NHL Rumor Mill – August 22, 2018

by | Aug 22, 2018 | Rumors | 78 comments

Latest on the Ottawa Senators in your NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: In his “State of the Franchise” analysis of the Ottawa Senators, Chris Stevenson reports they are “mired in uncertainty” with top players such as defenseman Erik Karlsson and forwards Matt Duchene and Mark Stone eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July. Trade rumors have dogged Karlsson, who rejected the club’s contract extension last month. It’s possible the trio could be gone by the trade deadline.

Mark Stone is among several players facing uncertain futures with the Ottawa Senators. (Photo via NHL Images)

Stevenson said there’s no indication of progress toward a contract extension with Duchene. He also notes goaltender Craig Anderson, who’s entering a two-year contract worth $9.5 million, wouldn’t mind being traded.

NBC SPORTS: In his “Three Questions” assessment of the Senators, Joey Alfieri wonders what will happen to Karlsson. The Senators were reportedly close to moving the All-Star defenseman to the Vegas Golden Knights at last season’s trade deadline but the deal fell through. There was an expectation he’d be traded during the 2018 NHL Draft weekend or in early-July but so far general manager Pierre Dorion hasn’t found a suitable deal.

Alfieri feels the Senators are either still holding out for the best deal or perhaps they’re hoping to re-sign Karlsson following the trade of winger Mike Hoffman, whose fiancee faced allegations of cyberbullying Karlsson’s wife. “For that to happen, owner Eugene Melnyk is going to have shell out some serious coin over the next few years. And, of course, they have to pray to the 28-year-old is willing to look past all the warts and deficiencies of his current team.”

Alfieri also reports GM Pierre Dorion faces considerable pressure this season. Trading Karlsson, who has a year left on his contract, won’t be easy. Complicating matters could be owner Eugene Melnyk’s insistence that teams pursuing the Senators captain also take on the hefty contract with winger Bobby Ryan, who has four years left on his deal with an annual average value of $7.25 million. He also faces a difficult challenge attempting to re-sign Duchene and Stone. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This season could be one of the most crucial in Senators history. If they’re forced to trade away Karlsson, Duchene and Stone, they’ll have to undergo a major roster rebuild that could take years to complete. That won’t help attract disgruntled fans who’ve grown weary of the club’s direction in recent years under Melnyk’s ownership.

If Dorion is forced to shop those three he’ll obviously try to get the best return possible. However, their respective UFA statuses could affect their trade value. If he waits too long in hopes of driving up the asking price, he could end up having to accept much less as the trade deadline approaches.

Insisting on Ryan being included in a Karlsson deal seems like a deal breaker. Most clubs aren’t interested in taking on his full salary. The Sens might have to absorb part of his cap hit to make such a move palatable.

As for Anderson, there are teams that could be in the market for a starting goalie as the upcoming season progresses. Much will depend upon his play through 2018-19. There probably isn’t much call for a 37-year-old netminder coming off the type of performance he had last season. 



  1. Clearly, neither Stevenson nor Alfieri have a grasp of “originality” – sequacious describes them perfectly.

    • Nice one George 🙂

    • George….you responded a few days ago to my third dressing room “rumour” question…I had mentioned EK and Hoffman..reading this today the third rumoured room problem was Anderson wanting out….agree with your Grandmother’s admonition on rumours but it is all hockey addicts have in August

      • Yeah, that Anderson request has been strangely avoided since he allegedly made it back in June just before the draft. The ONLY report of that came from a report by Chris Stevenson of The Athletic that Anderson “has expressed his desire to move on from the Senators.”

        This came the day after Elliotte Friedman said Anderson’s name was out there as a potential trade. Why would anyone in the Ottawa organization hint at that not long after Anderson was inked to a 2-year, $9.5-million extension late in 2017 which kicks in at the start of this season? They also gave him a modified no-trade clause giving him the option of naming 10 teams to which he would not accept a trade.

        I’m sure Anderson knows it would be difficult – if not impossible – for Dorion to negotiate a trade anywhere for a 37 year old goalie coming off a bad season and earning that kind of coin.

        If he did indeed ask to be traded, it has to be connected to the dressing room dysfunction caused by Karlsson’s ill-advised rant to a reporter’s question early in the season that he would not be accepting a “home-town discount” – rather than simply saying he does not discuss contract issues until the time comes to do so – and, of course, the Hoffman thing.

      • I suspect Anderson never asked to be traded as a demand but rather a request due to the poor performance last season and the debacle of numerous scandals. He likely doesn’t see Ottawa having a large chance to win and would prefer a trade to a “better” team.

        I get the Sense his being 37? He acknowledges his career is almost over and would like a better chance at the cup. If not an option, he is willing to remain a SEN.

      • Let’s face it no one wants to play for the Sens this year except maybe kids who want their NHL shot at any cost. There is so much venom floating around that dressing room right now. What is Ryan’s motivation for playing hard this year? Their 3 best players are all UFA next summer and probably have no intention of signing. When your best players are phoning it in every night and you are getting your butts kicked because of it that’s just going to create a culture of losing and futility. This is Melnyks fault directly and his flunky Dorion. This is a text book situation of how not to run a pro sports franchise. They need to trade those 3 guys right now for the best packages they can get and sign some FAs to PTOs and realize that they are not going to be able to beat most AHL teams this year. Scorched earth rebuild and deal with the fan fall out because Melnyk did all of this to himself. You can’t be the Mr burns of the NHL without some serious reprocussions.

      • Exxxcellent

  2. If I recall, Karlsson wanted contract with bonuses to protect against lock out? Seems like the money and years that was offered should’ve been ok. Maybe they work out the framework. The longer it goes, I think the less likely he gets moved before deadline. Read an interview with Klaeson on Rangers site yesterday. Talked about how unconfortable locker room was in Ottowa. Wonder if moving Hofman solves that or is there more to it. I think signing Duchene is a must, considering what they have up. Keeping Stone should also be a priority come January. Hoping they don’t end up with 1st pick when all is said and done. Keeping Duchene and maybe having a decent season where Colorado doesn’t get a high pick would be ideal.

  3. Handing Bobby Ryan a $7.25 annual hit with term is a fire able offense right there … combining a frugal owner with an inept GM is a recipe for disaster … but that’s just me being sequacious whatever that ten cent word means …

    • ED

      LOL 🙂

      Yep re: fireable (in hindsight). I was perplexed at time with term and $’S but not as outlandish then as it is so obviously now

      Owner … moron …. yep yep yep

      GM’s ineptitude is (IMO) a product of a brutal, dogmatic and hand-tying owner, some awful circumstances out of his control (AGM and player’s spouse issues) and his own “average” abilities as as GM. I can’t in all honesty lay a huge part of the current situation at Dorian’s feet.

      Sequatious and original are basically antonyms

      George (and I concur) feels that both Stevenson and Algiers ironically don’t have an original thought between them

      They are regurgitating crap/fodder

      • Dorion didn’t trade for or sign Ryan to that contract. That was Bryan Murray. About the only good that came from that contract was Ryan’s incredible play during the 2017 playoffs. He was arguably their best forward in their run to the ECF and well worth the contract then. Very overpaid otherwise.

      • When referencing Dorion as a poor GM it be better that you use facts attributable to him or many like me willquestion you knowledge and wonder if Dorion is a poor GM or that people simply don’t have a clue.

    • “Handing Bobby Ryan a $7.25 annual hit with term is a fire able offense right there”

      20-20 hindsight strikes again. You are very good a predicting the past. So tell me, who is going to win the cup last year?

      • Lmao! So true!

        My money is on Buffalo for last year!

      • It’s not the total amount of Ryan’s contract or the term that is bad. It’s the 2 million dollar signing bonus given each year. Bonuses can’t be bought out. It makes his contract practically buyout proof as the savings are minimal.

    • Wrong again eddie! It was Murray who traded for Ryan in 2013 and it was Murray who signed him to that deal – in 2014. Feel free to forgive yourself for not having the foresight to see what now seems obvious in hindsight.

      Of course, judging by some of your past posts I should realize that the only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.

    • That 10-cent word came through a novel experience – it’s called “education.” It has also helped me differentiate over the years between then and than, and there, their and they’re and to know there is no such two word phrase as should of, could of and would of.

      • Oh yeah, what about when you mistakenly quoted Shakespeare (on a hockey website!!). We should discuss that some more, methinks. You’re new name is Captain Sequaciousthinks from now on.

      • Ahh Arnie, Arnie, Arnie – I said I borrowed from Willy. It’s called “paraphrasing” – I’ll wait while you look it up.

      • I’ll wait for you to look up paraphrasing for me and see if says anything about misquoting people and misinterpreting meaning. lol. You literally sounded like Ricky off of trailer park boys, yeah he’s paraphrasing all the time lol.

      • not to mention:

        “can” and “may”
        “shall” and “will”
        “shined” and “shone”

        etc, etc


      • Paraphrasing – express the meaning of (the writer or speaker or something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity … you can either quote or paraphrase literary texts

        What part f that do you not understand arnie?

      • hmmmm when did grammar ever have anything to do with hockey knowledge ?
        I think you using big words to belittle someone shows how fragile your mind and ego really is.
        Your hockey knowledge is sketchy and your temper short which equals you pretending to be smarter then you actually are.

        Hang up the temper and bad attitude and have a conversation like an adult does.

        Someone with a higher education would not need to be told this.

  4. considering the Sens don’t have their 1st rounder in 2019, I think they’ll start the season with EK, Stone and Duchesne, and the club will hope they can contend for a playoff spot, or just be mediocre. This is just to avoid the embarassment of watching the Avs take Jack Hughes with the Sens pick, 1st overall

    if it looks like they won’t make the playoffs, I could see the team then trading all 3 by the trade deadline

    • That 1st rounder is gone. I don’t think they’ll make decisions based on where it falls or the “embarrassment “attached. Regardless of where they finish, Hughes or whoever is going somewhere else, barring a trade, the Sens have no shot. Why would they possibly risk taking less on deals that help the franchise rather than dwelling on past deals that may “embarrass “ them?

      I don’t see any logic in that thought process.

      • 100% agree, there is no logical reason to make decisions based on a pick you don’t own.

        If Ottawa does delay trades, it better be to increase the value, much like what Sakic did to put Ottawa in this situation.

        I think you could also make the argument that Ottawa would be better off with Colorado having the additional percentage odds. The Alternative would be to have Buffalo, Detroit or Montreal have increased odds by leap frogging one or all of them. Given how tough the Atlantic projects to be going forward, it’s probably better to have a high end talent go play in the west.

      • That’s one aspect everyone else has seemingly overlooked Danny. For sure if you’re going to lose out one way or another on what could be a franchise player, it’s far better to have him thousands of km away and only have to face him once or twice over a season.

      • Absolutely George.

        It’s especially true the way the divisional match ups work. With the way the Atlantic is accumulating good young players, we could see more and more circumstances where good teams are missing the playoffs and having a hard time getting in. If you are Ottawa, you certainly wouldn’t want a team like Detroit just leap frogging you in their re-build effort by getting Hughes.

        I do think sometimes when dealing players, GMs worry too much about the divisional rival situations, for instance when dealing an older player as a rental or who might be effective for a few years while you are rebuilding, but picks top picks can burn you for a decade.

        Being a Leafs fan while Rask and Seguin were hoisting a cup is about as much fun as being on fire when the ground is covered in broken glass and rusty nails.

      • What would be funny is if Ottawa traded Karlsson to a team like Vancouver. For their first rounder. Vancouver misses the playoffs. Ottawa wins the lottery with Vancouver’s pick.

      • Yet since Ottawa doesn’t have a 2rst four this year. It doesn’t make much sense for them to try and bottom out. Better to put forth the best team you can. Play the youth in your system. Evaluate and next summer decide o the loan of action.

        Retool or rebuild?

  5. Let’s not forget Dzingel who scored 23 goals for Ott last season is also a UFA next summer & Ceci the summer following. dzingel with only 2.5 years of NHL regular season experience having come out of College should be even better this season.

    How could a team put themselves in this position? I can’t think of a single team since the introduction of the cap in 2005 to have been in a position to lose all 4 of the best players in 1 year.

  6. Sens are not making the playoffs . They need to hope to stay out of the bottom 5 and they will need to band together to do that. Sometimes a young team doesn’t know any better and can play above their heads. Go with full on youth movement and be the youngest team in the league. I really like a lot of their prospects and some of their ‘suspects. White Brown Tkachuk and Chabot will be the new core. Dzingle and Pageau and maybe Ceci the new leadership group

    • I don’t see how Ott with their current D core even with Karlsson can have them not finish dead last in the NHL this season.

      Ott with Karlsson easily has the worst D in the NHL.

      • You also didn’t see the knights making the playoffs for five plus years.

      • That’s a stretch. How can you have the worst defense in the league with the league’s best defenseman and one of the best young defensemen in Chabot? Ceci and Wideman are solid depth defensemen and I think Wolanin will surprise too.

        If Karlsson is traded and they don’t get a good young NHL defenseman back in the trade, completely agree.

      • Chrisms: Agree. I wouldn’t bet money on Ottawa making the playoffs, but no one had Vegas, NJ and Colorado in the playoffs last year. 2 or 3 teams seem to come from nowhere every year to make the playoffs. Ottawa has a great prospect pool and some of the young players could surprise, much like Bratt in NJ last year.

      • Striker, Chabot, karlsson,Ceci, wolanin, boro, wideman, jaros!? Worst D? I think you’ll be surprised. Chabot, karlsson and Ceci alone don’t even equate the term “worst D” . There are teams starving for D and Ottawa can complete three solid D pairs. Some teams have only bottom pairing g D in their lineup. So to term “Worst D” big time stretch bud.

      • I don’t see how having a 2 time Norris winner (and 2 time runner up) makes you the worst D in league. You defend Isles D, who gave up most goals in league. You argue Rangers should’ve kept Girardi, when they clearly needed overhaul …after losing to Ottowa! I don’t see Sens as worst team in league. That’s some pretty harsh predicting for a team with some talent. I’m hoping they keep guys they have, at least until deadline.

      • Montreal is worse bro. It’s time for Canadiens to get 1st round pick

      • I didn’t think Vegas had a hope of making the playoffs.

        Weber is injured so Mon’s could well be worse this year at least until he gets back but they are a better team overall so their D win’t Look as bad.

        Chabot is going into his 2nd full season his defensive game will be lacking as he learns. Will make a ton of mistakes as he learns.

      • i’ll say it they have the WORST DEFENSE

      • Joel Ottowa?

    • Hey hey. Karlsson is elite. Chabot isxdarn good. W8deman was having a career year before tearingcapart his hamstring. Harper is improv8ng.

      Got youth like formenton, batherson, Chlapik, Brown, white and Thachuk.

      I to don’t think the Sens will struggle next year but they could very well surprise us all.

      • those are prospects and that’s all they are is prospects

      • You mean like Kapanen and Johansson and Dermott?

      • 👏

        Bob gots burned

      • no they have played in the nhl old fart

  7. The Senate a complete mess.

    • Congress too

  8. Trade deadline rentals sometimes get more in return than a guy with pending ufa at the beginning of the season… it’s counter intuitive but look at nash last year. More suitors are available because cap hit becomes less an issue. Teams also know where they are at and what’s missing. Injuries play into it. Not wanting the other teams on the division/conference to get the guy factors in as well. I expect Karlsson gets more at the deadline than now (caveat that he doesn’t agree to sign long term with another team prior to the season starting and that don’t look like the case).

    • Then you look at the Brassard trade. I’m not sure that Boston’s return for Nash is a shining example, more like a glaring mistake. If I’m Ottawa, I want 30 teams involved in his bidding. Not 4-6 teams. Other than Nashville, Minnesota, and Anaheim. ( And even these teams could see Karlsson as an upgrade) I think every team should or would be involved.

      Especially a team like The islanders. Having Karlsson for a full year may take them from bubble to a playoff team. It doesn’t serve a team like this well to bid for his services already outside looking in and hoping he makes up the difference down the stretch.

      If I’m Dorian, I don’t want to play the waiting game and hope something better comes along. If something knocks me off my feet, I’m making the deal yesterday.

      • It’s not 30 though. Many teams can’t take the cap hit. Many teams won’t want to give up a 1st not knowing if it could be a lottery pick. And with a caliber of player such as ek it will be far more tha 4-6 teams… could be more like 16-18 teams fighting for the playoffs at the deadline… arguably more teams than could be in the running now.

      • Good points chrisms.

      • Hypothetically, if Tampa calls and offers Foote or Sergachev, Point and a 1st and says now or never, are you hanging up or telling him you pass and wait for a better deal?

      • no ny.. but if they were it would be done. AND.. tampa still has to solve their cap problem in this scenario. a player (assuming he’s healthy.. risk on ott part) of ek’s ability will be a piece that turns playoff contenders into cup favorites. the bidding would be out of this world (again partially to keep the other teams away from him).

      • I think what has killed the deal to Tampa is cap space. If I’m Dorion , I want an one of Sergachev or Foote, and One of Johnson, Point, Gourde and a pick.

        I have no doubt Tampa would pull the trigger on either combo of those players. They are going to have to make some guy wrenching decisions sooner or later . Hedman, Mcdonagh, Miller , Palat, Kucherov, Johnson, Stamkos lock up a ton of money. They’re going to have to lock up Vasilesky, re-sign or replace Gourde, Stralman, Sergachev, Point, etc soon.

        They will have no choice but to let a few of these guys go soon, they may as well do it for a crack at Karlsson. IMO, take away Sergachev and Point, add Karlsson they’re instant east favorites.

      • Gut wrenching, not guy wrenching! Lmao

      • Hence my point. Deadline may not be bad for sens. The deadline in nhl history has proven itself almost as much stupid season as July 1st.

    • The thing about deadline deals too is that it is far easier to get a 1st without protection. This is mainly because teams have a good idea if they are in the playoffs, but it is still nice from a planning perspective to get the pick in the current draft.

      Sometimes teams that have had a surprising season really create a big bidder that wouldn’t have been there earlier on. Vegas gave up quite a bit to get Tatar at the deadline, and by the sounds of things pushed pretty hard to get Karlsson last year. They certainly wouldn’t have been in the running in the offseason last year.

      If there was a good deal for Karlsson, then they should do it sooner, but if not, there very well could be a better one later.

  9. I think Slick covered this situation the best.

    The terms of the deal were basically fine. He wanted it signing bonus heavy. I don’t blame him. Stone and Duchene are playing the waiting game. See what Karl does. Then sign long term. That’s your core 3/4. Karl, Stone, Duch, and to an extent Anderson to mentor the new goalie coming up. Dzingle stays. Ceci goes at the deadline as does Condon no matter where they are in the standings.

    They’ll be ok and push for a spot.

  10. While I sit here not super happy about my how Habs are looking as a team, I then just have to think about the Sens. Oi are they in trouble. Assistant GM just split to.

    All this and no first rounder next year. Just ouch.

    • The Assistant GM didn’t “split” – which suggests he wanted out of a sinking ship. He’s resigned before he’s fired for an ill-advised sexual approach to a young man in Buffalo.

  11. I’m amazed at how bad owners destroy teams. I think the first offender was Wirtz in Chicago, followed by the all time worse, Ballard then I think we have a pretty close race now between MLSE and Melnyk for the third worse owner of all time. As suggested, this season a lot can and probably will, go very wrong for Ottawa. It’s gonna suck being a Sens fan….Montreal, you’re next!

    • None of these guys is even close. There are plenty worse. Let’s start with Howard Baldwin. Unlike the people you mention, he literally destroyed the team. Baldwin sold off all the revenue streams to get the money to buy the Penguins and then went so deeply into debt that the team had to sell off players (Jagr, Kovalev, Murphy, etc.) for virtually nothing and was still lucky to meet payroll at times. He came very close to forcing the team out of town.

      On top of that, he signed the worst contract in the history of hockey. He agreed to pay Lemieux $30 million whether he played or not! Lemieux soon retired and the Penguins were on the hook for $20 million that they had to pay him for doing nothing. That is part of the debt that forced the team into bankruptcy. Of course, the team then ended up not having the money to pay him. To avoid getting nothing at bankruptcy, Lemieux converted the debt to a piece of the team. That’s the only reason that Lemieux got involved with the team at all.

      • Pretty sure Islanders easily have had worst owners. 2 in jail!! Top that

  12. Perhaps the best thing OTT could do is trade Karlsson to COL for Soderberg and their #1 pick back. Removing Soderberg’s contract from Colorado’s books will free up enough cap space for next yr so they can re-signed Karlsson who would more than solidify their right side D as well as pending RFAs Rantanen, Kerfoot and Compher. They have over $12m in cap space currently, with the removal of Soderberg’s 4.75, and the increase in the cap next year, Sakic should have no problem getting all 4 players locked up long term or at least long term for Karlsson and more affordable bridge deals for the youngsters.

    Maybe OTT can even squeeze Coal’s #1 pick in the deal! 😉


    • No way Colorado is trading that pick! ..not until they know for sure it’s not going to be Hughes! ..not many teams will be trading their first!

  13. If I am Dorion I would ask Yzerman to give me Johnson Kilorn Coburn and Callahan and some picks for Ryan and EK. Provided Stevie can convince those guys to wave their clauses

    Both Johnson and. Kilorn would be long term solutions for this team and keep them very competitive.

    Am I way off base? I know most hate hypotheticals

    • My knee-jerk reaction to your post was “WHHHAAATTT?!?!?!?” R U CRAZY??? That is WAY too much to give up, but, it does mlactually work! The TB D would be UNREAL and the depth at F that TB has allows them to make this HUGE upgrade from Colborne to Karlsson and frees up the needed space to sign Karlsson to a new 8 yr $11m deal if desired. And Ryan slots in on the right side of Point and Palat.the loss of Kilorn from the TB 3rd line hurts a bit, but replacing a 3rd line wingers on the cheap and from within the TB system would be easily enough done with minimal reduced effectiveness/production

      For OTT, they get the stability they need in their roster, and good leaders/members of the locker room and get immediate and much needed secondary scoring behind Duchene and Stone. Obviously the loss of Karlsson KILLS the OTTback end, but with Chabot and Ceci anchoring the back end, it’s a good young D core to build from, and without having to worry about top 6 scoring/depth (once Duchene and Stone are extended, which they would CERTAINLY be more inclined to do if a deal like this gets done), then just building the D and G can be focused on by management.

      Oh the prospect of this is so exciting! And I have a HATE for the Send and Steve I Y bred ine as a Leafs fan! 😉

      • This deal makes little sense to me from Ottawa’s perspective. I think Karlsson is the youngest player involved. Callahan 33, Coburn 33-34? Kilhorn and Johnson both 28, and slightly older than Karlsson.

        Coburn is no prize and when will Callahan have to call it a career?

        The only thing that works here is shipping 20 million in cap and salary in order for it to work for Tampa…. that’s about all that works. This deal dies after the money aspect.

      • ” frees up the needed space to sign Karlsson to a new 8 yr $11m”

        Huh? How does getting Ryan, who cost more than Callahan, free up any cap space for Tampa?

      • my favorite subject in grade school lanny was math… yours?

      • So everyone here has argued that Ottowa is a mess…and you think those guys will waive ntc’s and leave a cup contender… to go to Ottowa? And Colburn replaces EK on the worst defense according to Striker.

    • This makes absolutely no sense. Why in the world would Tampa and Ottawa trade reach other one cap dump Callan for another in Ryan?

  14. Karlsson to the western conference

  15. Regarding the early discussions of the day, it is indeed hindsight that Bobby Ryan’s contract is not worth it. He was selected 2nd overall and there was every expectation that he could be a perennial 30-40 goal scorer. That it hasn’t turned out that way is inconsequential, as Ryan got that deal when those expectations I mentioned were still fully realizable.

    Not like other signings, such as Calgary’s signing of Troy Brouwer to 4+ per season because of a 20 goal season and decent playoff run. If Zack Kassian broke out with a 21 goal, 38 point performance next season, I would expect him not to repeat.

    Also, it seems as if trade talks are again resuming for Karlsson, according to TSN.

  16. These are existential questions for the Sens. I’d say there’s about a 60% chance Ottawa still has an NHL franchise in 5 years.

  17. There’s a 100% chance they have their franchise in 5 years.
    smh….the NHL hates moving teams. And there are many interested deep pocketed people who want to buy and keep this team here. It’s also not for sale. But I’m sure you have some other mysterious facts that will dazzle us…like how they didn’t sell out 1 eastern conference final home game, still had the highest attendance during the playoffs of any team that year, and still averaged over 15k fans with 3500 seats covered during one of their worst seasons ever. Please……I’ll wait for the facts.

    Also. Elliote Freedman really reached for that Vancouver howler.