NHL Rumor Mill – June 19, 2018

by | Jun 19, 2018 | Rumors | 29 comments

Latest on John Tavares, Erik Karlsson, Milan Lucic and more in your NHL rumor mill.

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs make a presentation to tempt New York Islanders captain John Tavares? (Photo via NHL Images)


TSN: Darren Dreger reports contract talks continue between the New York Islanders and pending UFA center John Tavares. If there’s no deal by June 25, he believes Tavares could invite ” three, maybe as many as five teams” to make their presentations to him during the UFA interview period. He also noted former Islanders GM Garth Snow tabled an eight-year, $80-million offer in February.

If Tavares gets to the UFA shopping period next week, Bob McKenzie said the Toronto Maple Leafs are believed putting together a promotional video that might include a cameo pitch from several current Leafs. He also said former Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz could be a strong candidate for the vacant post with the Islanders. Dreger suggested that could also have an impact upon the Tavares negotiations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tavares could get a solid offer from the Islanders and still opt to check out the presentations next week from other clubs. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be a goner, as Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos went through the interview process and opted to re-sign with the Lightning. Hiring Trotz as their new head coach could help sway Tavares, though it would also be a great hire for the Isles even if their captain departs via free agency on July 1.

I still don’t believe the Leafs need Tavares. They already have a first-line center in Auston Matthews and a solid second-line pivot in Nazem Kadri. Unless they’re offering him a massive one-year deal, investing long-term could hamper efforts to re-sign Matthews and Mitch Marner before next summer. They need to land a true top-pairing defenseman. Unless they intend to move Matthews or Marner or William Nylander to address their blueline needs, signing Tavares makes no sense. 


NATIONAL POST: Looking at possible moves leading up to the 2018 NHL Draft, Mark Traikos suggests the Vegas Golden Knights as a potential destination for Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, “with a package including centre Cody Glass (sixth overall, 2017) and defenceman Erik Brannstrom (15th overall, 2017), as well as a roster player such as Tomas Tatar.” He also thinks it’s “not unrealistic” to assume the New York Rangers could offer up one of the first-round picks they got from Tampa Bay or Boston for Senators winger Mike Hoffman.

Traikos also speculates the Montreal Canadiens could move left wing Max Pacioretty if it’ll address their needs at center. “Nashville is reportedly gauging interest on P.K. Subban, while Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot might be available”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights were linked to Karlsson leading up to the February trade deadline. They’ve got the cap space and depth in young talent and prospects to tempt the Senators. It was reported Vegas’ unwillingness to part with Glass was the sticking point in their previous efforts to land the Ottawa captain and that could remain a deal breaker.

As for the rebuilding Rangers, I don’t think they need Hoffman’s personal baggage. While his offensive skills could help them, they need a veteran leader to mentor their younger players. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Pacioretty gets moved for a center. There’s talk the Canadiens are looking at Buffalo’s Ryan O’Reilly and apparently had interest in Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle and Florida’s Nick Bjugstad before the trade deadline. 

Predators general manager David Poile has dismissed the Subban trade speculation. Unless the Oilers’ intend on replacing Talbot with a better goaltender I don’t believe they’ll move him. 


SPORTSNET: Mark Spector takes note of the ongoing trade rumors swirling about the Edmonton Oilers’ Milan Lucic, pointing out the left winger and his agent haven’t done anything to quash the speculation. Spector considers moving the winger’s hefty contract as next to impossible. “This isn’t Nathan Horton, where a team simply takes on cap space. Lucic will arrive at your camp in the fall expecting to play.” He expects Lucic will be trying to revive his career in Edmonton and the Oilers could quietly attempt to move him next year.

Regarding trade chatter about defenseman Oscar Klefbom, Spector feels GM Peter Chiarelli is comfortable retaining the blueliner if a suitable deal cannot be found. In theory, he could swap Klefbom for Boston’s Torey Krug, Colorado’s Tyson Barrie or Carolina’s Justin Faulk, “depending on the ancillary parts required to make the deal happen.”

Spector also considers the Cam Talbot trade rumors “ridiculous.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with “Cousin Mark” regarding Lucic and Talbot. I’m not sure the Oilers could get a defenseman-plus for Klefbom, who has considerable talent but also a history of injuries and inconsistent play. A one-for-one swap might be the best they can do. I do agree that Chiarelli will be comfortable hanging onto Klefbom if he doesn’t receive a suitable trade offer. 



  1. If I’m Botterill there is no way I take Pacioretty at face value as part of a ROR trade based on age and contract. He is 30 in Nov and 1 year of contract left vs 27 and 5 yrs of contract left. It would have to be a sign and trade for starters and if Patch is thinking of E.Kane like numbers forget it…4 yr/22 mil would work. Botterill isn’t Murray so I don’t see him giving out crazy contracts. He has stated about spending money wisely where Murray spent to the hilt. Moulson and Okposo are good examples. I’ll keep stating the obvious there is no rush in trading ROR unless the bounty is right. If Montreal is the team, they need him more then the Sabres need to trade ROR. JMO

    • Hoffman to the sharks!

    • Murray would make a deal like that, similar to the extremely dumb trade he made with Winnipeg. Sabres need young wingers, not a guy 1 year from free agency.

  2. We have a trade

    To #Sharks:
    F Mike Hoffman
    D Cody Donaghey
    5th RD pick 2020

    To #Sens:
    F Mikkel Boedker
    D Julius Bergman
    6th RD pick 2020

    • Len

      just saw that… don’t know much on Donaghey and Bergman.. if they are a saw off then Sens lost the deal but not by a huge margin (as was expected with value dropping on Hoff)

      • reviews on bergman so far show he was a 2nd rounder who’s stock has increased. I thought the sens would get better for hoffman than a cap dump, downgrading a pick, and a decent prospect. maybe they jumped the gun to get rid of him to really see what their chances of signing Karlson really were prior to the draft? I admit I slightly overvalued Hoffman in this market.

  3. buh bye…but we got another mike back in return, bad karma. LOL

    who is this boedker fellow anyhow?

  4. If the oilers are trading K-bomb they need a similar defenceman, but right shot of the same age and cap friendly contract. Think Ristolainen from Buffalo.

    And Hoffman just got traded to the Sharks!

    • Twin,
      Interesting swap— value to both teams… However, I see more upside with Risto than “K-Bomb”… so more pieces IMO going Eastward in that deal

    • I would never do that deal — K-Bomb has way more upside, I never understood the trade for a shakeup. Some really bad decisions have been made on that premise. Taylor Hall comes to mind, yes I love what Larson brings, but not for a top 15 forward in the NHL, not even close.

  5. so Vegas only has 1 pick in 1st 3 rounds this year, and they’re talking about trading away 2 guys they drafted last year plus the guy they got with this years 1st? And between now and next summer they’re going to need to return sign Neal, Karlson, Fleury, Peron etc….
    And people trash Rangers? Smh
    And Lyle, Rangers aren’t just a team of little impressionable kids… I don’t really think they’d pass on Hofman. Still don’t think he’s the problem

  6. I agree that if Trotz does sign with NYI that this will have a substantial impact on Tavares’ decision. However, I believe he would be foolish to sign w/o hearing out other offers…. he has nothing to lose by waiting… the offer from NYI won’t go down in value, and possibly may increase.

    Re: EK— I would love to see him in a VGK jersey. I would also try as best as possible to hold on to Glass. Not sure if Tatar in the offer helps if they want to avoid losing Glass. Perhaps Suzuki,Branstrom, and Theodore for EK?

    • Why would Trotz have impact? His own team didn’t want him. 1 cup doesn’t make him Scotty Bowman. Not after years of futility.

  7. Hoffman to SJ, just announced, not sure on the return.

  8. Vegas needs a defenseman more like Hanifin

  9. No way McPhee offers that package for 1 year of Karlsson. That’s delusion.

    Monica Caryk’s Real Housewives of Ottawa act just set back a franchise that is already behind 10 eight balls another 1-2 years.

    Not only did they not get value for their second most valuable asset, they had to take on a salary dump to do it.

    Meanwhile, the Sharks keep buying low on guys with question marks. They seem to have a strong room, it might work for them.


    Crazy trade idea that makes a lot of sense to me…

    Shea Weber and the #3 pick for Milan Lucic and Leon Draisital.

    I’d have to look more at the contracts to see if one side would have to sweeten (likely EDM), but this seems to solve a lot of problems for each team.

    • I would say MTL has to sweeten it

      • Edm would have to sweeten that!

    • Draisaitl is not moving . 100% not for the reported rumours by Larry brooks or your scenario above . Some gm will really have to overvalue and overpay just to get Leon involved . I don’t see that offer coming . In a disaster season Leon had 70 points , top 10 face off perventage and is still a pup . Get the kid a sniper to play with . Listen to any crazy offer but he’s not being shopped.

      • Brooks wasn’t reporting any rumors. He was just spitballing possibilities of what it would take to move Lucic. I’m a Ranger fan and I don’t believe anything he says!!

      • They could easily move Lucic without ever considering Leon , which they wouldn’t . They wouldn’t include the 10 pick to make it happen . Retain salary , take back a contract , add a sweetener ( not the whole bag of sugar).

  10. Vegas should NOT make that trade. After the poor trade for Tatar, and not having a 1st rounder this year, why would they trade away 2 of their top 3 prospects? they need to be building up their prospect base in S2 otherwise they’ll turn into the initial Colorado Rockies/Tampa Bay Rays of hockey who have no prospects and have to sign also ran vets over the years, because they have no minor league prospects to come up.

    just because the Vegas owner has money, the league has a hard cap

  11. Hoffman traded again to the Panthers for a 2nd,4th and 5th. Put’s Tavares back in Shark tank rumours???

    • They have freed up $4M in cap space today. If anything, they are more in the Tavares conversation than ever, IMO.

  12. It does seem the Leafs are going hard to land Tavares; if they are successful in signing him to a long term contract, I could see Nylander being traded. Babcock isn’t sold on Nylander who is more of a one dimensional player

    • Marner goes before Nylander.

  13. If Toronto gets Tavares, I’d expect to see Nylander dealt for a young dman. Possibly Kadri would move to the wing. He plays like a winger many nights anyway. Nylander was born in Calgary, I am sure they would be thrilled to have him play alongside Tkachuk.

  14. Karlsson to Vegas with Ryan seems logical. They probably do not bring back Neal and Perron-adding Ryan to the middle 6 forwards is not a bad thing. The key is can they keep Miller, Theodore, Schmidt and McNabb while adding Erik

  15. Lucic to Vancouver for Eriksson!