NHL Rumor Mill – September 7, 2019
Does the Hurricanes’ signing Jake Gardiner mean Justin Faulk could be traded? What will the Canucks do about Loui Eriksson? Read on for the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
AFTER SIGNING GARDINER, WILL THE HURRICANES TRADE FAULK?
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: In his report on the Carolina Hurricanes signing Jake Gardiner, Luke DeCock reported general manager Don Waddell cited the flexibility Gardiner’s presence brings to their blueline. DeCock also pointed out long-time Hurricanes rearguard Justin Faulk is in the final season of his contract. Having five defensemen capable of playing on the top-two pairings provides the Hurricanes the security necessary to trade Faulk if they can’t re-sign him.
SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman tweets Gardiner’s signing spells uncertainty over Faulk’s future in Carolina. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun replied the club had contract talks this summer with Faulk but couldn’t get a deal done.
LeBrun also said the Hurricanes spoke to other teams about the blueliner. “Not saying he’s getting dealt for sure but it’s obviously a possibility.”
THE ATHLETIC’s Sara Civian tweeted a reminder the Hurricanes attempted to trade Faulk at the draft. “I’ve been told as recently as 3 weeks ago that a Faulk deal still isn’t off the table.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Faulk frequently surfaced in trade speculation over the last two years. While nothing came of those rumors, his pending UFA status and the addition of Gardiner could make this season his last with the Hurricanes. He could become an enticing trade chip to bolster their scoring punch.
Trading Faulk still isn’t a certainty. The Hurricanes went with a very deep blueline last season. With James Reimer and Petr Mrazek as their goalie tandem this season, they could prefer keeping the current group intact.
UPDATE ON ERIKSSON
VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma wonders what the future holds for Canucks winger Loui Eriksson. The combination of his declining performance and expensive contract makes him unattractive in the trade market. His remarks this spring about not seeing eye-to-eye with Canucks coach Travis Green could make this situation more uncomfortable.
Placing Eriksson on waivers and demoting him to Utica provides little cap savings for the Canucks. Kuzma suggests the winger’s situation could become a distraction barring some serious fence-mending.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, Eriksson is entering the fourth season of a six-year contract with an annual cap hit of $6 million and a full no-trade clause. He’d probably agree to waive the latter if an opportunity presented itself.The only way that’ll happen is if his performance improves.
Even then, his cap hit will be a sticking point in any trade talks. The Canucks might have to pick up a significant chunk to make a deal work. My guess is Eriksson plays out the season with the Canucks, who could try to trade him next summer or consider a contract buyout.