Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 8, 2018
Latest on the Erik Karlsson trade watch plus updates on the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
KARLSSON TRADE WATCH CONTINUES
SPORTSDAY: The trade status of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson is affecting the Dallas Stars’ offseason business. That includes discussing a contract extension with center Tyler Seguin, who (like Karlsson) is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
If Stars general manager Jim Nill fails to acquire Karlsson but remains keen to make a trade, ESPN.com’s Matthew Coller believes Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner would help resolve their need for secondary scoring.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Rangers are indeed interested in acting as a third party to help facilitate a trade sending Karlsson from the Senators to the Lightning, provided they can get more than a late-round first-round pick in return. He notes the Senators have set a high asking price for Karlsson, plus the Rangers aren’t deviating from their rebuilding process.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just like John Tavares’ free-agent situation in late-June, Karlsson’s status is affecting the NHL trade market in early-July. Until it’s sorted out or general managers grow tired of waiting, notable players still believed available in this summer’s trade market – Skinner and his teammate Justin Faulk, Montreal Canadiens’ left wing Max Pacioretty, Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker and perhaps Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin – probably won’t be going anywhere.
Earlier last week, the Stars appeared the front-runner for Karlsson but a deal appears stalled over their unwillingness to send top defense prospect Miro Heiskanen to Ottawa. Late last week, it seemed a trade shipping Karlsson to the Tampa Bay Lightning was close. However, salary-cap room for the Lightning and return for the Senators appear to be sticking points.
UPDATES ON THE BLACKHAWKS
THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers believes the Chicago Blackhawks must find a taker for the contract of all-but-retired winger Marian Hossa. His $5.275-million annual salary-cap hit is preventing them from improving the roster.
Recent attempts to send that contract to a club in need of reaching the $58.8-million salary-cap minimum were hampered by the Hawks’ unwillingness to include another asset in the deal. A league source believes it’ll take the inclusion of a top prospect to get it done.
Powers thinks the Blackhawks will likely place Hossa on long-term injured reserve again to start the season, which would free up room to perhaps make a move near the Feb. 25 trade deadline to acquire a rental player if they’re in playoff contention. Such a move, however, will also mean giving up an asset.
Despite the addition of defenseman Brandon Manning, Powers believes the Blackhawks still must upgrade their blueline for 2018-19. “The Carolina Hurricanes are still expected to move Justin Faulk, who would be an upgrade for the Blackhawks as a right-handed defenseman. The cost may be too much though, as multiple reports have said the Hurricanes want Brandon Saad in exchange for Faulk.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Powers observes, the Blackhawks are in a difficult spot this summer. They need to bring in another experienced top-four defenseman, but lack the cap space to do so. They’re also unwilling to part with a significant asset. They can’t move Hossa’s contract without a sweetener, but if they put him on LTIR and attempt to bring in a rental player later in the season, it’ll cost them a prospect, young player or draft pick.
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) July 5, 2018