NHL Rumor Mill – July 2, 2018
The latest on Erik Karlsson, James Neal, Max Pacioretty, Milan Lucic and more in your NHL rumor mill.
SENATORS OFFER CONTRACT TO KARLSSON
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators general manager Pierre Dorion confirmed he’d tabled a contract extension offer to captain Erik Karlsson yesterday. He wouldn’t discuss Karlsson’s reaction to the eight-year offer.
If he doesn’t re-sign, Garrioch believes the Senators will have to consider their trade options, whether it’s this summer or before next February’s NHL trade deadline. He said it’s believed the Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals are among the teams interested in Karlsson. The Knights are also among the club thought to be willing to accept winger Bobby Ryan, who has four years left on his contract worth $7.25-million annually, as part of the deal.
THE ATHLETIC: Despite the Tampa Bay Lightning’s re-signing of defenseman Ryan McDonagh yesterday, Joe Smith reports the Lightning might not be done making moves this summer. Smith believes the Bolts could still be among the clubs pursuing Karlsson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty recently signed an eight-year, $88-million contract extension, it’s safe to assume Karlsson would want something comparable. Whether it’s with the Senators or another club remains to be seen.
The Sharks looking into acquiring Karlsson near the trade deadline but I think they’re more interested in adding a scoring forward. The Capitals lack the cap space to take on Karlsson and appear more intent on keeping most of their championship roster intact.
While the Senators will set a high asking price for Karlsson in the trade market, they’ll likely get back a deal heavy in draft picks and prospects, though a good young player or two could also be part of it. The Lightning carry plenty of young assets that could tempt the Senators, though they’ll have to shed considerable cap space to re-sign Karlsson.
LATEST ON THE BRUINS AND CANADIENS
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty notes the Boston Bruins depth in left-side defenseman with their addition yesterday of John Moore. He wonders if Torey Krug might be used as trade bait “to bring in an impact top-6 winger like Jeff Skinner, Wayne Simmonds or Artemi Panarin.” He also cites some sources ” wondering if the Bruins could revisit Krug-Klefbom trade talks with the Edmonton Oilers if it meant Milan Lucic (with the Oilers picking up a good chunk of his contract) making a triumphant return to Boston, but that feels like a pretty remote possibility at this point.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli “is no longer trying to make a trade for a power-play quarterback, a deal that has eluded him since the 2018 trade deadline.” Spector also reports Chiarelli attempted to move Lucic before the recent NHL Draft but expects the winger will be back in training camp this fall.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports the Canadiens tried to trade captain Max Pacioretty during the NHL Draft, but he squelched a potential deal with the Kings because he wouldn’t sign a contract extension. “Pacioretty has made it clear he wants to stay in Montreal and the Canadiens should attempt to accommodate him,” writes Hickey.
LA PRESSE: Jean-Francois Tremblay reports Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin confirmed he’s had discussions with UFA winger Anthony Duclair and defenseman Calvin de Haan. He’s interested in Duclair but declined to say more, while noting contract term and money were among the issues regarding de Haan.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pacioretty lacks no-trade protection but being a year away from UFA status gives him a measure of control in any trade discussions as interested clubs will likely want assurances they can re-sign him. It’ll also affect whatever return the Canadiens might get for him.
Regarding Duclair and de Haan, it sounds like Bergevin could be leaning more toward signing the winger than the blueliner.
UPDATES ON THE SHARKS, GOLDEN KNIGHTS AND RANGERS.
THE MERCURY NEWS: With the San Jose Sharks losing out in the John Tavares sweepstakes, Paul Gackle reports they’ve set their sights on re-signing UFA center Joe Thornton, defenseman Dylan DeMelo and restricted free agents Tomas Hertl and Chris Tierney. Gackle speculates they could pursue a trade for Carolina’s Jeff Skinner, Columbus’ Artemi Panarin or Montreal’s Max Pacioretty, but GM Doug Wilson won’t make a move simply because he has cap space available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: During the NHL draft, a rumor circulated claiming the Sharks were close to acquiring Pacioretty. Nothing came of it, but I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of the Sharks contacting the Habs to discuss their captain. I don’t think the Blue Jackets are keen to move Panarin unless they get an impact player in return. The Hurricanes are apparently not done shaking up their roster. Skinner’s been the subject of frequent trade chatter. Like Pacioretty, he’s eligible next summer for UFA status, so the Sharks would probably want to discuss a contract extension first.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen reports the Vegas Golden Knights remain in contract discussions with UFA winger James Neal. The 30-year-old reportedly seeks a six-year contract, which could be tough to find in this summer’s market.
**UPDATE** The Calgary Flames signed Neal to a five-year deal worth an annual average value of around $5.75 million.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Rangers didn’t sign center Vladislav Namestnikov to trade him. The signing could mean RFA winger Ryan Spooner hits the trade block. If the Rangers are interested in shaking up their roster they could attempt to move a center like Mika Zibanejad or Kevin Hayes. The Winnipeg Jets have a hole at center after the departure of Paul Stastny to Vegas, but Brooks said they’re not interested in trading RFA defenseman Jacob Trouba.
UPDATES ON THE FLAMES, BLACKHAWKS, PENGUINS AND LEAFS.
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek reports the Calgary Flames are targeting UFA winger Patrick Maroon as they hope to add one more big-bodied forward.
Scott Powers believes the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t done making moves. He believes GM Stan Bowman would still like to add a top-four defenseman. They could explore moving center Artem Anisimov, who yesterday submitted a 10-team list of trade destinations as his no-movement clause changed to a modified no-trade. They’d also like to find a taker for all-but-retired winger Marian Hossa’s contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have been linked to Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Justin Faulk. If the Hurricanes are on Anisimov’s list of destinations, maybe there’s a deal there to be made.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Jonathan Bombulie reports Penguins GM Jim Rutherford isn’t closing the door on this summer’s trade market. “It’s the same as always. If something comes along that makes sense for our team for whatever reason, we’ll talk about it.”
Leafs indeed deep at C with Tavares, Matthews, Kadri but again they have a very ordinary back-end and the puck will be in their end at times during games. They may be forced to trade Nylander to get a defenceman who can play in their top 2
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) July 1, 2018