Latest Senators and Rangers Rumors – March 14, 2018

by | Mar 14, 2018 | Rumors | 29 comments

Updates on Bobby Ryan and Erik Karlsson plus the latest Rangers speculation in your NHL rumor mill.

Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan thought he and teammate Erik Karlsson would be dealt before the recent NHL trade deadline (Photo via NHL Images).


OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reports Senators winger Bobby Ryan though he and teammate Erik Karlsson were on the way out of Ottawa the day before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He’d heard there was a deal in place that would send the pair to a Western Conference club but somebody backed out at the last minute.

Brennan speculates trade conversations involving the duo will likely continue in the offseason. “The Senators will surely entertain trade talks for Karlsson at the draft, and in order to get the captain, they’ll ask that Ryan is included in the package.”

The Sens want to shed the remaining four years (at $7.25-million annually) of Ryan’s contract. If a trade isn’t possible, Brennan believes the Senators will buy him out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That Western Conference club is believed to be the Vegas Golden Knights. There’s speculation they could circle back to their interest in Karlsson. As the Senators were trying to package Ryan in the Karlsson deal, the Golden Knights was probably on both their 10-team trade lists. 

The buyout period runs from June 15 – 30. Buying out Ryan will be expensive. As per Cap Friendly, it’ll count as over $3.58-million annually from 2018-19 to 2020-21. After that, it’ll drop to over $1.83-million from 2022-23 to 2025-26.

The Senators will obviously try to trade Ryan first. I can see them agreeing to pick up part of his cap hit to get a deal done. Better that over four years than to have a Ryan buyout on the books for eight years. 


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Rick Carpiniello was asked who were the untouchables on the New York Rangers’ roster. He believes no one is, not even Henrik Lundqvist, “though he would be virtually impossible to move.”

Asked about the chances of the Rangers trading veteran winger Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes ” or some draft picks” for restricted free agents such as Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey or Carolina’s Noah Hanifin, Carpiniello doubted those RFAs will be available. He pointed out Zuccarello was offered around at the trade deadline but no one made a big push to get him. Hayes is also a restricted free agent.

Carpiniello was also asked about the odds of Rick Nash returning to the Rangers, which he placed at 4-1 or 5-1. Nash will have to accept a pay cut and isn’t an elite scorer anymore, but he’s still a top player and loves New York. He also believes there’s a “really good chance” Ilya Kovalchuk signs with the Rangers, as they’ll need a veteran scorer to bridge the gap from rebuilding to contention. He doesn’t see New York Islanders center John Tavares signing with a rebuilding club if he tests the free-agent market this summer.

Asked about the possibility of Mika Zibanejad fetching a first-line winger, Carpiniello doesn’t see that happening. “There’s no way he’s bringing back a first-line winger by himself.” He thinks trading Zuccarello to the Edmonton Oilers is “feasible” but isn’t sure what they’ll give up in return. 

As for the possibility of buying out Marc Staal’s contract, he thinks they might prefer moving him via trade provided they eat some salary. “That would be better for the organization than just eating the dead cap-space because they could probably get an asset in return”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Carpinello that Trouba, Morrissey or Hanifin probably won’t be available this summer. He also made a good point about Zuccarello, though that might change this summer as he’ll only have a year left on his contract. If the Rangers sign Kovalchuk, Nash might have to find somewhere else to play. I concur with his take on Staal. 

If Tavares decides to become a UFA, he’ll likely want to join a Stanley Cup contender, or one that’s close to becoming one. Injuries have hampered Zibanejad over the last two seasons, plus he’s carrying a $5.35-million annual cap hit through 2021-22. That could prove difficult to deal. 



  1. It might be hard for the Rangers to make a trade. I think they have already saturated the Tampa lineup. ;<)

    • they have TB with Mac , Miller, Girardi, Stralman and Callahan
      they have BOS with Nash and Holden
      They have Pitts with Hagelin by way of ANA

      some Ranger will win the cup this year LOL

      Shame Zib stopped shooting the damn puck. He was more effective as a shooter than puck distributer. I noticed AV put Zucc on his line to help him and Zib still looks to defer and pass to Kreider. Zib needs to get back to shooting. He does not have the 1-on-1 bag of tricks to dominate so I only see him as a #2 C….. and his huge inconsistency issues are creeping back into his game again.

      I say keep Zucc till the trade deadline unless a mind blowing offer comes along. NYR will need wingers who can go into corners and win pucks, distribute the puck to other teammates….especially when they will have more young guy coming onto the roster.

      Partner Staal with Shatts for next season and see how they build chemistry. Staal is more comfortable on the left side while Shatts is clearly only comfortable on the right side.
      That leaves only to find a right hand RD guy who can log big minutes with Skjei on the top pair and then let Gilmour/Pionk be the bottom pairing.

      I sincerely hope the NYR do not resign Nash nor Kovy. IF Rangers need spring to bridge the gap…why trade ZUCC then? DOES NOT COMPUTE!. Zucc has more points than Nash. Kovy will want $5M plus to play on at least a 3 yr deal….not needed and no thank you.

      Better off keeping Zucc for the year and use the cap space toward a true #1C, or to cover some of the cost to ship out Brendan Smith, or towards Karlsson or Doughty the following summer. If those 2 guys want to play under the lights on Broadway.

      • Giradri & Stralman signed as UFA’s, although yes both former NYR players.

        I see Zibby & Hayes staying in NYR. I think they with Namestnikov will be NYR’s top 3 C’s until a prospect is ready to assume the role. Let’s hope Zibby doesn’t get derailed again next season by injury. At 397 NHL regular season games Zibby’s breakthrough should come next season in my formula. Injury’s have derailed him beating the curve 2 years in a row.

    • Tampa has managed to assemble the most experienced team for losing the SCF :). I mean they will know just how to get beat down when or if they make it that far ;). Though in net they are weaker than when Bishop was healthy there… I heard they called up Klein to get him out of retirement… Then all they would need is Staal to complete the Rangers Defense that got beat down by Kings in 2014 ;). I guess they had Yandle there or somebody else to fill out the 6 of them :).

      Funny Devils seem to collect former Ducks having like Vatanen, Maroon, Palmieri or some others sprinkled in maybe ;). There a former Ranger on nearly ever team so one should be in SCF or win it ;).

      • Retarded. Period!

  2. Haha. Melnyck after 1 or 2 seasons is back to his penny pinching ways and aome think Ryan will be bought out. He will be moved. Prolly cheaper to retain salary.

    • They never really went away. Moving Zibby for Brassard was all about money. The weird 1 was signing Ryan, that was shockingly out of character.

      • A desperate attempt to save face with alfredsson’s departure. Yet Spezza made good money so uts not like they won’t spend on a player. They just have to make sure it’s the right on in the right position.

  3. I disagree that Lundqvist is virtually impossible to trade. How many teams are searching for a true experienced number 1.If the rangers are truly in a rebuild they should trade him and hold onto a few million to help facilitate the move. Now I know Henrik loves the big apple and wants to stay there but if he truly desires a Stanley cup he is going to have to move on in order to do so. By the time they are in position to challenge again he will be retired. And if they are rebuilding they need to finish in the bottom of the standings in order to get top notch prospects, but with Henrik in goal that just might not be possible. Even though he has not said publicly, I’m sure Henrik is somewhat disappointed in the teams new direction.

    • Agreed Drew. Lundqvist is still among the most talented goalies in the world, and would probably bring a solid return from a team who is on the verge of competing but needs goaltending…maybe the team that gave up 5 third period goals to Boston last night?

      • agree and disagree… he could be moved sure. he wont fetch a significant return unless a lot of money is held. a couple of secondary pieces but nothing significant

    • Drew his cap hit is an insane 8.5M which you can’t win having a goalie over 6M… There been a few who lost the SCF who made more like Henrik and Pekke Rinne ;). I think Rangers would have to eat half the cap hit to trade him to anybody. Though he only has 3 years left so maybe they will have Seattle take him in expansion draft or trade him there. Since an expansion team might need a cap hit to make the minimum ceiling or like Islanders had Tim Thomas who never played for that purpose.

      His final year its only like 4.5M so they could buy that out if needed. I think Rangers will ride him this season then trade him… Unless the bounce back fast like Devils, Flyers, Avalanche to compete for playoff spot etc. Price would be harder to trade than Henrik given his contract/term. Problem for Rangers is they are not likely to get a nice return for a goalie. Its hard to get value when trading goalies in the NHL. Think of Ben Bishop for Cory Conacher to give an idea :). Not that Kings got much more for him then what they traded to get him shipping him to Dallas :).

  4. Erik Karlsson is not going to the rangers. First if the team is truly in a rebuild or if only a retool then it makes no sense to move the young players and draft picks its going to take to land him. He could sign on July 1 next year but why would he want to go to a club that wont have the horses to compete for the cup, he wont be able to do it alone.

  5. Buying out players with more than 2 years remaining is insane. Buying out Ryan would cost Ott 2.5 mil per season for 8 years. That’s if the 2.5 signing bonus factors into the equation or if Ott is only on the hook for 2/3rd’s of the 5.5 in actual salary.

    • Agreed. Buying out Ryan with that much term makes no sense, especially when factoring in the $2M per year in signing bonuses. Ottawa would only save ~$7.5M over the remainding 4 years of the deal and be stuck with dead cap space for 8 years.

      If Ottawa ate $2.25-$2.75M/year on the remainder of Ryan’s deal, I think they could move him. He is a decent second line player as shown in the playoffs last year and that is worth $4.5-$5M/year over the next four years. Trying to attach him to a potential Karlsson trade only diminishes a potential return on Karlsson. I still think Ottawa could sign Karlsson long term in the summer and hope that is what they do. It is better to spend money on a superstar than on 2nd to 3rd line players.

    • Only an idiot like Dean Lombardi would buy out Bobby Ryan… Though he would nix a trade w/ Winnipeg then claim the guy was on drugs or violated contract… Try to void it only to disgrace himself, Kings, not to mention kill their cap for the next decade or so. Then again Mike Milbury might buy him out considering his Yashin deal, trading Luongo, not to mention the 20 years or so he signed Dipietro for ;).

  6. What about Lundqvist to the Hurricanes? Lundqvist would have to approve the trade, a good climate and low pressure market with a good young team that will compete for a cup is enticing. Also the Hurricanes have some good young prospects for a rebuilding team. Not to mention Lundqvist would create interest in a marketplace that lacks just that.

    • Assuming Lundqvist waives his NMC to go to Carolina (big if), Lundqvist to Carolina makes a lot of sense. If the Ranges ate ~$2M/year on the contract and took back Darling who has the same remaining term on his contract, the Rangers may be able to get something else of value in return (one of Carolina’s young defenseman like Fleury or Bean). The Rangers have a few promising young goalies who could tandem with Darling for a few years. I’m interested to see what Rangers fans think.

      • I do not see how eating $2m AND taking Darling makes sense unless Hanafin or Slavin are coming back. That would be equivalent to paying Darling near what Hank makes…. Darling has not even performed up to his current contract. IF Hank goes for Darling plus a stud young RD from CAR….I would say Hank goes without salary retention BC they are taking Darling and his horrendous contract for his performance.

        just IMO

        Cannot see Hank going for just Bean of Fluery though without more being attached of value besides Darling.
        Hank is still that good.

      • Supposing Lundqvist moves to Carolina. Before talking salary retention, if the return includes Darling, there needs to be at least two more pieces to that trade: a 3-4-5 d-man and a 2nd round pick. If significant salary is retained, that draft pick becomes a first and the d-man better be Noah Hanifin. Also, I’d probably buy into a 5-10 game package and visit Raleigh more often.

    • Kev that would be a great trade for Rangers if they could pry any of the young right shot D-men they have… They would probably have to take about half his contract for the cap hit though. I’m not sure its low pressure since that team has been to the SCF multiple times while winning it too :). So its not as bad as NY or CAnada for the media coverage. Yet the team needs to win there or do well to attract the fans… If they were competing well they could be another Nashville who started out really rocky. Predators look like they stole the ugly Kings uniforms w/ that yellow mustard crap :). He could probably still live where he does commuting to Carolina ;).

  7. I am actually shocked. I thought all of this Karlsson trade rumours where just media driven. Not once did I think the the Sens were serious about moving him. Penny pinchers or not, you can’t trade a guy Karlssons calibur. First off when you are trading the better player you never win the trade plus it sends a bad message to your fan base. Especially when you are struggling to sell out your building in the first place.

    • Completely agree. I go to 7-10 Sens games as year and nearly every fan I’ve talked with are against trading Karlsson. If Karlsson was dumped with Ryan, the backlash would be even worse because it would only be about dollars. You can’t just take draft picks back for someone like Karlsson.

      Ottawa’s cap situation isn’t bad at all even including extensions for Karlsson, Stone and Duchene (combined should be $24M-$26M/year). They have no cap issues next year, so buying out Ryan or Gaborik makes zero sense until next summer (2018/2019). Even then, they could eat part of the contracts and only have dead space for 2-3 years vs. 4-6 years.

      Ottawa needs to be careful what they pay Ceci on his next deal and I wouldn’t go more than 4 years @ $4M/year. Reduce the term to 3 years if he wants more. Ceci could be the next Cowen contract if they go too long. Assuming he’s fully healthy after the hamstring injury, I would extend Wideman for a one or two year show me contract at $1.5M-$2M and then their right defence is looked after.

      • Van least it looks like Gaborik was an upgrade over Dion ;). You can watch him make a real run at a decent season if given a chance there ;). I don’t see any reason for Senators to keep a fading expensive player like King Karl. His cap hit will probably be 10-13M creating cap problems for any team who has him. They need to find a way to ship out Bobby Ryan even if they eat up half his contract. They looked better as a team since getting rid of Dion… Next year they will probably try to package Duche in some sorta trade… Though I doubt they will get a return as good as Avalanche did. SAd their window for winning a Cup got slammed shut when they choked it away against Penguins… WAsn’t King Karl hurt or dealing w/ some injury then? His health is declining a bit which is another reason to cut ties. Maybe they can rob Vegas getting a 1st/2nd/3rd rounder like the TAtar debacle… Florida has a 3rd round pick who is better than him Dadanov who already has 22 goals w/ 55 points in 59 games.

        Remember Branch Ricky told Ralph Kiner who had his 50 homer or so season… We can finish last without you :)…

      • Only way eating any of Ryan’s contract becomes worth it if a solid bunch of draft picks comes their way. No reason to pay $3m in cap space for another player, on top of that player’s salary/cap, at this point in their rebuild.

        if they can convince someone to send a low rd first or high 2nd & another type of pick for eating $2.5-$3m then I can see it working well for them.

      • Daoloth: How is Karlsson fading? He will likely lead defensemen in points again this year despite missing training camp and not being 100% most of the year. He is only 3 points behind Klingberg in 6 less games played. His plus minus is terrible, largely from the team sucking and the large number of empty net goals Ottawa’s allowed, but he should be one of the best defensemen in the league well into his 30’s.

      • ihatecrosby: Agreed on the Ryan return. If Ottawa eats >$2M on Ryan’s contract, they should get something of value. Second line wingers at $4.5-$5M/year is decent value.

      • Van you can tell the future? I’m pretty sure King Karl wont have the most points for a D-man this year nor will he have the most goals. Last year he had 71 points in 77 games w/ a +10… Prior to that he had 82 points in 82 games w/ 1 less goal having 16… He was a -2, prior to that he was a +7 w/ 66 points in 82 games though having 21 goals… 1 more goal then he had the year prior w/ -15 and 54 points. This year he has 54 points w/ 8 goals nursing a stellar -26… His worst rating since the -30 he had in his second year in NHL…

        So you are asking how a guy who is set for his 3rd lowest goal total… Along w/ his 2nd worst or worst – rating is declining? Before getting 20 points in the last 18 meaningless games he was doing much worse. He nearly has half his goal total in that span w/ 3 of them. His shooting percentage is currently .047 his lowest total since his rookie season of .045. His usual range is .065 to .078… That is closer to half his usual shooting percentage even w/ nothing to play for.

        His next contract he will just be getting older into the 30-35 range… There many D-men who decline vastly in their 30’s… While others don’t hit their prime until 28-30. King Karl has hit his apex he will only decline in points/goals/totals while injuries increase. He is still on pace for one of his lowest point along w/ goal totals of his career. Hell he had 6 goals in 17 games or it would be his second lowest for most part. Unless think he will score 13 or more goals in the games left… He should score about 1.5 goals in that span given his streak… So King Karl maybe finishes w/ 10 goals 65 points. That will be his 3rd lowest point total of career even not counting the season he only played 17 games. So a guy goes from scoring about 20 goals w/ a point a game to about half that goal total… Then ask me how is he declining? When this is going to be one of his worst seasons since his 2nd year in the league at best? I just hope he does well for Vegas considering what he will cost them to obtain or resign :).

      • Have you heard of having an off year? In particular after having to rehab all summer and having no training camp? Even after that, he will either lead the league in scoring for a defenseman or be a close second. It sounds like you are predicting the future to some extent as well given you expect him to immediately decline. Burns is 5 years older than Karlsson and still elite offensivebly, and San Jose gave him an 8 year extension at 32.