NHL Rumor Mill – September 7, 2018

by | Sep 7, 2018 | Rumors | 32 comments

Latest on Erik Karlsson plus updates on the Predators and Oilers in your NHL rumor mill.


TSN 1050 (VIA NICHOLS ON HOCKEY): Darren Dreger reports he knows one of the teams that expressed interest in Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson made “a pretty substantial offer”. Dreger said he was told there were “six elements” to it.

“So you’re talking about at least a couple of roster players, at least a couple of prospects, and at least a couple of draft picks,” said Dreger. “Now, some of that is conditional on whether Erik Karlsson would sign with that team.” He believes “the reality of the situation” is the Senators won’t win this trade because Karlsson is the best player involved.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: True, the Senators won’t get the best player in the deal, but that return sounds pretty good if you can get at least one promising roster player, a high draft pick and a top prospect out of it. I don’t see the Senators getting more than six assets back. My guess is the quality of those assets in that trade proposal weren’t that good. It’s also possible Karlsson won’t  commit to a new contract with that particular club.

Could the Nashville Predators consider moving Pekka Rinne at the trade deadline? (Photo via NHL Images)


THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Adam Vingan was asked if the Nashville Predators would attempt to move goaltender Pekka Rinne at the trade deadline if he appears to be slowing down by that point. He points out Rinne is the only Predator with no-trade protection, carrying a 10-team list of trade destinations. While the 36-year-old Rinne could regress, Vingan doesn’t see the Predators moving him this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. If Juuse Saros should take over the starter’s job, they’ll still keep Rinne as insurance for the playoffs. Better to have that depth between the pipes. 

Vingan was also asked if the Predators have the available assets to make a major addition at the trade deadline. He notes their farm system isn’t brimming with impact prospects right now. Having traded away their 2018 first- and second-round picks, he believes they’ll be less inclined to do that again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vingan doesn’t rule out the Predators perhaps putting together a package for a deadline addition but it’ll depend on how the season plays out. Remember, the San Jose Sharks got Evander Kane from the Buffalo Sabres last year for a conditional draft pick. 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins proposes one reason behind the potential holdup in the Oilers re-signing restricted free agent defenseman Darnell Nurse is general manager Peter Chiarelli isn’t done shaping the roster. He points out the Oilers still lack “right-shot D-man ready-and-able to run a power play,” suggesting Chiarelli’s best shot of addressing that need is near the end of training camp. Given the Oilers’ limited cap space, using most of it to re-sign Nurse could affect efforts to bring in another blueliner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting theory from Leavins which could explain the delay in getting Nurse under contract. We’ll find out soon enough. 



  1. One thing is clear, and that is that Tampa was either NOT the team offering 6 for Karlsson or, if they were, it was a pile of non-entities. I suspect the former and Dreger’s speculation that it was conditional is probably bang on and that it soon became evident that he has set his sights on Tampa – one way or another.

  2. How could the Senators possibly lose in any deal? Ottawa is not a cup contender. They’re not even playoff contenders. Karlsson will do two things for the Senators: 1) Put butts in seats, and 2) Help them win a few games they might not have were he not there. The Senators don’t need to win games, they need to bottom out and rebuild. Any return for Karlsson gives them assets that they need.

    • They only problem with the “bottom out and rebuild” strategy is that Ottawa traded away their 2019 first round pick. Bottoming out will just give Colorado a shot at the first overall pick, which would be an embarrassment for the Senators management.

      Regardless, it does seem clear that EK will not be in OTT long term. I agree they should do whatever they can to maximize a return for him.

      • So you’re suggesting that they might prefer to lose EK for nothing next summer, rather than be embarrassed by Colorado having a statistically significant chance at the #1 overall pick? I get that you’re not endorsing that as a strategy, but wow…if they’re actually thinking like that, they deserve to get stuck holding the bag, while Tampa gets EK for nothing (other than salary) next July.

    • Ott’s attendance has declined in 5 of the last 6 seasons with Karlsson, in the 6th between 2013-14 & 2014-15 it essentially flatlined. Winning puts butts in seats. Exciting hockey puts butts in seats, studs draw some fans but in most cities 23 out of 31 they drew over 95% last season & this basically holds going back to the 2012-13 lockout.

      There are so many studs in the NHL today every team has at least 1. They may not yet be the player they are going to be like say a Boeser in Vancouver who fans are happy to watch. We were all looking forward to seeing Goldobin, Gaudette, Dahlen, etc. this season but Beagle, Roussel & Schaller will keep us from seeing all but Goldobin for some time.

      This idea a player like Karlsson sells tickets is really a myth & no evidence to support such. I’m not paying to see Karlsson, I’m not specifically paying money to see anyone. I will see my favourite team play live in at least 5 cities this year possible 6 as Vegas just makes you want to fly in for 3 nights & see NHL hockey, the cities the draw more than the team the team playing so well is a bonus. I will pay to see numerous others as well but due to the team, not a specific individual really, seeing Crosby, Ovechkin, Doughty what have you, is also just a bonus.

      • The 3 teams most often mentioned as destinations for Karlsson are TB, Dal & Vegas, TB ran at 100%, Dal 97.7 & Vegas 103% of capacity, how is he helping to sell tickets, what tickets?

        He will cause the price of those tickets to go up a year after he arrives if extended, I would wager by at least 5%.

      • Even when they were winning (2 seasons back) in the playoffs they weren’t selling out. All kinds of theories – but those who don’t live here and not public servants have NO idea as to the domino effect of the disastrous Phoenix Pay System which has seen THOUSANDS still adversely affected. Just imagine yourself in a situation where you see NO income for months on end or pay far below what you’r supposed to be taking home. How many games do you think you’d be able to attend. And this goes back a number of years with no immediate resolution in sight.

      • I think some players do put butts in the seats. Going to Oilers games in the mid 90’s I’ve seen 11,000 people or less at most games. I could buy 1/2 price tickets on game day. Except when Lemieux, Jagr,Lindros, and of course Wayne came to town couldn’t but a ticket. Sid and Ovi will sell out the building too, 4-5 years after the Oilers cup run in 06.

      • I don’t often post, but read the page a lot. I assume you are a bruins fan, so I am curious as to where you will all be watching them this year?

      • I will see the Bruins live in Van, Cal, Edm, Dal & LA this year. I may try to make their trip to Vegas work as well not yet Gary t Ed though like the other 5.

      • Always great to watch your team. I am also slowly trying to knock off watching them in each city. Winter Classic for me this year, haven’t missed one yet with the bruins. And possibly a trip in early Oct to Boston to take my Oiler fan crazy son.

      • Chad.

        Let’s not confuse paid attendance with the # of tickets available on the street from scalpers. I gave up my season tickets to the Canucks after close to 30 years 2 years ago. In the last 4 years & I still attend at least a dozen Canucks games a year we have any where from 2 to 6 thousand tickets going unused which someone paid for. We even got 16 tickets together in 1 row for Chicago on a Saturday night 3 years ago this Nov! We purchased through the service the Canucks provide to there ticket holders with a resale mechanism.

      • “This idea a player like Karlsson sells tickets is really a myth” – Striker

        I can’t take you seriously with statements like this.

      • Fo sho butt prophet. That man with his French huh huh huh facial hair and his swag has definitely filled some seats. Then after the game some of the boyfriends seats.


  3. If the Oil get any injuries on top of Skerea on the back end and they are in trouble . Bear is promising but made a lot of mistakes when called up late last year. Bouchard can’t be ready . Not a lot of dollars available either. Or dollars that can be moved. I say they don’t make the playoffs even with the best player in the world

    I am not commenting on Karlsson any longer-bored

    • Agree Silverseven, the Sekara injury has put them in the same position they were in last year. Now they can expect improvement from many of their young guys – McDavid, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi, Nurse, etc, but they lack serious depth on the blue line.
      Throwing Bear or Bouchard into the NHL before they are ready will not help their development.
      I know it is difficult to propose or defend patience to the long suffering Oiler fan, but PC needs to be thinking about a year or 2 down the road, not this season.
      The root cause of the Oiler’s problem is brutal drafting and developing for close to a decade, don’t continue with the same mistakes now there is actually light at the end of the tunnel.

      • The worst thing to happen to the Oilers was everything going right in the 2016-17 season. It has lead to false expectations. Last season everything that could go wrong pretty much did. Edm was neither as good as they showed in 2016-17 nor as bad as they were in 2017-18.

        It wasn’t just the loss of Sekera 46 games, Klefbom played hurt almost from day 1 before being shut down missing the final 16 games going under the knife, Larsson missed 19 a combination of injuries & his father dying if memory serves & it doesn’t serve well at my age.

        The D should be ok but you can’t replace Sekera. No team can expect positive results from losing 1 of their top 2 Dman for this long.

        Klefbom, Larsson.
        Nurse, Russell.
        Jerabek, Benning.
        Gravel, ?

        If Persson were coming over that would help but I believe rumours were he would stay in Europe for 1 more year even though he signed for 1.775 1 year deal making him an RFA following receiving a 92,500 signing bonus getting the league max if in the NHL 925K with an 850K performance bonus. He won’t earn either of those 2 in Europe but then Edm brings him over next season.

        Bear, Mantha & Jones will have to provide depth support when injuries hit. I assume Stanton will be the #8 black ace practice depth insurance player barring trades. Edm will have cap space even after Nurse is signed once Sekera is placed on LTIR to potentially address should they choose to do so that will depend on how Jerabek & Gravel perform in limited roles.

  4. That team was the Devils

  5. I assume the delay for all these players coming out of their ELC’s still not signed is they want long-term deals & the clubs are offering bridge deals. The only leverage these players have is to hope the clubs will bend before camp opens, the season starts, etc. with holding services & or threatening to do so.

    I wish them all luck as if the teams they play for have no interest nor intentions of doing so those players will sit & sit for the entire season if necessary. Schmaltz, Wood, Nylander, Reinhart, Nurse, McCarron, Theodore & Morrisey are all playing some form of chicken holding no cards.

  6. The deal seems to be with Las Vegas with Nick Suzuki,Erik Brännström, and second and third rounders in 2019 & 2020, plus two guys off the Vegas roster (Tatar? and a defenseman?)

    • Which assets are conditional on him signing an extension & where is the 1st round pick? Do you have Vegas making the playoffs or just missing as if they do that’s an incredibly late 1st never mind 2nd or 3rd and if they didn’t its odds of moving up in the lottery are virtually nil?

      I get that the 2 prospects Suzuki & Brannstrom were solid 1st round picks at 13 & 15 respectively but no way I’m giving up these 2 players without assurances he can be extended at money acceptable to me.

    • I wouldn’t trade Brannstrom for Karlsson in a million years. Brannstrom is 2 years from just starting out as a top 4 dman and has his whole prime yet to occur. Karlsson is 2 years away from the 30 year old decline and having all these injuries catching up with him.

      • Yet, Letang is still a superstar despite missing tons of games to injury and concussion/neck problems. Karlsson will be an elite defenseman well past 30.

      • “Brannstrom is 2 years from just starting out as a top 4 dman”.

        And you know this exactly how? The answer is wishful thinking. Odds of a #15 pick being a top 4 defenseman is 24%. Look it up.

        No but .you’re right. It would be stupid for a team that was 2 wins from the Stanley cup to trade some vague prospect for one of the top 5 players in the league.

    • Bill, where did you hear that Vegas was the team and that those assets were the ones in play?? Article somewhere, radio host being fed info by his “guy” behind the scenes?

      • Let’s just say Vegas has been in different discussions on different deals with different teams and theses are the movable assets they have offered around…

  7. Morrissey apparently is wanting a bridge, and the Jets want long term. Probably looking at Hanafins deal with Calgary as a comparable. I would love to see Morrissey locked in for 6 years, and I’m sure management does too. It’s always a tricky situation with contracts, and as the public we can only speculate. The hold up could be mostly about how much money is salary, how much is signing bonuses, and years might not be an issue. Only Chevy and Morriseys agent really know.

    • Well that’s interesting. I would much prefer to bridge then sign long term than sign for 6 now. That makes Morrissey a UFA 6 years out & then someone is confronted with signing well into their mid to late 30’s on a 7 or 8 year deal.


    • Where?

      • Ha-ha!

  9. I see what you’re saying Striker. Bridge and then lock up a player for his prime years. I also see the alternative of signing long term now on a team friendly deal, and making the hard choice with a 29 year old Morrisey (assuming its a 6 year deal) to either resign or let walk. Most teams have a window of maximum 5 ro 6 years to challenge for a cup, and the Jets in particular are one. In 6 seasons they would have a ton of UFA’s including Wheeler Scheifele Ehlers, Hellebuyck and if signed for 6 years Morrisey. Not to mention any other pending deals that end at that time. Is that a horrible idea? Or is it smart planning if you need to do a retool and/or know you wont be able to keep everyone past their prime due to financial restrictions. Maybe the Jets will be in store for a Blackhawks like fall from grace, or maybe they’re forward thinking and know they can retool then with another good young core for another 5 to 6 year window.