TSN insider Bob Mckenzie has been fairly quiet this season on the rumor front - he's quite selective with what he puts out there. As one of the most respected hockey reporters out there, his word is quick to spread, and is rarely taken with a grain of salt.
Today, he unveiled a bombshell of a rumor implicating the Arizona Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs.
There's long been speculation of a deal bringing Oliver Ekman-Larsson to Toronto, but most rumors were unfounded or seemed too wild to be true. McKenzie felt the same way, until this weekend, one of his sources "cautioned" to him that there is something to these talks.
"I never gave it much thought beyond that - until late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, when someone merely cautioned me that there could be something to it, that I shouldn’t be so quick to so be dismissive, that an OEL-to-Toronto-for-William-Nylander balloon was out there floating in the rumoursphere," McKenzie revealed.
McKenzie gives his thoughts on the situation - stating that Ekman-Larsson, who's set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, has voiced his uncertainty with signing long-term in Arizona so long as the arena situation is in doubt. Bruce Garrioch also mentioned that the Coyotes are prepared to talk trade about every player on the team at this point.
McKenzie then goes on to say that he doesn't have confirmation of talks between the two clubs himself, and that he is of the belief that the plan is to build the team around Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander. He doesn't believe they'll break away from that plan.
All this being said, Ekman-Larsson is not having a good season, in the image of the rest of his team. Nylander has gone a bit cold on the goal-scoring front, but we all know what he is capable of. Ditto for OEL.
This will be a situation to monitor as the season goes on. It has the potential to be one of the biggest deals of the season.