Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 2, 2019
Updates on Erik Karlsson, Patrick Marleau, Dion Phaneuf, and more in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
COULD KARLSSON STAY IN SAN JOSE?
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman said Erik Karlsson “is taking a long, hard look at deciding if he wants to stay in San Jose.” The 28-year-old defenseman was acquired by the Sharks in September from the Ottawa Senators. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Friedman believes Karlsson will decide if he’ll test the market in about a week. He said the blueliner wants to win and the Sharks made a good impression upon him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent speculation linked Karlsson to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning. If he wants to stay with the Sharks he might have to accept less than market value. As per Cap Friendly, the Sharks have over $58 million invested in 15 players.
Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, and Gustav Nyquist are also due to become UFAs. Meanwhile, restricted free agents Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc are slated for big raises.
UPDATE ON MARLEAU’S TRADE STATUS
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos said it sounds like the Toronto Maple Leafs and winger Patrick Marleau are set to part ways. Marleau’s family is moving back to San Jose and he’d prefer playing close to them. Kypreos said he’s heard the Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, and the Los Angeles Kings are among the clubs in the mix.
Regarding the Kings, Kypreos feels it would have to be a type of deal “that would have to involve taking on that contract would be, maybe, taking on a current roster player that the Leafs would have to give up, and maybe even retaining as much as maybe $1.5, $2 million.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun first reported the Leafs were talking to the Kings about Marleau. However, that deal sounds unlikely. Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times took to Twitter yesterday saying it’s her understanding Marleau won’t be traded to the Kings. “Any discussions quickly made it obvious that the teams’ respective needs/cap situations meant there wasn’t a workable deal to be made.
Cap Friendly indicates the Kings have over $71 million tied up in 19 players. Taking on Marleau’s full cap hit ($6.25 million) or even a reduced amount still takes a big bite out of their remaining cap space. Unless the Leafs take back a toxic contract (like Ilya Kovalchuk’s, which they won’t), I don’t expect to see Marleau skating with the Kings next season.
The Coyotes have a history of taking on bad contracts if they’re also packaged with a quality draft pick, prospect, or young NHL-ready player. This year, however, they might be unwilling to do those deals. They have even less cap room (over $74 million invested in 20 players) than the Kings. While all their core players are under contract for 2019-20, ownership could be reluctant to take on significant salary this summer.
The Avalanche, meanwhile, have lots of cap space (over $45 million invested in 13 players) for next season. They must re-sign winger Mikko Rantanen to a lucrative new contract this summer. After that, however, they’ll still have plenty of room to re-sign their other key free agents and make a significant acquisition or two.
General manager Joe Sakic indicated he intends to be busy in this summer’s free-agent market. Perhaps he’ll also consider a bold move like taking on the final season of Marleau’s contract, provided the Leafs include an enticing sweetener in the deal.
KINGS COULD BUY OUT PHANEUF
SPORTSNET: Kypreos also speculated the Kings could buy out Dion Phaneuf. The 34-year-old defenseman has two years remaining on his contract worth $12 million. Kypreos points out that a buy out “would get him $8 million over the next four years and a chance to get back into unrestricted free agency on July 1.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A buyout could be the only option. Phaneuf is in decline and it’s doubtful they’ll find many takers in the trade market. The first two years would still be costly for the Kings. The first year counts as over $2.9 million against their cap payroll, jumps to over $5.4 million in the second year, before dropping to over $1.4 million annually in the final two years.
SENATORS COULD MOVE CONDON
OTTAWA SUN: With the Senators’ recent re-signing of goaltender Anders Nilsson, Bruce Garrioch suggests Mike Condon’s days with the Sens may be numbered. The 29-year-old netminder has one year remaining on his contract worth $3 million. A hip issue sidelined him for all but two NHL games this season. The Senators could buy out that remaining season but Garrioch believes they’ll try to trade him to a club seeking a veteran for their AHL farm team.
#Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher is listening to trade offers for his first overall pick. He will happily keep it if he doesn’t get what he wants, but “if we can get a good player at the right stage of his career and with some term left on his contract, we’d certainly look at it.”
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) June 1, 2019