NHL Rumor Mill – June 4, 2019
Updates on Patrik Laine, Jacob Trouba, Taylor Hall, and William Karlsson in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST LAINE AND TROUBA SPECULATION
WINNIPEG SUN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Ken Wiebe and Mike McIntyre responded to a rumor from The Fourth Period claiming Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine will consider all his options if his contract demands aren’t met. That could include requesting a trade.
The report claimed Laine, a restricted free agent, would seek around $10 million per season. Wiebe and McIntyre dismissed the notion that the winger wants out of Winnipeg. They also point out the Jets hold his rights for at least the next four seasons, depending on the length of his next contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine’s coming off his entry-level contract so he has no little leverage. He could ask to be traded, but as we saw with Jacob Trouba in 2016, that ploy doesn’t work on Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.
Laine could sign an offer sheet from a rival club. The Jets, however, have over $58 million invested in their salary-cap payroll for 2019-20 and can afford to match any offer. Cheveldayoff undoubtedly prefers getting Laine re-signed before July 1.
Laine could also threaten not to report to the club if he doesn’t have a contract in place when training camp opens in September. That tactic, however, rarely works and hurts the player’s performance upon his return.
For now, we don’t know what the Laine camp intends to do. Regardless, I expect he’ll be in the Jets lineup next season.
McIntyre also weighed in on the status of Jacob Trouba. The 25-year-old Jets defenseman is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and a contentious contract negotiation history with the Jets.
Trade rumors about Trouba are starting to heat up. Unless the blueliner is willing to sign a long-term deal, McIntyre feels the time to trade him is now. With Trouba a year away from UFA status, it would be pointless to ink him to a one-year contract and lose him for nothing next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Jets will trade Trouba before the upcoming NHL Draft. They could seek a first-round pick as part of the return to replace the one they traded to the New York Rangers for Kevin Hayes.
NO CONTRACT EXTENSION FOR TAYLOR HALL?
NEW YORK POST: Joseph Staszewski cited a report from The Fourth Period claiming Taylor Hall isn’t interested in signing a contract extension with the New Jersey Devils. The 27-year-old left wing is eligible next summer to become an unrestricted free agent. The Devils can re-sign him to an extension on July 1.
Staszewski speculates Hall could be waiting to see how the Devils rebuild this summer. They hold the first-overall pick in this year’s draft and could select prospect Jack Hughes, who skates with Hall in the summers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before Devils fans start freaking out, the report also claimed Hall “as of now” isn’t interested in an extension. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun (writing for The Athletic) recently reported of “healthy communication” between Hall’s agent and Devils GM Ray Shero but contract negotiation hasn’t started yet. He believes Hall is contemplating his future and will meet with his agent to decide how they’ll proceed.
Hall could be taking a “wait-and-see” approach. He’s getting to the point in his career where he’ll want assurances the Devils are heading in the right direction. He won’t want to commit long-term to a marginal playoff contender. He could decide to see how next season plays out before deciding if he’ll re-sign or test next summer’s UFA market.
VEGAS’ KARLSSON COULD BE OFFER-SHEET TARGET.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen considers William Karlsson a prime candidate for an offer sheet. Over the past two seasons, he tallied 67 goals and 134 points. The 26-year-old would be an intriguing target for clubs seeking a top-six center. If a club with lots of salary-cap space (Carolina? Ottawa?) signed Karlsson to a long-term deal worth $7.5 – $8 million annually, the Golden Knights could have a difficult time matching it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Karlsson might not be as attractive a target as Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine or Toronto’s Mitch Marner, he could be the easiest to sign away. Cap Friendly indicates the Golden Knights have over $83 million invested in 19 players for next season. If they don’t shed some significant salary before July 1, they can’t afford to match an offer sheet for Karlsson.