NHL Rumor Mill – June 7, 2018
Reviewing TSN’s offseason trade-bait board in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly, Senators winger Mike Hoffman, Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner and Montreal Canadiens left winger Max Pacioretty top Frank Seravalli’s listing of this summer’s top trade-bait board.
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has said he wants to re-sign Karlsson, who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent status, and doesn’t intend to trade him at the upcoming 2018 NHL draft. However, the fact the Senators were apparently close to shipping Karlsson to the Vegas Golden Knights at the trade deadline in February accounts for the blueline topping this list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators will certainly try to re-sign Karlsson, but if the two sides can’t reach an agreement, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of the Sens shopping him in July. Seravalli’s colleague Darren Dreger considers Hoffman more likely to be dealt than Karlsson.
In his latest column for The Athletic, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens are among the teams to express interest in O’Reilly, who could fetch the Sabres a handsome return. However, his market value could depend upon what happens with New York Islanders’ pending free-agent center John Tavares.
The recent changes in Hurricanes ownership, management and coaching staff has prompted anticipation of a roster shakeup this summer. Pierre LeBrun reports a dozen teams have reached out to the Hurricanes, who’ve set the asking price for Skinner at a first-round pick and a prospect. Skinner has a full no-movement clause, giving him control of this situation.
Like Karlsson, Pacioretty is a year away from UFA eligibility. There’s speculation suggesting a possible “sign-and-trade” scenario for him.
Washington Capitals backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer, the Vancouver Canucks first-round pick (seventh overall), Arizona Coyotes blueliner Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Phil Kessel and Nashville Predators rearguard P.K. Subban round out the top ten.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun believes the Hurricanes and Islanders have shown interest in Grubauer, who’s due to become a restricted free agent this summer. Seravalli said there’s a belief the Canucks offered up their first-round pick to the Hurricanes for defenseman Noah Hanifin, but it’s thought Carolina GM Don Waddell prefers moving veteran Justin Faulk over Hanifin. I still believe Faulk is the more likely trade option.
The Coyotes have reportedly offered Ekman-Larsson an eight-year, $66-million contract. Based on his previous remarks suggesting money alone won’t determine his future plans, it wouldn’t surprise me if he stays put.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford recently said he doesn’t feel that he has to trade Kessel but there’s a persistent belief the winger could be dealt for the right offer. Such a move, however, would adversely affect the Penguins’ offensive production. As for Subban, Seravalli claims there’s “lots of chatter” he’ll be dealt again. However, I believe GM David Poile wants to keep his core intact for another run next season at the Stanley Cup.
Positions 11-15 are filled by Hurricanes defensemen Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin, Florida Panthers blueliner Alex Petrovic, Calgary Flames defender Dougie Hamilton and Winnipeg Jets rearguard Jacob Trouba.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted earlier, I believe Faulk is more likely to be moved than Hanifin, who still has plenty of upside and has yet to reach his playing prime. There hasn’t been much Panthers’ trade talk in the media. Petrovic’s been mentioned as a possible trade chip to bring in a forward.
Seravalli said teams are calling about Hamilton but Flames GM Brad Treliving said he’s not interested in moving him. That might change for the right price but it’s probably much more than other clubs are willing to part with right now.
Trouba requested a trade two years ago but he’s since changed his tune. If his contract negotiations get contentious again the Jets could shop him but I think things will go smoothly this time.
Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, Penguins winger Conor Sheary, Edmonton Oilers left wing Milan Lucic, Coyotes left winger Max Domi and Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk hold spots 16 through 20.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun said teams are calling about Ristolainen but he believes the Sabres are reluctant to move him. I expect they’ll retain him. There’s been conjecture suggesting Sheary or Carl Hagelin could be dangled for a defenseman.
The decline in Lucic’s performance, as well as his hefty annual average value ($6-million) through 2022-23 and no-movement clause, should ensure he remains with the Oilers.
Domi’s name surfaced during regular-season trade chatter. Seravalli claims he’s on the block but teams might not be willing to pay the asking price. No word on what that might be.
Galchenyuk’s been a fixture in the rumor mill for some time. He could be moved if the Canadiens re-sign Pacioretty.
Capitals winger Andre Buravosky, Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev, New York Rangers forward Vladislav Namestnikov, Sabres forward Sam Reinhart and Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry complete the listing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Capitals have over $66 million invested in 19 players for 2018-19. Re-signing John Carlson could push that total to $74 million, leaving little room to re-sign RFAs like Burakovsky even if the cap ceiling jumps to $80 million. However, a buyout of Brooks Orpik could free up sufficient room to keep him.
Canucks GM Jim Benning insists he’s not interested in trading Tanev and I take him at his word. Namestnikov is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. Perhaps the Rangers might shop him if he seeks more than they’re willing to pay. Reinhart’s name has come up as a possible trade option but I think the Sabres will be patient with him for another season.
Seravalli said it’s believed the Ducks asked Perry, who has a full no-movement clause, for a list of preferred trade destination. He notes, however, the winger also has three years and $24 million left on his contract and that will be tough to move. If the Ducks are serious about shopping Perry, they might have to pick up part of his $8.625-million AAV.