NHL Rumor Mill – September 13, 2018
Updates on Erik Karlsson and William Nylander plus the latest on the Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.
KARLSSON TRADE COMING SOON?
TSN 1050 (via NICHOLS ON HOCKEY): NHL insider Darren Dreger doesn’t want to use the word “imminent” regarding a possible trade of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. However, he believes everything points to a Karlsson deal going down “within a day or two”. Figuring out the destination, however, remains difficult.
Trade rumors linked Karlsson to the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this summer. Dreger considers it “conceivable” that new Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois could revisit interest in the Senators’ captain. He also thinks the Vegas Golden Knights seem a likely destination. “I thought that was the case with the Dallas Stars earlier this morning, but a Stars’ source told me it’s quiet on that front,” said Dreger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger reviewed the factors linking Karlsson to the Lightning (including the salary-cap difficulties facing them and a possible reluctance by the Senators in sending him there) and the Golden Knights’ available cap room and depth in prospects. No point in rehashing them again. For those of you who’ve forgotten, simply review my recent rumor posts involving Karlsson or check out my Rumor Roundup column with Sporting News.
As the Tampa Bay Times’ Tom Jones points out, it’ll take a mighty big package to land Karlsson. “The Lightning would love to get in on the Karlsson sweepstakes, but isn’t going to give away too much (such as Brayden Point) to get him.” I think the Golden Knights share a similar mindset.
Stop me if you have heard this before — and you have — but there’s been a decided increase in Erik Karlsson trade talk over the last 24-48 hours with the obvious goal of trying to get it done before OTT hits the ice for training camp.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 13, 2018
NYLANDER SEEKING $8 MILLION ANNUALLY?
TSN 1050 (via NICHOLS ON HOCKEY): Darren Dreger also weighed in on the contract negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free agent forward William Nylander. He believes the Leafs are willing to pay him $6 million annually but there’s speculation the Nylander camp seeks $8 million per season, which Dreger doubts he’ll get.
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby noted Nylander wasn’t on the Leafs 73-man training camp roster. There are reports Nylander remains in Sweden while a sizable gap remains in negotiations between the two sides. His camp seeks a lucrative long-term deal. Without a new contract, Nylander cannot attend training camp.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger points out the Leafs’ offer would be comparable to the annual average value received by Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan ($6.375 million), Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak ($6.66 million) and Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers ($6 million). The argument can be made that Monahan and Pastrnak, who play first-line roles, are more valuable to their respective clubs than Nylander is to the Leafs.
Nylander doesn’t have much leverage here except to withhold his services and hope the Leafs cave. That tactic rarely works and often hurts the player’s performance for the remainder of the season. He’s definitely not getting much more than $6 million per season. Leafs GM Kyle Dubas could trade him if this situation grows contentious but I doubt they’ll go to that extreme. Dubas will instead outwait Nylander.
LATEST ON THE CANUCKS
THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, JD Burke was asked how likely are the Vancouver Canucks to shop pending unrestricted free agent defensemen Alexander Edler and/or Michael Del Zotto by the trade deadline. With the Canucks rebuilding, Burke doubts Edler will re-sign a long-term extension. He feels they could get a better return for Edler than Del Zotto, provided he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause. So far, they haven’t approached him about doing so.
Burke’s colleague Jason Botchford reports injuries affected the trade value of Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev. He said the offers the Canucks received for Tanev were surprisingly weak and were based upon concerns over his ability to complete a full season. Over the past three seasons, he’s missed 82 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canucks are out of the playoff chase by February, I believe they’ll approach Edler for a list of trade destinations. They could also test the trade market on Del Zotto and Tanev. If the latter has a healthier season his trade value should improve, though I doubt they’ll get a quality roster player back.