NHL Rumor Mill – March 13, 2018

by | Mar 13, 2018 | Rumors | 41 comments

Latest on the Hurricanes and Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill.

Would Erik Karlsson be a good fit with the Carolina Hurricanes? (Photo via NHL Images)


THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek recently examined the Carolina Hurricanes’ removal of Ron Francis as their general manager. He thinks whoever becomes his replacement “will have trade chips at his disposal to shuffle the deck,” provided new owner Tom Dundon allows them to do it. Duhatschek noted colleague Arpon Basu’s recent suggestion the Montreal Canadiens offer up expensive veterans Carey Price and Max Pacioretty to see what assets they could get, but that would be a lot of money for the Hurricanes to absorb. Noting the Canes lack a true superstar, Duhatschek wonders if Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson might be an option. 

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see the Canadiens offering up Pacioretty, who lacks no-trade protection, to the Hurricanes this summer in hopes of prying away a good young defenseman such as Noah Hanifin or Jaccob Slavin. However, Pacioretty turns 30 this fall, is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency and will seek a significant raise over his current $4.5-million annual average value.

As for Price, Cap Friendly indicates he has a full no-movement clause this season and in his eight-year, $84-million deal that begins on July 1. I doubt he’ll accept a trade to Carolina. Given the Habs struggles when he’s out of the lineup, I don’t see them being keen to part with him. 

If the Hurricanes pursue a superstar this summer, I doubt it’ll be Karlsson, who’s also a year away from UFA status. Their biggest need is for a scoring forward, preferably a center. He also has a modified no-trade clause and could reject a trade to Carolina. If New York Islanders star John Tavares tests this summer’s free-agent market, the Hurricanes might make a bid.  


MLIVE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Ansar Khan was asked about the free-agent backup goaltender options for the Detroit Red Wings. He suggests St. Louis’ Carter Hutton could be the best one.

Khan noted other goaltenders slated to become UFAs include “Antti Raanta (Arizona), Anton Khudobin (Boston), Kari Lehtonen (Dallas), Jonathan Bernier (Colorado), Michael Hutchison (Winnipeg), and in all likelihood, Petr Mrazek (Philadelphia).” He also sees the Wings offering veteran starter Jimmy Howard a one- or two-year contract next season at around $3 million to $3.5 million per season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues could re-sign Hutton, but if he becomes available the Wings might consider signing him. Raanta, Khudobin, Bernier and Hutchison would also be worthwhile options, but most of them could be retained by their current clubs.  



  1. one constant is the overrating of Montreal assets by fans who love the Habs…Pacioretty is not getting a young center nor a young defenseman…post the cap youth and control has more value than teams that want to make changes realize….it is the new normal….adjust to it

  2. I could see Dundon tossing a 7 year $105 million offer at John Tavares.

    I could also see the Islanders coming close enough to keep him because the Canes are no closer to winning.

    Especially a few years from now after the coming spending spree when Dundon realizes how low his revenue streams are and how weak his market is and becomes the Melnyk of the south.

    • As long as the NHL can sell expansion franchises for 650 million and keep increasing the price by 10% I don’t think Dundon is worried.

      I agree with you that Dundon will make a significant offer to Tavares.

    • The Islanders are closer to winning than Carolina… Even w/ all the injuries on Defense or other issues they were in until Tavares went in the tank… BEsides Gibson looks like a better option in net than anybody CArolina has currently :). Though him going to Carolina is more logical than some other teams… I think he would play for Florida before that, though not Tampa since doubt they have the cap space. Islanders could win the draft lottery since will probably have their 1st rounder along w/ Calgary to increase chances. Ron Francis will be fine when GM of Seattle Kraken :).

      BTW I wonder when they had E. Staal would he count as a super star then or now ;)?

      • Don’t agree that the Islanders are closer to winning than Carolina – put solid goaltending on both teams and I think they’re both playoff teams but Carolina has more upside. Time will tell.

  3. The Hurricanes should shake their way all the way up to Quebec! That way they don’t have to shake their fans down to the Lower seats!

    • The way Dundon thinks out of the box, I would not be surprised to see him sign an offer sheet for a RFA.

      Dundon’s first move better be to get someone in the organization that can evaluate a goalie.

    • Moving the fans down was easier than than installing curtains.

    • Can it jerk face. No fan base deserves to lose its team.

      • Agree with that, Chrisms, but owners of pro sport franchises can be some of the biggest jerks out there and, in a lot of cases, their loyal fans aren’t too high a priority.
        We’ll see how things go for Carolina with this new guy but, if he’s of a mind to check out as soon as he can, I’d say Houston is a more likely destination.
        Carolina is a solid goalie away from the playoffs, imo, so let’s hope they start there in the off-season.

      • While I’d say it’s sad when a team moves, deserves is an awful strong word. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I’ve lived in 2 separate markets where teams struggle / struggled heavily. A fan of none of the franchises, but going to more games than some of the worried “fans” who while were so “worried” sat at home while the team struggled.

        If you want to be a fan, be a fan. Win , lose , draw or flat out suck! It never made a difference to me. I’d sit my ass in the seats regardless of where the team was in the standings.

        This is a business. As sad is it is to put a bullet in a dying animal, it’s the right thing to do.
        If people gave a crap, they’d put their money where their mouth is. If not , they have no room to complain. And certainly aren’t deserving of anything other than what they get.

        In the cases where there are just not enough fans to support the local franchise…… just bad demographic research on the NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA’s part.
        But owners deserve the right to protect their pockets. Not pour millions into fans who won’t show up.

      • that really over simplified it. there are still lots of people “putting their money where their mouth is.” it takes a certain level of socioeconomic status to afford season tickets… many fans can’t. many fans are children as well… not sure their piggy banks can afford a canes ticket.

        there is also a very viable reason to not buy tickets if a team is consistently playing poorly… it sends a bad message to ownership. no incentive to improve the team if the seats are always filled anyway.

        ‘hopefully the new owner goes all out for the fans who still support the team.

      • To say fans deserve it is super simplifying it. Sorry, playing poorly means fans shouldn’t show up? But moving a struggling franchise is wrong?

        As much as people like to take an ownership of their team, bottom line …. they’re pockets aren’t the ones that suffer for poor attendance, merchandising, general support. It’s great to have this loyalty to teams. But bottom line , it’s a business. And none of the business belongs to the fans. Especially ones that want to send messages by not supporting a team. It’s a little delusional to think a sports franchise owes fans anything. Winning, relocating etc. it’s a business.

        It’s all good and fair should be reserved for T-ball only. And honestly, I don’t even believe it belongs there.

        As for those who can’t afford season tickets…. it’s still a business. I can’t afford a 200 ft Yatch with a private captain on call 24-7 . If I walk into a local boat dealer and tell them I can’t afford it, but I work hard 6-7 days a week and I deserve it….. what are the chances I’m leaving with a 200 ft yatch? Will they at least park it in the river for me to look at and not buy it? “I can’t afford it, but at least put it in my backyard to look at, while you eat the cost”

        Life…. I’m not sure where anyone was promised a fair one. But we sure are evolving to the idea it should be somehow.

        I’m a NY Jets fan. Don’t talk to me about deserving, owed, etc. lmao.

      • And there it goes. Ker- flush.

        You forget ny that the fan plays the most important position in the game. The fans earn the right to be owed some loyalty as they are the lifeblood of the team. The owners sell that. Do they have the legal right to move the team? Sure. But should they be vilified for doing so if they sold a bill of goods and didn’t come through? Hell yes.

      • “Jerk face” will never get old.
        Atta boy Chrims

    • Yes, I’d love to see Carolina in Quebec, as well.

      • Just gotta day… anyone who wishes a fan base to lose their team, even if it’s a smaller fan base, is the lowest form of sports fan on the planet.

    • Tom Dundon agreed in the contract with the NHL to keep the team in Raleigh for the next 7 years, so there will be no QC or Houston relocation unless it is 8 years from now. He has also already been inquiring about a beneficial renewal of the lease with the arena & the city.
      From someone who lives in Raleigh & has heard his interviews, I think he is ready to be aggressive with the right decisions. I do think he will throw a very lucrative offer to Tavares if he chooses free agency. The players all love the area as far as living & the community. If the team starts winning again, I wouldn’t doubt a number of quality free agents would sign here.
      If we sign JT, we would have JT, Staal & Necas down the middle for years which is really strong. Not to mention very young good players with Aho, Teravainen, Lindholm & Skinner. Plus, I think TD will not take long to grab a #1 goalie which will put us in the top 3 of the Metro next year if both of those things happen.
      Who knows?? We’ll see soon but it looks like it will be a crazy off-season for the Canes.

      Here’s to hockey !!

  4. I have no idea who Price would/wouldn’t accept a trade to, but I wouldn’t rule out him accepting a trade to a good young team in a warmer weather market with farrrrrr less public scrutiny (something he and his wife are from time to time rumoured to have tired of in Montreal)

    Plus, Carolina was only a goalie away from having a very strong team this season.

    The Habs were many, many parts away from a good team. Carolina could give them two. Habs aren’t winning even with Price, so time to try a different tack.

    Again, no idea if Price would go there, but I think it’s possible, and it makes sense from a hockey perspective for both teams, too.

    • Paddy,
      I agree with you completely. I have no idea why Price would even want to stay there. Everybody goes on about these big contracts that are hard to trade. The managers are very crafty individuals. If Price were put on the trade block it would get done.

  5. Tavares would choose Islanders chances over the Canes.
    Maybe merging the two….
    neither has a goalie

    • If they merged they still wouldn’t have a goalie.

      If someone would have told me at the beginning of the season that in mid March Cam Ward will have numbers similar to Murray, Price, Holtby and Craig Anderson I would have bet on the Canes to make the playoffs.

      • lol GP – good point!!

    • Islanders look a lot better in future of Net since Gibson has played great… Then they have the Russian in the KHL who played a period at Olympics for the Gold Medal team. Even Kristers the Latvian who was in there for the 2-1 loss to CAnada is better option than Carolina’s Darling or washed up WArd ;).

  6. I seen a comment about Quebec city. Although I have not researched it in detail, there is a reason why the NHL has not gone back. Lack of deep pockets ownership, as in an individual and lack of corporate support. You can say what you want about Winnipeg but their owner is one of the wealthiest men in the world and Winnipeg has a wider corporate base then Quebec city.

    • Yes Scott,

      That is the problem with a team going to Quebec. However, there are fans who want to go and would support the Nordiques. If that support was demonstrated corporate dollars would follow. The NHL might as well prop up teams in cities where there is a fan base. That base does not exist in Carolina or Arizona for that matter.

      • The lack of corporate support is the lack of head offices in Quebec City. The majority of the corporate headquarters are in Montreal

      • Scott isn’t it enough Quebec has Montreal who is like a hopeless expansion team :)? They don’t need another bad team who can’t keep a goalie in net or perform when needed :). You gain 0 hockey fans putting a team in Quebec City… While even moving Coyotes to Mexico would net at least 10-100K fans :). Only way CAnada gets a team is if Atlanta gets an expansion franchise… Since we all know 3rd time is the charm :). It worked out great for Calgary Flames getting a Cup while its time for the JEts to do the same ;).

      • Quebecor is in QC and they are the ones that want to bring a team in. They are only worth 1.82 billion dollars and already have the brand new Videotron centre built and ready to go. The Quebec Ramparts average 10 000 a game and that is just a major junior team. There is no reason to believe an NHL team in QC would not sell out every game. Carolina is doing about 11 500 per game right now. Moving the team to QC would be more than lucrative. Games would sell out even if the team was not doing well.

      • Deee thanks for making my point. Thompson owner of the Jets is worth more than $25 billion.
        An ownership group worth $1.5 billion isn’t getting a team.

      • Melnyk is worth 1.2 billion and the only reason he’s selling his players is because he’s a cheapskate not because he has to. The Winnipeg Jets or the New York Jets? Mark Chipman is worth 500 million.

    • Folks, you only need one corporation. In Quebec City, it is Pierre-Karl Peladeau, head of Quebecore. They built the arena and were behind the last attempt. The real problem is any fan money sent on the Nordiques would overwhelmingly be money that was already going to be spent on the Habs. For the NHL, it means the revenue is not actually growing the pot. A franchise in Vegas and one in Seattle will/is mostly new money, there by growing the game/league revenue. Quebec either wins a re-location bid or has to wait decades and grow so big that it could truly support its’ own club……..or the Canadian dollar goes stupidly up in value for the long haul and the US dollar tanks…..

  7. If I were Price I would take a trade to lower tax state Carolina and a better team with younger talent. Their defense is not slow and will be studs. They have speed upfront and cap space to significantly add. I do not foresee MTL trading Price away bc the PR move would be atrocious BUT….IF I were Price….I would take the trade in a second.

  8. It is surprising Francis did not make a move for a forward with the playoffs in sight. One playoff series would of made the new owner a few million…. I think either way owner wants his own guy in place

    • Staal, Darling and Faulk for Price & Galchenyuk


      is what Francis should have offered lol

      MTL gets there center (6 more years). Solid top pairing Dman (not old) and a goalie to share duties with Lindgren

      CAR gets their goalie to lead them into the playoffs with their good young roster.

      Then CAR in the off season can make a MEGA $$ pitch to JT. long term deal with young RFAs like they did with Slavin. Perhaps even ADD J. Carlsson as a UFA signing as well.

      just IMO to get them into the playoffs next year and contend.

      • Overpayment by canes but overall not bad

      • Chrisms….Darling is addition by subtraction lol.

  9. Hey Scott,

    Get a corporate owner to sponsor a team in Quebec. They’re not far apart. That rivalry would do wonders for the League.

    • Yes, the rivalry between Montreal and Quebec City would be fantastic. A group ownership setup would do the trick for QC. They would do better than some of the ownership clown shows that have moved through Arizona!

  10. Scott,

    A corporate owner in Montreal to support a team in Quebec sorry.

  11. NHL needs to stop expanding! Putting teams in non hockey markets. The league was best when it was 21 teams.