Some people just can't help it. If something is trending or becoming popular, they have to be part of the movement, or at least, say something about it, even if nobody expected them. And some people just get caught up in the story, even if they wanted nothing to do with it in the first place...
It seems to be what is taking place with Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli, who did not necessarily want to reveal his position in the National Hockey League when it came time to analyze all the trade rumors surrounding Toronto Maple Leafs free agent forward William Nylander.
The Maple Leafs efforts to sign Nylander took a positive step forward when general manager Kyle Dubas flew to Europe this week to meet with the forward’s representatives. However, lots of work remains to be done and NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun believes the two sides have not yet exchanged contract numbers. Therefore, trade chatter is still in the mix.
LeBrun's colleague Darren Dreger joined Leafs Lunch Thursday on Toronto’s TSN 1050 and talked about the Oilers' position when it comes to Nylander after Chiarelli commented on the impasse, which he wanted kept secret...
“It’s funny you say that, but I checked in with Oilers’ management the other day,” explained Dreger. “And the message that - Look, Peter Chiarelli didn’t necessarily want me to put this out there as headline news, but he said, ‘Look, I’m not chasing William Nylander.’
“We can appreciate why Edmonton should have interest because Connor needs help - he needs speed and he needs skill on his wing, and Nylander has proven that he can play with an elite player in the success that he had last season with Auston Matthews.”
The discussion on the Nylander impasse included teams needing to do their due diligence in terms of checking in with the Leafs on Nylander despite the fact that Dubas has made it clear that - for now - he has no intention of trading his young forward at this point.
Dreaming of a team pairing Nylander and Connor McDavid on the same line, co-host Craig Button commented on his desire to see such an offensive duo and Dreger felt the need to reveal Chiarelli's position...
Of course, the Oilers have no room for Nylander, who is looking for more than what Dubas is offering. The two sides remain far apart on the dollars for a long-term deal, with the Nylander camp asking for something in the $8-million range while the Leafs prefer $6 million.
However, one thing we know for sure is that Chiarelli is not chasing him.