NHL Rumor Mill – November 3, 2022

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Rumors | 22 comments

Could there be a trade market for the Sharks’ Erik Karlsson? Are changes coming for the struggling Blue Jackets? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran observes the San Jose Sharks are “already in selling mode”. He points out Erik Karlsson is looking like his old self as an elite puck-moving defenseman and “looks as if he’s auditioning for a trade.”

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Karlsson, 32, has five years remaining on a contract with an average annual value of $11.5 million. He joked about how that cap hit would fit in with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, he also wondered “if the Sharks could retain half…and take back someone making around $5.685 million, and a sweetener or two.”

Nick Kypreos believes there isn’t a contending team in the league that Karlsson wouldn’t dramatically help. He also mused over whether the Sharks would be open to retaining “40 to 50 percent of the remaining value of his contract”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun last week was the first to report that Sharks general manager Mike Grier was willing to listen on almost everyone on his roster with the possible exception of Tomas Hertl.

Grier has already shown a willingness to shake things up, shipping Brent Burns in July to the Carolina Hurricanes despite his $8 million annual cap hit and three-team no-trade list. If Karlsson should be open to joining a playoff contender, perhaps he’d be willing to waive his no-movement clause.

Burns, however, has only two more seasons left after this one on his contract. His cap hit is more affordable and he currently has a 688 consecutive games streak going whereas Karlsson has been plagued by injuries in recent years.

Any trade of Karlsson will come down to two factors: waiving his no-movement clause and the Sharks’ willingness to carry up to $5.75 million in dead cap space if they agree to retain up to 50 percent of his cap hit for the next five years.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline recently cited the shabby state of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ blueline as a key factor in the club’s sputtering start to the season. However, he felt there are no easy answers to address the issue.

Portzline observed that volatility has been a factor. Their top-two left-side blueliners (Zach Werenski and Vladislav Gavrikov) have each had four different defense partners in the club’s first nine games.

Fixing the problem won’t be easy. The Blue Jackets are near the salary cap and top-four defensemen rarely change teams via trade and tend to be expensive in both salary and return.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman wondered if the Blue Jackets would look for some help at center until their good young players are fully NHL-ready. However, he indicates there’s nothing imminent on that front.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expectations were high for the rebuilding (or is it retooling?) Blue Jackets when they finished higher than expected in last season’s standings. The signing of Johnny Gaudreau and re-signing Patrik Laine stoked excitement as well as some observers suggesting that they could even be a dark horse playoff contender.

It’s become painfully obvious they’re nowhere close to being a playoff contender. They’ve become lifeless as the losses have mounted, so much so that long-time NHL broadcaster Chico Resch called them “embarrassing” and “pathetic” during their recent 7-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Something will have to happen if the Jackets don’t turn things around soon. If a trade can’t be found to shake things up, head coach Brad Larsen could end up losing his job.


  1. While I’m in the minority of Jackets’ fans who didn’t believe the Jackets could sneak into the playoffs, I didn’t expect such a total collapse. Frankly, Bean and Boqvist have to go. Who needs puck moving defensemen who don’t play defense? Sillinger is deep in a sophomore slump, but the kid’s only 19. He’ll figure things out. The biggest need is a real #1 center. Jenner works hard and leaves it all on the ice, but he’s more suited to being a #3 center or winger.
    It’s going to be a long year, but there’s plenty of talent in the pipeline.

    • Columbus need a True #1 Centre and maybe a #2 Centre Really…..⁉️

      Who do they have a centre.. its more like Wingers Trying to be Centres……😳

      1-Jack Roslovic
      2-Boone Jenner’
      #3 is the young 19 year old Cole Sillinger

      Maybe they go after a couple of UFA Centres’ a in july 2023 to continue to build a decent top six to complemt there 2 top LW forward Stars they got in Gaudreau–Laine…🤔

      All 3 are UFA…. im sure they will All Test the Market place

      1, Dylan Larkin
      2, Bo Horvat
      3, J.T Compher

  2. Columbus has very average goaltending and not much depth on “D”. they spent to the cap on Gaudreau/Laine but didn’t go much for G and D (Gudbranson is a 5th or 6th dman). Peeke and Gavrikov are nice parts. Werenski is their top dman and Boqvist is good to, but where is the rest of their depth?

    • There have been a lot of above-average goalies that were the scapegoats for poor defences. As an Oilers fan, Dubnyk is the first to come to mind. Merzlikins is in the same situation in Columbus. Despite the poor defence, Merzlikins is putting up decent numbers. Get this guy a better defence in front of him, the team and fans will reap the benefits.

  3. If there is a year to suck this is it. Very good draft and franchise player Bedard. Up for grabs he can change direction of a franchise

  4. Paul, as a fellow long suffering CBJ fan, I share much of your perspective. I was excited at the Gaudreau & Laine signings but was not sold this was a playoff contending team this year & a bit surprised that became the expectation. CBJ are flush w/ promising young players/prospects but there is much growth & development needed before they become contenders. I may be in the minority opinion, but patience is likely the answer (albeit a painful one). I have more patience for allowing Boqvist time to develop given his rare skill set but honestly Bean has been mediocre & redundant. I believe another year of draft & develop (particularly w/ the strong 23 draft class) is the best course to long-term success. I am confident the D will mature into being solid given time but the glaring need to draft/acquire a top line capable C (until if/when Sillinger matures into the role) remains. If Gavrikov isn’t interested in signing long-term, moving him and Nyquist for additional draft picks/prospects seems sensible. It will likely be a challenging year but may be worth it in the long-term success of the franchise.

    • Kent Johnson has a chance to be a top C doesn’t he?
      Elite offensive skill, if I recall he played C for Canada at the WJC and scored the OT winner for the gold medal. Might be playing W in Michigan.

      Needs to put some meat on, and he will in College, but the kid can play with the puck on his stick. Smooth like butter, or Krecji if you prefer.

  5. Kalsson at half price for 5 years???? Dream on!

    Karlsson ($2M retained) + Kunin for Marner, Holl, ’23 1st (top 5 protected) ’25 3rd

    Karlsson ($2M retained) for Willie + Holl + ’24 2nd + ’23 Ott 3rd

    • I’m not going to crap on either of those proposals because I don’t think anyone can truly value what EK is or will be.

      Like. Should SanJose just be trying to give him away? Is he over the hill completely? He can’t defend because he can’t turn. I also think this start to the season is the exception not the rule in terms of what you’ll get from him going forward…….forward at 11.5. On the flip side he might still be a 60-70 point defenseman…and that’s what he should be paid then.

      I don’t have the answer. Also the optics of giving him away after what Ottawa got is stinky no matter who the GM was at the time

  6. Subtract the jackets from this headline and you have the blues in the same situation. Based on Armstrong’s comments this week plus the schedule upcoming I’d say the Blues have a week to get it together or a big move is possible. Berube has a big lineup shake up tonight with Accari ans Schenn on top line with O’Reilly while Thomas and Kyrou dropped to third line. Also reunited the russians on the second line. Speculation from St Louis is O’Reilly, 1 point minus 11, is pouting because Perron is gone and management is looking hard at him to get his game going.

  7. Umm. Apparently Leafs defence is terrible. Now, we want a puck moving defenceman that doesn’t play defence and is soft. Wow.
    By the way Johnny T got a hat trick.

    • One of the issues we are hearing about the Leafs is the inability of the defence to get the puck up to the forwards and turning the puck over. This is why the suggestion for the Leafs is to look into acquiring Karlsson.

      • Nice try… the only reason we would hear anything as laughable as Karlsson being acquired by the Leafs is for entertainment, ie click bait. But who knows with this team…. lol 😂

        As for the Jackets, as good as their GM is, is getting beat by the cap. I still believe the hard cap will prove one way or another, is a bad thing for all teams…both the successful ones and ones trying to reach the top.

      • Actually, the only reason why we would hear anything as any star, or former star, player being acquired by the Leafs is because there has been a whisper of them becoming available. I’m sure if Crosby or Ovechkin were rumoured to be available one of the first teams we would hear to be in on them would be the Leafs. We heard it when Burns and Hamilton became available.

  8. I’ve been a Patrik Laine fan from the start and supported him on here numerous times.

    My opinion is starting to waiver as he has appeared to become a selfish non interested player.

    On a recent broadcast to Columbus announcer commented that “Laine been on the ice for 1:20 and frankly that’s too long.”

    I was expecting 40 plus goals this year, hopefully he wakes up before it’s over.

    • CBJ should trade for the Edmonton Oilers big RW
      Jesse Phulijarvi…..❓
      They could put him on a line with his old JR line mate and good buddy LW Patrik Laine,

      it sounds sounds like he is available for a 2nd round pick or a player….🤔

  9. Got a an uneasy feeling about tonight’s game. There are cracks beginning to show in the fuselage
    SOP was so excited about this evenings game he accidently took the Cats claw enhancer instead of the Prevagen and all morning long he’s been itching to get his front yards fence posts

    • Bruins wont win them all so one day your negativity will be correct

  10. Laine is lazy. At least looks that way on the ice. Good teams start with the middle and goaltenders . If your two best are wingers you are in trouble

    E Karlsson looks good for now
    But it won’t be long until there are issues

  11. Nobody inn there Right Mind is trading for
    (The Fragile Erik Karlsson)⁉️

    @11.5M per season even if they retain 45-50% of his salary your still looking at $5.5 to $6M for a d/man that always Hurt.

    The 2 reasons EK has more points this year is because Burns got traded & he is there only point d/man on the PP and is getting lots of ice time..
    he will be out injurd real soon🤔

    • Well call me crazy then Willie, as I would sure as heck look at it.
      All depends on the cost in terms of salary, and what the assets would be to get him if they did retain 50%. Or close.

      EK can play when healthy and he is again. He is only 32, and the way he skates, seems like a guy that should be able to keep it up.

      The guy has had some decent seasons in SJ, on a bad team. One of the best players exiting the zone in the entire NHL. Always has been. Needs to be the right team; good with a specific need. A guy who can pass it or wheel it out of your end, consistently, and create quality chances at the other end.

      If SJ wants a big return, then no due to the injury risk. But you might get him on the cheap and if he plays 50 games an in the playoffs… worth every penny IMO. Depends on the cost.

  12. here’s hoping the Blue Jackets don’t gain any traction until after they return from Finland! The Avalanche need to pick their game up in earnest over there and this is the perfect team to do it against. So, I’m hoping the poor effort on the island was addressed by now, the sloppiness with the puck and the responsibility to play good sound defense has returned to the team’s superstars. Yes, MacKinnon and Makar need to make better decisions with the puck and the rest of the team needs to bring it every shift in order to get back to winning hockey. GO AVS!!!!!!!!!!