NHL Rumor Mill – August 27, 2018
Updates on Craig Anderson and Luca Sbisa plus the latest Oilers speculation in your NHL rumor mill.
ANDERSON “TOO OLD FOR DRAMA” WITH SENATORS
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports goaltender Craig Anderson is ready for a fresh start with the Senators. It’s his first public statement since a report in late-June claiming he asked for a trade. While he declined to comment about that, Anderson said he didn’t want to go through another season like 2017-18. “I’m 37 years old and drama is something I don’t do well with,” he said, adding he loved living and playing in Ottawa.
Anderson said he hopes the issues that plagued the club like season have been resolved. He also said he’s had no discussions with captain Erik Karlsson – who’s been a frequent subject of trade speculation this summer – and had no knowledge of the issues between Karlsson and now-former Senator Mike Hoffman, whose fiancee was accused of cyberbullying by Karlsson’s wife.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch speculates Anderson’s trade request may have been made for family reasons. His wife recently battled throat cancer and their two children spent the past two years living in Florida.
Anderson’s age (37) and his less-than-stellar numbers last season could account for the Senators’ inability to move him. Cap Friendly indicates he’s under contract through 2019-20 with a $4.75-million annual salary-cap hit and a modified no-trade clause. That might make him difficult to move.
LATEST ON THE OILERS
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins said he hasn’t paid much attention to the Erik Karlsson trade rumors. “It isn’t that the Oilers could not manage his $6.5m salary this year. It’s more about the double-digits he will command as a UFA in the Spring. Even if you make the leap that Karlsson would be interested, the roster would require major surgery in order to pull that off.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Cap Friendly indicates the Oilers currently have around $3.9 million in projected salary-cap space for 2018-19 with restricted free agent defenseman Darnell Nurse to re-sign. Granted, they’ll get some cap flexibility when sidelined blueliner Andrej Sekera gets placed on long-term injured reserve at the start of the season. With over $62 million invested in 13 players for 2019-20, the Oilers have the cap room to pay Karlsson over $11 million annually but it wouldn’t leave enough space to fill out the remainder of the roster.
Leavins still considers Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk a trade option for the Oilers. He suggests it could cost them a roster player and a high draft pick, pointing out the low return the Hurricanes accepted from the Buffalo Sabres (a prospect and three draft picks) to part with left wing Jeff Skinner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One big difference between Skinner and Faulk is the former will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July while the latter has two seasons remaining on his contract. The Hurricanes were desperate to move Skinner this summer rather than have questions over his status hanging over them when the season began. Skinner also had a full no-movement clause giving the Hurricanes few suitable trade options.
Faulk, on the other hand, has a 15-team trade list giving the Hurricanes more possibilities if they decide to trade him and more time to entertain suitable offers. While a roster player and a high pick sounds reasonable for Faulk, I expect that player will be a top-six forward, preferably a center. The Oilers could lose out to a rival bidder with more established assets.
Sounds like Luca Sbisa May end up back in Vegas after all…
— Kurt Leavins (@KurtLeavins) August 26, 2018