NHL Rumor Mill – June 11, 2018

by | Jun 11, 2018 | Rumors | 54 comments

Latest on Erik Karlsson, John Carlson, Milan Lucic, Jeff Skinner and many more in your NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts”, Elliotte Friedman wondered if the Vegas Golden Knights might revisit their interest in Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. “They’ve got a ton of cap room, a boatload of flexibility and players from all over the league asking their agents about going there. It’s a destination.” The Golden Knights attempted to acquire Karlsson at the February trade deadline. One of the hang-ups was Vegas didn’t want to include promising Cody Glass. Friedman also suggests they could look at Washington’s John Carlson if he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Could the Vegas Golden Knights pursue Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson via free agency? (Photo via NHL Images)

Friedman also speculates the Golden Knights could prefer re-signing pending UFAs James Neal and David Perron to salaries within the range of Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith ($5-million annual cap hit) and Tomas Tatar’s $5.3 million. Same for restricted free agent William Karlsson. He thinks Perron could be kept on a short-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie recently speculated the Golden Knights could be aggressive in the trade and free-agent markets, with Karlsson and Carlson as possible targets. He also notes it’s too soon to say the Capitals could lose Carlson to free agency, though he will be expensive to re-sign, suggesting the Arizona Coyotes’ offer to Oliver Ekman-Larsson (believed to be eight years at $8.25-million annually) as a comparable. I think the Capitals will re-sign him, as his departure would leave a huge hole on their blueline.

As for Karlsson and Tavares, if they’re available, the Golden Knights could pursue them. No guarantee they’ll get either guy but I think they could be serious suitors.

The Golden Knights could probably get Perron re-signed on a short-term contract for around $5 million. There were reports earlier this season that Neal sought over $6 million per season. That could prove too expensive for a soon-to-be 31-year-old winger whose best seasons are in the past

Rumors claiming Edmonton Oilers left wing Milan Lucic requested a trade aren’t true, but Friedman believes Lucic and the club are working together to gauge interest around the league. Moving his big contract won’t be easy but the Oilers seem confident they can find a fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples weighed in on this, pointing out if the Oilers move Lucic before July 1 they won’t have to pay his $3.5-million bonus for 2018-19. He also suggests perhaps Lucic would drop his no-movement protection with his new team. While the Montreal Canadiens attempted to sign Lucic two years ago, Staples speculates he might prefer playing in a bigger, warmer market.

Regardless of where Lucic could end up, the decline in his stats this season is cause for concern. I think the Oilers could end up either retaining part of his annual cap hit or taking back a toxic contract to make this work. Failing that, they’ll have to include a heck of a sweetener to convince another club to take on Lucic’s full contract. 

The Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers could have interest in Carolina Hurricanes winger Jeff Skinner. Friedman also thinks a swap of Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling back to Chicago for Marian Hossa’s rights, with the Hurricanes retaining part of Darling’s salary, makes sense only to him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner has a no-movement clause but perhaps he’ll waive it to go to a player contender. The Panthers just missed the cut last season. The addition of Skinner could put them over the hump. 

Darling for Hossa is a creative scenario but I don’t think the Hurricanes will go that route unless they’ve got a suitable replacement lined up for Darling. And no, re-signing Cam Ward isn’t the appropriate option here.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blackhawks try to trade the all-but-retired Hossa’s rights to free up cap room. They’ll likely have to include a young player or draft pick in the deal. 

Friedman believes “Montreal is a stealth destination for unrestricted free-agent-to-be Jack Johnson.” He also muses over the possibility of a “sign-and-trade” scenario for Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this point in Johnson’s career, he should be considered a stopgap measure. The Canadiens should try to find more suitable options via trade or free agency. If they are interested in Johnson, he should only get a one-year contract for under $3 million

Friedman said Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman is “very much in play”. He speculates the Senators could try to recoup some draft picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Senators trade Hoffman, that might push center Matt Duchene toward free agency next year. He and Hoffman established good chemistry as linemates this season. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins have shown “legit interest” in Arizona Coyotes winger Max Domi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: But do the Coyotes have legit interest in trading Domi? For the right offer, probably, but is that offer coming from the Penguins? Time will tell. 

The trade market for Washington Capitals backup Philipp Grubauer begins with the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  With Braden Holtby firmly entrenched as the Capitals’ starting goalie, promising Ilya Samsonov waiting in the wings and with a big chunk of their cap space likely to be taken up re-signing John Carlson, the Capitals could trade Grubauer, a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. 

The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons believes the Islanders could make a pitch for Grubauer. However, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks thinks they could instead go after Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, rather than part with a first-round pick for Grubauer. 

While Howard is a year away from UFA status, the Wings don’t have anyone in their system ready yet to take over as their starting goalie. Unless they find a suitable replacement for Howard via trade or free agency, I doubt they’ll send him to the Isles or anyone else. 

After being scratched from Game 5 of the Winnipeg Jets second-round series against Nashville, defenseman Toby Enstrom informed Jets management he won’t be returning. Enstrom will become a UFA on July 1.

The Toronto Maple Leafs seek a third-line center, while the Tampa Bay Lightning need a right-shot defenseman.

Friedman’s also curious about what the New York Rangers will do with Vladislav Namestnikov, who’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Anthony Duclair and Tomas Jurco could be available, as well as Minnesota Wild forward Tyler Ennis.

The Buffalo Sabres won’t be trading the first-overall pick and the Carolina Hurricanes are likely to hang onto the second overall. Meanwhile, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is keeping everyone guessing over what he’ll do with the third overall pick. The Habs need centers and defensemen, and Bergevin could trade down to get what he wants if he wishes.

Friedman isn’t sure about the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes moving their first-round picks (fourth and fifth overall) and doesn’t think the Detroit Red Wings will move the sixth overall selection. Teams that could be willing to move include ” Vancouver (at seven), Edmonton (at 10) and possibly the Islanders (11 and/or 12).



  1. Lucic won’t be moving before July 1 why would a new team take an additional $3.5 m hit. In fact will be difficult period.

    Grubauer should be an aggressive target for a number of teams. He started the playoffs as the Caps number one.

    JVR and Bozak rattle and hum has been quiet

    • Sorry SS … I must have been typing at same time u were posting … didn’t mean to duplicate ur thoughts re paying Lucic SB before any trade

    • Definitely right on Grubauer.

      That said, if they are going to move a goalie for cap space reasons, would it really be a crazy idea for the Caps to move Holtby instead? IF they believe Ilya Samsonov is THAT good and that Grubauer was legitmately outplaying Holtby, why not re-up Grubauer and work Samsonov into the mix? In some ways your taking the chance that Grubauer’s season wasn’t a fluke and could be as good as Holtby for half the cost as much as Holtby’s playoff turnaround as being temporary.
      If that’s the gamble, the payoff is a kings ransom to a team that needs a number 1 calibre player with the history Holtby has.

      It seems stupid on the surface to move out a goalie who has shown he is a top end starter in this league – at 28 – but the prospects of additional cap space, a bunch of assets in return and the advantage of having existing depth at G sure make it something to think about.

      • Trading Holtby clears plenty of space for Carlson and he might actually bring back a 1st. Gruebour will not.

      • not a bad idea….can the caps offer Holtby to NYI for the 11th & 12th this year?

      • Goalies don’t have that value. 11 or 12 is probably it. Maybe a b prospect of some kind

  2. If the current odds for Ottw for SC’19 are 100-1…. what are the odds of VGKs having Karlsson Karlsson and Carlson??

    Re Lucic …as I mentioned yesterday …. take back best route for Ed …. and Katz has $’s …. so trade (with take-back) AFTER signing bonus paid 1/7.

    If Pens/Arz trade re:Domi …. I would think that the main piece coming back is Sheary

    Not sure what the balancing sundries would be

    IMO …. NYI going after Howard would be a mistake

  3. The Wings need to hold onto their 6th overall and hopefully draft Bouchard unless they can get a top pair defenseman who is pretty young.

    • Wings like their Swedish defencemen. I would think that they will be looking at Boquist not Bouchard.

  4. Thankfully 3 weeks less a day from July 1st, in between we get the draft, the buyout window opens & closes for most, so we will have something else to talk about soon.

    • Wondering if we are going to have a surprise or two in the buyout window?

  5. The Red Wings need to hold onto the 6th overall draft pick and select Evan Bouchard less they get a strong offer that includes a young upper side top pair dman.

  6. Send Lucic back to Boston for Backes, Oilers hold 1.2m per season. This would make the amount owing $24m per player. Oilers would have Backes 34yrs old for 3yrs and Boston Lucic 30yrs old for 5yrs. Basically Oilers would be paying for 1yr of Lucic services in Boston but spread out over 5yrs. Lucic contract becomes more palatable to Boston at $4.8m per season.
    As I type this i’m not sure I like this deal for either side. Footnote *deal would have to be after July 1st.

    • The left side is pretty crowded in Bos. Marchand, Debrusk & Heinen, with Bjork, Donato & others playing the left side as well.

      Bos has a far greater need for Backes, plays RW where Bos is already a RW short on the 2nd or 3rd lines & moves to C as injuries require.

      There was a report Cassidy may consider moving Pastrnak to Krejci’s wing to spread out the scoring after their success together in the World Champioships.

      Whether they do or not if Backes plays as the #2 they need a #3 if as a #3 then Boston needs a #2. Can Donato play RW?

      The Lucic ship sailed.

      • Striker is that you? or one of your multiple personalities “shoot me down Striker” or “Striker Dad” or ” I know a guy who know a guy who knows a guy, who knows Striker.” I can’t keep up anymore.
        Lucic is more serviceable then Backes and would waive his no trade clause to return. But agree; I would also like to move on from Backes.

      • Those aren’t me. Only 2 Strikers for me. Striker here, Striker777 everywhere else. It would be odd to be making personal attacks on myself. I thought 1 OF THEM MIGHT BE YOU!

        I have no issues with Backes except his salary & really accept the realities of dipping into the UFA market, your overpaying so not even that much of an issue for me.

        Backes has 3 years left & his contract moves from an NMC to a modified NTC next summer, 15 team trade list, with his actual salary dropping to 4 mil with 3 of that in signing bonus. Moving that contract & cap hit after paying that bonus would be a walk in the park.

      • Lol Striker, I as joking and no I don’t have a second handle, been on vacation, reading the post but not commenting and I would never be one to shy away from my opinion to disguise who I’m am. But i’ll say this when I was reading the comment section last week, I was reading from bottom up and as I read one comment I knew who it was but his/her handle was changed to another handle, I leave it at that. You should feel flattered by all the attention.
        Don’t worry you’ll know when I disagree with you, that hasn’t changed.

      • I had a goof laugh.

        May not always agree but respect & value your opinion & insight.

        You are a Bruins fans so there is that.

      • 😂

    • I think the Oil is going to have to hold more than $1.2M on Lucic – if they have any hope of moving him. Teams might like him at $4M/season. Sorry to say

    • I wouldn’t mind Lucic coming back but for only half that salary or forget it.
      I like Backes and agree with striker left side is overloaded.
      I wouldn’t move Krug either.
      I’m not trading young guys either for Lucic.
      So really don’t see it working.
      If I had to make a deal Krug and Heinen for Nurse,Lucic at least 2 million retained and the #10 pick. A lot to ask but Boston doesn’t need to do anything in my opinion.

      • You need not worry , they won’t do anything with offers like that but hear the phone hang up

  7. Surprised there’s not more talk about Tavares. I think he’s definitely moving on and teams are waiting to see before jumping into trades for guys like ROR, Karlsson, Lucic
    I don’t see Isles dealing picks. I see them more as a team that needs to rebuild.

    • Slick 62
      Not yet totally convinced JT moving on …. but if NYI get Howard as #1 G….that move alone just might incent a step out the door for JT

      • I think it’s odd that Lou waited to fire both guys. I think he waited on Tavares to decide. I don’t see them trading away future for a slim chance of competing with JT. Tavares lived with Weight his rookie year when Weight was a player. They’re close. All signs point to him leaving. Read somewhere that he’s planning on meeting with Canuck. I don’t see it but his fiancé is Canadien and maybe they want to settle down there

  8. The Habs’ defense needs to become more mobile – Jack Johnson won’t help that. Maybe they should go after Toby?

    • 6 of the 8 Dman that Mon has signed on Capfriendly are left handed. I don’t think either Johnson or Enstrom fit in Mon unless 1 or 2 of those left handed D are moved.

      That said moving Benn or Schlemko won’t return much but it would make room for 1 of the 2 potentially. As a UFA able to go any where Mon isn’t my 1st choice. All depends on money & or playing opportunity to some extent but i assume Johnson & Enstrom will have no issues finding solid opportunities with multiple offers.

      • if they can trade alzner to wsh for picks n orpik and move petry for picks….then enstrom next to weber loos good

      • Hans no not have any puck movers on their back end, nor do they have depth at center. Hard to excel in today’s NHL without guys who can consistently get the puck up ice.

  9. Re “The Toronto Maple Leafs seek a third-line center,”

    Option still there for re-signing their current 3C….. but more importantly …. Leafs focus must be on getting a top 4D…. and even more preferable …. a top 2D…. they might just have to move Wee Willy to get that …. they are not cup contenders with current D make-up…. Do they expect Anderson to steal 45 wins next year and then 16 playoff games?

    • I don’t mind the way Tor’s D is shaping up. Gardener & Zaitsev are a good pairing & Zaitsev only has 2 years of NHL experience.

      Reilly & Hainsey make another decent pairing, again Reilly isn’t fully developed. A replacement needs to be found for Hainsey next year.

      Dermott is ready for far more responsibility & I assume Tor will bring Polak back for yet 1 more year. Not sure what Carricks future is.

      The cost to acquire that quality of Dman may be to high & Tor may just have to develop that asset internally. Lillegren should be NHL ready soon & Tor has a few other kids getting close.

      Th y have the asset to acquire 1 should they wish to pay that price.

      • REilly not fully developed ? He’s played 388 games not including playoffs . That even hits your 400 game mark . Gardiner is ufa after next year , and leafs be in tough to pay him . Zaitsev is zaitsev , done nothing , will do nothing but swallow cap . Hainsey has 1 season left at best . Dermott , I’ll give you that one , lilegren will face the same problems as Reilly / gardiner with his skill set and current roster of d men and even marlies coach said recently he isn’t close to ready . Who else are these promising kids ? Without a vezina type season from Fred imagine the numbers . The d has and will continue to be clear weak link until they actually do something about it . Polak , Borgman , Rosen are not something .

      • I assume that’s 400 nhl games , which will bring zaitsev to fully developed around his last year of contract , years past 30 .

  10. Re multiple Striker Persona … I was expecting Bad Sister Striker and Cousin IT Striker to pop up soon

    Striker (and Striker relative) wannabe …. who are you???

  11. Hossa and the 8th overall to NYR for Brendan Smith? =)

    clears chi cap and gives them a d-man

    • IHC: If nothing else, you’re persistent. 🙂

  12. Florida is looking for winger and MTL has lots..
    To Florida: Paccioretty and 2rnder 2018 (35th) + 3rd 2019* (becomes 4th if panthers make playoff)
    To MTL : Bjugstad and 1st 2018 (15th)
    Even if Bjugstad is 5 years younger, hes only a 40 to 50 points center, while Pacc is a 25 goal scorer at least
    Then you can do:
    To MTL: ROR
    To Buff: Galchenyuk + 2nd 2018 (38th) + De La Rose + Ikonen or Poehling (center prospects)
    Galchenyuk 3 years younger and will cost less when contract is up.

    • Habs101: As a Sabres fan, no thank you. Your offer isn’t sufficient to sway our interest. What do we want with 2 potential centers when we have Middlestadt and Eichel? Not to mention Galchenyuk is a struggling player who was expected to be a center and didn’t make it.
      Don’t assume Buffalo wants anyone’s garbage because they finished last.

      • Galchenyuk is a winger 50 to 60 points, so garbage… dont think so. And De La Rose and Ikonen would be because MTL takes a center from buffalo. Also, you can switch 2nd for the first you get from Florida in first proposed trade.
        Also, if you think your getting more then a 50 to 60 points winger (or center) + 1st rnd pick (in my scenario) + prospect + depth player for ROR, your wrong

      • Galchenyuk (-31) is an assist player, he has scored more than 25 goals once. RoR plays on the worst team in the league and scores more with less help and holds the face off % record. Has been invited to play for team Canada numerous times, where as Galchenyuk just once and then never again. Huge difference.
        If either of the players you offered were any good, Montreal would have them slotted into the lineup playing center. But they don’t, because their not.
        Your original offer had the second round pick and not the first rounder…to be clear, also the garbage comment was in reference to all the other wonder prospects you offered.
        De Rose is a “C” rated prospect.
        Just because you rate them as the best on your team, doesn’t make them quality compared to the rest of the league. Check out tsn’s top 50 affiliated-prospects. Your guys are not in the top 50….

  13. Tavares to Vegas makes as much sense as any other landing spot for him.

    Keeping Perron after he was a healthy scratch in their most important games seems unlikely. They should resign Neal.

    Tatar Tavares Neal
    March. Karlsson Smith

    Pretty nice top 6. Erik Karlsson would help any team obviously, but the Knights already have 3 good young offensive D men in Miller, Schmidt and Theodore.


    The Pens should offer Tristan Jarry to the Canes for Jake Bean.

    • I would offer murray/hagelin for Hanafin/Skinner and see if Waddell bites

      then if the rift is that bad Kessell is a huge trade chip but they solidified more of their D-core

      but it wont happen bc they are win now mode and Murray gives them the best chance in net

      • I know your a fellow ranger fan, but some of these trade proposals are insane. No way Carolina bites…. unless bite is slang for hang up?

      • ihatecrosby
        Are you sure the only reason the that deal won’t get done is because theyre in “win now mode”?

        I think there’s a laundry list of more…

      • NYR4life: Great response. Even Waddell wouldn’t make that move.

        Not sure it would work, but maybe Jarry/Hagelin/2nd round pick for Skinner? It would be similar to the Brassard trade, but Skinner has less term remaining and a larger contract if none held by Carolina. However, Pittsburgh would have to know they can resign Skinner. Other pieces may need to be moved or the pick changed, but it would leverage Pittsburgh’s strength in goaltending with a team that desperately needs a good young goalie.

    • Im a Pens fan and think we my trade Jarry but I really love the dude and IMO it may be a big mistake trading him. But that seems like a fair trade but Pens will want someone to contribute now bc in 4 yrs (after this window with Sid and Geno) we will be doing our best to suck to rebuild.

  14. Darling for Hossa deal is interesting. Then make play for gruebour

    • This would assume Crawford is out long term and that Chicago has no faith in Anton Forsberg. I think it is too early to give up on Forsberg at this point.

      • I was assuming crawford would be traded.

    • Spooner,DeAngelo, Smith and 28th pick for Ristolainen and ROR

      • Uh oh. I’m gonna email some serious spam slick!

  15. IMO, Domi to Pens just makes sense with Mario being his godfather and BF with Tie Domi. And think it would be great for Max to get a fresh start, become a star here, and a fan fav for how he plays the game.

  16. Soooooo… pens fans. If Martin is bought out… do you offer him a mil to play for your bottom 6? Could always bury him if it didn’t work. Pto at least?

    • No do-overs!