NHL Rumor Mill – August 17, 2018

by | Aug 17, 2018 | Rumors | 43 comments

Another update on Erik Karlsson plus five players on one-year contracts worth watching this season in your NHL rumor mill.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators aren’t going to rush into trading defenseman Erik Karlsson. Despite the  feverish media trade chatter early last month when a couple of teams sought permission to speak to him about a contract extension, the Senators didn’t receive a suitable tempting offer.

Despite talk early last month about an imminent trade of Erik Karlsson, the Ottawa Senators weren’t close to swinging a deal (Photo via NHL Images)

That speculation arose after the Sens offered Karlsson an eight-year deal worth over $80 million. As of now, nothing is imminent on the contract or trade fronts. Management intends to remain patient with this situation.

Karlsson has one year remaining on his contract. If he’s not traded by the time training camp opens on Sept. 13 he still intends to honor that final season and report to camp.

Garrioch said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion doesn’t intend to give Karlsson away and will wait for the right return. It’s believed five or six clubs, including the Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks, remain interested in the Senators’ captain.

It’s unknown what Dorion’s asking price is but Garrioch believes it’ll be expensive. He also wonders if the Anaheim Ducks or Vancouver Canucks might “kick the tires” because they have the assets to make a deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson could be traded today, tomorrow, next week, next month, before Christmas or the Feb. 25, 2019 NHL trade deadline. It’s even possible he’ll re-sign if the Sens make a bigger contract proposal, though at this point that seems like wishful thinking.

By the sound of things, Dorion isn’t being pressured by ownership to move Karlsson so he can afford to take his time. However, once 2019 rolls around, the countdown to the trade deadline will be on and he’ll definitely start feeling the heat.

It’s believed Dorion sought young defenseman Mikhail Sergechev as part of the return from the Lightning and top prospect Miro Heiskanen from the Stars. No word on what the Golden Knights offered up but young rearguard Shea Theodore would probably be part of the return. The Sharks might have to part with Timo Meier or Tomas Hertl.

The Ducks’ considerable depth in defensemen (Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Montour, Josh Manson and the promising Jacob Larsson) could prove attractive to the Senators. The Canucks also have some good young assets with brights futures (Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Olli Juolevi) to offer up if they wanted.

However, Karlsson carries a modified no-trade clause and those two clubs might not be on his list of preferred trade destinations. The Ducks’ biggest need is for young, swift-skating scoring forwards. Karlsson might not be keen to join a rebuilding club in Vancouver. 


THN.COM: Jared Clinton recently listed Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, Ottawa Senators winger Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson, New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes and New York Islanders center Brock Nelson as five NHL players worth watching when the calendar flips to Jan.1, 2019. That’s the earliest those five, who signed one-year contracts this summer, can be re-signed to contract extensions by their respective clubs.

Trouba and Karlsson will once again be eligible next summer for restricted free agent status with arbitration rights. Stone, Hayes and Nelson are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, 2019.

Trouba and the Jets have had difficult contract talks in the past. Clinton suggests the Jets might consider moving him in the months leading up to free agency rather than have another possible arbitration saga drag on into another summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The consensus among most pundits weighing in on Trouba’s status is the Jets won’t move him during the upcoming season. He’ll be valuable to their efforts to stage a run for the Stanley Cup next spring. However, his status with the club could bear watching in the weeks leading up to July 1.

As per Cap Friendly, the Jets have over $46 million already invested in 10 players with other notables such as Patrik Laine, Blake Wheeler, Kyle Connor and Tyler Myers to re-sign. Trouba could become the odd man out. 

If the Senators cannot re-sign Stone, the conversation could shift toward whether or not to shop him before the February trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if the Senators aren’t starting that conversation by early-January, you can bet a lot of pundits will be having it. They’ll be justified doing so, as the Sens cannot let Stone walk away for nothing next summer.

Should Karlsson have a solid follow-up to last season’s 43-goal performance, he’ll be looking at a big-money extension over his current one-year, $5.25-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And if Karlsson hits around the same numbers again, the Golden Knights will likely be only too happy to pay him that hefty raise on a long-term extension. 

With the Rangers attempting to rebuild on the fly, Hayes could become a high-quality bargaining chip before the trade deadline. If he has another productive campaign, Clinton doesn’t rule out the Rangers attempting to re-sign him. 

A return to his 25-goal form could earn Nelson an extension with the Islanders. However, if they’re out of playoff contention by the trade deadline, Nelson could be a worthwhile depth addition for a playoff contender. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be interesting to see what happens with these two. If both clubs are out of the playoff race in January, they’ll likely be shopped even if they play well this season. 



  1. The Ducks considerable depth at defense has me wondering why the Ducks would be looking at EK.
    Additionally, his list of 10 no destinations submitted back in December may very well have the entire Pacific division listed…is Vegas really in the running here?

    • He is certainly, in my mind, an upgrade on any D corps in the league. He could even make Nashville better, there’s no doubt about it. But there’s a lot of things we don’t know, his no trade list, Dorions asking price, extension offers, harassment inquiry, yadayada. And let’s take a look at what happened, Dale Talon did his research on Hoffman, he phoned some people close to the Hoffmans and did his bet to get the inside dirt, and he traded for the guy! (And got him for cheap too) Meanwhile, Karlsson is quiet and standing by his woman. Dorion, we can all agree, has been making some questionable moves, I wouldn’t put it past him that he says the dressing room is broken and trades Hoffman and kept the cancer, since he’s a much bigger asset maybe, I don’t know. Because Melnyk has some stupid grand plan who knows. This is a stinky situation and is the biggest story out there. There are some pissed off people, and you can bet Mark Stone is one of them.

      • I realize everyone is entitled to his/her opinion .. but that one is a doozy.

      • George….was there a rumour that even after the Senators traded Hoffman and them might trade EK….there would still be one problem in the room….have you heard that rumour….does it have credibility…..any ideas what it might be

      • Old Blue Dog – I’m wary of any “rumor” in ANY aspect of life – as my grandmother used to say “rumors are as dumb as those start them and as fake as the people who spread them.”

        Now opinions, on the other hand, are fine. As I said above, everyone is entitled to form their own based on what is observed. Sometimes we’re bang on – more often than not we’re was off base.

        So, having said that, I find it curious that the Senators woes last season started with 2 separate issues – the Hoffman thing and Karlsson, instead of acting like a captain when asked about his pending (in 2019!) UFA status and any future contract, and saying simply “I do not discuss contract issues until the time comes” – or words to that effect, he chose to let EVERYONE know that he would not consider a “home-town discount” – whatever the hell that would be – and only sign long-term for top dollar.

        That had to go over like the proverbial lead balloon with some on the team – especially someone with principle like Phaneuf and, maybe, Stone. Then he turns down an 8-year $12 mil per offer, so that begs the question, was he setting the stage for his departure when he made that calculated statement early in the season?

        Draw your own conclusions.

    • Best puck mover off the back line in the league – I will take him

    • I agree some teams like Anh, SJ, etc. don’t need Karlsson especially considering the contract that is going to be required to retain him. There D’s are solid, deep & they all have kids coming NHL ready.

      With Burns 8 mil per for 7 more years & Vlasic 7 mil per for 8 more years huge monies how does SJ get Karlsson onto that roster?

  2. Going all-in for one year is seemingly the preferred strategy of most bloggers. Going all-in does not guarantee a cup. The chances of winning for some teams may be higher with two or three chances with their roster plus prospects, rather than a shorter window with an undeniable upgrade in EK. Price too high for Tampa, not Dallas in this mindset.

    • Tb needs to do something their players seem to choke in the playoffs

    • Hockey is a weird sport that way. Stars make a big difference, but it isn’t like basketball where going all in gives you some ridiculous odds to win it all.

      Making measured moves that give you multiple chances is a far better approach, you never know when things might finally break your way. Washington just won a cup despite the fact that this wasn’t the best team they brought into the playoffs.

      Creating a nice long window of competitiveness is a far better approach than blowing through assets to take one or two big chances on it.

  3. Lets not forget he comes with some baggage too. As a hockey player I don’t think there’s a better D in the league but it’s looking quite possible that his woman is a basket case. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what is holding a deal up, especially since Hoffman is the only one speaking up and saying they don’t know what’s going on.

    • She did suffer an unimaginable horror and sadly may still carry some emotional trauma. If that is the case, I would doubt it would factor much in a hockey decision of another team.But perhaps the support system she has at home could be a huge factor in EK wanting to stay put.

    • Monika, you need to stop this. We know it’s you!

      • Yeah, that was pretty compelling as well.

      • Its not the slightest bit compelling. In this PC world and the hysteria that social media produces, terms like “cyber bullying are meaningless.” Not one shred of evidence about this has ever been produced about what actually happened, so no one outside the parties involved has a clue. A bunch friends supporting each other against an outsider proves nothing.

        In fact, the most compelling fact about this matter is that when the Stones asked to have the evidence made public, the Karlssons refused. What are they hiding? If that doesn’t create doubts, what would?

        It is scarey to see how many people have drawn absolute conclusions despite the lack of any real evidence.

      • I wasn’t making any conclusions, nor asking anyone else to. I don’t think we can possibly know enough to condemn Melnyk, but we also don’t know enough to assume that Karlsson is a basket case.

        I will agree that if there is solid evidence of this, it would behoove the Karlssons to produce it…

      • Caryk not Melnyk lol…

      • LMacDonald.

        I agree, where is the innocent until proven guilty? Why didn’t the Karlsson’s take legal action?

        I really don’t want to even be discussing this BS ideally & the only reason I really am is it has real-life hockey implications some already incurred.

        Ottawa got a player from SJ most here felt SJ couldn’t salary dump, with a young D prospect in Bergman for 1 of the best goal scores in the NHL since Hoffman became a full-time NHL player 4 years ago. Sitting 24th in goals with 104 over that timeline.

        Considering he barely saw PP time under Cameron in his 1st 2 full seasons in the NHL & he had to earn his ice time through his development years that was a brutal trade for Ottawa with this issue or not.

        Considering Karlsson appears to be moving regardless Ott should have waited. Hoffman has a career year in Florida playing with Trocheck on the 2nd line & 2nd PP unit. 30 to 35 goals, 65 to 70 points.

        Nor will Boedker be a bum with the added minutes & PP time in OTT he played under 14 mins TOI/GP in SJ last season barely seeing 2nd line PP time & still managed to score 15 goals & 37 points. 20 to 25 goals 50 to 55 points if he plays 75 games unless Gaborik is fit to play as if Gaborik is he will see better line placement & PP time biting into both the quantity & quality of minutes Boedker sees.

      • Methinks?? That’s a reference to someone being insincere btw.
        Yes, I did see that.

      • This is all hearsay. Hoffman’s girlfriends claim is she isn’t the person that made the posts. I’m shocked the crown hasn’t forced a resolution to this mess.

        Having the wife’s of other players come to the defence of her friends means what? I’m sure Hoffman’s girlfriend has people that came to her defence as well.

        Sensationalism at it’s finest.

        All I know is this has been a catalyst for the abyss Ott is heading into & I’m curious as to the other shoes that were due to drop that many were saying would come to light soon but didn’t.

        I’m only really concerned about how it affects these players, their respective teams & performance.

        Cat fights are always entertaining but these 1’s have serious real-life ramifications to a sport I love including players & teams.

      • I borrowed, of course, from old Willy who actually wrote “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

        Somehow, in all this, and after watching Hoffman’s demeanor on the ice and on the bench and his interactions with teammates, I get the impression he has developed the ability to convince himself of his own lies to the point where he does it masterfully.

        I could, like I say elsewhere, be way off base – but I think we’ll know soon enough as the new season progresses.

      • Well, you have certainly made your distaste for this player apparent often I just don’t share it, would have been happy to have him on my team but that spots now full. 25+ goals scorers don’t grow on trees & this will be the best C Hoffman has yet played within his NHL career. I assume Trochek but its him or Barkov. Although 29 in November Hoffman was very late to the NHL party. He has 4 full NHL seasons of experience but hasn’t yet posted his career year although certainly fully developed now.

        Love the Willy reference by the way. Ha-ha!

  4. Karlsson is a generational d-man and the Sens should be patient and wait for the right deal … two problems: the owner and an inept gm.

    • I agree please don’t rush & do what they did with Hoffman, moving him under value situation or not.

    • Maybe a top prospect istoo much too ask for any player for oneyear rental unless you are guaranteed a Stanley Cup. No team fits that bill in the NHL.

  5. It wasn’t that the contract (monies) was too low, it’s the structure of the deal. He wanted most of it up front – he’s been playing on the cheap for most of his previous deal, so I don’t blame him.
    Melnyk missed office payroll twice, and other debtors we’re making calls.

    There’s something going on and the one year to Stone is the glaringly obvious indicator. To me it says – Stone has been told he’ll get the 8 year and C once Erik is dealt. Or he was told – just hold on, wait, we are on good terms lets just see what Erik does. Same for Duchene.

    This team isn’t going to be as bad as people think. And their attendance last year wasn’t as bad as people think either. The fans will come.

  6. If Ottawa wants a 1st round pick in 2019 for Karlsson, maybe a trade today with Dallas could be the answer. Dallas finished with 92pts last season good for 6th place in the central. Karlsson could be enough to push Dallas into the playoffs or Dallas could still miss the playoffs in the very strong central division giving Ottawa a lottery shot.
    If Ottawa wait until the trade deadline the 2019 draft pick will be in the bottom 10; better to ask for the 2020 1st rnd pick at that point.

    • Hi Caper

      I believe if EK goes to any one of VGK, Dall, SJ, TBay, An … these will not be lottery picks …. all IMO make playoffs with EK

      If EK goes to TBay… IMO they become cup faves from East

      If EK goes to TBay … the first would be in 2020 tho

      My gut sense is that Dorion takes one more set of inquiries to Dall, VGK, TBay and maybe SJ (don’t see An) just to see what is the final pre-season offer…. with a more likely chance that it doesn’t fit to his liking. Then takes one more shot at extension (which with what I believe will be Melnyk’s parameters; will not be accepted).., then starts season with EK and fields no more calls until Feb

      • While no team that would be acquiring Karlsson can be expected to miss the playoffs, if I am Ottawa I think Vegas and Dallas might have the most to give. If you can get an unprotected 1st from either, they are both in tough divisions, and there is at least a chance that either team, even with Karlsson misses the playoffs.

      • Ottawa missed the playoffs in 4 of Karlsson’s 9 seasons in the NHL. He doesn’t make Dal a playoff team for sure. They have to give up something to get him & it’s not all going to be picks & prospects as does anyone else & when his contract jumps to 10+ mil per season for the next 7 to 8 years potentially even less so moving forward.

        Parity is alive & well, with each passing year the quality of talent coming is better than ever before making it tighter & tighter & far more competitive. Neither StL nor Cal made the playoffs last season along with Dallas & both have improved significantly.

        For a team like Dallas to make the playoffs even with Karlsson who are they beating to get there? Col would be the obvious choice but I see no way StL doesn’t make the playoffs next season. The central division is a brutal, Nas, Win, Min, StL, Dal, Chi & Col. No stronger division in the NHL for regular season play to even get into the playoffs.

        Who wants to have to play these teams 5 times a year. A few only face each other 4 due to the odd # but it rotates year to year for divisional play to balance it out over time. 5 teams from the Central may make the playoffs next season & all may finish in the top 12 teams in the NHL regardless of how often they play 1 & other.

    • I think the 1st round pick is a given, but not going to be the biggest part of the trade. Ottawa likely views the young NHL player(s) as the biggest component of the trade, not the pick(s) or prospect(s). Heiskanen on Dallas is the one technical exception since he hasn’t played in the NHL yet, but is a very elite prospect who should play and have an impact next year.

      I can’t see Ottawa completing a trade with TB where they don’t get Sergachev or a trade with Vegas where they don’t get Theodore unless it is at the trade deadline. The Sens would simply take the best trade available at that time, which should be significant as 10-15 teams would be in the bidding even as a rental.

  7. Ottw’s future is not as glum as most think

    They are likely (at least it seems so now) going to get a new arena in a far better location

    They have some young developing prospects that will work well with vets and UFAs (if extended)

    If UFAs unloaded … buckets of young roster , prospects, picks coming back that would be entering productive years in and around Yr 2’ish of new arena…. increasing interest… more ticket sales… more revs … larger internal budget … could vie in for some prime UFArs in years 3+ of new arena

    Re EK/wife & Hoff/Fiancé sit … media attention has died down tremendously … I think this will have at the very most a marginal/minimal affect in the EK trade/extend outcome

    Re Dorion moves of late … IMO he’s mostly been handicapped by Eugene

    Only trade that Ottw MUST make is to get rid of Melnyk

    ….. any offer whatsoever should be considered… just sayin’

    • Ottawa’s situation is objectively ugly. The owner isn’t well liked by the fans, the attendance is low, the locker room was said to be broken by the GM, their current GM has lost his last couple of trades, they just finished near the bottom of the league, they don’t hold a first next year, and their three best players are UFA at the end of next season.

      That is a lot of ugly. If you look past that though, and you are starting from next year, they will have that new arena, they have a relatively strong prospect pipeline, they hopefully will get some assets for those UFA players, they can be in a good position for a rebuilding team. They do have a couple of terrible contracts, but realistically, if they are rebuilding, both will expire before they are on 2nd and 3rd contracts for some of their more recent prospects and picks.

      I get why fans are dejected, because a lot rides on how management handles a tough situation, and if you aren’t confident in that management to begin with, it’s tough to watch. I really hope Dorion doesn’t fall into a trap of worrying too much about that pick he already doesn’t own. He shouldn’t take less value in trades, or put them off for longer, just to give Colorado slightly lower odds. He needs to worry about his team only.

      When it’s all said and done though, this will all pass, they will have a good prospect pool, own their picks, and by the time those young players need conracts, their worst contracts will just be ending, or already just a memory.

      Things will get better.

    • Pengy for me is when is that future going to be? The unravelling is just now starting. Are we looking at an Arz, Buf, Car or good forbid Edm time line to get competitive again? Because if the year down isn’t yet complete & that is happening as these pending UFA’s Ceci being 2 summers away then are we looking at 5 to 10 years like those teams above?

      How are ticket sales going to play out through this? How long before a new building is ready to play in? It was reported that the shovel could hit the ground next June I will believe that when I see it. I sure hope so. If it does we may be able to move to that building in 2.5 to 3 years?

  8. Anaheim’s D runs even deeper than those stated. Pettersson, Mahura, & Welenski all have NHL futures.

    Welenski is going to arrive very late to the party, he’s now 25 after playing 4 years of College hockey, 2 years with the Gulls & getting a 7 game NHL trial late last season & not looking out of place. This player was drafted 7 years ago.

    Mahura had a solid final season in the Dub & played very well in the Memorial Cup.

  9. I’m a little surprised the Islanders haven’t been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Karlson. They have plenty of young assets they could move for him and cap space galore to resign him if they wanted to.

    • Except Karlsson won’t turn that bunch into a winner any time soon – so I doubt they’d be on his OK list.

      • Concur George

        EK to NYI … Nyet

  10. If the Ducks were to trade for Karlsson, it would take a minimum of Montour, top D prospect (Larsson, Pettersson, Mahura) and probably another roster player, plus a pick in the upper rounds (2nd or a 3rd). And he would have to do an extension similar to Doughty. I think the Ducks need is a scoring winger (as Spec said) but having Karlsson is like having both. But is havin nearly $30 mil tied up on the d worth all that?

    • I don’t get the 30 mil reference?

  11. “Somewhere in the middle lies the truth”

    Careful George we might start calling you Shakespeare