NHL Rumor Mill – December 13, 2017
Latest on the Senators, Sabres, Blues and Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.
UPDATES ON KARLSSON AND THE SENATORS
TSN: Darren Dreger considers it unlikely the Ottawa Senators could trade Erik Karlsson but he doesn’t fully dismiss the possibility. If general manager Pierre Dorion gets an offer too good to refuse before the trade deadline or in the offseason for Karlsson, Dreger believes he has to take that to owner Eugene Melnyk. Despite Karlsson’s status as an elite defenseman, there are concerns regarding his next contract and his health.
Dreger reports Sens coach Guy Boucher isn’t going anywhere for the time being so it’s more likely a trade of a core player other than Karlsson could be the next move. He lists Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Zack Smith or Cody Ceci as possible trade chips as those are the players other GMs call on most often. Pierre LeBrun notes the Sens lack picks in the first and second rounds of the 2018 draft. He believes if the Sens bottom out they could attempt to recoup some high picks before June.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have plenty of assets to interest playoff contenders. If Dorion wheels and deals, the belief around the league is the goal is to stock up with younger talent. Garrioch still considers it highly doubtful the Sens will move Karlsson without first attempting to re-sign him next summer. He also cites Hoffman, Pageau, and Ceci as possible trade candidates, as well as center Derick Brassard. Doiron realizes their value could rise closer to the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, it’s possible Karlsson could be dealt before the trade deadline. He confirmed submitting a 10-team no-trade list as requested by Dorion, as did this teammates who also carry no-trade clause.
However, I still think a move of that magnitude comes in the offseason, as interested parties will want an opportunity to discuss a contract extension with him before committing to a trade. If Dorion makes another big move, it’ll likely involve Hoffman, Ceci, Brassard or Pageau.
LATEST ON EVANDER KANE
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the trade talks regarding Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane have gone on all season and are starting to intensify. He doubts Kane gets moved before the upcoming NHL holiday trade freeze (Dec. 19-26) but more teams are talking to the Sabres, who hopes to drive up the asking price.
Kane is eligible in July for unrestricted free agency and the Sabres hope to get more than a first-round pick, a prospect and a conditional pick. McKenzie lists “San Jose, St. Louis, Anaheim and perhaps the Calgary Flames” among the clubs with the most interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Sabres can re-sign Kane before the trade deadline, I expect he’ll be playing elsewhere by Feb. 26. The Sharks need to bolster their scoring depth. Injuries continue to wallop the Ducks so Kane could be an attractive option to boost their playoff hopes. Losing Jaden Schwartz for several weeks to an ankle injury could provide more incentive for Blues management to pursue a scoring winger. As for the Flames, I think they’re set at left wing with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, while Sam Bennett has eight points in his last eight games skating as their third-line LW.
BLUES AND CANUCKS SEEKING A FORWARD?
TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes the St. Louis Blues are on the lookout for a top-six forward between now and the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He feels that need stretches back to losing winger Robby Fabbri for the season to a knee injury.
LeBrun also reports Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning seeks a top-nine forward now that Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi are sidelined by injuries.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps they’re putting in calls to the Senators?