Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 8, 2022

by | May 8, 2022 | Rumors | 23 comments

Could the Sharks shop Erik Karlsson or Brent Burns this summer? Has Mark Scheifele requested a trade from the Jets?


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports it appears there were some “very preliminary” trade talks this year involving San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson and a couple of teams. He doesn’t believe those discussions got far but it seems the Sharks may recognize that having two elite, right-shot former Norris Trophy winners on their blueline hasn’t meshed as well as they’d hoped. That other defenseman, of course, is Brent Burns.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

The Sharks are currently searching for a new general manager after long-time GM Doug Wilson stepped down for health reasons earlier this year. They still wish to contend but carrying Karlsson and Burns may be a luxury they cannot continue to afford in a salary-cap world.

Friedman pointed out Burns has less term on his contract than Karlsson. He feels the Sharks will listen if a rival club makes an offer they like for one of them.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Sheng Peng last week also weighed in on the Sharks blueline with his takeaways of acting GM Joe Will’s remarks during his end-of-season press conference. He noted Will saying that players have choices, thoughts and prerogatives on where they are in their careers.

Peng noted that there were rumblings last summer suggesting Burns could be open to being traded to a contender. He also pointed out the long-time Sharks rearguard did little to quell that speculation during his exit interview.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks are pressed for cap space next season with Cap Friendly showing them carrying over $73 million invested in 19 active players for 2022-23. That’s not counting any penalty they might receive if an arbitrator rules against them in Evander Kane’s grievance hearing over his contract termination in January.

Karlsson is signed through 2026-27 with an annual average value of $11.5 million and a full no-movement clause. Burns’ deal goes through 2024-25 with an $8 million annual cap hit and has a list of just three acceptable trade destinations.

Moving either guy this summer could prove difficult. The Sharks might be forced to retain some salary or take back a toxic contract to make it happen.

Karlsson and Burns aren’t the only defensemen the Sharks could part ways with during the offseason. There’s talk of buying out Marc-Edouard Vlasic and the remaining four years of his contract. Meanwhile, Radim Simek claims he got the runaround from management and the coaching staff when he questioned the decline in his playing time over the second half of the season.


Jeff Marek reported the New Jersey Devils could target Kevin Fiala as GM Tom Fitzgerald looks to add an impact player in the offseason and is willing to shop his 2022 first-round pick. The 25-year-old Minnesota Wild winger netted 85 points this season and Marek believes the Devils see him skating alongside fellow Swiss forward Nico Hischier.

The Wild face a salary-cap crunch after this season with over $12 million in dead cap space from last summer’s buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. That will make it challenging to sign Fiala as the 25-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Offering up that first-rounder could be enticing to Wild GM Bill Guerin if he knows he can’t afford to re-sign Fiala. The winger is completing a one-year, $5.1 million contract and is in line for a lucrative new deal.

If Fitzgerald can’t swing a trade, perhaps he’ll attempt to go the offer sheet route. Such moves are scarce and rarely successful but the Devils have the cap space to make it work provided Fiala is interested.


Elliotte Friedman reports Mark Scheifele did not ask for a trade during his exit interview last week with Winnipeg Jets management. The 29-year-old center raises eyebrows earlier in the week with comments regarding his future. Friedman said we’ll see where everything goes in the offseason as the Jets have a lot of choices to make.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Winnipeg pundits believe Scheifele could be on his way out while some Jets fans on social media have called for general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to trade him. There’s a belief of a lack of accountability within the Jets’ dressing room over their disappointing performance this season.

Scheifele has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $6.125 million plus a 10-team no-trade list. While his defensive game draws criticism, his scoring will ensure he attracts plenty of interest if Cheveldayoff shops him this summer.


  1. Re Sharks and Burns

    I would think that Burns is like every other player…. Coveting the Cup… no chance of getting that with Sharks … so waiving to go to a contender…. I think so

    After his SB is paid, only owed $13 M balance. Retain 50%… Cap hit only $4M…. Should be a few suitors

    Re “ if an arbitrator rules against them in Evander Kane’s grievance hearing…”…… at this point it is not “IF”; but “how much, and over how long”

    Not looking good for Sharks

    • Sharks would not have to retain half on him… so long as he is open to expanding his teams.

      • They might not need to take 1/2… but it is extremely hard to believe any team takes him at full whack; unless a fair sized crap contract comes over in the deal

  2. There aren’t a whole lot of “toxic” contracts floating around – certainly not among the top contenders and you can bet those 3 teams Burns would be willing to go to have nothing substantial in that regard, while Karlsson, of course, would have to waive his NM clause – which he probably won’t do if any interested teams are of no interest to him.

    But assuming they find two locations suitable to both (i.e., contending teams), San Jose will almost assuredly have to retain a large chunk of those bloated cap hits ($8 mil per with 3 years to go in the case of Burns – who will be 40 when it expires) and $11.5 with 5 years to go for Karlsson who” be 37 when it expires.

    Just don’t call Dorion or he might croak from laughing.

    • George,

      Dorions looking pretty wise in letting Karlsson depart, the Stone manouvers looking pretty good right about now too. Downside is the Murray deal, still cant figure that one or tha Hamonic for a 3rd swap.

      Overall though I think hes doing a decent job but next season is show up time for the Sens. Maybe not make the playoffs but at a minimum push for them.

      • Totally agree Ron. With Pinto back and Sanderson in one of the top 4 D spots and, hopefully, Batherson, Norris and Chabot staying healthy – unlike this year – they have to have a better start to the season than the past two.

        As for Hamonic, the guy played pretty well down the stretch – 19 games and a +5, even chipping in a goal and 2a. He was the least of their problems on D. And I think I recall it being mentioned that, in the period before the deal, he was playing very well for the Canucks.

        Murray they jumped on when he became available given that he won 2 cups with the Penguins. And, you know, there were stretches where he played very well the past two seasons. What kept screwing him up was repeated injuries, seemingly always for a different reason. It looks like he’ll be there at the start of training camp again and IF he can stay injury-free, he’ll share the load with Forsberg.

        If not, and they have to go through that crap again with him being out of the line-up for long stretches. he becomes a candidate for a buy-out. Best case scenario – he stays healthy, plays some decent games in the first 2 months of the season, and is dealt to some team desperate for a goalie – and let them become the fingers-crossed hopers 🙂

  3. I raised at least one eyebrow when Wilson fashioned a roster with two elite right-shooting blueliners on large long-term deals. Even if they didn’t have cap issues, it didn’t seem like good roster management. Now that they’re well into their 30s it will be a real challenge to move either of them.
    The new GM will need to try, hopefully without getting fleeced. Wilson has left a bit of a mess — a bad combination of a team not ready to challenge in the playoffs, a mediocre crop of prospects and the aforementioned cap crunch.

    • In that regard Mark Allan he finds himself in the same position as that faced by Guerin when he took over the Wild and his answer was to bite the bullet and buy out Parise and Suter which, next season, costs $12,713,588 off the cap, followed by the next two seasons at $14,743,588 and the last two years at $1,666,666.

  4. Thinking out loud, wouldn’t signing Kadri and Kane be a nice get by one team?

    • It would need to be a team with buckets of cap space – and since there’s no team like that among the contenders I doubt either has an interest in going to a re-building team.

    • That sounds like a team buying a poorly deboned fish.

  5. Completely off-topic, but did anyone catch the Kentucky Derby yesterday? Unbelievable race with a large field won by Rich Strike, an 80-1 shot who had finished 10th in an August race and was claimed for $30,000, coming from dead last at about the halfway mark.

      • Holy crap, George thanks for sharing. That is absolutely amazing!

      • I Want My Curtains Back, it immediately reminded me of the 2009 KD when Mind That Bird – a 50-1 shot that the owner, wearing cast on one leg, drove to Kentucky in the back of a pickup truck, That horse also came from dead last – and waaay back at one point – to win by several lengths

      • Hi George

        Yep…. Saw it live…. Kind of a tradition for me…. My Dad never missed watching the triple crown races from the early 60’s on…. Got me interested. Kept watching after my Dad passed in ‘17. I only watch those 3 horses all year, and don’t go to the track… LOL

        Rich Strike was in 17th place at the last turn; 11th starting the stretch…. and passed all 10 ahead of him in that stretch to take it… ‘twas amazing

        The horse was feisty too… was getting pissed at the escort pony (after the race) and was actually biting the escort pony… the rider on the escort pony was getting very nervous ….. had to smack Rich Strike in the face a couple weeks of times as it was getting dangerous

        Needless to say…. He won’t be 70-1 odds at Preakness

  6. Hate to say it, but the sharks really need to trade Karlson, if possible. Ridding themselves of the the Vlasic contract is certainly a big pickle! Vlasic looks to be untradable. They would have to offer him at Half salary with a mid tier NHLer for another Mid tier NHLer or a prospect.

  7. Am I missing something? There is very little chance the Wild can sign Fiala. So why would Fitz gift them a top 5 pick for the right to overpay him (he might be worth it but you never know). I think a deal could be worked out, but that seems too generous for a player they cannot sign.

    • Fiala will be valuable NOW, Zacha and a 1st …..maybe never.

    • It’s very hard to find guys that are 25 years old that put up 85 points in a season and become available. Also lots of rumors that other teams like Ottawa are interested as well. My guess is the return will have to do with him being willing to sign a extension with the new club. It’s still possible the Wild could sign him but it will depend on what he wants and how much the Wild are willing to spend. As reported by Michael Russo he turned down a 3 yr- 6 million deal in the off-season.

  8. Is this not exactly where the yotes should step in? Their team will suck for the next few years and them retaining half of either of those guys salaries to help facilitate the move to a contender.

    If I was picking a a contending team I would take Bruns all day long. More durable and guys like him and Chara can still be effective at 40.

  9. Karlsson should go. Some of Wilson’s bad moves include letting Pavelski go and signing Kane and Karlsson.

  10. “nobody” will be calling for the oft injured, over the hill Karlson or the slow footed Burns. Heck even Vlassic looks slow now. Even salary retained I’d be stunned if anyone called.

    Fiala, will be a HUGE overpay by whomever. I sincerely hope it isn’t Dorion. I’m starting to think that “less is more” this offseason with the Sens. Rather than a silly overpay for underwhelming results.