NHL Rumor Mill – April 4, 2018

by | Apr 4, 2018 | Rumors | 41 comments

Latest speculation on Tyler Seguin and Erik Karlsson plus updates on the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.

Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin could keep an eye on John Tavares’ contract situation. (Photo via NHL Images)


TSN: During Tuesday’s “Insider Trading” segment, Pierre LeBrun speculated Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin could be closely watching how New York Islanders captain John Tavares’ contract situation plays out this summer. Tavares is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, while Seguin is a year away from UFA eligibility.

It’s believed Seguin could receive “north of $10 million” annually on his next contract. Considering the focus this season on Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty (like Seguin, both are a year away from UFA status), LeBrun found it curious there wasn’t as much attention paid to Seguin’s status, though he won’t be under the radar much longer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Seguin’s linemate Jamie Benn is the Stars highest-paid player at $9.5 million per season. If they want to retain Seguin, however, they might have little choice but to pay him more than Benn on a long-term extension. Fortunately for the Stars, they already have core players such as Benn, Ben Bishop, John Klingberg and Alexander Radulov already under long-term deals and can easily afford a big raise for Seguin. If the Stars fail to reach the playoffs this season (Update: They already have) there could be some changes afoot this summer but it’s doubtful Seguin, their most consistent performer, will be part of them. 


LeBrun also believes the Buffalo Sabres will be worth watching in the offseason, as he feels first-year general manager Jason Botterill could be ready to make some tangible changes. Center Jack Eichel won’t be going anywhere but LeBrun wonders if Botterill might listen to offers for center Ryan O’Reilly or forward Sam Reinhart. He doesn’t feel there’s a real motivation to move either guy but if there’s a team willing to overpay for either guy perhaps the Sabres will listen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A team like the Montreal Canadiens, with plenty of salary cap space and a dire need for a top-line center, could be very interested in O’Reilly, who lacks no-trade protection on his contract. Botterill could be reluctant to part with O’Reilly or Reinhart but I concur with LeBrun that he could be willing to at least listen to offers this summer. 


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators captain Erik Karlsson picking up the puck at the end of the club’s final home game of the season has fueled speculation this could be his final home game as a Senators. Karlsson downplayed the gesture but Garrioch believes it will take a while before the all-star defenseman’s future is settled. While Karlsson was in play leading up to this season’s trade deadline, he’s indicated his willingness to stay and the club hopes to re-sign the blueliner, who’s a year away from eligibility for unrestricted free agent status. The two sides cannot open contract discussions until July 1, but it’s believed the Karlsson camp could seek an eight-year extension worth between $80 million to $100 million.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Pierre LeBrun’s appearance yesterday on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 discussing Karlsson’s future. Asked if the Vancouver Canucks might get into the bidding if the Senators attempt to trade the blueliner this summer, LeBrun said he hasn’t heard them being part of that mix. However, there could be new teams that express interest in Karlsson if he hits the trade block. He pointed out the Vegas Golden Knights came the closest to landing him at the trade deadline, while the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators were also among the deadline suitors.

Nichols also cited Elliotte Friedman’s Tuesday appearance on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 discussing the clubs that could aggressively pursue a Karlsson trade this summer. He wouldn’t be surprised if the Golden Knights revisit their interest and also wondered if the New York Rangers might take a run at him. Friedman also doesn’t rule out a new team we previously hadn’t heard of being linked to Karlsson jumping into the bidding.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everything Karlsson does between now and July 1 will be parsed for any hint of his future plans. He will remain the biggest name potentially available in this summer’s trade market. Once the playoffs end in mid-June, we can expect the speculation to really ramp up.

I think some of the teams that pursued him at the trade deadline could revisit their interest. With the salary cap projected to reach at least $80 million for next season, I daresay there could be a handful of new clubs that could also express interest in Karlsson. I don’t believe the Canucks will be among them as they’re a rebuilding team and might not be on Karlsson’s list of preferred trade destinations.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Rangers do. While they’re obviously rebuilding, we cannot fully dismiss the possibility that they explore a Karlsson acquisition. 


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites the appearances yesterday of Darren Dreger on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 and Elliotte Friedman on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 talking about what the Vancouver Canucks might do with their cap space now that the Sedin twins have decided to retire at season’s end. Both speculate the club could be players in this summer’s free-agent market but doubts they’ll pursue big-ticket talent. Instead, they suggest the Canucks could consider short-term options. 

THE ATHLETIC: Jason Brough also wondered what the Canucks will do with the cap space they would’ve invested in the Sedins. He cautions that adding an elite player such as John Tavares or Erik Karlsson would be very expensive. Such an addition also wouldn’t ensure the Canucks would become a good team, noting the fact Tavares’ Islanders and Karlsson’s Senators will miss the playoffs this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, the Canucks could make a monster bid for Tavares or try to acquire Karlsson via trade and re-sign him to a long-term extension. However, I doubt very much either scenario takes place. I don’t believe Tavares or Karlsson would be keen to join any rebuilding team. If they want to change clubs, they’re likely to target Stanley Cup contenders or a playoff contender with the potential to become a Cup champion one day.

I expect the Canucks will be busy in the trade and free-agent markets, but it’ll be for one or two affordable veterans on short-term contracts to help take the burden off their promising youngsters. 



  1. ROR is not agreeing to go to Montreal where he will be expected to be a #1 center with 80 points. He could play a solid 2way game pop in 60 points and Montreal would boo him

    • Assuming the Sabres were to trade ROR to Montreal, he’d have no say in the matter. He lacks no-trade protection.

      • Regardless of all that, what do the Habs have that anyone wants, besides a high 1st rounder & a tonne of second rounders, which are probably nothing the Sabres want?

      • My bad I thought he had a say…
        To clear that cap they might take a prospect and a 2nd….

      • Why wouldn’t he go to Montreal? You don’t know hockey if you think the Habs are that bad of a team and wasn’t the fact the they were major injuries all year. They won the division the yr before, just had bad luck this yr, the same can be said for those praising sakic who did nothing but the avs improved greatly because bounces went their way this yr

      • Wow

    • Other than trading their 1st rounder (which they SHOULDNT DO), what can MTL really offer up for O’Reilly ? a Pacioretty for O’Reilly deal would just be a lateral move for Buffalo that wouldn’t help their case at all, and I doubt MP would waive his NTC to go to Buffalo

      IF the Rangers add Karlsson to a defense that has Shattenkirk, Lundqvist would probably check himself into the loony bin by the all-star break after undergoing a streak of 50 straight games that the Rangers give up 50 shots…

      • Max Patch doesn’t have no trade protection. Get your facts straight before you decide to chin in with your opinion

      • if the Rangers trade for Karlsson it’ll be Rangers fans in the loony bin,watching Groundhog Day again….after all those deals to get picks and prospects and younger player,i really doubt that they would follow that same path by trading a ton of them for a soon to be 28 year old with a lot of wear and tear on him…Karlsson would fit on more of a “win now” team,which the Rangers ain’t

    • There are plenty of Tim Horton’s up there…. might be a match made in heaven

  2. Ottawa is second last in the standings and good chance they stay there with only 2 games remaining, if they get all the wrong bounces they would be pushed back to 6th overall pick, I don’t think they send that pick to Colorado.
    I wonder is there a trade to be made that get their own 1st round pick back from Colorado? What else would Colorado need to give up to get Karlsson?
    Last night Boston loss to TB and I’m ok with it because the playoff positions are not set and there is one team that I definitely don’t want Boston to play in the first round and that’s Pittsburgh who call still fall to the second wild card spot and if that’s the case by all means TB you can have them.
    Random thought I wonder if the NHL should allow a team x (5) amount of icing in a game then after that it’s a 2 minute minor each time for delay of game. Would it speed up the game and create more offense.
    Playoff coming soon still staying with my prediction Boston over Winnipeg in 6. My upset will be Nashville out in the 1st round.

    • If im the avs im probably not trading that pick. 2019 is going to be a deep draft and after the sens trade duchene and karelson they probably wont fare any better next year!

      • If Ott doesn’t give up their 1st this year which appears obvious next seasons has just as good a chance of being 1st overall in the lottery.

        Ott is a mess.

        Does anyone see Duchene agreeing to stay in Ott with UFA status a little over a year away?

      • I’m calling now ott is contending for playoffs next year.

      • Ott is not a mess striker you have no idea what you’re talking about! If you haven’t noticed in today’s nhl bad luck can decide a teams season pretty quick, the avs had a horrible yr and sakic did really nothing to improve them yet they are battling for a playoff spot. The Habs won the division last yr but were riddled with injury and just bad luck this yr and look at the difference

      • Wow

    • With Barrie, Girard, Timmons & Malkar all offensive D & Barrie the only 1 fully developed having just played his 404th NHL regular season game, Zadorov years from full development; 220 reg season games & serious untapped offensive potential, + Johnson locked up long-term I don’t see such a scenario playing out.

      Colorado is a very thrifty team working on a tight budget, Karlsson is about to be overpaid by someone by about 2 to 3 mil a year way too much & for far too long a term at those monies for it to be Colorado.

      Nemeth has also been a great addition, thanks to Dallas, he has really helped stabilise their top 4 his defensive game & penalty killing have been exceptional.

      • Zaradov is basically a bust for what he was touted defense man nowadays are developing much quicker, you really need to get out of the 80s

      • Wo…. yup

  3. Dallas may not be mathematically eliminated but they play Anaheim & LA back to back on Friday & Saturday 2 other teams battling for their playoff lives.

    Colorado has SJ & StL; this will be a huge game, & Colorado only needs 1 loser point to keep Dallas out of the playoffs. The loss of their #1 Dman Johnson yet again with a broken patella & Varlamov is weighing huge. Bernier dropped the ball Sunday in the 3rd after playing great in the 1st 2 periods against Anh.

    StL has Chi at home Wed, then Chi & Col on the road Friday & Saturday.

    Dallas’s odds are approxiametly 7%.

  4. i could see VAN taking it easy with their rebuild, going with Havlat and Gaudette as their top 2 centers, and building around Boeser.
    I bet they re-sign Vanek, and wouldn’t be surprised if they trade Tanev at the draft

    then sprinkle in other young players and sprinkle in a couple of other veterans on short contracts

    • As much as I like Gaudette, I can see management and coaching staff wanting him to spend some quality time in Utica where he will be properley developed and get top minutes.

      I hope Canucks dont go after aging vets such as Bozak. 1 year deals sure but Bozak and company wont be looking to do those deals just yet.

      As much as I like Tavares and know he could help for atleast the next few years, its years 4-7 that i would dread seeing.

      I can see them maybe taking on other teams cap rich deals such as Hagelin out of Pitts or Innes out of Min. Those teams have RFAs that need signing and cant with these guys still on the books.

    • Don’t be so sure about Vanek returning to Vancouver. He’s been solid to pretty good for the Jackets since coming over and the Jackets certainly could use him for the next couple of seasons to stabilize their lines while prospects develop in Cleveland. While I won’t try to make predictions, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if the Jackets resign Vanek and Cole, this off season.

      • Paul… I don’t know the cap situation in cbus but Vanek could be a 3 -4 mil guy and Cole the same on the open market… cbus got the funds for that?

      • Wow…….you don’t know much Chrisms

    • Oh havlat. My ea sports fav…

  5. i could see VAN taking it easy with their rebuild, going with Havlat and Gaudette as their top 2 centers, and building around Boeser.
    I bet they re-sign Vanek, and wouldn’t be surprised if they trade Tanev at the draft

    then sprinkle in other young players and sprinkle in a couple of other veterans on short contracts

  6. Spezza coming off the books will help the Stars too. (a curious omission)

    My gut says Karl stays in Ottawa. The owner is cheap. The owner is broke. But, there’s no way he can sell this to anyone or renew confidence in the Lebretton initiative if the team is a steamy pile of hot garbage. 65 is a secure investment even at 10-12 per.

    It gets done.

    • Spezza still has 1 year remaining at both 7.5 in cap hit & salary. He is a buyout candidate as Hitchcock doesn’t like this player & if he stays in Dallas for another year it’s getting worse, not better.

      Dallas has a ton cap space this summer with or without Spezza. None of their 3 meaningful RFA’s Janmark, Shore or Johns is getting a huge raise all look to be bridge candidates or reasonable long-term contracts if they opt for security instead of buying time to cash in.

      It would be a miracle to see Valeri Nichushkin return this summer. I wouldn’t willingly play for Hitchcock, players hate this guy. The prospect kitty other than Heiskanen & Nichushkin is very weak & there under 21 & under group playing in the NHL is zero.

      Dallas will have to get creative in the UFA market but Hitchcock limits the daw significantly. Great place to play & live though.

      • How do you know hitch doesn’t like speza? Quit talking out of your a**

  7. There have been reports going back to last summer that the Buffalo dressing room is divided into to factions. ROR’s & Eichel’s. Players that didn’t like each other or see eye to eye have certainly played together often but this is a mess.

    How can Buffalo be this bad for so long? 2 playoff appearances in the last 11 years, back to back, 8 years ago. Lowest scoring team 3 times in the last 5 years 5th & tied for 6th worst the other 2 years.

    • bring back Mogilny and LaFontaine….last good Buffalo team….minus the cup run with Peca & Hasek which was a fluke roster since they bombed after that.

  8. I’m pretty sure the Stars are already eliminated even if they win out… Maybe I added things up wrong though. I think Blues play Avalanche on what is the final saturday of the season. Hence one of those teams would get 2 points which I think eliminates Dallas even if they won out. Though I read on other sites how Dallas is still alive I’m not sure if they factored in that last game.

    I liked Seguin, I never had a problem w/ him as a person or player… I remember they went after him for him writing stuff on twitter so I think he quit that… Just shows there is no free speech, always some worthless entity who will attack over 1 word or line out of thousands of them. Paying him more than Benn in some ways is a slap in face though… Yet if he gets 10M instead of 9.5M I don’t think its a big deal… IF they pay him like 11M it might be a problem. I’d take him on almost any team if he walks :). HE would fit right in on Vegas likely as their 1st line center or winger ;).

    I thought I read how King Karl wasn’t going on the final road trip for Senators… IF he don’t play another game this season it seems a sure thing they trade him at draft or so? Since why worry about him getting injured if plan to keep him. HE does have the off ice issues which might be a reason for them letting him stay home/etc.

    Ryan has a cap hit of 7.5M for Buffalo which might deter people… Is he worth that kinda money is the question they will have to answer. I think he has his positives though is about 20-28 goals w/ like 50-60 points… I guess if he was playing in Chicago they would pay him 10.5M for 58 point season if his name was Toews :). So if compare him to that minus the Cups it don’t look like that bad a deal :). Islanders if they lost Tavares would be a nice landing spot for him ;). He can live in NY w/ a bit warmer weather though might not have his summers off :).

  9. I can see Botterill trading ROR but with the second half that Reinhart has had I think he earned a spot as a core player, wouldn’t have said that the first half of the season.

    I think the locker room is split on who the leader of the team is Eichel or ROR and we know which will win out so it all adds up to a ROR trade if Botterill gets the right offer.

    Personally I like ROR…top face off man and good for 20-25 goals a year but Botterill didn’t bring him in so I can see him moving him.

    Botterill has to add 2-3 pieces in free agency this year besides a top 4 from the draft. If they win the lottery then you go hard after a JVR or Neal if either goes to market and Dahlin is added to the D. If they don’t get the number 1 then you go after Carlson and take the top available forward on their draft chart. I can honestly see 10 new faces on this team next year.

    • I would like to see Calgary trade TJ Brodie for ROR. Buffalo would get a good puck moving defenceman, and the flames get a second line Center pushing Backlund down to the third line.

  10. Tyler Seguin is a great player and I am still bummed Boston traded him but there is know way he is a 10. million dollar player. If Brad Marchand is 6.2 than Seguin is maybe 7.5.Tyler is two years younger and has more skill maybe but does not have the heart. Some team will pay up but in my opinion it’s an over payment.

    • Cap going up… a top center… he should get in that double digit range. Seguin counters with Toews at 10.5.

      • Seguin is worth more than Marchand! Not really a comparison

  11. IF MTL needs a center will they give a 2nd rd for Spezza?

    Win Win for both teams?

    Then MTL can make a pitch for Statsny (3 yr deal) as well to solidify their top 2 center spots for at least next year and try to draft a good center…..


    • Bbb…you matching the Masters this week? Should be some great golf…Oui,oui!

      Seguin better than Marchand….Haha…your a funny guy.
      Like, you amuse me…type funny guy.

  12. I do see the NYR’s in the mix if not the favorite to get the top 5 guy to put NYR hockey back on top next yr. they have a strong core ,they have tons of top picks prospects and will overpay..
    Hanks best bud: comments outta HANk is this aint a years to rebuild …. he wants wins again next yr.
    trades for Karllson & a top center ( RNH or Seguin) plus F A signings : Van rymsdyk Grabs with tons of cap space this team will be back not just a bubble team to make PO’s but a top 5 to win it all….