NHL Rumor Mill – January 14, 2023

by | Jan 14, 2023 | Rumors | 24 comments

Have the Sharks set an asking price for Erik Karlsson? Are teams calling about Timo Meier? Will the Wild trade Matt Dumba? What’s the latest on the Panthers and Penguins? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited Edmonton Oilers color commentator Bob Stauffer saying he’s heard the Sharks seek three first-round picks for Erik Karlsson. Stauffer also said they would retain 18 percent of the 32-year-old defenseman’s $11.5 million cap hit through 2026-27.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Peng believes the Sharks asking for three first-rounder seemed wild. He checked with his sources and they’ve heard nothing about this. “That doesn’t seem like a serious request if you want to trade Karlsson,” writes Peng. “Even getting a single first-rounder seems questionable, unless the Sharks retain a lot more than 18 percent, all things considered.”

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka reports Sharks general manager Mike Grier declined to get into his asking price for Karlsson. He didn’t consider Stauffer’s report to be totally accurate.

Whatever his price would be, Grier said it would have to be a return that makes the Sharks stronger in the future and gives them the ability to turn things around quickly. He also said he’s not in any hurry to move a defenseman who’s currently on pace for 100 points this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To be fair to Stauffer, what he heard may have been Grier’s initial ask or perhaps it was speculation from a Sharks source. Three first-rounders for a defenseman at Karlsson’s stage of his career is pretty steep despite his performance this season. Retaining only 18 percent of his cap hit means that an interested club has to pick up around $9.5 million annually for the next four seasons.

I don’t doubt that Grier’s getting calls about Karlsson. However, I don’t think this is a trade that happens this season given the limited cap space among potential suitors that Karlsson would consider acceptable trade destinations. It seems like it would have to be a three-team deal to spread the dollars around. That might be easier to pull off during the offseason.

Grier also told Pashelka that he’s had some preliminary discussions with Timo Meier’s agent regarding a new contract, although there’s been nothing substantial yet regarding offers and counteroffers.

Meier, 26, is a restricted free agent this summer. He carries an annual cap hit of $6 million but is earning $10 million this season in actual salary. That’s what it’ll cost the Sharks to qualify his rights unless he agrees to accept a new contract with a lower average annual value.

Grier indicated Meier is another player that other GMs have inquired about this season. However, he’s indicated he’s had some good talks with the winger regarding his situation and the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meier’s unique situation could also make him a rental player for playoff contenders if they’re unable or unwilling to re-sign him to an AAV of $10 million.

With Meier and Karlsson, Grier isn’t facing pressure to move one or both by the trade deadline. Given their respective contract statuses, he can wait until the offseason to see how things shake out.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports sources claimed that the Ottawa Senators have an interest in Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. The Wild aren’t sure they want to risk losing the pending unrestricted free agent for nothing this summer. Minnesota GM Bill Guerin is said to be open to a deal even though his club is in a playoff position.

Garrioch also reports the Wild are among the teams that have contacted the Arizona Coyotes about blueliner Jakob Chychrun. He speculates that might be the reason why Guerin is open to trading Dumba. If he can get a quality asset for Dumba, he could include it in an offer for Chychrun or another defenseman on the market.

SPORTSNET (Stick tap to NHL Watcher): On his latest “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said Guerin isn’t going to move Dumba just to get something for the pending UFA defenseman.

Friedman said the Wild believe they can win the Stanley Cup this season. Guerin won’t do anything that will weaken the team. The Senators and Vancouver Canucks have called about Dumba but there’s nothing close.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t fully dismiss the notion of Guerin trading Dumba based on the scenario envisioned by Garrioch. Still, it won’t be an easy move to make, especially if he’s planning on going after Chychrun.

Dumba’s 10-team no-trade clause can also be a sticking point. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still with the Wild following the March 3 trade deadline.


FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: George Richards believes the Panthers could become sellers by this season’s trade deadline if they’re not in playoff position by that point.

Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported Panthers GM Bill Zito has a “deal in his pocket” to trade Sam Reinhart and/or Sam Bennett. However, Richards writes that there’s nothing in the works regarding either forward. He also indicated management doesn’t have a firm plan yet regarding the trade deadline.

If the Panthers become sellers, Richards anticipates pending UFAs like Eric and Marc Staal and Patric Hornqvist could be shopped. He wondered if they would trade or attempt to re-sign pending UFA defenseman Radko Gudas.

There’s been whispers the Panthers could trade Anthony Duclair once he’s ready to return to action from an offseason Achilles injury. However, Richards said Duclair enjoys playing for the Panthers and they want to keep him. With a year remaining on his contract worth $3 million, it would be surprising if the winger got traded.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers will be worth monitoring over the next four-to-six weeks. They could become sellers and perhaps they would shed Reinhart or Bennett to free up some much-needed cap space and restock their prospect pipeline.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski believes the Penguins’ primary concern approaching the trade deadline is adding a third-line center.

Potential trade targets could include Anaheim’s Adam Henrique, San Jose’s Nick Bonino, Arizona’s Travis Boyd, and perhaps Florida’s Eric Staal and Chicago’s Jason Dickinson. The Penguins’ limited cap space, however, will be a factor in determining how they choose to address that issue.


  1. Maybe Docker or Thomson for Dumba is a starting point. Add picks and get a deal done, problem is does dumba want to play in ottawa?

    Dumba would round out ottawa’s top 4 perfectly.

    • OTT better get Dumba to sign an extension if they make that deal. MIN is coming from a place of weakness, as teams know they don’t have the cap space to resign Dumba

      doubt SJ wants to qualify Meier at $10M+ for next season. if he doesn’t sign an extension by the week before the trade deadline, I bet he gets moved to another team, most likely with the other team getting TM to sign an extension. I think he would be a great addition for the Devils, who could still use a sniper. Meier and Hischier have great chemistry in international play. Meier would be a better fit than Patrick Kane, who I still see going to the Rangers.

      Panthers have a lot of work digging out of the mess that have, the Tkachuk trade (and replacing their head coach) really messed up their team chemistry.

      • I’d love to see Meier stay with the Sharks. If he’s serious about it, maybe he’ll make a deal with the team at 8 mil as that is his option to do so. Anything over that, and he’s gone. Too many bad contracts already on the Sharks.

      • @mikeP, agreed that Meier would be a great add for the Devils (or any team for that matter). It all depends on what you give up, can he be signed for a fair contract for all ($10 million for him is way too rich). Meier holds all the cards here.

  2. I really hope Karlsson moves instead of fading away in San Jose, however that asking price is just stupid and If he is to get anything he has to retain more cap hit. 35-40% could net a first, another pick and a good prospect.

    Aside getting picks prospects for UFAs, Florida has no reason to not play good since they dont have a first.They stay below the cap if Hörnqvist remain on LTIR and they trade Gudas before Duclair comes back, at least I think so

    • I’d pay a first and two seconds and a roster player for Karlsson with 50% held.

      • Hi SOP

        Reasonable offer; and teams really need the cap hit to come over at 50%

        The cap is tough and 50% “eat” of Cap is one thing for Sharks; eating over $19.5 M cash (for a not overly rich club) is another thing still

        Your offer from the buyers perspective is fair; perhaps 2 1sts, 3rd, roster instead

        But Grier only getting that for closing in on $20 M…. Not sure if he gets the backing of owners on it

        Karllsson will absolutely be a needle mover this year…. But IMHO it will be tenuous to get a deal amicable to Sharks and another team by TDL

  3. Do the Penguins still own their 2023’s 1st ? Il so, Sean Monahan for that 1st, half retained, with a bad contract coming back ?

    • Yes , Penguins still own their 2023’s 1st. Re-signing Kasperi Kapanen to 3.2 million this season and next season is a disasterous move by Ron Hextall. That money easily used for a better player.

      • PIT is currently in 16th place.

        Not sure they’re in a good position to trade their 1st pick. Unless they’re getting a very good player with term back I think they’d be wise to hold on to their 1st.

        Trading Kapanen would be a good idea. Didn’t like him on the Leafs either.

      • Why Hextall signed him is morainic !!!

    • Patrick, Speed, Daryl, Steve

      Pens in tenuous spot… just above the cut line…. But now only 8 points ahead of actually having a shot at Bedard (minuscule shot, but there)

      Kappy signing… ridiculous

      Re moves… HexBurkie went all in NOW (long term re-ups of Rusty, Gino, Tanger, Rakell)…. They’ve positioned themselves for procrastinating on a rebuild…. With that strategy…. Address issues now; deal with the pain down the road

      Injuries on D have been costly…. Don’t get me started on Ruhweedel (3 goals against last night [1 disallowed] because he literally doesn’t know his left from right); but when Tanger, Pettersson Petry return, this can work

      Rutta or Freidman/P-O J
      7th Rutta or Freidman

      CR must go to WBS

      Dumo (UFA)…. Annual Cap of $4.1 M not needed

      Agree with Kingerski …. Address 3C (replace Carter)

      His thoughts

      Bonino and Staal… age and certainly only a minimal change to Carter….. therefore .. NO

      Boyd and Dickinson come cheaper…. But a recognizable improvement to Pens…. I’m not convinced

      Henrique is a good option…. But $5.8 M cap this year and next….move would need to be Zucker out in deal for Cap balancing this year…. If Ducks retain 30% (thus the extra needed in deal would be more) ; Dumo (UFA) out, more or less balances the Cap (this year)

      Under no circumstances should Pens even consider an unprotected ‘23 first in Any deal…. Ask Zito how he sleeps at night

      Patrick… now you have me thinking somewhat enthusiastically re Monaghan …. Certainly playing better this year than last; is a UFA….but once again on IR. I don’t think at all he’d net a 1st

      His Cap hit is $6.4 M. Dumo $4.1…. $2.3 M diff @ TDL (about 1/4 year left) , Pens would need to find about $575 K in Cap…. Doable

      If each team retained 50%….. annual caps are basically $2M and $3.2 M…. diff of $1.2 M pro-rated at TDL …. $300 K needed …. Definitely doable

      As I said…. Under no circumstances should Pens ever consider an unprotected 1st in ‘23

      I think this is fair….

      Dumo/Monoghan flipped , both at 50%; Habs get 2nd (‘23) and O’Connor

      If Monoghan stays healthy and does well… re-up with freed up Zucker Cap hit

      If Pens really really want to go all in…. And if Zito has written off this year….

      Here is my ships ‘n giggles pie in the sky deal

      Dumo (50 % retained) , Zucker , 1st (lottery protected) , O’ Connor, Poehling , Hollander

      For Duclair, Staal bros; Goudas

      • Penfy, re “Pens in tenuous spot… just above the cut line…. But now only 8 points ahead of actually having a shot at Bedard (minuscule shot, but there)”

        Where’s Eddie Johnson when you need him?

      • Hi George

        Francis/Samuelson/Jennings vs Cullen/Zalapski/Parker,

        B2B cups…. 👍👍👍👍👍

  4. Boeser for Dumba and a swap of prospects or picks . Klingberg is moving and has provided his list.

    Less 18% is what E.Karlsson’s contract should have been in the first place !

  5. I’m sure Ottawa has inquired about Dumba….. and every other defenseman who either definitely is, or potentially could be available. Since their most crying need is strengthening their blueline, not inquiring about defensemen is only due diligence.

    • I don’t quite understand how Kapanen has become the fall guy for all of the Pen’s problems. If they trade him they become that much slower than they already are. His game is more than just speed as evidenced by his passing and puck possession. The Pen’s problems start with their defense and unless they bring someone else in they are going nowhere. Kapanen has (6g11a) in 32 games. Rust has (9g17a) in 42 games. Rust is making $5.1 mil for another 5 years. Kapanen has one year left at $3.2. Which is the worst contract?

      • Sjpp

        It’s not that Kapanen is on a bad contract. It’s entirely like you mentioned…fast, good puck possession, but of an edge…it’s that it doesn’t translate into anything during the game. He’s got all the tools to be a star…but can’t consistently put it together.

      • Hi SJPP

        He’s misused for sure, but his Cap hit and the fact that he definitely would not have got that deal at Arb is what most people are angry at HexBurkie for

        D struggling for sure… injuries suck

        If healthy

        Petry/P-O J or Smith
        Rutta or Freidman / P-O J or Smith

        meaning not playing Dumo or Ruhweedel at all…. The above D works…. Just focus on fixing 3C

        If Sully continues to play Dumo and Ruhweedel regardless….. then fixing 3C may not be enough to salvage…. Only 8 points out of possibility (however small) of Bedard!!! Just sayin’

  6. Who, the season after they won the President’s Trophy, had the Panthers 12th in the East at mid-season and almost certain to miss the playoffs? paul_maurice_waving.gif

    • Brock

      I wonder if it has anything to do with killing team chemistry?

      To remove a couple of beloved players like Huberdeau and Weegar from a team and inject a guy like Tkachuk has proven to be a disaster. Also hanging a coach out to dry that just guided them to the President’s trophy was peculiar as well.

      If it ain’t broke…

      • Zito essentially undid what Talon had in place. Zito isn’t the great hockey mind that people had him pegged for. I’d take Bennett if he’s still giving discounts.

  7. Daryl

    Good point about Kapanen. Maybe he’s just one of those tweeners who you can’t trust in the top six but is too talented for the bottom. Maybe if he got a better playmaking 3c his play would improve.

  8. Radko Gudas could be an excellent replacement for Muzzin, assuming Muzzin is done for the year. Even if Muzzin did return for the playoffs, Gugas could be depth for that role.