Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup (Part One) – February 25, 2018

by | Feb 25, 2018 | Rumors | 32 comments

Latest on Erik Karlsson, Max Pacioretty, Rick Nash, Evander Kane and more in your Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there’s a mutual desire between Ottawa Senators’ management and defenseman Erik Karlsson to try and work out a trade by Monday’s 3 pm ET trade deadline. Friedman considers the Tampa Bay Lightning as the leading contender and believes the two clubs have exchanged proposals. He also suggests there’s could be “stealth contenders” for Karlsson, such as the Nashville Predators. Some believe Preds general manager David Poile could be attempting to drive up the price for other clubs.

Chris Johnston reports there’s the potential for Senators winger Bobby Ryan to be included in a Karlsson deal. There was word Saturday of a potential fourth club getting involved, such as the Vegas Golden Knights or Montreal Canadiens, but Johnston considers that more fiction than fact. It’s important for the Senators to get players back in any deal for Karlsson.  He also reports the Senators intend to flip defenseman Ian Cole, who was acquired from Pittsburgh on Friday as part of the return for Derick Brassard. The Sens could try to push for a second-round pick.

Nick Kypreos adds Lightning GM Steve Yzerman prefers doing a deal for Karlsson without giving up any roster players, but the Sens want a significant player as part of the return. Kypreos claims Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde and Vladislav Namestnikov have come up. Friedman believes if it’s the latter the Lightning would consider it.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports it’s hard to envision the Lightning moving Gourde and thinks the Bolts would be reluctant to part with the affordable Gourde. Noting Namestnikov is a restricted free agent this summer, Smith thinks he could  be difficult to re-sign. He points out the Bolts have lots of prospect depth to deal with, whether it’s for Karlsson,  New York Rangers blueliner Ryan McDonagh or someone else.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle considers the possibility of Karlsson ending up with the Sharks unlikely,  noting they already have $120 million tied up in the contracts of Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. He speculates GM Doug Wilson could be looking at getting involved as perhaps a third team in a deal that sends Karlsson to another club like Tampa Bay.

TSN: Bob McKenzie believes it’s more likely Karlsson won’t be moved by the trade deadline. He noted things were quiet on the Karlsson trade front in the aftermath of the Brassard deal on Friday. Teams are inquiring about the blueliner, including contenders such as Tampa Bay, Nashville, San Jose and Vegas, but McKenzie cautioned not to read too much into it. This is a very complicated deal to do, especially by trying to include Ryan’s contract into the deal, though the Sens might be willing to pick up part of his cap hit to facilitate a trade. There’s a feeling that whatever is offered by the deadline might not be enough to get a deal done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m with McKenzie on this one. Yes, it’s possible Karlsson could be traded by tomorrow afternoon’s deadline, but I don’t see the Sens moving him simply for the sake of doing so. I realize things are getting tense for the Senators players right now, but management has to get a significant return for Karlsson. Given the rumored complexity of the deal they’re trying to make, it might be better off waiting until the offseason to make that move, where there will be more teams with cap space and the willingness to discuss a major deal. 

The Los Angeles Kings reportedly have interest in Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty (Photo via NHL Images)


SPORTNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there’s a belief Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty wants to be traded. Talks between the Canadiens and Minnesota Wild broke off as the Wild aren’t willing to part with forward Charlie Coyle. Nick Kypreos said the Los Angeles Kings are “pushing hard” for Pacioretty. It’s believed the Habs would want Tanner Pearson or Tyler Toffoli in return, but Kypreos isn’t sure that’s enough to get it done. At least a first-round pick would also have to come from the Kings.

Friedman also reports the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning have some interest in Canadiens’ center Tomas Plekanec, who was a healthy scratch from yesterday’s games against the Lightning for precautionary reasons.

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports Plekanec and Chicago’s Artem Anisimov are believed on the Jets’ trade radar. Anisimov has a no-movement clause and would have to approve a trade. The Jets scouted the Blackhawks on Friday but could’ve been watching defenceman Jan Rutta or forward Ryan Hartman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pacioretty could move at the deadline but the Habs aren’t under pressure to move him now. He’s signed through next season and they can afford to wait for the right deal if there aren’t any to be found by Monday afternoon. Can’t see the Kings parting with Toffoli or Pearson, though that’s what it likely would take to make the deal work for the Habs in terms of return and for the Kings in clearing sufficient cap space for Pacioretty. With the Wild surging in the Western Conference standings it’s understandable why they’re reluctant to move Coyle or make a blockbuster deal right now.

As for Plekanec, his $6 million cap hit is likely the only real sticking point. The Habs could pick up part of it if they can land a second-round pick or more. 

**UPDATE** The Montreal Canadiens have traded Tomas Plekanec and Kyle Baun to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Rinat Valiev, Kerby Rychel and Toronto’s second round draft pick in 2018.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Boston Bruins are considered the front-runners for New York Rangers winger Rick Nash. However, they’ll likely have to make other moves to make the dollars fit.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty also reports dealing with Nash’s cap hit is a big issue, as it would still be over $3 million if the Rangers absorb half of it, leaving the Bruins to free up additional cap space. It’s believed it would cost the Bruins a first-round pick and a solid prospect not yet on the NHL roster. That means the Bruins wouldn’t have to part with roster players such as Brandon Carlo, Jake DeBrusk or Danton Heinen. However, it could cost them someone like Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Jakub Zboril, Zach Senyshyn “or even a college hockey prospect like Trent Frederic.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Bruins try to move Ryan Spooner and his $2.8 million cap hit to make this happen? I only mention Spooner because he’s been a frequent subject of trade speculation over the last two years. Otherwise, I’m not sure who the Bruins might part with to free up sufficient cap space unless it’s center Riley Nash ($900k), who’s a UFA at season’s end. It’ll be interesting to see if they can work this out and what a final deal might look like. 

**UPDATE** The Bruins have acquired Nash in exchange for “a 2018 first-round pick, 20-year-old defensive prospect Ryan Lindgren, Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey and a 2019 seventh-round pick.”

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports the Buffalo Sabres scratched left wing Evander Kane from yesterday’s game against Washington as a precautionary measure with a trade apparently imminent before the trade deadline. It’s expected he’ll also be scratched from today’s game against Boston if he’s not dealt before then. Pittsburgh, Nashville and San Jose are among those believed to be interested in Kane. The Sabres were seeking a first-round pick as part of the return but could accept a second-rounder if they get a highly-rated prospect in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Penguins acquiring Brassard on Friday they’re likely out of the Kane sweepstakes. The Sharks reportedly aren’t keen to make moves for rental players so they could be out of the bidding too. I can see the Predators and perhaps the St. Louis Blues getting involved, though Blues GM Doug Armstrong is also reluctant to give up quality assets for a rental player. 



  1. if they can pull it off and pawn belesky back to rangers boston should give up a real good prospect and pick to do this… gotta keep up woth the pens.

  2. So, if the Bruins add Nash they have to remove a Spooner or Nash to do it. In addition they have to include a first round pick plus a top prospect like JFK, Zboril or Frederic.
    Nash is still a good player, but so are Spooner (he has really stepped up his play this year) and Riley Nash has also played well on an excellent contract.
    I don’t think this deal makes the Bruins significantly better if at all. Plus you have to give up 2 quality assets to do it?
    I get the urge to do something, but this doesn’t makes sense IMO, and hope it doesn’t happen.

  3. McKenzie & Spector must be respected….Karlsson probably does not move. And yet…deadline hav a strange effect on people, from govt. votes to labor negotiations, a ticking clock, and fatigue, peer pressure, and general excitement sometimes cause movement that otherwise might not take place. Psychologically, I think the most common scenario that happens is one demand that has been resisted suddenly is accepted, and it suddenly becomes “Ok, how do we get this done” rather than “I’m not sure that we want to do this.”
    Ottowa is certainly on the horns of a dilemma if Karlsson is determined not to resign, as the deadline sometimes allows for overpayment. The value of two Karlsson cup runs rather than one in a deadline deal this year is certainly worth something. If all the reporting is accurate, a GM that came to Ottowa and said “I can fix the Ryan problem, and here’s a fair deal plus a second round sweetener” might get by. The biggest barrier remaining may be the league getting tougher on complex deals that aren’t obvious “hockey deals”. Are the Lightning deep enough to send several good prospects to Ottowa, and likely Namestnikov and maybe a slow defenceman and a couple of draftchoices, and flip Ryan and a prospect to rebuild their draft choices (like the Bret Connoly deal a few years ago). If Ottowa pulls the trigger they’ll do pretty well, although losing on the theory that whoever gets the best player wins the trade. But that will be the case whenever they trade Karlsson. Stevie Y would certainly be pushing a lot of chips to the center of the table. Can Ottowa really do better in the offseason? Some might see more opportunity, I see more wolves circling the carcass. Now that they are committed to being sellers, the pressure is real enough for something not fully rational to happen.

  4. Appears the Rangers have dealt Rick Nash to the Bruins.

  5. According to LaPresse, Rick Nash has been traded to the Bruins for a 1st round pick and Ryan Lundgren and the Rangers would pay half of Nash’s salary !

    • If this is true, i’m ok with that deal, it’s a lot for a rental though.

  6. I have a feeling the UFA’s will move today and tomorrow. But the big fish will move on draft day. Carlson and OEL will make the draft time very exciting place. This timing will bring more teams to the market.
    The only big name with term the may move tomorrow is Ryan McDonough

  7. To #Bruins:
    F Rick Nash (50% retained)

    To #Rangers
    2018 1st RD pick
    2019 7th RD pick
    F Matt Beleskey (% retained – TBD)
    F Ryan Spooner
    D Ryan Lindgren (signing rights)

    4 pieces for Nash…what does Kane bring?

    • should be 5 pcs

    • Ouch, well that sets up the price for Pacioretty…

      • Pacioretty should bring a better return as he has term left on his contract and is 4 yrs younger

    • FOR F***SAKE DON!!!!!! Way too much, way too much. Stupid stupid stupid DEAL!!!!

    • the 1st and Lundgren is ok for Nash. Spooner and Matt Beleskey are for their warm bodies and help Boston with cap. I do not want either player above the 4th line on my team

      • Oops double post…
        Scratch that- Spooner is solid to be added in but why did the Bruins let him go…

    • the 1st and Lundgren good for Nash. Matt Beleskey and Spooner are warm bodies and salary help for the Bruins

  8. Okay now they say Spooner, Beleskey, Lundgren and a 1st

  9. Not happy with that deal one bit. Still retaining half of Belesky contract. Sweeney got schooled!! that package should’ve brought back Ryan McDonaugh NOT Rick Nash. Ranger fans you are going to like Lindgren he is a solid prospect.

    • In the end this one is all about how Nash does in the playoff run. You will be pleasantly surprised with his backchecking and how he plays the same with or without the puck. He is due for one of his goal scoring streaks.

    • That package doesn’t come close to obtaining a top pair d man

      • Not even close? so put it out there Chrism, what does a guy like McDonaugh bring back. Don’t make comments and not substantiate them. If you’re going to debate with me, then debate.

  10. Boston Trades with the Rangers

    to: Boston
    Nick Holden
    Rick Nash
    retain 50% of Belesky contract
    To: NY Ranger
    1st round pick
    3rd round pick
    7th round pick
    Rob O’Gara
    Ryan Spooner
    Matt Belesky (at 50%)
    Ryan Lindgren
    Retain 50% of Nash contract

    Side note gave up a third and O’Gara for a guy they scratched, can’t make the lineup.

    • I was gonna say that(but its salt in the wound) Holden would of been thrown in with Nash for the deal today

      Too bad Tony D not included

    • Paying a 3rd for a depth insurance Dman was fine.

      I need time to process the Nash trade. At 1st blush I don’t like it at all. I’m not a big fan of paying a high price for rentals & adding 50% of Belesky’s cap hit in muddies the water, adding a business aspect into the equation.

      If my brain is processing the math correctly Belesky was hitting the Bruins cap 2,875,000 being buried in the minors. I’m using Moulson’s contract as a gauge, Buf is saving 1,025,000 burying him. That means if Bos is going to take a 1.9 cap hit on Belesky regardless, the savings really shipping him out is 975K & that cost the Bruins Spooner.

      I like Spooner, always have, so at 1st blush that math for those assets doesn’t work for me but Bos needed to get salary off the books to make it work & take on Nash’s cap hit.

      Again I need time to process it but the price looks to high for me & the only way you could hope to justify it is if Bos wins the cup & even then perhaps they would have done so with Spooner. This is some what reminiscent of the Jagr trade which I hated.

      As for NYR this is a great deal, hit it out of the park. Looking at it just from their perspective they did great but Bos’s side of the deal you have to some how factor in monies; cap hit issues now & moving forward, contract demands; Spooner being an RFA with arbitration rights, etc.

  11. That’s a bad deal. I would’ve been ok if it was for Pacioretty or McDonaugh both of whom have a year left on their contracts, but not for Nash. I don’t know if I made my point but I’m not happy with this trade.
    If Boston wins the Cup then i’ll say ok, however not with that defense, they are not winning the cup.

    • OK I’ll bite. What’s wrong with the Bruins D?

      Boston has the lowest GA in the league by a significant margin, they are 2nd in shot suppression & have the 4th best PK.

      Chara, McAvoy.
      Krug, Carlo.
      Grzelcyk, McQuad/Miller.
      Holden, Postma.

      Grzelcyk has played so well Bos doesn’t want to remove him from the line up. Playing the IR game with McQuad & Miller until finally being forced to sit 1 for the other.

      That depth on D will come in very handy when players start getting injured & they will.

  12. Plekanec is a goner. A 2nd rounder and we can retain whatever and that would be fine. Maybe even resign him in the off season for way less then the 6m he’s making now.

    If true, Pacioretty wanting to be traded is fine by me. I don’t feel he’s captain material to be honest. Should bring in a better return then Nash I would think.

  13. Wow Boston just got robbed hard…. they gave up on spooner which has 25 pts in 39 games and is 26 years old for a 33 year old that has 28 pts in 60 games plus everything else they added wow Boston’s GM most of been drunk when he made that deal … I’d def would of gone and get Patches I’m sure Montreal would of jumped on that deal and he’s younger and he has term not a rental …. the only good news is that they just set the price for patches and it’ll cost a little more …

  14. Pleks to Toronto apparently

    • Yup and it’s not a bad move, Plekanec plus Kyle Baun for a 2018 secound rounder, Rinat Valiev and Kerby Rychel, not a bad move by Bergevin

    • ya…Very excited to see him flourish there on a much more skilled team than Montreal.

  15. As of now with Kane available, there are many teams as buyers but many of them aren’t playoff safe yet so teams will do conditional 1srs in a deal. Or 2nd is a 1st if playoffs are made or playoff advancement occur.