NHL Rumor Mill – June 5, 2019

by | Jun 5, 2019 | Rumors | 79 comments

Updates on Erik Karlsson and Taylor Hall plus the latest on the Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan suggests the Senators should consider trying to bring back former captain Erik Karlsson. They traded the 29-year-old defenseman to the  San Jose Sharks last summer after failing to reach an agreement on a contract extension.

Brennan cites a “well-connected source” claiming Karlsson hopes to receive competitive offers from the Senators and Montreal Canadiens when the free-agent market opens on July 1. His wife is from the Ottawa area and said to be homesick. Toronto and Buffalo are also close to Ottawa but Brennan said they’re not on Karlsson’s list. 

Brennan also noted there are conflicting reports over Karlsson’s intentions. Some believe he hasn’t ruled out returning to the Sharks while others feel that decision has already been made. The New York Rangers are rumored to be among those interested in Karlsson if he hits the open market. They’re only a short plane trip from Ottawa.

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche have also been linked to Karlsson but they’re a long distance from the Ottawa region. The Lightning also has limited salary-cap space.  

The Canadiens have over $11 million in salary-cap space but also have two left-shot defensemen in Shea Weber and Jeff Petry. Some believe the Habs aren’t interested in bringing in a defenseman with a propensity to take risks to create offense. 

Karlsson’s asking price and recent injury history is also a concern. The Senators reportedly offered him $80 million on an eight-year deal last summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several pundits are exploring the pros and cons of a possible Karlsson return to the Senators. Some think the Sens offer last summer was much higher, between $85-$90 million. I doubt they’ll go that high now if Karlsson wants to return to Ottawa. 

Several Canadiens fans weighed in on social media against signing Karlsson. If he’s interested in coming to Montreal, I believe the Habs would at least explore that option. Even with their cap space, however, I doubt they’ll pony up over $11 million annually to sign him. Unless they can get him for a more affordable deal on a shorter term, they’ll probably pass. 

Will Taylor Hall sign a contract extension this summer with the New Jersey Devils? (Photo via NHL Images)


SPORTSNET: The agent for Taylor Hall and New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero dismissed a recent report in The Fourth Period claiming the left winger wasn’t interested in re-signing with the Devils right now.

Darren Ferris, Hall’s agent, said he communicates regularly with Shero. “I’m not going to speak to it because it’s all fictitious and I’m just not going to respond to any of those questions out of respect to the conversations and discussions that are going on.”

Shero also offered a blunt response to the story. “No idea where they got that from aside from a ‘source,’” Shero told NHL.com in a text message. “Nothing on our end has changed and I have never heard differently from Taylor or Darren Ferris.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted yesterday, Hall could take a “wait-and-see” approach to determine if the Devils are adequately improving the roster going forward. That doesn’t mean he won’t re-sign. However, he could see how next season unfolds before deciding if he’ll agree to a long-term extension.


VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma suggests the Canucks might have to package some players to land a top-six forward via the trade market. The Minnesota Wild reportedly offered up winger Jason Zucker but their asking price (budding star Brock Boeser) was rejected. GM Jim Benning said he intends to add support for his promising young players like Boeser. 

Outside of Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and Quinn Hughes, the Canucks lack sufficient assets to make a one-for-one trade for significant help. Kuzma suggests a package deal of winger Jake Virtanen and defenseman Ben Hutton might draw some interest.

Kuzma’s colleague Patrick Johnston cited a report by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun indicating the Canucks had interest in Marcus Johansson at the trade deadline. The Boston Bruins subsequently acquired Johansson from the Washington Capitals. Given Johansson’s solid postseason performance, Johnston wonders if Benning will take a run at him again via free agency.

Johnston also noted Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman report claiming the Canucks are at an impasse with pending UFA defenseman Alex Edler. A no-movement clause could be the sticking point in negotiations. He also noted a report claiming the Canucks contacted the Toronto Maple Leafs regarding blueliner Nikita Zaitsev. Johnston doesn’t believe Zaitsev would improve Vancouver’s blueline. 

SPORTSNET’s Rick Dhaliwal took to Twitter citing sources from the recent NHL Draft combine claiming the Canucks will pursue Winnipeg’s Tyler Myers or Toronto’s Jake Gardiner via free agency.   

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks aren’t moving Boeser, Pettersson, Horvat or Hughes. As Kuzma points out, they’re the core Benning intends to build around. They also own the 10th overall pick in the upcoming NHL Draft in Vancouver but Benning seems keen to retain it.

Maybe Benning can find a decent return for that suggested package of Virtanen and Hutton. I think he’ll have better luck targeting clubs looking to shed salary via trades this summer. Cap Friendly indicates the Canucks have $52.4 million invested in 20 players for 2019-20. Even by re-signing Edler and Boeser, they’ll have plenty of room to take on a significant player or two if ownership is willing to do so.

After being burned by the disastrous Loui Eriksson contract in 2016, Benning could be reluctant to spend big in the UFA market. Targeting cap-strapped teams could land them a good, reasonably priced players. I agree with Johnston that the Canucks should pass on Zaitsev, but how about seeing if a forward like Kasperi Kapanen or Andreas Johnsson is available? 


  1. Maybe EK should just get divorced. Seems like his wife has had a larger role in rumors here than any player. Last year it was the Hofman saga. Now she’s homesick.

    • Let’s not forget what they went through with the death of their first child. As a man, family comes first.

    • Not a very slick statement. Keep it on the players and leave the families out of it, you jerk.

      • dpf-you are the one who sounds like a jerk-

  2. EK: U were offered 8 years at$10 million per season by the Senators and U said pass” Now,. all banged up and complete with injury issues, past or present, you want to open up those salary doors again that you closed?

    I’m no hockey expert by any means, but you aren’t ever getting that kind of offer again from anybody. And any GM who does offer you that, is clearly not seeing the bigger picture here.

    • When he plays he is still an elite dman, now the injuries seem to have caught up with him so I agree don’t sell the farm for him but a team like Montreal who needs help on the pp could get him for 3 years at 9 million might be worth the risk? I think EK wants long term thought

      • @BBB: based upon what he did in the series against St. Louis, He was injured enough to be largely considered ineffective; furthermore, he was considered unable to play in what turned out to be San Jose’s elimination game.

        That said, Its not his skillset here in question, it’s his health as a UFA to any team considering signing him

      • BBB. Injuries are part of game. Not sure they’re related. He had 1 injury from getting cut by a skate and another from getting hit with a puck. Chara got hit with a puck and might actually hurt Bruins chances of winning cup. Does that make him injury prone? Would really like to know what’s causing latest injury. All we’ve heard is “groin”. Sometimes there is a structural problem causing injury. Maybe it’s just something that just needs a couple months rest. I’m sure any team looking to sign him will do so with confidence that his chances of remaining healthy are same as anyone.

      • I don’t see any chance of a 3 x 9 contract, if that’s what it takes to get him then yes Montreal should do it.
        In either case, not happening. He’ll get minimum $10M x 5 years. New Jersey, Philly, Rangers and Islanders would all do that in a heartbeat.

      • Maybe the rangers but he isn’t going to those other teams not happening

      • Especially the Islanders where he’d HAVE to get a haircut and shave.

      • Sure hope the Rangers DON’T take him. He is not what the re-building needs right now. I’d like to get Troube though.

      • He is undergoing surgery for a groin issue. I honestly would not be too concerned about his injury history. Having your akeles sliced, a puck off the foot and a groin issue shortly after comi g back frkm foot surgery is hugely alarming to me in regards to being injury prone.

        I suspect he will be fine going forward. Just the uaual health issues this contact sport can bring.

  3. The Karlsson-Ottawa ship has sailed past the horizon. That’s just Brennan using speculation to single-handedly attempt to increase the Ottawa Sun’s limping sales. And, reading some of the comments posted in the on-line article, getting the fawners all excited over nothing. Homesick my butt.

    • Homesick, the hockey season is from September to April, so April to September they can be in Ottawa. Sign in Florida and she can hang out with other snowbirds, just a thought

      • They can hang out with the Hoffmans

      • @caper…..LOL

    • George, you are most likely right. When was the last time Brennan got something right or ahead of Garrioch. I don’t buy it.
      If there is any truth to this it surely is that he’s utilizing a possible return to Ottawa as a leverage position in salary negotiations with the Rags.

    • I suspect the homesickness is linked to their baby. Its tough sometimes. You want the help and support of your childs grand parents but also want them to see your child grow up.

      That feeling will pass.

      I know for Experience. I have two kids now my closest relatives are 3 provinces away in either direction.

    • George O-your but gets homesick?

  4. Has there been any news about his injury? I remember reading that he hoped to not need surgery. Would be nice to know moving forward what exactly is the problem and what’s chances of recurring.

    • THAT is going to be the question on the mind of any GM with an ounce of brains before offering a multi-year multi-million $ cap hit. What will bring the fans back in Ottawa is a winning team and his presence alone won’t ensure that. They’ve taken the re-build route and now they have to stick to that plan without adding unnecessary distractions

      • George, I had no problem with his previous injuries. What player hasn’t got cut or hit with a puck? But this groin thing could be an underlying problem. I have seen athletes who have gotten minor hip surgeries to fix. I worry that Karlsson camp downplaying injury due to current ufa status. Having surgery now might fix problem, but will hurt his chances of getting contract he wants.

      • Geroge, a player like Karlsson would help any team….ANY.
        Now, only a few can afford him given the cap structure but there will be competition for his services.
        Lets also not forget that his presence will put fans in the seats.
        There is more to it than what will happen in the next 5-6 years, fact is that he helps now and costs nothing but cash.

        Taking the example of Philly, say they acquire Karlsson and then trade ghost. Now you just got an actual PP QB and got a return in ghost all the while improving their team, why wouldn’t they do that if they had a chance?

      • Taz, I keep hearing that term “costs nothing but cash” as if that factor should override all other considerations. But really, is that accurate? Just using an example – had Karlsson accepted Dorion’s offer and had Stone and Duchene chosen to remain because “the captain” was staying (I only add that because there were those who insisted they left because Karlsson did), today the Sens would find themselves forking over $40 mil + off their cap for 5 players (including Ryan and Ceci). with guys like Chabot, Tkachuk and White all seeking big increases within the terms of those contracts.

        That’s the kind of situation MOST other teams would find themselves in in short order if they add Karlsson at what he turned down in Ottawa. So doing that involves a lot more than “just cash” – it adds considerable cap manipulation necessity down the line putting them into the same situation Dubas finds himself in now and which Holland inherited in Edmonton.

        In short, unless the cap rises dramatically every year, and all teams can afford to spend to or near the max, more and more players could be facing a situation where they have to avoid pricing themselves out of the game.

      • I don’t disagree George.
        Karlsson doesn’t fit Ottawa’s model at the moment.

        However, looking at NYI, they have the cap space and other than Barzal no one is getting a huge pay bump in the very near future. I cant see Beauvillier being anything more than 4.5 on a bridge
        NJD, Hall wants to see where the team is going before he signs. If they get Karlsson and Hall, that makes only two guys earning big bucks there. Not sure what Vatanen would cost but I doubt it’d be too much more than 5.5
        NYR, business move to begin with, the Karlsson brand as a Ranger would sell. If they can somehow move Shattenkirk and get Karlsson then that would be an ideal scenario however, this is the team where I see the most cap issues upcomin if they ink EK
        Philly has a few large contracts already but nothing other than Provorov to sign to anything of magnitude. I don’t see mcDonald being resigned.

        I hate bringing up a Leafs comparison but that’s what I know best and it’s something I mentioned a few days ago. If I have the choice between
        A. Marner long term or
        B. Tavares long term + (potential) return in a trade/offer sheet for Marner
        I’m taking option B every time.

  5. AV’s and ek?…..not a chance…..not bashing ek but avs already have 3 puck movers in girard, Barrie,and makar with a possible Timmons sighting soon…..who makes this stuff up?

    • Bored hockey writers…

    • @2001 I think no matter what happens, EK will end up in the Eastern Conference

  6. I really don’t think EK will get $$ /term he thinks he deserves? . Especially from a rebuilding club. That’s why I have doubts Ranger$ will go far in trying to sign him. He has a couple/few good years left in the tank. His injury history is glowing.

  7. Senators and EK chose to move , they need to focus on locking up Chabot long term.

  8. If ek is limiting his destinations it really puts my prediction in jeopardy… uh oh

  9. Karlsson needs to get a haircut. I also hope he gets a haircut in his salary expectations. Will not get double digits.

    Grandpa Munster in Vancouver is getting there. As longs as he doesn’t sign a bunch of over the hill players this off season. The drafting is looking good.

    16 days until we hear
    “ there has been a trade”

    • Looking forward to hearing those words as well, SilverSeven. An exciting part of the off-season.
      Karlsson to Florida is a realistic move but I think Montreal could be a possibility. I can’t see any team offering him a contract beyond five years but, based on history……
      As for his injury status, it is definitely worrisome simply because it’s seems to be happening on a regular basis now.
      Connor McDavid’s knee injury does not sound that great either – here’s hoping he makes a full recovery without surgery.

      • Yeah, that vision at a golf tournament of McDavid wearing a knee brace and still with a limp 2 months after his season ended can’t be encouraging to Oilers fans … or Holland.

      • If we see a Hoffman trade then the rumors of EK going to Florida will start to ramp up but not until then.

        I also don’t see Karlsson going to Montreal, they need more scoring help and should spend their cap money there opposed to their back end.

      • if I was Montreal I would be targeting Edler

      • Leaffans how do you not think EK would not add offense ? The guy is all offense!

      • When you read up on pcl injuries , I’m not a doctor , but they say best path is to restrict all movement and allow the tear to heal on its own . Typically around 9 weeks before any light running or strengthening begins from what I read . He is wearing a brace that restricts all movement from calf up almost to thigh to ensure the healing is protected . They have months ahead to focus on strength and rehab , why on earth would they rush the healing ? Or allow him to walk around without a brace at this stage ? Of course with a brace like that you are going to drag your leg , limp , that is the point of the brace to restrict movements they don’t want lol . As Someone pointed out already , bored hockey writers , trying to make something out of nothing . Now if we heard he got surgery and it was a grade 3/4 tear , things may have changed , this is exactly as widely reported directly after the injury and they are using the extra time to ensure he gets full healing time . As an Oiler fan , this all seems very normal to me , including the media storm

      • Bigbadgruins – the Habs do need more offense – but not from the back end. They need legitimate Cs – their target should be Duchene

      • George I just looked up goal scoring from this year and the Habs were 13th so I guess they really don’t need scoring as much as we think and they were ahead of the blues playing in the cup final!

      • George O , sorry I don’t agree the Habs need centers over defense. Domi, Danault, Kotkaniemi pretty solid top 3 but young , supported by Shaw ( also plays wing, ) Weal , Thompson, and Poehling coming soon.
        Left D ? Alzner ( minors) Kulak, Mete , Reilly .
        Power play was 2nd worst in the league , Weber can fire the puck but not an ideal QB. Edler on a 2-3 yr deal or Gardiner would be my vote.

      • You know what Benjamin Disraeli said about statistics Bigbadbruins? “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics” 🙂

        Yeah, it’s hard on the surface to refute the fact that the Habs show to be 13th out of 31 when it comes to scoring – but then there’s scoring in the loosey-goosey stretches of the schedule when opposing teams are in slumps, second of back-to-backs, road weary, etc., and scoring in clutch games when positioning is on the line.

        Hell, Ottawa scored only 7 fewer goals over 82 games … but gave up 62 more. Now THERE’S a team that needs D – and not the kind Karlsson provides.

    • Grandpa Munster? Haha!
      I think Benning is doing a real good job, and he’s getting better.
      He needs to draft some more defensemen soon though.

      • @BBB yes they were 13th in league scoring. Looking at the current Montreal lineup they have Weber and Petry shooting right with Petry also putting up some decent offensive numbers from the back end. They already combine for almost 12 mill against the cap and you want to pay your RHD 20+ mill a season when adding in Karlsson’s salary? That seems like overkill when your top 6 forwards aren’t putting up strong offensive numbers.

      • It’s weather you want to waste 40 million on 4 forwards or on defense I guess ? both cup teams play great defense I will say

  10. I don’t understand all the Karlsson injury talk like he’s finished. Didn’t Crosby take off near a full season ? And miss a boatload of time in other seasons?

    I’d much rather have a guy with a groin injury to worry about than a guy one ring up from another concussion. One that may end his career.


    2014 82 games
    2015 82 games
    2016 82 games
    2017 77 games
    2018 71 games
    2019 53 games.

    This hardly seems concerning.

    If I’m the Gm signing him, I’m making sure that it’s nothing long term, and that no matter what, letting him get to 100% before he returns. If that means he sits until January or February so be it.

    • Reported today he had surgery last week and expected to be ready for camp

  11. I note the two significant baseball free agents with issues were out-of-work through the draft, supposedly because the draft comentsation was too high a bar. Yet draft picks are a real crap shoot in baseball, even more than hockey.
    It’s just possible that we are seeing a critical mass of GM’s where the realities of cap and term are coming home to roost. What if the choices are four years at modest money, or one-two years and prove it? What if there is an (inevitable) lawsuit for collusion? What if the health issues disclosed to potential suitors is not the same as that disclosed to writers? What if one is still a valuable and productive player, but not as valuable as one’s agent insists? It continues to be easier to eliminate teams from gaining net benefit by signing EK than to find a new home for him that meets all of the fantasized requirements.

  12. Jake Virtanen and Ben Hutton? Those are the guys Bennings dangling as trade bait?

    Good luck with that, lol.

    • agree! The only way those two have value is taking a bad contract back and getting a decent draft pick/prospect in return.
      e.g. Callahan, Zeitsev, etc.

      I really hope Benning doesn’t sign Gardner. They need someone smart and steady on the right-side to play with Hughes, not a d-zone liability.

      Are Myers underlying numbers that bad that fanbases don’t want their team to sign him? or is it just the potential cost/term?

  13. EK played injured and still tied for second in scoring on San Jose playoff run.
    Someone will pay him between $9.5 and $10.5 the catch will be how many years? I don’t think a GM who believe his team is close to competing for the cup, cares about term as much as he cares about winning the cup. If he believes EK is the missing piece he’ll sacrifice a couple of years to get the cup.

    • I see 4 UFA D men who will be sought after , EK, Edler, Gardiner and Myers. Chances are if Edler, Gardiner and Myers get scooped up EK’s in a better position to get $ and term. Trouba being traded could also take a team out of the running for Karlssons services.
      EK is elite but there are lots of players for GM’s to spend $ on this year. It will be interesting to see how the UFA market plays out once a few of the big ticket players get signed.

  14. ****SIDE QUESTION**** Does anyone know if you purchase a ticket that is resale for a potential game 7 and there is no game 7; how do I get my refund? Looking at purchasing from NHL.com but don’t feel like getting burnt for a couple of grand.

  15. Karlsson is going to be a Flyer. He can be the “veteran presence” they’re looking for, and they can pay him.

  16. I thought for sure someone would bring up the rumor this morning that the Leafs have traded Kadri to the Jets for Trouba and waiting for the finals to be done before announcing.

    If it is true what do all you leaf fans think about that deal…

    • Lol we don’t talk about eklund rumours on here! What else did the leafs have to give up or was it a true no chance eklund rumour?

      • Well considering I believe that rumor was posted by our lovable Sean Avery… douchey troll?

        The Jets would benefit that trade by getting a true 2nd line center cheap for someone unsigned and won’t sign. Too good to be true but I’m sure leafs lover BBB would think otherwise.

      • Sean Avery!!? Lol so below eklund! Ron do you honestly think there will be no better offers than Kadri for a guy
        Ike trouba! Quit trolling man and use your head! For trouba for one they will want a dman back and I would think they will get a couple picks/prospects with that dman

      • @bbb there is no one to one comparison here. Trouba is more valuable than Kadri on a player alone comparison.

        Kadri is valuable to the jets because he is a second line center at a very good contract and it allows them to be a contender next year and sign their other players, conner, copp and Laine. Not to mention Roslovic will be coming up next year.
        For the Leafs, they can’t sign Trouba unless a LOT of things fall into place.

        If anything the Leafs have less to gain here, they are sending away a 2C for the rights to Trouba.

        If you are hell bent on over simplifying then you are right in your assessment, if you choose to look at the granularity of all aspects in consideration then you’d see that Ron Moore isn’t trolling. Oddly, I would think you’d know a thing or two about trolling.

        The full picture is a lot more murky than a straight player trade. I can tell you that as a Leafs fan, this trade wouldn’t excite me one bit because it makes the entire scenario even more complicated for the Leafs and I don’t see Trouba signing in Toronto.

      • No he is trolling anyone that thinks trouba for Kadri makes sense is trolling! You can spin it anyway you want cause you know a thing about leaf proposal trolling! But Chevy would be fired instantly if he gave up trouba for Kadri, on the low end there would be 5 better offers from other teams

      • Haha you’re right slick! Just a big misunderstanding lol

  17. Winnipeg has been seeking a second line centre ..
    Who knows what is happening in Leaf land ??
    Marner has turned into another Nylander saga …
    To have 4 players -making 45 million dollars and 38 million to be shared amongst the other 16 players is not do able .
    Did anyone ever study the Leafs performance, after Nylander’s arrival …
    It was not good – the morale of the team – “tanked.”
    Leafs have to set an example , and make it understood , they cannot keep caving in, on these players assanine contract demands .
    Maybe Marner will have to unfortunately have to go .
    Taylor Hall is available in New Jersey , at half the price .
    Do a blockbuster and get their 1st over all pick, as well ., who knows what other players , Leafs would have to part with, but the trade is certainly do able The Leafs can than trade down to the number 3 position and get their defenseman , they so desperately need .
    Zaitsev, Marleau , Gardiner are not a fit …
    Good luck to them ..

  18. Review the Bruins roster .
    Not “1” player outside of 7 million …
    How are they doing in this years Cup Run .
    Boston is a well oiled machine from all angles …
    New England Patriots , another example ….
    They want to win in Boston , team game – not this me, me attitude …
    U R a goner with Neely and Belichuk, if U put the cart before the horse !!!

    • Ken, you somehow forgot the Red Sox payroll….

    • Bruins 2nd highest payroll in NHL at the goalie position. New England Patriots highest paid at the quarterback position. Boston Red Sox highest paid team in MLB. Maybe they just pay the right players. Would be interesting to revisit the frugal Boston Champions subject in a few years.

      • GP, you should go check your stats, Rask is not in the top 3, Tom Brady is far from the highest paid QB.

      • Greatgonzo, I said goalie position which includes both goalies.

  19. Ken, just out of curiosity when were the top Bruins players signed to these deals that are bargains today?

      • I had missed that one Bigbadbruins. Thanks for posting. That whole conversation between the two can be filed under the folder I title “Tell Me What I Want To Hear … Never what I Should Hear.” As the lady says – “fans have their favourites among the players (it’s always been that way) … but in the end they cheer for the logo and whoever is wearing it ….”

        And the heading says it all “cap problems are the GM’s problem – NOT the players …”

      • No problem, you’re right leaf fans seem to only hear and read what they want not what is written or said

  20. 2 needs for the Bruins in the offseason….get bigger on the D and finally get a goal scorer with size who will get play the body for the 2nd line

    • Thank you Joe!

  21. Rival owners and GM’s must be pulling their hair out , other..
    With Dubais handing out , enormous , well out of the norm , contracts ..
    The league can thank Dubais for not being able to balance the salary cap, moving forward …
    leafs , for example are going to away too top heavy ..
    Bottom six players, will be like , “scab” hockey !!

    • Or young players on their first contract that have been developed in the minors. That’s pretty well how it is now for most teams – Boston for example.