Latest Senators and Stars Speculation – April 2, 2018

by | Apr 2, 2018 | Rumors | 19 comments

More speculation over Erik Karlsson’s future plus a look at possible offseason moves for the Dallas Stars in your NHL rumor mill.

Erik Karlsson’s future with the Ottawa Senators will remain an ongoing topic of interest in the offseason (Photo via NHL Images)


OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren wonders if tonight’s contest against the Winnipeg Jets might be the final home game for Erik Karlsson with the Ottawa Senators. Karlsson has one year remaining on his contract and the Senators hope to re-sign him this summer, but Warren is curious over how much they’re willing to spend. “Eight years and $80 million? Eight years and $90 million? $100 million, anyone?”

If the Senators win the 2018 NHL Draft lottery, it would put them in line to select Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. Warren thinks that would generate “a steady stream of trade speculation involving Karlsson” leading up to the opening round of the draft on June 22.

It also remains to be seen if Karlsson wants to be part of a rebuilding club. Warren notes the Senators captain, who has a 10-team list of trade destinations, was “very much in play” leading up to this year’s NHL trade deadline. He and Bobby Ryan were rumored to be heading to a Western Conference team in a package deal by deadline day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s going to be part of a steady stream of trade speculation regardless of whether or not the Sens win the draft lottery. It’s believed they were close to shipping Karlsson and Ryan to the Vegas Golden Knights before the deadline but the deal apparently fell through. It’s possible the two clubs could revisit those discussions leading up to the draft. If not, perhaps the Senators will start looking around for potential suitors once the playoffs end in June. 

The earliest the Senators can re-sign Karlsson is July 1. It’s going to cost the Sens a lot of money on a long-term deal to keep him in the fold. He’s indicated he won’t accept a hometown discount. If they’re engaging in a full rebuild, Karlsson and/or the Sens front office could decide it’s time to part ways. 


THE ATHLETIC: With the Dallas Stars’ playoff hopes fading, Sean Shapiro was recently asked about their possible offseason moves in a recent mailbag segment. His checklist includes buying out fading veteran forward Jason Spezza or picking up part of his $7.5-million cap hit on the remaining year of his salary in order to trade him.

Shapiro also feels they need to build up their second line via trades or free agency. While that won’t be easy, he observed the Stars have the cap space to take some of the burden off their top line. He suggested trading for Ottawa Senators winger Mark Stone at the draft.

As for the Stars’ unrestricted free agents, Shapiro believes goaltender Kari Lehtonen and defenseman Dan Hamhuis won’t be re-signed. He also felt blueliner Greg Pateryn could be moving on but has a gut feeling Antoine Roussel could be back, though he’s “not sure if there is a contractual number that works for both sides.” Shapiro doesn’t believe the Stars will move their first-round pick in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars’ late-season collapse could spur more roster changes this summer. It might not include acquiring Stone from Ottawa. During the blizzard of speculation involving the Senators leading up to the trade deadline, his name was rarely mentioned as a trade candidate. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and it’s believed the Sens intend to keep him. Of course, if he does hit the trade block the Stars would probably be interested, However, they’ll have competition from a number of NHL clubs hoping to pry him away from the Sens.

After tallying 50 points in 68 games in 2016-17, Spezza’s managed just 26 points in 75 games this season. He turns 35 in June and the wear and tear of 15 NHL campaigns could be catching up with him. Perhaps he also feels stymied under coach Ken Hitchcock’s system. Whatever the reason, the Stars will have to pick up a big chunk of that cap hit to move him. They could explore that option in late-June and perhaps buy him out by June 30 if there aren’t any takers. As per Cap Friendly, they’ll free up $5 million in cap space if they go the buyout route.  



  1. karlsson will be traded. I know the leafs and sens dont trade often, but i could picture the leafs making a big push after another disappointing first round exit in this years playoffs.

    Nylander/2018 first rounder and liligren would pretty well do it.

    • If the Sens win the lottery Karlson should be traded. They should trade Duchene to a team like the Islanders for Ho-Sang and their first which would help Tavares decide to stay. Getting Dahlen and having Chabot, Gustavson, Brown, Batherson, Chlapik, Formenton and Jaros. Add in the assets they get for Karlson and That’s a quick rebuild.

    • Or they could be smart, keep those and sign the more suitable Carlson.

    • Leads would have to pay more than anyone else so not likely.

      A third team will certainly need to be involved to get karlsson on the leafs roster

  2. Should the stars extend Seguin on July 1st as he has 1yr remaining on a team friendly $5.75 how much of bump does Tyler get $8M @ 8yrs. I do 5yrs @ $7m but that’s not going to get it done.

    • It’s going to cost Dallas J. Benn money & term min to lock up Seguin long term. If not in Dallas then 10.5 on the open market as a UFA in a little over a year, possibly more.

      McDavid, Draisaitl & Eichel’s contracts have moved the goal posts since Benn signed the previous summer so he could potentially demand more than Benn.

      • With the cap going up, lots of room to do it, but the bigger question is should you?
        Seguin and Karlsson fall into the same category for me. Extreme offensive talent with lots of speed, Karlsson has more to offer in the defensive zone. The length is what concerns me with both these players because if they lose foot speed, how valuable are they then? Once you take away the offense is there still enough there to work with.
        However both teams will need to make a decision cough up or trade for assets and I believe Ottawa is more willing to trade Karlsson then Dallas with Seguin.

      • I agree with all that, I would even add in character. That said Dallas cannot afford to lose this player & that’s the market. Getting him signed at 9.5 would be a discount to what he would command on the open market if he were to hit the UFA market.

        Will be 27 coming out of his current contract so at least his 8-year deal is only carrying him to 35.

      • I don’t know if the phrase “Should you” is allowed to enter a nhl gm’s brain.

      • Well Caper w/ Seguin its a bit easier to slot in long term even as he fades… While King Karl once he can’t be a top pair guy it gets ugly fast like w/ Seabrock or Dion Phaneuf from his likely former team after he fished out puck ;). I figure Seguin will cost like 9Mish, King Karl probably 10-13M… So SEguin is more affordable long term and short… Besides playing for a cap hit that low all these years they got like Dustin Brown money for what he provided ;).

  3. Spezza’s play is almost directly related to Hitchcock’s deployment of him & the quantity of ice time & wingers. Couple that with very little scoring after the 1st line of Seguin between Benn & Radulov & what you see is what you get for Spezza. 13:03 TOI/GP playing primarily with players that can’t score doesn’t translate into offensive production.

    • Maybe Minnesota will trade for him, feed him whatever magic tonic they’ve given Eric Staal, and make a 40 goal scorer out of him.

    • Spezza sucks has nothing to do with deployment or who he’s playing with! You are the resident expert oy vay!

    • I didn’t think Hitch would be a good fit he is dated and old… HE should have retired like he planned… HE is worse than Sutter when it comes w/ getting along w/ the players. I remember him pulling Bishop in a game after like 2 or 3 goals not even his fault. Yeah well he is doing great since Bishop got hurt. He don’t know how to formulate lines or deploy players… Hell anytime he speaks he alienates them… Belfour won that cup along w/ those D-men playing in lacrosse goalie pads to block all those shots :). STars won even win a draft lottery with Hitchcock :). You can’t win as a 1 line team as I had posted about Dallas on CF. I remember saying Avalanche were retooling that they are competitive while people probably laughed at me. If anything Dallas is doing a bit worse than expected since figured they could sneak the final wild card which requires them to win out now w/ help. Avalanche I figured would just make or miss the playoffs… Blues again trade a key player only to show they are better off without Hitch as their HC competing for playoffs until final game likely.

  4. Random question: Should Calvin De Haan be on Marc Bergevin’s radar this summer as a potential No 2 D playing with Weber? MB did have a long look at NYI in D’ec before De Haan was hurt and I think he was part of any discussion, hence why they went nowhere after the injury/surgery. Is there a ‘buyer be ware’ sign on De Haanas I know he has had some issues with NYI management?

    • He is coming off injury so maybe they would flip him. Its a very scary place to try to get in Garth Snow’s head much less the GM for Montreal :). Lot depends on who the Islanders sign or let walk… Like Hickey their leader in plus/minus is a UFA for example. Who wins the draft lottery would dictate that as well. If Montreal wins they would draft the stud D-man just the Islanders or any team is likely to do :). Last year de haan I think was the only Islanders D-man to play every game so that would be a better metric to measure his potential :).

  5. I think a team takes a flyer on spezza at 5 mil. dallas holds 2.5, gets a mid round pick back… doesn’t worry about multiple years of dead cap, only one. another team teaks a flyer on a 2-3 center and hopes he gets back to 50-60 point form on a different team. does he have ntc?

  6. Dallas should trade Spezza to Ottawa retaining some money so he can retire where he started. Spezza would be a good mentor there. They should also sign Seguin so we do not have to listen to rumours he is going to TO. After that throw Nishishin, a 2018 first, a prospect or two, for Karlson and Ryan provided Ottawa eats some salary. Ryan could be a good secondary scorer like he was in Anahiem if he only cost them 5 million a year. It might take a bit more but getting rid of Ryan is worth it to Ottawa.

  7. Dallas looked fine until Bishop got hurt. So even when they were good they had weakness in net from Niemi and LetOneIn :). I think they would have make the playoffs for sure if he stayed healthy or Suter got hurt sooner. I don’t see Avalanche or Wild going far missing their top D-men in E-Johnson and Suter. I know I Might have screwed up a name since its hard to type from some hand issue that might be nerve acting up or so. Both those guys are not in the news or pushed as Norris guys like a scrub Seth Jones :). Yet without them I can’t see their teams doing well… In contrast the Kings had 1st round bust taken over Tarasenko Forbort play 1.50 minutes beating Avalanche 3-1. Look for Kings to go far if he isn’t in the lineup :). Though they are missing their second best D-man in Muzzin so that will take a toll… Oddly enough Martinez played more than Drew tonight at about 32 to 28. Kings not lost a game in which LaDue has played where Forbort has not yet :).

    King Karl seems like a sure trade if he took the puck from the game unless its for some record ;). Just seems odd if would take the puck for what expect to be final home game if don’t plan on leaving. Maybe it was a gift for the Sedin twins who packed it in. Its amazing how two bros stuck together all these years even getting manipulated to be drafted together :). Imagine the Canucks traded them to two different teams. I think if the plan was to retire maybe they should have traded them at deadline… I guess they really were happy not winning the Cup unless it was w/ Canucks showing some loyalty or lack of desire to be Champions if not both :).