finding a direct replacement.
source – ‘NHL’s biggest trade targets for 2023-24: William Nylander, Connor Hellebuyck, more’ – Shyna Goldman – The Athletic – 08/17/2023
Jonathan Toews Not Retiring From the NHL
After sending a heartfelt thank you to Chicago Blackhawks fans, NHL enthusiasts were taken aback as Jonathan Toews disclosed his decision to step aside from the sport for what is believed to be the entirety of the upcoming season. Yet, his announcement held a reassuring tone — it’s not retirement; it’s a temporary sabbatical.
Toews conveyed his sentiments via Instagram, clarifying that his departure isn’t a permanent farewell but a pause for rejuvenation and recalibration. Toews emphasized, “I’d like to announce that I am not fully retiring, but I am taking time away from the game this season.” He underscored his fervor for hockey and the exhilaration of competing at the highest level. This hiatus seems rooted in practicality, enabling him to manage his physical well-being and strategically time his return to the cherished sport.
This will be a fascinating story to watch. Will Toews sit out the entire year? Or, once he feels like his health is in a good place, will his itch to play and any deadline to sign with a team see reports of him eyeing a contender fairly into the 2023-24 season?