NHL Rumor Mill – May 22, 2019
The Sharks have several decisions to make this summer, plus the latest on Jacob Trouba, Kevin Hayes, and Ryan Callahan in today’s NHL rumor mill.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE SHARKS?
ESPN.COM: Figuring out the futures of Erik Karlsson, Joe Thornton, and Joe Pavelski are among Greg Wyshynski and Chris Peters’ keys to the San Jose Sharks offseason. Karlsson, Thornton, and Pavelski are due to become unrestricted free agents this summer. It’s expected Pavelski, 34, and the 39-year-old Thornton will be re-signed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton will get another one-year, bonus-laden deal from the Sharks. Pavelski will be re-signed, perhaps to a two- or three-year deal with an annual cap hit similar to his current $6 million.
Karlsson’s status is less certain. He managed 45 points in 53 regular-season games and 16 points in 19 postseason contests. However, he was hampered by nagging groin injuries. It’s believed he enjoys living and playing in San Jose but there’s speculation he could return east via free agency. Earlier this season, there was talk the Sharks wanted to re-sign him to an eight-year deal. That chatter cooled off by February.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Had Karlsson had a healthy season the Sharks probably would’ve re-signed him by now. They could still do so but his recent injury history is cause for concern.
The Sharks won’t be the only team leery of investing big money in Karlsson over a lengthy period. A year ago, it was believed he sought a deal similar to Drew Doughty’s eight-year, $88-million deal with the Los Angeles Kings. I doubt he’ll get that now.
The Sharks could also invest in a reliable backup for starting goaltender Martin Jones.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After struggling at times throughout the regular season, Jones redeemed himself with a solid postseason performance. As Wyshynski and Peters point out, Jones is signed through 2024 so he’ll be back next season. Coach Pete DeBoer lost confidence in backup Aaron Dell this season.
LATEST JETS SPECULATION
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe ponder Jacob Trouba’s future with the Winnipeg Jets. The 25-year-old defenseman is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA status.
Wiebe points out players of Trouba’s caliber tend to get traded in June. He also notes the Jets lack a first-round pick in next month’s draft, suggesting that could create some excitement leading up to the opening round.
If the Jets decide to move Trouba, perhaps they’ll consider a sign-and-trade agreement with another club, as that would improve the return. They could attempt to move him on his own or package him in a larger deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff will consider all his options. He’d probably love to re-sign Trouba but that depends upon the blueliner’s asking price and if he sees his future in Winnipeg.
As Wiebe observes, Cheveldayoff won’t trade Trouba for just anything. He’ll want a good return, one that could include a first-round pick in this year’s draft.
A sign-and-trade scenario would be best. Cheveldayoff has plenty of time to work that out between now and the draft weekend. The Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, and New York Rangers are among the clubs linked to Trouba in the rumor mill.
Didn’t mean to sound like a guy “withholding services” yesterday. So in the interest of making amends to my awesome and appreciated followers: Kevin Hayes is a guy, my sources indicate, who is targeted by Avs for free agency. More as it comes
— Adrian Dater (@adater) May 21, 2019
TSN: cites a report by The Athletic’s Joe Smith noting Ryan Callahan believes his days are numbered with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 34-year-old winger has a year left on his contract with a salary-cap hit of $5.8 million. With the Lightning facing a cap crunch, Callahan could become a cost-cutting trade candidate.
Smith believes they’ll have to sweeten the pot by including a draft pick or prospect. Callahan’s agent hasn’t discussed his client’s future with Lightning management but he said the winger will submit his 15-team trade list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith also listed the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, and New York Rangers as possible trade candidates. Those clubs have plenty of salary-cap space and could use some veteran leadership. If any of them are on Callahan’s list, maybe one of them will go for it if they get a suitable sweetener in the deal.