NHL Rumor Mill – April 11, 2018

by | Apr 11, 2018 | Rumors | 38 comments

Latest on Erik Karlsson and Max Pacioretty plus updates on the Rangers and Blackhawks in your NHL rumor mill.


OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren reports Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said team captain Erik Karlsson won’t be traded during the 2018 NHL Draft weekend (June 22-23) in Dallas. He intends to table an eight-year contract extension for Karlsson on July 1. Dorion made the comments during a town hall meeting yesterday with 300 Senators season-ticket holders. Karlsson has one year remaining on his current contract, generating considerable speculation that he could be traded. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing prevents the Senators from shopping Karlsson after July 1 if the blueliner proves too expensive to re-sign. Teams that pursued Karlsson leading up to the trade deadline could revisit their interest in him this summer. Indeed, I wouldn’t surprised if some of them contact Dorion during the draft weekend to lay the groundwork for a possible deal in case contract talks with Karlsson fall through in early-July. 

Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty still faces an uncertain future heading into the offseason (Photo via NHL Images).


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger’s appearance yesterday on Montreal’s TSN 690 discussing the future of Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty. Dreger doesn’t rule out the possibility of Pacioretty being dealt in the offseason, perhaps during the NHL Draft. He cited the trade speculation surrounding the Canadiens left winger leading up to the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

To Dreger’s knowledge, the Canadiens didn’t receive a formal trade offer but they did set a significant asking price involving “multiple pieces.”  Pacioretty has a year remaining on his contract and will be eligible next July to become an unrestricted free agents.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Depending on Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin’s offseason plans, Pacioretty could return next season. However, I have a feeling Bergevin could be looking to move the winger in hopes of landing a good young center. Easier said than done, I know, but given the Habs’ poor performance this season, changes appear likely and Pacioretty could be part of them. 


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently speculated on the future of Rangers center Kevin Hayes, suggesting he’ll either get a four-five year contract worth between $4.5-$5.25 million annually or become the centerpiece of a trade to bring in a much-needed top-pairing right defenseman. He also thinks forward Ryan Spooner could get a one-year, arbitration-awarded contract worth between $3.7-$4.1 million and later used as a trade-deadline rental player next season. Brooks also believes the Rangers need a stud or two if they hope to stage a quick turnaround next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers could package Hayes with a couple of draft picks and perhaps a prospect, but I doubt that’ll be enough to land a top-pairing defenseman. I expect he and Spooner will be back next season. I don’t rule out the possibility of Rangers management shopping around for a top-two right rearguard but I don’t see them selling the farm to get one. Perhaps they’ll look at pursuing Washington’s John Carlson via free agency. 


CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Mark Lazerus and Satchel Price examined possible off-season options for the Chicago Blackhawks, who enter the postseason with what Price called “a level of cap flexibility that it hasn’t had in years.” That’s in part because the salary cap is expected to rise to between $78 million -$82 million for 2018-19. Given the importance of re-signing promising youngsters Alex DeBrincat and Nick Schmaltz down the road, GM Stan Bowman expects to be prudent with his cap space.

Lazerus and Price observe center Artem Anisimov’s full no-movement clause becomes a partial no-trade on July 1. It’s possible the Blackhawks could attempt to shed his $4.55 million cap hit, perhaps to pursue another forward, defenseman or backup goaltender via free agency. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t expect a major shakeup for the Blackhawks but there could be some changes coming. Anisimov,29, is signed through 2020-21 and could have value for clubs seeking experienced depth at center. Moving him would provide some additional wiggle room under the cap to bolster their depth elsewhere. 



  1. Let’s go pens!

    • West will Win Cup anyways, though Devils I think are a good dark horse… They should get that guy Johanson or whatever back who the Bruins knocked out for about half the season. Long as Kinkaid can get it done in NEt it will be a return to the SCF for Devils :). I’d not be shocked to see TAmpa get there or Gubaur lead Capitals to finals :). Boston could do it depending on how healthy they are or who comes back when. I figure any team who makes it from West will win… JEts will have a tough time beating Nashville way they match up. IF JEts can beat them they might not be good enough in net to get past Knights, Kings, Sharks, Ducks or whoever… Avalanche would have been a great pick if E-Johnson didn’t get hurt losing Varlamov was bad enough but least Bernier isn’t horrible or so :). They did do well without Barrie a good part of year but he is more an offensive weapon than a #1 like Johnson basically was for them.

  2. Rangers looking for a op 2 RH defenseman ….. Call Winnipeg re- Trouba

    • more likely Doug Hamilton via trade, or signing John Carlson, for the NYR

      I bet Trouba re-ups with the Jets

      • Heh maybe they can make a trade for Harmonic but don’t see why would ship out Doogie Hamilton :). Flames would be better having Hayes on team than all those D-men they got like 7 or 8 anyways ;).

      • I am hoping Calgary trades Brodie to buffalo for ROR

      • I always liked TJ Brodie even if many are down on him lately… I liked Hamilton even before he was well known just playing in a few games at most. TJ might just need a change of teams… Least that would give Buffalo 2 quality or NHL level D-men instead of like 1 if that ;). Flames seem to do well 1 year make playoffs even if have issues in net like RAmo or whatever… Then they just choke away a season… I remember in fantasy I tried hard to get Kipper before he was traded from Sharks then even after thinking he was the best of the 3 they had back then… If only SJ kept him they would have least 1 Cup I think even if Flames got cheated in that Tampa series like GElinas I guess NHL felt it was smarter for Lightning to win before a work stoppage than Calgary w/ Sutter’s exciting style of play :).

    • Rangers have Shattenkirk for a big salary who needs to play. John Carlson would be a great signing


      I want no part of Sproul, O’Gara or DeAngelo outside of a bottom pairing

  3. When you mention cap space for Bowman, all it means is he will over spend for players of AHL calibre. Can you spell Rutta, Kero, Gustafson, etc… His GM skills are pathetic. Trading players like Teuvo, Danualt and Leddy nand getting nothing in return is a travesty. Think about it? These are all 1st round picks? He cannot be in charge of a quick rebuild.

  4. my picks wpg, lak, nash, sjs
    wpg sjs
    pitts, TB, Bos, Cbj
    Bos, cbj
    Bos over wpg in 6

    YES i’m a bruins fan and that may weigh in my thought process but they are a deep team and my only real concern is Rask.

    • I want to watch WPG and Tampa

      Could see Anaheim being a tough out

      • The last team I want to see in the finals is Winnipeg…. and probably NJ.

      • Nyr I can see not wanting to see Grabner make it to finals since he was on Rangers besides they are rivals… Though why would it bother to see Jets in finals? Is it that they are from Canada or want to lure Trouba to rangers hoping they suck in playoffs ;)?

      • @NYR4LIFE I think that’s what Gary Bettman mumbled.

      • 2 reasons. Nothing to do with Canada or the actual team. 1 as caper points out, the NHL would hate it and for good reason. Ratings would be terrible… I guess I don’t care about the ratings personally, but overall it’s not good for the game.

        2- I like to see teams earn it, to actually lose before they win kinda thing . I like Winnipeg NOW, but they have certainly been a mess of a franchise for…. well pretty much their entire existence.

        I’d like a team that’s been sniffing but not quite able to get there….. go bolts!!!!

        I know, they missed last year. But they’ve been close, and if this Tampa team can’t win, then they will never win.

        Second choice, Washington…. definitely not a fan, but they’ve paid their dues!

      • Alright, after watching that hot trash Vegas pre game…… I want them gone too!!!! Embarrassing!

      • Thanks for taking time to explain that Nyr had to hit Whole Foods/do some dog related stuff ;). I think Jets would be most entertaining on ice team to make finals from West way they play. Wild would be the last team I’d want to see especially without Suter from an entertainment point of view… I’d be find if Wild won a Cup though its not same as North STars who I liked over Penguins but Dallas w/ Belfour Won Cup so that is close enough :).

        I think NHL would like to see Vegas or Nashville win from west to solidify their fan bases. Jets I hated as Atlanta Thrashers almost as much as liked the Old JEts or original… They only team to move from Atlanta who hasn’t even won a Cup yet :). Flyers would be last team I’d want to see win cup though they a hot mess in goal so not worried ;). Ducks would be another team that wouldn’t want to see win from liking Kings… Though if Sharks won I’d be fine since its like that little brother big bro rivalry not something nasty or hateful like w/ Anaheim :).

        I don’t know if people would tune in to watch Jets to be fair ;). They have an insane home record like 32 wins so if get past Nashville or into WCF it will hard to stop them in theory. Its going to be a White Out as they say :). Tampa getting another Cup in East would be interesting to see… RAther them win it over a team like Capitals w/ that Dale Hunter history or some others :).

        NHL probably likes Nashville in final along w/ everybody on PHT so they can see Carrie Underwood promoting it ;). Vegas will probably top the Kings, though not sure how far they can go w/ that defense. Miller might be their best guy then it starts to drop off not having enough quality or even 3 right handed shot D-men hurts them in my view. Surprised they didn’t bring back Fox Tracks or the robots for Vegas ;). I think their lizard mascot thing is a bit cringeworthy along w/ a few other things they do :).

        Wild make the 2012 Kings look like an exciting run and gun team :). Or last year Senators like a pond hockey team going rush after rush :). Their style I just think is the worst to watch since the other team has to make it a game worth watching or it is brutal :). Tonight I think JEts like outshot them 2-1 barely winning by 1 goal just to give an idea :). If don’t play Fantasy sports the JEts lack names that most would realize or recognize. IF given a chance I think they could provide one of the most exciting SCF w/ like 5-3 wild run/gun type games or even 10 goals or more in them :). Boston lost like 12 games as OTL, think Ducks lost like 14… So some of these teams I don’t see going far if games go into OT based on that even if format is different ;). Sad not seeing Suter though rather them get bounced in 1st round than ruin 2nd round watching Minnesota ;). I don’t think Ducks get far without Fowler, Avalanche have their issues or it would have been a real tough series I think for Nashville ;).

    • Haha, the only differences between your picks and my bracket on nhl.com is that I have the Ducks over the Kings and the Penguins over the Blue Jackets.

    • Agree on Wpg and Clb Caper. And share the Rask fear.
      Maybe I am just a paranoid Bruins fan, but I think they are in trouble vs Leafs.
      They just haven’t played well for the last month and were lucky to get some of the wins they got.
      The last 6 weeks they have had an extremely compressed schedule and no practice time. Carlo injury will have an impact in the D rotation and PK, with McQuaid getting too much ice time.
      If I wasn’t a B’s fan, my upset pick to make a run would be the Leafs. As much as I hate saying that. Very fast, very skilled, well coached team with a tender that has been great all year.

      • Totally agree Ray, I feel Boston can beat Toronto but I Toronto victory wouldn’t surprise me. Boston missed an opportunity to play a easier team in NJ.
        Toronto has a ton of speed and depth, it was believe that PleKanec was brought in partially for this match up, he plays well against Krecji.
        I give Boston the edge on D, it very well may come down to Rask vs Anderson.

    • The first and second round will have some of the more interesting match ups. The seeding system that ensures we can’t end up with a conference final where 1 plays 2, is kind of dumb, but at the same time, it does ensure that we get some great early round series, and that there will likely be a bit of a surprise team in the mix in the conference finals.

      Boston and Toronto are in tough. Boston has more experience, their D is better, and their forward depth isn’t as far behind Toronto as some might think, they just choose to play their best players together. It’s a little bit of a battle of philosophies too. Boston plays there 3 best goal scorers on the same line, and Toronto plays each of them on a different line. There is no line in hockey that matches up well against the Bergeron line, so the question is can Toronto keep that match up close enough where the advantage they have by adding so much talent to lines 2 and 3 actually creates an edge.

      Also, likely seeing Winnipeg and Nashville in the 2nd round is going to be a fun series to watch. Both teams are deep in just about every position, but it will boil down to elite forward depth versus elite defensive depth.

      Personally I would love to see Tampa, Toronto, Washington, Philadelphia, Nashville, Winnipeg, Vegas and San Jose make it to the 2nd round.

      This is mainly so that we see only teams that have not won a post cap cup from that point forward, and would create some very interesting story lines.

    • Heh Kings are my favorite team then Knights are 2nd while Sharks would be 3rd currently. I think that Kings series will go 6 especially if Kings win… IF it goes 5 or 7 its probably Knights winning though they can win in 6 too. I don’t know how healthy Muzzin is, Quick has been up/down most the year. Fleury which one will show up is the real question…

      Knights over Kings…
      Sharks over Ducks…
      Nashville over Avalanche…
      Jets beat out Wild…
      Then Knights beat Sharks losing to Nashville who tops Jets.
      So Nashville in 2nd Cup Final finally wins it ;).

      East will say Penguins beat Flyers in like 6, Devils beat Tampa, Capitals over CBJ in 7. Boston beats Toronto without Reimer to blow it though :).

      Figure Devils will be in finals as shocking as that sounds way they match up w/ remaining teams. Otherwise Grubaur leads Capitals to SCF. Tampa I think is a bit more likely than Boston to make Finals… I’m pretty sure West will win the Stanley Cup whoever makes it from Nashville, Knights, JEts, Kings, Sharks most likely in that order w/ Ducks having outside shot. Devils are probably my dark horse in the East. Kings winning wouldn’t be a dark horse since they won as 8th seed or last seed or whatever already :). Knights won division so them winning isn’t really a shock if get over them being expansion team. I don’t think Avalanche can win missing E-JOhnson their best D-man or they would be a nice dark horse. Ducks have been good for a long time so if they won its more like finally or Sharks ;). I’m not a Nashville fan, just don’t like how Jets match up against them so think they would make least WCF… To repeat making a Cup final is really hard so they could easily lose out to Knights or Kings or Sharks etc…

      • Nj beats Tampa?

      • I think the Devils can edge out TAmpa especially if their goalie gets hurt as it seems to happen every post season or a key player or two :). Its not like Devils are going to sweep them it will be a tough series for them. I think Devils wanted to lose the final game of season to play Boston or even TAmpa… They might have won the season series or felt they played them hard. I was mostly thinking they would play Boston in 1st round since Florida had no reason to win that game. Which would have been ugly since they are mad about I think its Marchant who hit Johansson who missed like 40 games.

        There always an upset or two if not more in 1st round or later. Figure Devils were in 1st place for a decent amt of time then slid down as Schneider got hurt or some others did/struggled. Tampa has a young goalie who seemed to run out of gas during season. He might have talent, though that isn’t enough see many win Vezina only to get bounced in 1st round. You need character like in the movie The Hustler. Tampa was looking like couldn’t be beat early in season so they are a streaky team. IF they don’t get a win streak going at right time they will lose to anybody. I just think Devils match up well against every team from Penguins down the line… Maybe Capitals would give them a tough time since they seemed to tank that last game to avoid them :).

  5. Know I really didn’t see Karlsson being traded until it came out that there was a deal close to being done at the deadline that would have sent Karlsson to a Western Conference team. Couldn’t it increase Karlssons value on the trade market if the Sens did sign him to an 8 year extension?
    Although I still think that it would be a huge mistake and a really bad message from the team to the Sens fans if Karlsson is traded.

  6. I believe montreal needs to get rid of all coaching staff minus Julien, so right from the pro scouts u can’t draft or find players of any talent an we wonder why we suck. If those pro scouts did there job correctly they would have knower we could have used Shea Theodore far more then a 6th line big body for nothing McCarron, an that’s 1 example very frustrating for a long time Habs fan that’s for sure..

    • Agreed. I don’t think Julien is the problem, but bad scouting, a poor farm system and an abysmal penalty kill sure are big parts of it!

      • I honestly believe MB should b on a extremely short leash, how long has b the GM in mtl ??, honestly what or how has he improved our club??. If thinking that Byron froese Brett learnout Daniel carr an McCarron r good young players moving forward what a joke. I might has well send my resume to Geoff Molson. They need to give there heads a shake an do what’s right or we will b at the bottom of the league just like the leafs were for the last decade an that ain’t no joke…

    • How long before Vigneault becomes coach of the Habs again?

      • Would seriously be amazing if it went Therrien-Julien-Vigneault twenty years after it was Vigneault-Therrien-Julien

  7. My RANT!!! it snowed in Winnipeg November 1st and we’ve had snow on the ground every single day since then and it now about 5 and a half months later!!!!! Give me a BREAK! Get lost! I’m tried.
    I’m going for another visit to Florida or Mexico in Puerto Vallarta they play the Hockey games on the TV in the bars and restaurants.
    A margarita, T-shirt and shorts doesn’t sound like a Hockey atmosphere to me; but I think I have to challenge that notion.

    • sounds like perfect hockey atmosphere to me

    • first world problems!

  8. There was rumour (who knows if even 1% true) but that Pacioretty for Toffoli was on the table, but that Bergevin wanted more, in terms of a draft pick, as well.

    That seems unlikely, but in case it was true and the Kings lose in the first round, if I were MB, I’d try and do Pacioretty for Toffoli and make it work however possible.

    I don’t think Toffoli is a 1C on a good team, but he’d easily be the best the Habs would have.

    • That would be a horrible trade for Kings since Toffoli has more ability and upside… Besides Max is coming off surgery I don’t even want him… I thought the deal was Pearson w/ another player like Muzzin or Martinez they wanted though…

  9. Rangers can have Forbort for Hayes if they want to do that trade ;). Haha he often plays w/ Drew so they can pretend he is a top 4 D-man… While Hayes will be great on Kings playing wing and Center ;). Sure they would least want a Martinez though that was could awkward given he scored that OT GWG or whatever vs. Rangers to seal Cup :). I’d be sad if they lost Muzzin since he is probably their best D-man by a long mile after Drew. I don’t think anybody wants Dion so I wont even mention him or pretend he is really a top pair guy or anything but sloppy fifths by now ;). He had so much hype, a big year or so where scored like 20 goals… Then its just like something clicked in the wrong direction starting a steep decline but salary increased :).

  10. Lundqvist and 2nd to Philly for Sanheim and Elliot

    watching PITTS whoop Philly tonight…they need King Hank….AND with Filppula off the books and Elliot now on NYR…..it gives Philly the cover they need……

    Elliot and Gorgie can man the pipes for NYR

    I wouldn’t do it but Philly needs a goalie …sheesh….

    • Penguins are a bad or weak road team… So Flyers will have to win their games at home to avoid getting swept :). I think Florida would have been a much tougher series w/ their goalies and overall talent… I kinda hate Flyers, glad they don’t have a mascot or would hate it too :). Problem for Phily is they had the 3 headed monster in goal… So if a guy don’t play well everybody wants to start one of the other guys. That makes it real hard to play as a goalie looking over shoulder or feeling will get the hook. Last year Nashville’s goalie did so bad against Penguins in SCF they had people calling for Saros or Soros or whatever his name :).

      I’m Shocked Flyers even made playoffs, they really had no business being there. Anytime they make playoffs it seems they suck in net or have serious issues… YOu had that crazy Russian who thought he heard voices from space after that big insane contract ;). I got old fantasy notes talking about ESche :). I forget if they had Cechmanek or if that was just the Kings off hand hehe. Flyers got rid of Mason who they blamed a lot on who only played that big game beating Kings this year that can remember ;). I probably find Flyers vs. Penguins least interesting of all the 1st round match ups ;). Least I wont have to hear about that HS for 50% of the EC games like I would if they made it w/ Tampa though ;). No offense to them but I don’t follow college or HS hockey. I used to watch some Bean Cup from Boston teams growing up when got a real good local boston station that had lots of quality content ;). I don’t watch little league or any of that stuff… I used to watch the college softball all time when was in Olympics since liked Cat Osterman among others who often were in their World Series ;).