NHL Rumor Mill – March 6, 2018
Updates on the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill.
CAPITALS PURSUED McDONAGH, KARLSSON
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling NHL Network on Friday he believed the Washington Capitals made a pitch for Ryan McDonagh and Erik Karlsson before last Monday’s NHL trade deadline. McDonagh was eventually dealt by the New York Rangers to the Tampa Bay Lightning while Karlsson remains with the Ottawa Senators. Looking at the Capitals’ salary-cap constraints, Friedman wasn’t sure how they could’ve pulled off either deal but he thinks they tried.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I share Friedman’s uncertainty over how the Capitals would’ve done it. The Lightning gave up a roster player, two draft picks (including their 2018 first rounder) and two prospects in the McDonagh deal. It’s said the Senators sought between five to seven assets for Karlsson and were also pushing for winger Bobby Ryan to be included in the deal. Cap Friendly indicates the Caps are bumping against the $75-million ceiling.
Washington defenseman John Carlson is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. If the Capitals fail to re-sign him, perhaps they’ll revisit their interest in Karlsson during the offseason,
PREDICTING SOME OFF-SEASON MOVES BY THE RED WINGS.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: In a recent mailbag segment, Helene St. James was asked if the Red Wings will seek a replacement for goaltender Petr Mrazek this summer via free agency. She questions Jared Coreau’s readiness to become a full-time NHL backup. She thinks they could look to free agency, where former Wings goalie Petr Mrazek could be available.
She also doubts the Wings will pursue a big-ticket player via free agency. She thinks they could instead sign a patch player, as they did with Trevor Daley last summer. She speculates they could pursue a forward and wouldn’t be surprised to see former Wings forward Thomas Vanek return. She also knows there’s some interest in re-signing defenseman Mike Green.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Free-agent goaltender options could include Jonathan Bernier, Andrew Hammond, Michael Hutchinson or Carter Hutton. Vanek expressed interest in returning to the Wings last summer so perhaps there’s an opportunity for him to do so this summer. The Wings might be unwilling to pay Green $6-million per season again, but if he’s willing to accept a bit of a pay cut perhaps they’ll ink to another three-year deal.