NHL Rumor Mill – May 14, 2022

by | May 14, 2022 | Rumors | 19 comments

What will the Capitals do with their goaltending this summer? Are the Sharks open to trading Erik Karlsson or Brent Burns? Will the Blackhawks seek improvement between the pipes? Who could the Red Wings target via free agency? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WILL THE CAPITALS LOOK TO IMPROVE THEIR GOALTENDING?

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski considers the Washington Capitals goaltending an interesting situation worth monitoring during the offseason. Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov are both restricted free agents. Vanecek had a solid regular season but fared poorly in the playoffs while Samsonov was the opposite.

Wyshynski wondered if the Capitals will seek an upgrade between the pipes. If they decide to keep their tandem intact, for how much and for how long? He also believes their blueline needs improvement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals need a reliable starter. There are only four suitable options via this summer’s unrestricted free agent market and one of them (Marc-Andre Fleury) apparently isn’t interested in playing for them. Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper, Toronto’s Jack Campbell and St. Louis’ Ville Husso could be available but will be expensive to sign. The Capitals would face competition from other clubs for those goaltenders should they test the open market on July 13.

General manager Brian MacLellan could try the trade market by looking at netminders such as Anaheim’s John Gibson, Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick, Vegas’ Robin Lehner and the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov. Acquiring either of them, however, won’t be easy and will cost assets as well as salary.

Limited salary-cap space will also impede the pursuit of a goalie upgrade or the addition of a quality defenseman. Cap Friendly shows the Capitals with $73.5 million invested in 17 active players for 2022-23 with Vanecek and Samsonov as their key free agents. MacLellan might have to shed a contract or two to find sufficient cap space to address those needs.

THE SHARKS COULD BE OPEN TO TRADING KARLSSON OR BURNS THIS SUMMER

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka reports San Jose Sharks interim general manager Joe Will indicated he has no problem talking to other clubs about trading Erik Karlsson or Brent Burns this summer. Both players recently surfaced in the rumor mill after the Sharks missed the playoffs last month.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Will said nothing was off-limits in terms of looking at ways to improve the roster wherever they could. However, he added that would be a decision left to whoever becomes the club’s general manager. He stated no changes are imminent but they’re open to discussion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Will is talking about a hypothetical trade scenario involving Karlsson or Burns rather than something that will actually take place. He or his successor are making it known they’re open to offers for their high-end talent but that doesn’t mean they’re actively shopping those players.

That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sharks management quietly gauged the market for Karlsson or Burns. However, Karlsson’s injury history, the 37-year-old Burns’ age, and their respective hefty contracts and no-trade clauses make moving either defenseman a difficult task in an offseason where the salary cap is rising by only $1 million for 2022-23.

LATEST ON THE BLACKHAWKS

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus recently reported goaltending is the biggest issue facing the Chicago Blackhawks this summer. Current netminders Kevin Lankinen and Collin Delia are slated to become UFAs this summer.

GM Kyle Davidson said Lankinen and Delia are part of the conversation but there are players in this summer’s free-agent market the Blackhawks will be looking at. He also didn’t rule out a foray into the trade market. A source claims the club hasn’t started contract discussions yet with Lankinen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Blackhawks could keep Lankinen or Delia as a backup as they pursue a reliable starter via free agency or a trade. Many of the options I listed for the Capitals could also apply here.

Davidson has $61.4 million committed to 14 players with Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Strome, Kirby Dach, Caleb Jones and Philipp Kurashev slated to become restricted free agents. There is sufficient room to add a decent starter provided those RFAs can be inked to affordable deals. Strome or Kubalik could be traded or allowed to depart as UFAs.

WHO COULD THE RED WINGS TARGET VIA FREE AGENCY?

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen recently published a list of forwards who might interest Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman in this summer’s UFA market.

Carolina Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck, New York Rangers forward Andrew Copp and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nick Paul were Allen’s top three candidates

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trocheck and Paul should be available this summer but it remains to be seen if they want to sign with a rebuilding club. Copp, however, could be off the market as the Rangers are quite keen to re-sign him.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg, Rangers center Ryan Strome and Lightning winger Ondrej Palat were also among Allen’s choices.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings’ plentiful cap space means they could afford to pay Forsberg a big raise. Like Trocheck and Paul, he might not prefer joining a rebuilding team.

Strome’s situation with the Rangers could go either way. Yzerman drafted Palat when he was GM of the Lightning so the latter might be willing to consider a reunion.

Colorado Avalanche winger Valeri Nichushkin, Avs winger Andre Burakovsky, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Ilya Mikheyev and KHL forward Andrei Kuzmenko round out Allen’s listing.







19 Comments

  1. Nick Paul could also do a 360 and sign back in Ottawa. They, too, have lots of cap and for Paul there’s a long-term familiarity.

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    • George O I hope that happens.

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  2. I’d love Yzerman to sign Palat and Nichushkin.
    But I’d love it more if he gets aggressive and dangles the 8th overall and some pieces/parts to trade for Chychrun and Crouse from AZ.

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    • I agree with Palat and Nichushkin. Stasny on a 1 x $3M contract for 2C. But there are cap-strapped teams here to take advantage of!

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      • Stastny would be a great signing!

    • might help to spike a rivalry with the panthers. chychrun from nearby boca raton and crouse a former #1 panther draftee

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  3. Washington could trade a goalie + a minor pick for Lehner….maybe.
    The elephants in the Sharks room are Karlson, Vlasic, Burns and the Kane situation….what a mess!!
    Hawks need to sign Lanky and find a 1A or1B option to pair with him, there are plenty of FA options to sign that cost $3M or less. Hawks could have many more options if Kane and Toews decide to go.
    I hope Detroit holds off on a big FA splash, there will be many cap dumps that they should prey on that will help the rebuild.

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    • Kane’s salary is only 2.9 a year right now. It would be stupid to send him on his way. Where else are you going to get 100 points a season for 2.9 million?

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  4. I know this trade proposal is probably not enough.
    If the Capitals are going to look improve there goaltending.
    The Senators have three goaltenders.

    What about a trade like this.

    To: Ottawa Senators
    Tom Wilson

    To: Washington Capitals
    Filip Gustavsson
    Erik Brannstrom
    Colin White
    2nd round pick
    prospect

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    • I love it – but Pengy would have a conniption fit

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  5. A 2nd line (or top line) center has to be the #1 priority for Yzerman this summer if he expects this team to take a step forward. If he can’t sign one like Trocheck on the UFA market, he needs to trade for one. They have none in their prospect system unless they draft one in this draft and even if they do, he might not be NHL ready for a few years.

    The 2nd thing to fix is the left side of the defense. Both Edvinsson and Johansson are coming over for next season but who knows if they are ready to step in right away or will need time in the AHL to start. Personally i would forget about Chychrun and trade for Sanheim instead. Should cost less in trade assets and he can play top minutes and PK with Seider. Next i would sign Zadorov if he hits the market. Big body that plays physical would likely make a good partner for Hronek. That would leave one spot for Edvinsson or Johansson and if they aren’t ready there is still Oesterle, Walman or re-sign Marc Staal.

    Wingers should be at the bottom of their priority list given they have plenty of those already and more coming with Berggren, Soderblom, Hannas ect…

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    • Why would the Flyers want to trade Sanheim?

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      • There were rumors this season that the Flyers might be looking into trading Provorov or Sanheim. Sanheim is set to become a UFA at the end of next season and given the state of the Flyers, he might not be interested in signing again with the Flyers. If that is the case they might want to move him instead of losing him for nothing. They could wait until the deadline and deal him as a rental but they might be able to get more this summer.

        They also don’t have a lot of cap space and might want to create some room to add a UFA or two in areas they have bigger needs at.

      • Well, first of all, I bet those rumors could never be traced back to the front office – likely stemmed from some reporter asking if so-and-so might be dealt and getting the standard response “we’ll look at all options as and when they come up ..” Even Konecny’s name cropped up in that manner,

        As matters now stand the Flyers are committed to 17 using $76,606,440 off the cap leaving them $5,893,560 to sign 6. Their 3 RFAs (>none with arbitration rights) are Tippet, Frost and MacEwen costing a cumulative $2,551,666 off this season’s cap. Since none had anything better than enhh seasons – and should the Flyers think they’re worth retaining, all 3 could be re-upped with modest increases totaling no more than $3 mil which would leave them about $3 mil to sign 3.

        I doubt any of those cheap UFAs will be back (Nate Thompson who turns 38 in October, Connauton and Seeler), while Yandle is done and Jones likely out the door.

        Looking at that roster I’d bet they’d try hard to move VanRiemsdyk who has 1 season left at $7 mil – he’s a durable F who potted 24 goals this season and could help a team, especially if the Flyers withheld about $2 mil for one year – that’d add $5 mil to their reserve, giving them around $8 mil to sign 3, one of which would likely be a goaltender.

        It’s a re-build that has to start somewhere – but I just don’t seem them moving either Sanheim or Provorov as part of it. Not this coming season at least.

    • I agree with going after Zadorov, but doubt that Sanheim would be available.

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    • I would think Stevie will surprise us again this summer and we will all agree with his decision.
      Like last year, trading up for Cossa, the Leddy trade. Those are looking pretty good now that Cossa is progressing, and the Wings got a nice return on Leddy. Although the Lou spent that 2nd on Aatu Ratty…….a nice C prospect.

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    • I agree. It looks like the entire roster of the Wings needs to slide down one line. The current top line of Larkin, Bert and Raymond can’t compete with the top lines of teams like Tampa, Toronto, Boston and Florida. Raymond may develop into that kind of top line player, and Larkin can hold his own as a #1 C, but the rest of the team fits better into a middle 6 role. Bert is better as a high end 2nd liner. Personally I think Zadina and Veleno will develop into good 2nd line talent but they’re not there yet. Vrana is top 6. Fabbri, Suter, and Rasmussen are middle 6. Rasmussen is going to be a very formidable 3rd or 4th line unit at some point, but he’s going to need more than the vanilla playing style of Erne as his wingers. Those lines need some grit and crash and bash players.

      The D looks shaky now, but the pipeline looks solid. I’d rather see them stick with what they have, have another mediocre season and just give those players time to develop as they stack up picks in next years draft. This year they should focus on getting a solid center in the draft (Savoie would be my pick).

      In FA Trochek would be the only one I’d consider for a 2C position. Aside from that I’d rather stick with what they have, and just focus on the youth pipeline.

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  6. Husso could be a very good fit somewhere. Would be high on my list if I needed a goalie. Bing I believe is staying, Has turned it around in the playoffs. Slim shaky during the regular season though and more money. Not easy to move for real value.

    The Hawks could let Kubalik walk .They might not have a choice

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    • Wings picked up a Hawk reject last year in Suter. I think there are better wingers on Stevie’s mind then Kubalik. I wonder if Stevie would bid on Husso…just to make his salary go higher if a rival has eyes on him. LOL
      I still think maybe Stevie goes after a winger or D from a cap-strapped team for cheap.
      Like: Petry + Byron + Calgary 1st for ,Hronek
      Dadonov + Hague for a 4th or Juolevi
      JVR, Frost and Sandhiem for Bertuzzi +
      Vegas 4th
      Tyler Johnson + the Wild 2nd for LA’s 7th
      then sign Palat for 3x $4M

      Reply

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