NHL Rumor Mill – July 4, 2018
Dallas Stars the front-runners for Erik Karlsson, plus the latest on Justin Faulk and Kevin Hayes in your NHL rumor mill.
STARS AND SENATORS DISCUSSING POSSIBLE KARLSSON TRADE
SPORTSDAY: Josh Lile cites sources and multiple reports indicating the Dallas Stars have become the front-runner for Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. He notes The Athletic’s Chris Stevenson reporting of talks between the two clubs. “Senators focusing on Miro Heiskanen third overall to Dallas last year, one source suggested. Dallas would rather give up Julius Honka, 14th overall in 2014,” said Stevenson, who added the talks don’t involved Senators winger Bobby Ryan being part of the deal.
Lile believes the Stars would also have to give up “a first-round pick, other picks, and prospects in some arrangement.” He also feels a contract extension for Karlsson would be an issue, as he rejected an eight-year offer worth $10-million annually from the Senators and could seek a deal comparable to the eight-year, $88-million contract recently signed by Los Angeles Kings blueliner Drew Doughty.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Stars are among six teams – the others being the Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets – believed to have held talks with the Senators regarding Karlsson in recent weeks. He said there was some hope a deal could be done on Tuesday but it never materialized, pointing out Senators GM Pierre Dorion won’t rush into anything and won’t move Karlsson unless he gets the right return.
Garrioch also said the Rangers appear to have backed off but the New York Islanders might make a pitch. Of the aforementioned clubs, he feels the Golden Knights, Lightning and Stars could be the best fits for the all-star defenseman. Garrioch believes if Bobby Ryan ($7.25-million cap hit) is to be part of the deal the return for the Senators could change. Not every team involved in discussion is being asked to take on Ryan’s contract.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen notes multiple reports indicate the Golden Knights are among the clubs attempting to acquire Karlsson, with trade rumors also linking the Stars, Lightning, Islanders and Colorado Avalanche to the Senators’ captain. “The Knights’ package to acquire Karlsson likely would include defenseman Shea Theodore, a prospect and draft picks,” said Schoen, who suggests they could also sent the Senators another NHL-salaried player to help them stay above the $58.8-million salary-cap minimum.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Tom Dougherty notes NBC Sports’ Joey Alfieri including the Philadelphia Flyers on his list of possible suitors for Karlsson. While the Flyers have the cap space to make this move without subtracting too much from the current roster, Dougherty notes the asking price and the cost of re-signing Karlsson would be very expensive. He also points out Flyers general manager Ron Hextall prefers to build with youth and only goes big-game hunting if it makes sense.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, Karlsson has a 10-team no-trade list. Leading up to last season’s trade deadline, however, it was reported the Senators asked him to provide a list of 12 preferred trade destinations.
As Lile observes, Karlsson wouldn’t be the scoring forward the Stars were looking for (hence their interest in John Tavares), but the ability “to throw Karlsson or Klingberg on the ice for almost the entire game is formidable. The Anaheim Ducks rode Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer to a Stanley Cup doing it. Dallas is pushing for Karlsson with the same idea in mind.”
If the Senators aren’t pushing Ryan being part of the package, they will seek a high return. Their insistence on Heiskanen from the Stars could be a deal breaker, but GM Jim Nill might be willing to do it if Karlsson agrees to a long-term extension.
Should discussions between the Stars and Senators fall through, the Golden Knights could take over as the front-runner. They’ve got the cap space and the depth in prospects and young players to make this work, plus they came close to landing him at the trade deadline.
As for the Islanders’ interest, B.D. Gallof cites an NHL source saying there’s no trade discussions right now because the Isles aren’t a team he’s interested in signing with. I don’t see the Flyers getting seriously involved in the bidding.
The Avalanche being linked to Karlsson could be due to the recent trade history between the two clubs, when the Avs sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa last fall as part of a three-team deal with Nashville. Just because they’ve dealt before, however, doesn’t mean they’re doing so again. I’m not dismissing the notion but I have my doubts that Colorado is on Karlsson’s trade list.
LATEST ON FAULK AND HAYES
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander wonders if the Carolina Hurricanes signing defenseman Calvin de Haan yesterday opens the door for a possible trade of Justin Faulk. With over $19.6-million tied up in de Haan, Dougie Hamilton, Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce, Alexander suggests “there isn’t enough money or playing time to go around for Faulk,” who has two years remaining on his contract with an affordable salary-cap hit of $4.83 million. He feels Faulk could be “a valuable asset for the right team”. Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said he doesn’t feel any urgency to do something but admitted he’ll consider all his options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams that lose out in the bidding for Karlsson could shift their interest toward Faulk, who’s also been linked to the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs in recent trade speculation. The Hurricanes could use a center and the Blackhawks could consider moving Artem Anisimov, who lost his role as second-line center last season to Nick Schmaltz. Anisimov has a comparable cap hit and a modified no-trade clause, but perhaps there’s a deal there for the Blackhawks if they are interested in Faulk.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes New York Rangers restricted free agent center Kevin Hayes could get a five-year, $30-million payday if he hits the open market next summer. He suggests Rangers GM Jeff Gorton must decide if he’ll re-sign Hayes to a similar contract or ship him to one of the teams around the league in need of a center. He feels it would be folly to allow Hayes to go through arbitration and get a one-year deal. Brooks feels the return should be for “help and muscle on the wing,” and wonders if Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk would be off-limits.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Gorton does with Hayes. Forking over five years and $30 million would be an expensive investment for Hayes, who has good size (6’5″, 217 pounds), offensive skills and can play center or wing. However, he’s not overly physical and has yet to crack the 50-point plateau. As for dangling him for DeBrusk, I don’t see the Bruins making that move.