Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 1, 2018
Latest on Evander Kane, John Carlson and the Sedins in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
COULD THE SHARKS RE-SIGN KANE AND BUY OUT MARTIN?
THE ATHLETIC: On Friday, Kevin Kurz dipped into his mailbag to answer some questions from San Jose Sharks fans. To his knowledge the Sharks haven’t engaged in contract talks with pending free agent left wing Evander Kane. All indications are both sides will wait until after the season. Kurz guesses Kane’s next deal could be between six-seven years at probably around $7 million annually. Given how well Kane’s played since joining the Sharks, Kurz thinks they’ll find a way to get something done.
As for contract buyouts, Kurz speculates defenseman Paul Martin could be the only candidate. He has a year remaining on his contract with a $4.85-million cap hit. A buyout would save the Sharks over $2.8 million in salary-cap space, which could be put toward a major salary addition this summer. The improved play of winger Mikkel Boedker likely means he won’t be a buyout candidate.
Kurz doesn’t rule out the possibility of veteran forward Eric Fehr re-signing an affordable deal with the Sharks if he plays well upon returning from a lower-body injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s been a terrific addition for the Sharks thus far. If he plays well for them in the postseason, they’ll make a significant effort to re-sign him, provided his asking price isn’t ridiculous. I concur with Kurz that he’ll likely get around $7 million annually on a long-term deal. As per Cap Friendly, the Sharks have over $60.4 million committed to 20 players. Buying out Martin reduces it to nearly $57 million. That’s plenty of room for a lucrative deal for Kane or perhaps someone else (John Tavares?) via free agency.
SHOULD THE LEAFS PURSUE CARLSON?
THE ATHLETIC: In his recent mailbag segment, James Mirtle was asked about the possibility of the Toronto Maple Leafs perhaps pursuing Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson via free agency this summer. While the Capitals are expected to try and re-sign Carlson, he feels the Leafs could be at the front of the line if he opts to go through the free-agent interview period leading up to July 1. Mirtle feels signing Carlson would be costly, perhaps at minimum $7-million annually, but he would address the Leafs’ pressing need for a top right-handed defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming Carlson become a UFA, he would be a more affordable option for the Leafs than chasing Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson via trade this summer or free agency next year, or trying to sign Drew Doughty if he decides to part ways with the Los Angeles Kings next summer as a free agent. That’s also assuming Leafs management doesn’t get stupid by engaging in a needless pursuit of New York Islanders center John Tavares if he opts for free agency in July.
SEDINS DECISION COMING IN TWO WEEKS
THE PROVINCE: On Friday, Jason Botchford reported long-time Vancouver Canucks stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin expect to let everyone know what their future plans are within the next couple of weeks. They’re expected to meet with management to determine their roles if they decide to return for another season. The 37-year-old twins are eligible for unrestricted free agent status on July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sooner the better for Canucks management, as Cap Friendly indicates they have over $54.5 million invested in 20 players for 2018-19. If the Sedins are comfortable with second- or third-line minutes and willing to accept reduced salaries, they’ll be re-signed for one more season. If they opt for retirement or to play elsewhere, it’ll leave the Canucks with considerable cap space to re-sign key players and perhaps make significant additions via trade or free agency.