NHL Rumor Mill – June 14, 2019

by | Jun 14, 2019 | Rumors | 46 comments

The latest on Erik Karlsson, Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Torey Krug, and Nikita Zaitsev in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz reports a league source said the San Jose Sharks are discussing an eight-year contract extension with Erik Karlsson. The 29-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The Sharks are reportedly offering Karlsson a deal comparable to the eight-year, $88-million deal Drew Doughty received last summer from the Los Angeles Kings. Karlsson has until 11:59 pm ET on June 30 to sign an eight-year deal with the Sharks. After that, he would be limited to a seven-year contract.

The San Jose Sharks are talking contract extension with Erik Karlsson (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Karlsson’ recent injury history – including surgery earlier this month to repair a groin injury – the Sharks liked what they saw from him this season. Acquired last September from the Ottawa Senators, Karlsson had 45 points in 53 regular-season games and 16 points in 19 playoff contests.

If Karlsson gets that big contract it could affect the Sharks’ efforts to re-sign captain Joe Pavelski and future Hall-of-Famer Joe Thornton. Like Karlsson, both are due to become UFAs on July 1. 


THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa believes deciding Torey Krug’s future is the Boston Bruins’ top off-season priority. He’s a year away from UFA eligibility and in line for a big raise over his current $5.25-million annual average value.

Re-signing Krug could cost the Bruins between $6.35 million to $8 million annually on a seven- or eight-year contract. If they consider that too expensive a risk, Shinzawa speculates they could try to trade him at the NHL Draft next weekend in Vancouver.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted yesterday, Krug surfaced in last summer’s trade-rumor mill but nothing came of it. Being a year away from UFA status, however, could affect his future with the Bruins.

Krug’s an invaluable member of their defense corps and I daresay GM Don Sweeney prefers to keep him. On the other hand, he’d be a great trade asset to land that second-line scoring winger they were lacking this season. This could be worth keeping an eye on in the coming days. 


TSN: Darren Dreger noted the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers have some interest in Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev. The 26-year-old rearguard recently requested a trade and Leafs management is attempting to accommodate him. Canucks GM Jim Benning recently said he’s in the market for a top-four blueliner.

SPORTSNET 650: Rick Dhaliwal said the Canucks haven’t made an offer for Zaitsev yet. He expects trade discussions involving the Leafs defenseman will heat up at the upcoming NHL Draft. “Oilers showing interest as well and no offer from them yet.”

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples considers the notion of the Oilers pursuing Zaitsev “wacky”. He wonders why the Oilers would want a third-pairing defenseman carrying a $4.5-million annual salary-cap hit over the next five years. Unless the Leafs are prepared to accept winger Milan Lucic in return, Staples believes acquiring Zaitsev doesn’t make sense for the Oilers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The notion of Zaitsev to Vancouver isn’t being well-received by Canucks followers. “No, thanks,” said the Vancouver Sun’s Patrick Johnson on Tuesday.

I don’t doubt there’s been some discussion by the Oilers or Canucks with the Leafs about Zaitsev. Both clubs could be trying to squeeze the Leafs into taking back a toxic contract or packaging a good young player with Zaitsev. 



  1. Wow: Karlsson offered that contract is pretty sweet: Not sure he would do any better anywhere else

  2. A player is more valuable as a trade chip than actually playing? When you have a very good D man (Krug) you try to keep him.
    Can anyone show me an instance of a sign and trade? Why would any player do this. (unless there is somehow a agreement in place. If you sign, this “trade’ might not be to the satisfaction of the team.
    I think B’s missed a McQuaid type imo.

    • Marian Hossa signed a 3-year deal with Ottawa in 2005 and the next day was dealt to Atlanta for Dany Heatly. There’s one anyway.

      • Of course, Hossa had no idea that was about to happen. Another Muckler muck-up to go along with keeping UFA Redden over UFA Chara

      • Morning George, The way I understand it, is that Muckler Made the Hossa deal, then sent him to Atlanta.
        Chara reacted and wanted out, after observing his buddy get signed and told he was part of the future.
        Poor Wade Redden gets heat for being the “Choice”, lol.
        Long story short, Chara wanted to be away from Muckler and word breakers, so to say.
        He lost 3 times by moving Hossa after saying he wouldn’t.
        (Hello Dubas)

      • Busy day with a plumbing problem – LOL. I agree, Shoreorrpark, I always felt any success the Sens had in the Muckler era was in spite of him being there and due in large part to Murray being behind the bench. Others will disagree – but c’est la vie!

    • Krug was 12th in Defense league scoring in 64 games and had 18 points in the playoffs. Swapping him for a 2nd line forward might be worse than a lateral move.

      • Ya ds, this is a tough call for Sweeney. Really tough call. I think we can all agree that the Bruins window is right now as there are no 1C or 2C in the system ready to replace Bereron and Krecji in a couple years (Studnika has an outside chance, but a maybe at best).
        Will McAvoy be as good on the #1 PP unit? Maybe. Will they get less offence from their D without Krug, probably.
        Can they get a quality scoring winger for Krug? Seems likely.
        Can and should they spend big $ to sign him? They have depth and Vaak and Zboril will be pushing for playing time over the next couple years. Not a good use of money and assets IMO.
        The Bruins have an excess of RD, not LD. Krug is LD.
        Keep him as an own rental and find a winger at the TDL seems like a good option. Perhaps move a guy like Miller to solve the logjam for a 2nd RD pick, which they don’t have.

      • No issue with moving Krug, pp specialist and a defensive liability. Not sure what his value is but if there is a trade to be had Sweeney be best looking at all his options.
        Boston needs some grit all over the lineup, only Kuraly and Acciari do any kind of hitting.
        Boston still have Chara, Moore, Grzelcyk on the left and Vaalanaien, Zboril and Lauzon should be fighting for a spot.
        Could also look at a player like Ben Chiarot out of Winnipeg a ufa 6’3″ good skater and hits would be a welcome addition with a reasonable contract.

      • While I think Krug is a really solid D man who is a quality player for the Bs …they do have Carlo MaCavoy Gryzlcek coming up …and if you go by the numbers to where as in they will need to sign a lot of these younger players id rather keep guys like Debrusk Wagner Acciari Kuraly and Hienen in the mix …and Krug money could be spread around to all those guys instead ..I think Krug is replaceable more so then the bottom 6 is on this team…id invest in quantity and quality rather than over paying Krug long term., the Bruins can get a decent commoddity back for him to help upfront and still not change the make up of the team much. …it si more important to keep all the really good young kids upfront in the mix longer that they have invested a lot of time in Krug can be replaced, just my 2 cents, quality player though.

  3. Zaitsev? Thanks Lou: U sure stuck it to us good with that contract: Top 4? How about Bottom 8. I’ve never seen any player who during the course of a 30-45 second shift can look both brilliant and useless all on the same shift game after game.

  4. if $ and term are correct if I am ek I think I sign on the dotted line quickly

  5. Going to be interesting to see who becomes available if Karlsson signs with SJ. Unless there is another destination he prefers, and that team is willing to offer that money, this looks like a done deal. From what I can tell from cap friendly, they’ll have about 13-14 million left to add 6 players. Besides Thornton and Pavelski, Nyquist and Donskoi are ufa… Leblanc and Meier are both rfa.

    • The info for Kurz comes from the ubiquitous – and never identified – ever – “league source” … now where’s that grain of salt?

      • George, plenty of reports that Karlsson had dinner with GM the other night and they’re close to finalizing deal.

      • There is a pictue on Yahoo Sports of Karlsson, a waiter and Doug Wilson from last evening … do your homework and you won’t continue to make an ass out of yourself …

      • OK … so who’s the “league source” genius? The photographer who snapped the picture? If the rumour is based on that why not just say so instead of citing a “league source”?

      • And maybe it was the waiter or waitress who overheard them discussion the details of any contract offered. Funny, but everywhere else I read says Karlsson was still on crutches from his groin surgery. No crutches in that photo. Someone just doctored it with that bogus contract to maybe and hopefully spur things along. From past history with Wilson, he’s about as tight-lipped as Lou Lamoriello, so I sincerely doubt he discussed it with a “league source.”

    • For those looking for pic, here’s the Rx’d version… https://imgur.com/a/m3NABDw

      Believe restaurant is Grill on the Alley on Market St.

      Lebanc and Meier maybe get bridge deals. If no Pavs, maybe an Eberle. Panarin would look great with Couture and Kane, which you have suggested, but probably too expensive.

      • Nm. Eberly extended. lol

  6. Chrisms – You may very well be the smartest guy on this board… If what I read is true, I clearly underestimated the level of stupid some GMs can aspire to.

  7. “The Sharks are reportedly offering Karlsson a deal comparable to the eight-year, $88-million deal Drew Doughty received last summer from the Los Angeles Kings. “


  8. Strange how it works in hockey. John Muckler gets slammed for bad deals and yet his team went to the Stanley Cup finals. Bryan Murray inherits the same team right after the finals and only makes the playoffs 5 out of 9 years , hires and fires 7 or 8 coaches, continually overpaid players and made bad trades. And he is considered a great hockey mind. Talk about the old boys club. Lmao

    • Oh, and he decides to lowball Alfredsson. Good decision

    • Muckler is a tough one for me-He was the GM for the yashin for chara+spezza pick. But he was so terrible when he coached the Rangers and I always felt right place right time as Sathers 2nd in command in Edmonton
      anyone can coach 99-11-kurri-coffey etc

  9. Niskanen to flyers for gudas! Flyer retain 30%! The lucic/Ericsson trade if it happens will have a sweetener if 30% was retained in this trade

    • I like that deal for Washington , they get a gritty D man on the cheap and free up some cap to sign Hagelin.

  10. To VAN: Krug
    To BOS: Hutton & 10th

    Van signs Krug to an extension as soon as they can

    perhaps even

    To VAN: Krug & Backes
    To BOS: Hutton, Sutter & 10th

    Sutter is cheaper than Backes by 1.5 $ and they get a deth center along with the 10th overall. Hutton an RFA can be signed for depth and free up cap space for McAvoy & Carlo

    • ihatecrosby, Sweeney here.

    • if I am Sweeney I am asking for Tanev over Hutton but that is a fair offer. Not sure if Backes would veto going to Vancouver.

      • Oilers aren’t giving up the 10th plus for Krug just isn’t happening

  11. Torey Krug for Jonathan Drouin

    • Bruins pass on that offer , make it Domi instead of Drouin then the B’s could be interested.

  12. Eberle signed for 5yrs for $27.5 don’t get it? why not wait.

  13. Eberle 5 * 5.5 mil , Isles need to lock up Lee , most fans figured Eberle and even Nelson to some degree would hit the market. If Lou ends up with Nelson and Eberle signed and Lehner and Lee walk then the team taking a step backwards IMO

    • 1000% bizarre
      Anders Lee all day….

  14. Could Yzerman trade his pick down if Bowen Byram is not there? He is the only D in the top 10.

  15. Last year the Canes defensive coach Smith quit to take a job with Buffalo. Buffalo later traded for Skinner for next to nothing. Now the Canes goalie coach Bales , who also had a year left on his contract, quit and signed with Buffalo.
    Bales was given a lot of credit for Carolina’s goaltending turnaround so it would be interesting to know the real reason for him leaving. Both coaches left after Carolina’s management had stated the coaches would be back for the next season.

  16. Hockey people like Zaitsev, fans don’t.
    He’s a sound, minute eating guy who has been paired with run-and-gun dmen and assigned to lots of PK duty.
    I think that’s a big part of why he wants a trade. He has a good shot and good instincts, but Babcock has him covering for more Offensive minded partners.
    I doubt his agent wants him going to another Canadian team. Bet he ends up in LA. or ANA

    • If he was that sought after he would have been dealt already, he is not worth 4.5 million he is a bottom pairing guy on most teams

      • I for one hope Zaitsev is back.

    • Ya, doktor, I was never sure why the Leaf fans hate Zaitsev so much.
      I don’t watch that many Leaf games but see a few during the year and watched him for 7 games against the B’s again this year, and he looks #4/5 type guy depending on the team he is on. Overpaid a by a bit.
      Played tough minutes against one of the best lines in hockey and held his own just fine in the playoffs. Not an easy task.
      Most of his starts are in the D- zone so Babcock trusts him to do that for over 20 minutes a night and the Leafs finished high in the standings doing it.
      Skates really well too.
      Put him with Nurse and you might have a really good pair in Edmonton.
      If I am Edmonton I low ball them as he wants out. Or you move another D man like a Larsson for Zaitsev and a young forward who can play right now and could be a cap casualty as they make room for Marner.
      Chance for Edmonton to get better and get a young guy to fill another hole, which they have a few.
      Time for the Oil to take advantage of someone else’s problem and win a trade for a change.

  17. Would you trade Hall for Zaitsev ?
    That is rhetorical

    Leafs would want comparable or even no dollars back until the dust settles with their signings
    I think the Caps got weaker losing Niskanen and the Flyers got better. Monies aside

  18. Everyone seems to forget that Zaitsev played a more offensive role his first year and now he has more defensive role. Either way he is a second pair guy at worst.

    I would trade Zaitsev, Brown and Sparks for Larsson. If Oilers would include Puljujarvi I would substitute Johnsson, Bracco, or Kapenin and a late pick for Brown. Sparks also needs to be out of the spotlight.

    For Canucks it would be Zaitsev for Tanev even up.

    • Everyone seems to forget how often zaitsev made sloppy passes, missed checks and out of play positioning! Don cherry nailed zaitsev a bad contract right from when it was signed and he wasn’t wrong, he is a bottom pairing guy making 4.5 million

      • Bang on.

        Only in Toronto does anyone see Zaitsev as anything more than a 5 or 6 dman.