NHL Rumor Mill – July 30, 2018

by | Jul 30, 2018 | Rumors | 50 comments

Latest on the Lightning, Stars and Panthers in your NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Smith was asked about the status of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s trade talks with the Ottawa Senators regarding defenseman Erik Karlsson. While a report earlier this month suggested a deal was done pending a trade call, Smith was told it was never close. He said the Lightning expressed interest in Karlsson at the February trade deadline and will continue to look into it, but such a move would be complicated. There’s a belief the Senators aren’t necessarily in a rush to move Karlsson until they get the right price.

Could the Tampa Bay Lightning monitor Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba? (Photo via NHL Images)

If the Lightning cannot land Karlsson, they could consider other options to bring in a right-side defenseman. Smith believes they’ll keep an eye on Winnipeg Jets blueliner Jacob Trouba, who was recently awarded a one-year, $5.5-million contract via arbitration. Other options could include Carolina’s Justin Faulk or Vancouver’s Chris Tanev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Lightning hope to land Karlsson it’s assumed they’ll have to shed sufficient cap room to absorb his $6.5-million cap hit for 2018-19 and to re-sign him to a hefty raise. That’s why there was talk of the Lightning trying to get a third team, like the New York Rangers, involved in the deal.

If Karlsson proves too expensive to acquire, I can see general manager Steve Yzerman looking at more affordable options like Trouba, Faulk or Tanev.


NHL.COM: While the NHL trade market has been quiet of late, Mark Stepneski recently reported Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill said discussions with teams about possible moves still continue. “I can’t name things, but there is still lots out there,” Nill said. “We’re talking to teams. There is still a lot of movement happening within the business. I can’t say there is anything happening overnight, but there is a lot of dialogue still.” Stepneski notes the Stars were in the middle of the Erik Karlsson trade talks earlier this month but things have since died down.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nill cannot publicly say which teams he’s talking to or which players he’s interested in as that would be considered tampering. I think he’s still interested in landing Karlsson.

Unlike the Lightning, the Stars wouldn’t have to shift much salary to take on Karlsson’s cap hit. Cap Friendly indicates they have a projected $6 million in available cap space with Gemel Smith as their only unsigned free agent.

The problem is likely the Senators’ asking price, as they reportedly want top prospect Miro Heiskanen as part of the deal. If Karlsson proves too costly to acquire via trade, Nill could also look at more affordable options at some point. 


NHL.COM’s Jameson Olive recently caught up with Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. “A quick takeaway from it is that he said there’s still a few players out there that the like, so they might not be done this summer.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tallon already made a significant offseason move by giving up two draft picks to acquire winger Mike Hoffman from the San Jose Sharks. The Panthers have been linked to Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty and could perhaps have some interest in Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin or Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner.

Then again, perhaps he’s looking at signing an unrestricted free agent, though the market is now pretty much drained of quality talent.



  1. Lyle, has there been any rumors involving Duchene? With all the talk around Karlsson, I can’t understand why not a peep about Duchene who is also in last year of current deal. Can’t see him staying if EK gets moved for prospects. On the other hand, maybe now with Hoffman saga over, and teams not willing to pay a high price, could Karlsson and Sens be talking new deal? Maybe Duchene stays. Tkachuk hasn’t decided yet if he’s going back to school either. They’re really not an awful team.

    • Slick,

      Thats an excellent point. Maybe Dorian can find a fit with Bergevin in Montreal. Canadiens need a scoring center. Though Im not sure if Montreal has enough decent assets to complete a deal.

    • Slick, all’s quiet on Duchene. If anything comes up I’ll post it up.

    • Really. Well parity is alive & well I guess. I have Ottawa to be the worst team in the league next season, not a huge slip considering they were the 2nd worst last season & have already lost Phaneuf & Hoffman from that team.

      I don’t currently see how they can possibly be better.

      • Maybe the Sens will have one of your patented “bounce back” seasons.


      • I don’t so. I’m certainly not projecting such. Just the opposite. Bad like really bad.

    • What a perfect opportunity for Duchene. He should wait for EK to be traded and then make his contract demands clear, something like 9M for 8 years or he walks.
      The sens can’t afford to lose him after what they paid to acquire him.
      Duchene can’t ask for a trade since that makes him look like a terrible teammate given how he left the AVs, but if the Sens don’t pay up the blame sits with the sens. If they do pay, I’m sure Duchene will have 70M+ reasons not to be too unhappy.

      • He’s earned the right to do as he chooses 1 year from UFA status. Doesn’t make him look terrible to me. If I can get out of this gong show in 1 year I’m doing so as soon as able.

  2. Tanev would be a decent and affordable add for any team looking to bolster their defence. Yzerman or any other GM should be able to get him at a reasonable cost.

    Decent #3-5 defenceman. He wont contribute any offence buts decent in his own end. 2nd or 3rd round pick maybe.

    • Tanev is the defensive dman the Leafs should be targeting. He’d look good next to Reilly on their top pair

    • The Chucks aren’t giving up Tanev for a 2nd or 3rd round pick. He is a solid 2nd pairing Dman with 2 years left on his deal at reasonable money.

      Fodder moves for a 2nd or 3rd round pick. If that’s the return he isn’t moving even at the trade deadline in 2020.

      • I heard from a friend of mine (Leafs fan) that he’s willing to give up Nylander for him.

        No chance Tanev lands Will Nylander but getting him for a 2nd round pick is crazy talk

      • The Chucks?

      • Has Tanev played a full season….anywhere lol.

      • Well Gary, Tanev is more likely to play a full NHL season than you are. And his chances of doing it would greatly be improved on a team like the Leafs that play sound team defense. Tanev’s injuries have pretty much all come from blocking shots in the shooting gallery the Canuck’s zone has been in recent years. On a better team (almost all the other teams in the league) he would not have to throw his body down so much to block shots. Thus less likely to be injured.

      • My new nickname for Van. Every time I think they finally made the decision to rebuild they do something stupid making me chuck my cookies.

  3. Stevie Y does not seem to have a panic mode. Add that the fact that the Lightning have a good crop of prospects, including Cal Foote who might be able to step up later in the year if nothing else happens, and enough journeyman help to cover the position. A team with a second or third right D as the only obvious weakness can afford to be patient. Time will ease the cap limits, as well.

    • Agree Richard that there is no need to panic for next season regarding the TB blue line.
      But if you look at Cap Friendly you will see they have a potential significant problem the year after.
      How many NHL ready/capable right shot dmen does TB have signed for 2019/20?
      That would be Jake Dotchin and he hasn’t even proven himself to be an NHL regular and right now is a 7D.
      Foote might be ready to step in, might not be, and you definitely don’t want to force him into the lineup.
      Methinks Stralman will have some leverage come contract discussion time.

      • Ditching actually played as the #6 by games played & in the 48 games he dressed in last season he actually saw more ice time than Coburn when dressed. Koekkoek played as the #7.

        When TB decides they want a Dman they have the assets to go get 1. With expansion 2 summers out acquiring 1 today may not be in their best interests. Continuing to stop gap with players like Girardi may serve them better.

        I assume their 3 keeper Dman are Hedman, McDonagh & Sergechev. Help at D in their quest to win the cup may be better served with a rental or they can pay Seattle off like they did Vegas to retain who they want if necessary.

      • Striker, not sure if I am interpreting your post right or not, but IMO it would be wise to focus on winning the Cup and not the expansion draft 2 years out if I am TB.
        Having half your D as Girardi type stop gaps isn’t ideal if that is your goal.
        You’re right they have the assets to get what they need, and I think they will. Might be something like what they did this past TDL with McDonagh, or it could be this September with Karlsson, or something that hasn’t been rumored.

      • They are in a tough spot Ray as it relates to go all in or not with expansion looming. I don’t like Karlsson there. I would far prefer to see them extend Stralman for reasonable money 4 years at 4.75ish & use the savings to keep other talent.

        I don’t want to pay any Dman today over 10 mil. In a few years when inflation has left no choice sure but not today & not for Karlsson. I get LA paying Doughty they had little choice but is he even worth 11 mil per?

  4. There is 0 contract/trade talks going on with the Sens, which makes me think something else is going on. I am guessing there is a sale in progress which is not allowing any contract/trade discussions.

    • Sens fans can only wish that Melnyk is selling the franchise, and the new owners would extend Karlsson and Stone long term

      • Especially if the buyer is the founder of Le Cirque de Soleil

    • Melnyk has been very vocal that he has no intentions of selling the Senators. This team is profitable, just got his expansion revenue from Vegas entering the league & he has 2 more big paydays just around the corner. Seattle’s expansion revenue & the new US national TV deal the season following or after the next lockout which will help owners profit even further.

      Waiting for Melnyk to sell the Senators may be a long wait. I would like to see him move on though.

      • He has been vocal on many things. I believe he is selling the team and getting his money worth.
        The Sens have not been profitable for awhile. Yes there are some pay days but I believe he took the loan to get his money that he has lost over the years back to sell the team including the 135m debt.
        Yes I would also play the money for Karlsson, yes he will be 37 when the contract expires but look at Lidström/Zetteberg/Alfredsson… all those guys worth their weight in gold for what they bring to their team every year

      • Striker, why can’t Melnyk build that ‘payday’ into the price of the sale?
        I don’t see that as a roadblock.

      • He will move on, but unfortunately we may see the Sens move on first. As we have seen before!!!

  5. I think Dallas will bite the bullet for Karlsson. He comes at a price in giving away a very good prospect, but he’s got probably 8 good years left in his career, which is plenty and worth it.

    As for the Panthers, I don’t think Tallon is looking at free agency much other than maybe sending a couple if invites and also waiting, he among other GMs, what Rick Nash will decide to do.

    Otherwise, Tallon is looking via trade, but I don’t see him parting with a big deal.

    I still think that Pacioretty will hit the market and sign with the Panthers regardless if he gets traded or not this year.

    • Do you want to pay Karlsson almost 11 mil per starting in 2019-20 for 8 years thru his age 36/37 season.

      I don’t. No slight to Karlsson. I would prefer Trouba at or near 7 or another Dman similar & spend the other monies else where. What has having Karlsson done for Ottawa?

      • Striker, I have to agree with you I wouldn’t want Karlsson for 8yrs at any money; first 4yrs should be fine.
        Once Karlsson start to lose his foot speed his elusiveness will also take a hit and so will he.
        The smart move for Ottawa is to trade Karlsson and get the best package available, unless Karlsson will sign for a 5yr contract which he won’t.
        Personally I don’t think this is a bad think for Ottawa, it’s a good chance for them to restock and get some high end prospect and picks and a proven player.

      • Agreed. Trading Karlsson should set up Ott for at least the next decade but Ott had better hope there are more than 3 bidders. Those we keep hearing about being TB, Dal & Vegas.

        It would help greatly if there was a far bigger bidding war. I can’t decide if the delay in possibly moving him is good thing or a bad thing.

        We also heard rumours he would be happy with the contract offered by Ott if significantly more of the money were paid in signing bonus. Ott is cheap & they won’t want to pay anyone not to play during the next lockout.

        Going to be interesting to see how this plays out. His contract demands significantly impact the return especially if taking Ryan is a must to allow for the trade. That scenario may make for only 1 dance partner, Vegas.

        Odd he hasn’t been traded yet & with each passing day most teams are using cap space getting closer to their 23 man rosters.

      • Was instrumental in getting them to within one double-OT goal of going to the finals just a year ago.

        As for being the bottom team this coming season, let’s wait to see what impact youngsters like Chabot, White, Ceci, Dzingel have with another year under their belts, and what newcomers like Harpur, Chlapik, Brown, Batherson, Formenton, Jaros and, yes, Tkaczuk do with their chances of making the team. Maybe some of the first grouping have break-out years and maybe a couple of those kids work their way into rookie-of-the-year contenders. Or, they could all fall flat on their asses. We simply don’t know.

        One thing is for certain. Both Anderson and Condon need bounce-back years because, as far as I’m concerned, those two were responsible for 10 to 12 of their losses last season.

        A lot of “ifs” to be sure but as Toe Blake once observed many years ago “predictions are for gypsies.” What tribe do you belong to?

      • Come on man! That is like saying you would prefer Teppo Numminen to Ray Bourque.

      • Love the teppo ref.

      • I call it betting George. Not a prediction. Ott’s D well actually the lack there of was what ailed both Ott goalies last season.

        I could be easily wrong I’m just betting the opposite. Having been right on Ott’s playoff chances the last 2 years that makes my chances of being right this season less likely if that makes you feel better.

      • I agree with George. Karlsson is easily one of the best dmen in league and has gotten his team pretty much as far as Burns has. He’s 33 and look at his contract. Look at Nick Lidstroms stats from age 28 on. Karlsson currently is 8th all time points per game for dmen. He’ll get what he deserves. 2 Norris trophies and very capable of another

    • max would thrive in south florida. nobody cares about hockey, so he would easily slip under the radar.but who do the panthers give up to make the deal. either way I don’t think its imminent. think max is ready to have a good year, and I think the habs will be much improved.

  6. I don’t see Winnipeg moving Trouba until next season, possibly at the next draft.

    Winnipeg is a legitimate cup contender and moving Trouba now with no viable replacement only hurts that opportunity.

    One caveat if the return was a solid dman under team control ie Mikhail Sergachev, Brady Skjei or Brandon Carlo. Not sure if any of them teams would want to trade their player unless they knew they could resign Trouba.
    Detroit doesn’t have a dman that fits Winnipeg Narrative.

    • I agree Trouba isn’t moving in the near term.

      If he has no intentions of signing in Win long term does his value in trade decline only 1 year from UFA status next summer & if he has his sightes set on a limited # of teams might that impact his trade value as well next summer? What if he only wishes to go to 1 team & he’s just going to make that happen.

      In that situation he will be similar to Shattenkirk potentially, not by abilities but essentially just a rental to whoever traded to as he has a plan for himself. StL did garner a solid return on Shattenkirk just no where near what a team may have paid if they knew they could sign him.

      If rumours were true during his holdout that he has marketing aspirations for himself that limits the market substantially as really there are only a handful of cities where a hockey player can generate decent endorsement revenue.

  7. I have been told that every player on every team is reviewed every day

    I thought Melnyk was not selling the team. If he did it would change everything

    • If Laliberté gets the team – and he apparently has been most insistent on tendering purchase offers – it sure would change everything, including the proposed downtown complex in which he said he would use his influence to get Le Cirque du Soleil to locate their as a semi-permanent resident

  8. Hayes and NY come to a one year deal. This is beyond odd. He just walked out the door by signing this contract. How does a one year deal benefit NY? He was probably worth more unsigned than a one year deal that sends him to UFA.

    Bad asset management!

    • Makes no sense to me.

      NYI did the same thing as well with Nelson. Last year they did it with de Haan & lost him for nothing.

      Terrible asset management.

      • cue the Hayes plus to MTL for Patches rumors….

    • Here come the your best prospect and a first round pick for Hayes proposals from Rangers fans.

      Just like the Leafs, always wanting to trade their table scraps for someone elses prime rib.

      • I basically just said the exact opposite, that this deal takes away from Hayes value.

        Sure, there are some Ranger fans that overvalue players. I’m positive I could say the same about every fan base here. I’m definitely not one of them. I could probably count on less than one hand how many trade proposals I’ve made here. …. maybe 3? And 2 of them were more than likely not involving the Rangers and made in Jest.

  9. I think Matt Duchene would fit tremendously with Dallas. If Ottawa offered Karlsson packaged with Duchene, perhaps Nill would change his mind and be willing to part with Heiskanen.

    To Dallas: D Erik Karlsson (6.5m for 1), C Matt Duchene (6m for 1)

    To Ottawa: D Miro Heiskanen (925k), C Radek Faksa (2.2m for 2), C Martin Hanzal (4.75m for 2), 2019 1st round draft pick.

    • Spezza is not re-signed, obviously, freeing up the additional 7.5m in cap space needed to re-sign Karlsson for 6.5 plus less than 7.5, and Duchene for probably no more than 6 or 6.5 again.

  10. In my opinion Ottawa is playing a dangerous game and,I think the owner is pulling the strings not the gm.If rumors our true the goalie wants out also, I think Duchene will also go. WHO is gonna sign there.And if they wait to long other GMs will just wait and try to outbid each other instead of trading prospects and taking Bobby Ryan’s contract.Like who’s gonna take that hot mess of a deal.