NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2023

by | Jan 21, 2023 | Rumors | 25 comments

Check out the latest on Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Bo Horvat, and Matt Dumba plus updates on the Red Wings and Panthers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Max Miller cites TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggesting Erik Karlsson might not be a member of the Sharks by next season. Appearing on the Got Yer Back podcast, LeBrun felt if the 32-year-old defenseman gets traded it’ll be in June when teams have more salary cap flexibility.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Miller also noted LeBrun recently interviewed Karlsson, who carries an $11.5 million salary cap hit through 2026-27 with a full no-movement clause. The blueliner said he and his family are happy in San Jose but he still wants to play for a winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun’s not the only pundit who thinks a Karlsson trade won’t happen until the offseason. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen said the same thing during a recent mailbag segment. I’ve also said that a summer deal seems more likely than an in-season one because of his hefty cap hit and his no-movement clause.

Meanwhile, Sheng Peng cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying the Sharks could let teams talk to Timo Meier’s agent about a contract extension if they get a trade proposal they like. Friedman believes the 26-year-old winger could be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, citing the aggressiveness of Sharks management and their willingness to do business.

Meier is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. He’ll be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility and will cost the Sharks $10 million to qualify his rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A trade proposal they like is something that will help them immediately as well as in the long term. A good young NHL player and a high-end prospect likely have to be part of the offer for Meier.

The Sharks could move Meier by the trade deadline but they aren’t under pressure to do so. They can afford to wait until the summer if they don’t get any offers they like by March 3.


SPORTSNET: During Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said he believed interest in Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat intensified this week. He also indicated that the Canucks haven’t given interested clubs permission to speak with Horvat’s agent about a new contract. The 27-year-old center is eligible for UFA status on July 1.

Friedman also rattled off a list of several potential suitors for Horvat. He believes the Seattle Kraken, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins, and New Jersey Devils could have varying degrees of interest.

He’s not sure about the Carolina Hurricanes as they don’t do rental players but he’s not ruling them out. He also considers the Tampa Bay Lightning as a wild card.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat carries a reasonable $5.5 million cap hit. Nevertheless, clubs like the Bruins, Devils and Lightning could find it difficult to acquire him because of their limited cap space. The Hurricanes could be interested now that Max Pacioretty is done for the season, giving them $7 million of LTIR cap space if needed to make an addition or two at the trade deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild’s decision to scratch Matt Dumba for the second straight game is sparking speculation that a trade could be in the works, among other theories. However, the club insists they’re not working on moving the 28-year-old defenseman.

Smith writes the decision to scratch Dumba remains performance-based. He also indicates that there’s no guarantee the blueliner will be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, claiming there hasn’t been a lot of interest. Most teams are capped out, Dumba has struggled at times this season and there are other notable blueliners in this season’s trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Senators reportedly scouted Dumba earlier this month. However, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes the blueliner’s recent scratch from the lineup isn’t a good sign. He also noted that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion took in the recent game between the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, pointing out the Kings could be willing to move one of their right-shot defensemen.


DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen looked at which Red Wings could be on the move if GM Steve Yzerman becomes a seller at the trade deadline. Tyler Bertuzzi seems the most likely trade candidate if the pending UFA isn’t signed by March 3. However, Allen doesn’t expect center Dylan Larkin to be moved even if he remains unsigned by the deadline.

Other trade candidates could include forward Adam Erne, defenseman Olli Maatta, goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, forwards Oskar Sundqvist and Pius Suter and blueliner Jake Walman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Larkin’s contract talks break down completely I’ll be surprised if the Wings trade their captain. I believe there remains a genuine desire on both sides to hammer out an agreement before July 1.

As for the rest, they won’t all be traded. Nevertheless, I can see Bertuzzi and Nedeljkovic getting shopped.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito still believes his struggling club has a shot at reaching the playoffs. At the moment, the Panthers are in no man’s land as they’re neither buyers nor sellers at this point. The next six weeks will determine which direction they go.


  1. NJ could offer former 1st rounder Alexander Holtz (played with Sharks prospect Eklund in Europe), Michigan D-prospect Seamus Casey (having great year at Michigan, 1st rounder, for Meier.
    Not sure if many other teams can match that

    • Yes they could, but do they do that for a rental? Probably not. There would have to be a signing in place. I doubt there are teams that want to match that $10 million QO, so he is a rental until proven otherwise. And I would love to see Meier on the Devs.

      • The Meier situation with regards to that mind-boggling Qualifying Offer mirrors that of DeBrincat to some degree. Unless both give some assurance to a possible trade destination that they’d be willing to sign a decent term for something less than $10 mil and $9 mil, neither is going to be easy to move.

  2. wow no dumba and its a very important game against the panthers.its a huge game for both teams. a long day/nite of hockey,

  3. Leafs should be all in on Karlsson. Muzzin 1st rd pick and knies and sharks retain 50% of Karlsson’s salary.

    It’s now or ever for the leafs to win. Feel confident Karlsson will be 50 – 60 pt in the next 2 years

    • I think you mean now or never, Jeff, and it’s not.
      Nor will Karlsson be traded to the Leafs – now or ever.
      You’re living in a cap free world – if only.

    • I would doubt that is nearly enough for Karlsson at 50% retained.

    • Jeff,

      I think your proposal is fair except I don’t think SJ want to with hold over 5.5 million for the next 4 years. I think that deal could be made only if SJ hold 25%. Maybe the Leafs get another team to with hold another 25%.

      • Would anyone be ok with a $2.5 or $5m player that does nothing? That’s what you’re getting when you retain salary. No team will seriously entertain and do that especially with term except. Maybe, and still it’s a maybe with players on expiring contracts. Retaining is a bad as buyouts, something you want to avoid not a solution.

      • Retaining in general is better than buyouts cause it’s only for the term of the contract not for the extra years. But in this situation with so many years left it’s about 6 of one half a dozen of the other. And honestly ek is not worth 11.5 mil but 9.5? Sure. Sharks will only have to hold a smidge of the contract when it gets moved.

    • Why would anyone trade anything of value for Muzzin?

  4. I suspect we will be seeing Karlsson’s name in the rumour mill for at least 2 years or longer.
    Completing a deal for him will be very tricky considering his cap hit, term and the fact SJ will want a good return.
    SJ is not in cap jail so they can be patient.
    Teams interested will want SJ to retain salary but it will be an inverse process, the more salary with held the more SJ will want in assets. In my mind this might be one of the toughest trades to make only because there is no desperation factor moving it along.

  5. A 1st round pick that figures to be somewhere around 29 to 32, an LTIR and a 2nd round (57th overall) prospect who has yet to show what he can do at any pro level for Karlsson, with SJ withholding a hefty chunk of his cap hit?

    I seriously doubt SJ would consider that beyond a “thanks for the call.”

    IF SJ ever signaled that they’d be prepared to withhold 25 to 50% – or anything in between – there would be offers that would bury that one.

  6. That makes a lot of sense, Johnny. I could see CAR doing just that. Meier might end up being a rental in that situation, which is unusual under Waddell, but this is an unusual season for them.

  7. Schenn and the Bruins are a nice match which should’ve been done a feed years ago .. go get Nic Desaulniers too

  8. E.Karlsson is overpaid by at least 18%. ($9.4m ) And that is at his current performance level . That amount held is worth a first on its own. Another team definitely a third team needed with the Leafs. I would be asking for Sandin Knies First + First and Kerfoot for dollars . ..Too much . They have enough offence.

    • I know it has about as much chance of happening as Anaheim suddenly making a run for the playoffs, but IF Karlsson ever indicated he wouldn’t object to returning to Ottawa, Dorion – who has always held a soft spot for Karlsson – could take on the full contract by offering up pending RFA DeBrincat (currently at $6.4 mil and due for a big increase likely in the $8.2 range), D prospect and former 1st round pick Lassi Thompson and D Nikita Zaitsev $4.5 mil with one year to run after this.

      With Karlsson having 4 more years to run at $11.5 per, if SJ has to withhold $3.5 per on some other deal arrangement, not re-signing Zaitsev after next season (assuming they didn’t get rid of him some other way before then) saves them $9,500,000 mil – more th an enough to cover DeBrincat.

      How’s that for spitballing Pengy?

      • Oh, and Ottawa winds up spending less off the cap nexy season by moving out DeBrincat and his almost assured $8.2 mil AND Zaitsev’s $4.5 mil.

      • Of course, the soft spot Dorion has for Karlsson is in his heart … he’d have to have a matching one in his head to make the deal.

  9. D’Angelo and JVR for Karlson?

    That’d free significant cap for SJ in the offseason

    They can also trade JVR at the deadline
    TDA also only has 1 more year left on his deal clear lungs more cap the following summer for SJ

    Philly gets Karlson who get pair with Sanheim and help lead their team on the backend

    Good use of cap space by Philly

    • IHC: no way Karlsson goes to anyone but a winner, and that leaves out the Flyers. And I really don’t think the Sharks are interested in taking anyone else on board with baggage like D’Angelo after the Kane fiasco.
      I would guess the Rangers or Devils will get Karlsson.
      The way EK is playing right now, I’d actually love to see him go to Buffalo, but they badly need a shutdown D more.

      • Don’t be too sure Rock. His wife and in-laws all live in Ottawa and he and his wife still maintain a home here.

    • Zero chance of Erik Karlsson waiving for Philly, He wants to win not lose. Philly has a greater chance of getting Connor bedard then Erik Karlsson waiving his NMC to go there.

  10. Helene St James in her latest article, Said that Detroit and Dylan Larkin are inching closer to a new contract. She says it will probably be in the high $8,000,000 my guess it comes slightly under $9,000,000 at 8 x $8,950,000 that’s pretty close to meeting in the middle. Yzerman’s latest offer was $8,500,000 and Larkin want $9,500,000 which he will never get. Yzerman is suppose to meet with both Bertuzzi and Larkins agents after the All Star break to hammer out new deals.

  11. The question is really, do they need a C or a winger? I think its a winger but Im not sure