Latest on the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets – May 15, 2018

by | May 15, 2018 | Rumors | 46 comments

Big moves could be coming for the Carolina Hurricanes plus a look at how the Columbus Blue Jackets could address their depth at center in your NHL rumor mill.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner remains a prime trade candidate. (Photo via NHL Images)


FRS NETWORK HOCKEY: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Bob McKenzie telling Toronto’s TSN 1050 that he believes everyone on the current Carolina Hurricanes roster, except Sebastian Aho, could be available this summer. He feels winger Jeff Skinner and defenseman Justin Faulk are “very much in play.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the recent management and coaching changes, a roster shakeup seems inevitable for the Hurricanes. While they may be willing to listen to offers for all but Aho, it doesn’t mean they’re willing to move most of those players.

Skinner and Faulk have frequently surfaced in recent trade chatter and seem the most likely to be dealt. As per Cap Friendly, Skinner has a year remaining on his contract ($5.275-million annual average value) with a full no-movement clause, but perhaps he’s willing to waive it to go to a contender. Faulk, meanwhile, has two years left on his contract ($4.833-million AAV) but lacks no-trade protection, giving the Hurricanes more trade options. Both will attract plenty of interest in this summer’s trade market.

Jordan Staal’s hefty contract ($6 million per season through 2022-23) makes him very difficult to trade unless the Canes agree to absorb a chunk of his cap hit. Justin Williams has a year left on his contract ($4.5 million) and could be enticing to a playoff contender.Victor Rask slumped big time this season and the Canes might be keen to shed his $4-million cap hit.

 I don’t see them moving youngsters such as Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Teuvo Teravainen and Elias Lindholm. Sure, they could listen to offers but I think they’d prefer to retain those guys. 


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Steve Gorten believes the Blue Jackets are unlikely to pursue a big-name center via trade or free agency this summer. The need to re-sign winger Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to expensive long-term extensions means acquiring a center “isn’t feasible unless they’re willing and able to put together a lucrative trade offer.”

He thinks their best bet is to hope Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky and Lukas Sedlak “bounce back from sub-par seasons and a prospect such as Alexandre Texier or Jonathan Davidsson emerges in training camp, as Pierre-Luc Dubois did in September.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $61 million invested in 19 players, the Blue Jackets at first glance have sufficient room to re-sign restricted free agents such as Boone Jenner, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Ryan Murray and still have enough space to pursue an upgrade at center via free agency or a trade.

But as Gorten observes, doing so could hamper efforts to re-sign Panarin and Bobrovsky, who are eligible next July to become unrestricted free agents, as well as defenseman Zach Werenski, who will become a restricted free agent. Unless management finds a way to get creative via the trade market, they’ll have to stick with their current centers for another season. 



  1. Maybe Columbus can sign Thornton to a one year deal.

    • Won’t happen. The Jackets knew of their center problems last off season and didn’t make Thornton an offer.

  2. Canes need an upgrade in net, that’s clear. While the goalie market in the off-season is usually soft and you can get a decent one for a draft pick or as a UFA, that doesn’t appear a way to gain playoff success. Top-tier goaltending is necessary. Of the four starting goalies remaining in the playoffs right now, three are nominated for the Vezina.

    If the Canes want a top goalie, they’ll have to package one of those young studs like Slavin or Lindholm (or more than one) to get him.

    • Whoops, my error. Rinne isn’t in the final four. Pre-coffee brainfart! 🙂

      That said, I think the need for an elite goalie to succeed in the playoffs is still true and is more rule than exception. (e.g. Fleury’s GAA and SV% were also elite this year, he was just injured)

    • Well that’s not happening. When was the last time a goalie of any substance was moved for a really good player? They move for picks, a solid goalie will yield a 1st but more often than not less. Slavin & Lindholm aren’t being moved for a goalie upgrade.

      In the summer the goalie market is fairly decent both with UFA goalies & potentially in trade. With another round of expansion close at hand, goalies can be had far cheaper than the cost your suggesting.

      Several teams have goalie issues to address this summer. Was with Grubauer who is up for contract renewal as an RFA due for a significant raise, NJ possibly with Kinkaid he is a UFA following next season. Buf has been rumoured to not be happy with Lehner, the only thing ailing Lehner is Buf. Then we have several solid UFA options, Hutton, Halak, Lehtonen, Bernier, Hutchinson, Hammond, Khudobin & several lesser lights Johnson, Pavelic, etc. 1 of these goalies will end up in Carolina & Slavin & Lindholm will still be there when they arrive.

      I have serious concerns about what is about to happen in Carolina & I have no faith in meddlesome owner Dudon who wants to play with his new toy & Don Waddell. I do like Dudley though but not high enough up the ladder to keep his 2 bosses in check.

      • Carolina should use their 2019 1st round pick as part of a trade for their future goalie. What do your think it would it take to get Grubauer or Samsonov from Washington?

      • Carolina badly needs an impact forward, I don’t see anyway they trade their pick.
        I agree with Striker that one of those UFAs will head to Carolina and who knows, Darling may have a bounce back year

      • I don’t think Was will move Samsanov, they have timed his ELC perfectly. If rumours for expansion are true & it happens in the summer of 2020, that makes Samsonov exempt.

        It might not even cost a 1st to acquire Grubauer, a 2nd & something might get it done.

        There are numerous possibilities. Was has cap issues even with the cap rising to 80 to 82 mil so Grubauer may be a luxury they just can’t afford.

        The goalie market is unique. Supply & demand summer to in season swings significantly. The supply in the summer is pretty solid but as soon as the puck drops no 1 wants to move goalie depth unless waivers force their hand. Most try to sneak a goalie down just before 23 man rosters are required.

      • I agree with Taz. Had Carolina not won the lottery & moved up so significantly, perhaps they would move have moved their pick but at #2 they select Svechnikov & no reason he can’t step straight into the NHL next season.

        Necas should step straight into the NHL next season as well & as soon as he’s ready for more responsibility he will climb the depth chart rapidly.

        In no particular order, Staal, Rask & Necas should be Carolina’s top 3 C next season & anyone of Aho, Lindholm; has played a ton of C, or Teravainen could play C if 1 of these players is injured or Necas isn’t ready. The question is does Ryan get resigned to play as the #4? Not ideally a checking C. Staal although he plays as Carolina’s #3 shut down C he also logs more ice time than any forward on this team as he logs all the hard minutes & plays both the PP & PK.

        If Skinner is moving & if he can’t be extended this summer then doing so makes sense he will be returning a decent bounty in trade.

      • Im not in favor of trading the 2nd pick this year. Thats why I said 2019 not 2018 pick. Im assuming the 2019 pick is not going to be a lottery pick and they could maximize its value now by not protecting it.

        Darling could bounce back but it doesn’t seem likely. They can fix his mechanics but he doesn’t seem to be able to put a bad goal or bad game behind him the way a number one goalie does. Last season was not all on him. Carolina’s Defensemen are the most talented they have ever had but they are young and make way to many mistakes. Im hoping Brind’Amour will tighten up the defensive system, especially when playing with a lead in the third period.

      • Goaltending market value always seems to be suppressed because of how often teams end up getting starters for next to nothing. Teams routinely trade good goalies simply because it’s the only position where hanging on to a even one extra high end player is nearly impossible for more than a couple of seasons.

        Since teams with an elite goalie are rarely shopping them, and when they are it’s usually because of a bad contract or bad season, it’s insanely rare to see a team end up trading a good young player for a goalie.

        Schneider was one of the few examples of a good young clear cut #1 goalies traded, and he cost the #6 overall pick. I don’t think there is any scenario where a more valuable goalie than Schneider (at the time of his trade), is moved this summer, and since I would say Slavin is more valuable than a #6 overall draft pick, I don’t see Carolina having to move Slavin to get a goalie. If they do they are overpaying.

      • Horvat went 9th, a little upside down dyslexia. Ha-ha!

        The highest price paid for a goalie recently would have been a 1st & 2nd paid by Col to acquire Varlamov from Was in the summer of 2011. Since then we have seen a few move for a 1st + something, Lehner & Andersen.

  3. George O if my memory serves me right you mentioned awhile back in a post to crism that you’ll be turning 80 in May. Happy Birthday George for the whole month of May. Hope you have or had a great day.

    • I second that emotion!

    • Agreed. George hope you are well we miss you, buddy. Loved your insight & opinions didn’t often agree but wouldn’t be any fun if we did, there would be very little to discuss.

    • Someone tipped the birthday wishes to me Caper, chrisms, Striker – many thanks, although seeing cards from family with that big frikken “80” didn’t exactly thrill me. On the other hand, I suppose it does beat the hell out of the alternative.

      While here I glanced through the posts and the only thing to catch my eye was your comment. Striker, about Dudon wanting to “play with his new toy.” I agree that the most successful franchises are those where the owner is seldom seen or heard (hello Eugene!) – BUT, right or wrong, I guess if these guys fork over the really BIG bucks that is their right. And it worked for Charlie Finley and George Steinbrenner – to name two :involved” owners (is Mario a “voice” in Pittsburgh?)

      • Mario has had his sway in the pens for both better and worse. He drove the selection of pouliot and that didn’t work. He mandated the trade for kovalev back in the Crosby head days. But mostly he picks good front office guys to do the work so he can high life it.

      • Oh. And we should all be so lucky to see those cards someday! I’m 35 and I’d be shocked if I ain’t lived over half my life so far.

      • Absolutely George.

        Congratulations on 80 years. That’s awesome. Here’s hoping you get 80 more.

  4. Off topic but wondering what you guys think the following RFAs get this year?

    1. William Karlsson
    2. Hertl
    3. Mantha
    4. Hellebyuck
    5. Trouba
    6. Nylander

    • Karlsson 6 years at 5.5.
      Hertl, 8 years at 5.75
      Mantha, bridged 2 years at 3.5 to 4.
      Hellebuyck 8 years at 6.5.
      Trouba? Who knows whats going to happen here? I hope he gets signed in Win 8 years at 7.85, might not be enough considering his leverage. Is Win going to make Trouba their highest paid player?
      Nylander 6 years at 6.75. Sacrifice a little term to save some cap space. Ideally, you would bridge him for 2 at around 5 & then sign for 8 at market value at that time.

      • Striker…I say he gets 9mx6. Then at 31/32 he gets another 6 years. Who knows what the cap will be then.

      • Trouba?

      • Very curious to see how this plays out. The most intriguing issue in play for me this summer. Still has more to give & is exceptional now, only going to keep getting better for several more years & then play at that level for almost another decade.

        This type of asset is incredibly rare, his combination of size & skills is the most sought-after commodity in the NHL.

      • On that list I think Karlsson and Trouba are the most interesting, as the rest have pretty clear precedents.

        Karlsson had such a huge year over his typical season, it will be interesting to see how Vegas tries to bring the value down from what a more pedigreed young player would expect on after a 40 goal year, while Karlsson’s group tries to leverage the current success as much as possible. The gap here could be the biggest.

        Trouba’s situation is less common that you would think at first glance. A majority of young D are signing value deals right out of ELC’s these days, and the last real good example of a bridge D who took as many steps forward as Trouba has is Subban who got $9M against a smaller cap. He also had a Norris for leverage, so it will be interesting to see how that unfolds. Winnipeg has so many value deals on their books that making Trouba and Laine the two highest paid players on the team in the within the next 12 months could will need to be a reality if they intend to keep them long term.

      • You think Trouba is getting 7.85 million a year? No way.

      • Trouba has the ability to dictate exactly how this is going to play out. Win used their leverage now he can use his. Trouba has arbitration rights. He can decline all offers elect arbitration, take a 2-year settlement & become a UFA following. Even on a 2 year deal in arbitration, he’s getting in or around 6 & on the open market, the bidding would easily exceed 8.

        That leverage means anyone acquiring him today wanting to sign him for 7 or 8 years is paying well over his current market at 24 with only 326 games of NHL regular season experience. He is already Win’s #1 & he is a legitimate #1 Dman today. He gets Hedman monies at a bare minimum again unless he takes an arbitration award.

        McDavid has reset the bar. Karlsson & Doughty if rumours are to be believed are looking for 11+ to sign extensions. Vlasic just got 8 years starting next season at 7 & he’s 31. Burns who is as 1 dimensional as they come got 8 years at 8 at 32.

        If given a choice of Vlasic, Burns or Trouba who do you want? I’ll happily take Trouba & pay.

      • Sorry, should read Trouba is already Win’s #2.

  5. Columbus has Dubois, Wennberg, Dubinsky & Sedlak at C. Foligno & Jenner can both play C if required due to injury. Columbus doesn’t need a C their top 2 are soon to be 20 & Wennberg turns 24 in September.

    • Dubi’s best days are behind him and he should be moved to the wing, 3rd or 4th line. Either Jenner or a resigned Letestu should take his place as Foligno is best on the wing.

  6. Striker, re: Trouba.

  7. Carolina is fine with Jordan Staal’s salary, he is one of Brind’Amours favorite players, and he is one of the top shutdown centers in the league. It wouldn’t make sense to trade Staal when Carolina is trying to fill a need for physical forwards and a center.

    Faulk should not be traded unless a good top 4 physical right handed defenseman is being returned in the trade. Larsson, Ristolainen, Trouba, etc. I would trade Fleury or Bean before Faulk. Slavin is not being traded.

    Carolina does not need to make a lot of changes to be a playoff team. Francis did a good job of trading for, drafting and developing young forwards that will be competing for NHL jobs next season. Carolina’s needs are a goalie, a physical defenseman and a power forward. They do not need another center to be a playoff team.

    I would sign Ward for two years and trade for, or sign, another younger goalie capable of being a starter. If Carolina were to keep Darling over Ward it would be a mistake driven by money and go against everything the Owner has been saying. Unfortunately, that makes it a good possibility they keep Darling.

    • I agree with you on Staal & Carolina’s roster with a few minor exceptions. Carolina will bring in another goalie this summer to play ahead of Darling if he falters again. I assume a veteran on a 2 year deal at or near 3, Halak may be a decent option there are several & Ward would qualify as well.

      I’m not sure they need to go outside the organization for a physical Dman. Hayden Fleury may have that skill as he develops, Faulk is a willing hitter, Slavin & Pesce have great size but don’t hit to hurt but play man to man exceptional well & will clear the crease.

      The day of the goon Dman is essentially over. Carolina has 1 of the best D’s in the NHL & it’s exceptional young, they just choose to play hockey not punish people.

      I wouldn’t be moving Faulk yet either although something will have to give at D in Carolina before the next round of expansion or Carolina will need to pay Seattle to avoid 1 of their solid Dman.

      • Striker, Just to be clear I am not in favor of trading Faulk nor do I think Carolina is. I’m just responding to the numerous trade rumors involving Faulk being traded for forwards and lefthanded defenseman. These rumors don’t make sense from Carolina’s perspective. Carolina does not have defensive depth on the right side like they do on the left side. In my opinion the only scenario in which Faulk could be traded would be if Carolina obtained a player to fill the void created by losing Faulk. So why trade Faulk? In my mind the only scenario that would even remotely make sense would be if Carolina was trying to pair a more defensive defenseman that could play in the top 4 with Hanifin or Slavin.

        I’m not sure how you equate a physical defenseman with “goon”. My definition of a physical defenseman is a defenseman that is hard to play against, plays the body to separate the forward from the puck in lieu of always using a poke check, clears the crease, blocks shots, willing to be the first into the boards to gain possession, and protects his goalie. That’s not a goon trying to hurt someone. What is a dying breed is a defenseman that can’t skate well enough to maintain gap control in todays speed game or a defenseman that can’t possess the puck and transition out of his own end.

        I agree Carolina’s D is very talented but as a group they did not meet expectations last year. Part of the reason was inexperience, part of it was playing too aggressive in the offense end late in games, part of it was not playing physical enough and part of it was not having the luxury of making mistakes without the puck ending up in their net.

    • Carolina will be the most interesting team to watch this summer. Carolina seems constructed to be a team that just needs to stay the course and have some faith in their talent with minor tweaks to a few areas of concerns without over spending, but they are a team that seemed to make a lot of knee jerk reactions to their front office, so who knows how big a shake up we could see coming.

      Winnipeg, Tampa and Washington are all in the conference finals, so unless Vegas does the unthinkable (which they are proving is very possible) we are likely going to a get a cup winner that rewards a GM for patience despite different levels of disappointment in their recent history.. Or maybe we get a winner that makes it look like building a team is easy, and you can do it in just 1 year with spare parts and duct tape, and whose highest paid skaters aren’t even on the roster.

      • Well said Danny, I completely agree.

  8. Faulk would be another good option for Rangers. They need another top 4 right D. 2 years at 5.5 while younger guys develop would be perfect fit. What would return be?

    • Do you not see Pionk in a top 4 role next season for NYR? He played a ton through his 28 games at the end of the season. His TOI/GP finished at 22:23 good for 2nd in NYR behind McDonagh at 23:55.

      That would have the top 4 looking something like this.

      Staal, Pionk.
      Skjei, Shattenkirk.

      • I’m actually one of the few that thinks DeAngelo has a higher ceiling, but both them + Gilmour aren’t fully developed. They where given extensive looks and played ok. I truly believe Rangers will be looking to win during Lundquist last few years. You even mentioned yourself they should add a vet. Faulk is in his prime. As I said, depending on the cost as far as youth. I can see them making 1 big trade for a guy like him. Doubt they’d have to give up what it would cost for a Trouba or Hamilton. Again, a lot will depend on how the Tavares sweepstakes pan out.

  9. The only move needed in Carolina is to move to Quebec!

    • Prior to Dundon buying the team I had Carolina moving at the end of the next lockout due to the lease deal they have. Under Dundon’s purchase agreement with the NHL, Dundon his stuck in Carolina for at least 7 more years.

      That potentially puts Florida front & centre to be the next to move but I think these 2 teams are far more likely to relocate to within the US. Florida losses the most money in the NHL, Car is 2nd but if not for their sweetheart lease would easily lose the most.

      I’m not saying Quebec won’t get a team but very unlikely. If they were, their best chance got vetoed by the NHL board of governors in the Vegas expansion. Unfortunate as it would make a great NHL market again but you have Kansas City, Houston & Portland. With Seattle coming if 1 of these 2 teams FLO or Car ended up in Portland that means Nas moves to the east I assume.

      Nothings happening before the next lockout but something could give potentially coming out of it but not necessarily. This expansion revenue is really helping & the NHL’s 1st real US cable package is right around the corner. That could give Flo & Car the ability to survive especially with more concessions by players to owners & better revenue sharing coming in the next CBA.

    • Steven, The only thing I will say is you are consistent.

    • Carolina Hurricanes sold for $420 million.
      Carolina Panthers Sold for 2.2 Billion.

      Carolina owner invites fans from upper bowl to sit in lower bowl so it doesn’t look so empty.

      Safe to say that Carolina isn’t a hockey city. Pull the plug!

      • Bcola, You are right Carolina is not a hockey city. Out of curiosity were you the mayor of Detroit from 2001-2002.

      • Unofficial mayor. Haha.

  10. Maybe the Hurricanes should look to Sparks with the Marlies for a future goalie. He has served a long apprenticeship and got better every year. He fits in with the age group of their team. This could help the Leafs because they need a right-handed defenseman so Sparks plus whatever picks and/or prospects it takes for Faulk or one of the younger guys?