NHL Rumor Mill – June 16, 2023

by | Jun 16, 2023 | Rumors | 22 comments

Check out the latest on Erik Karlsson, Alex DeBrincat, and Brett Pesce in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports San Jose Sharks management met with Erik Karlsson’s representatives last week with both sides agreeing they’ll attempt to get a trade done. The 33-year-old defenseman wants to play for a winner and the Sharks are rebuilding.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Karlsson has four more years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $11.5 million. LeBrun wonders if there’s a team out there willing to take on that contract or how much the Sharks will have to retain to get a deal done. Karlsson also has a full no-movement clause giving him the final say.

LeBrun said there’s no guarantee a trade gets done. Nevertheless, several teams have been “kicking tires” in recent days.

THE ATHLETIC: Shayna Goldman and Harman Dayal recently listed the Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators as clubs that could be interested. They admitted it would take “a lot of creativity to overcome the logistical challenges and this exercise revealed the lack of optimal fits.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goldman and Dayal didn’t state that those teams were in fact interested but merely suggested that they could be good destinations for Karlsson. They also went into greater detail than what I’ve summarized regarding why he might fit with those clubs as well as the considerable obstacles.

Karlsson’s career-best 101-point season would make him a very enticing trade target if not for that hefty contract. His age makes it a gamble for any club taking on those final four years. His cap hit is probably too expensive for any team to acquire with a salary cap rising by just $1 million for next season. His no-movement clause limits where the Sharks can send him.

It was rumored before the trade deadline that the Sharks were willing to retain 20 percent of Karlsson’s cap hit. They’ll have to go much higher than that. The creativity Goldman and Dayal referred to includes a three-team trade where the cap hit gets spread around so the receiving team pays considerably less. However, that could still mean the Sharks retain up to 50 percent.

Anything’s possible, of course, and the Sharks might surprise us and pull this off. Still, it’s going to be a daunting challenge.


TSN: Chris Johnston noted the Ottawa Senators electing to take Alex DeBrincat to arbitration is setting a window for when the 25-year-old winger is traded. DeBrincat would be more valuable to them in the trade market if he’s on a multi-year contract. Johnston anticipates they’ll want to trade him by the end of July or early August when the arbitration hearings are underway.

Johnston believes the Senators will push to get a trade done much sooner than that, perhaps sooner than the upcoming NHL Draft (June 28-29). There’s said to be very strong interest from the small list of trade destinations the DeBrincat camp provided to the Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Taking DeBrincat to arbitration has given the Senators control of the situation. As the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch pointed out, the winger can’t sign his $9 million qualifying offer nor can he sign an offer sheet from a rival club. If they do trade him, it gives DeBrincat the opportunity to discuss a contract extension with his new club.

Garrioch believes the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers, Vegas Golden Knights and Detroit Red Wings are on DeBrincat’s list. He also suggested the Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues and Seattle Kraken as destinations, reminding us that the winger lacks no-trade protection.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Carolina Hurricanes hope to re-sign Brett Pesce to a contract extension this summer. Failing that, however, he believes they could shop the 28-year-old defenseman for the best possible return.

LeBrun indicated the Buffalo Sabres have reached out to the Hurricanes regarding Pesce’s status. Darren Dreger, meanwhile, believes the Edmonton Oilers could also be interested. He acknowledged the cap-strapped Oilers would have to shed salary by perhaps trading winger Warren Foegele or defenseman Cody Ceci in a cost-cutting move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples expressed skepticism over whether the Oilers can acquire Pesce. He believes the Hurricanes’ asking price will be high (likely a first-rounder and a good young player) plus he doesn’t think the Oilers can afford to sign Pesce to a long-term contract. He also doubted the Hurricanes would be interested in Foegele or Ceci or Kailer Yamamoto as part of the return.

Buffalo Hockey Now’s Michael Augello, meanwhile, suggested the Sabres could be in on Pesce as a one-year rental, though it would also make sense for them to try and sign him to a long-term extension.


  1. Why all the focus on Pesce? Skjei only has 1 yr left, too!
    I could see Detroit wanting Pesce.
    Then find some team that would take Chiarot! 🙄

    • I doubt even the Grand Rapids Griffins want Chiarot.

    • Pesce and KK and some picks and maybe Drury to SJ for Coutoure and Karlsson

      8m heading to SJ and 20m going to CAR

      Leaves 6-8 mil to get goalie and Seth for CAR

      • Why don’t you go after Hellybuyck and Scheifele instead?

  2. So.

    Is there a deal that could be reached between the Sens and Sharks. That 4th pick, the 23rd, Karlsson nothing retained. For DeBrincat Lassi Thompson and JBD.

    I’m just throwing pieces out here.

    • There’s no doubt Karlsson had a great year, but look at the games played and ppg for the four years prior to that. He averaged 53 games played and 35.5 points. He’s been injury prone and is now 33 with four years left. Personally, I think it’s a risky move for a team to pay a lot to acquire him.

      • The games would definitely be a worry but I do think the correlation between Burns being traded and Karlssons points exploding is not coincidental.

        He had many more offensive opportunities not having to split it with Burns.

        His PP time per game increased and at even strength his offensive zone starts increase by over 11% and his PK time though not a ton in past year dramatically still decreased too.

        Systematically setting him up to be in the best situation for him to succeed.

        74 of his 101 points were at evens and he had a 53.3% corsi and a 52.2% fen wick at even strength.

        The only possible worry in my mind is injuries, talking with him and doing your due diligence on recovery from past injuries would be my route.

  3. The leafs should be in on Pesce. Carolina need scoring and leafs need to upgrade their RHD.

    I’m sure Nylander would interest the canes.

    I value nylander more than Pesce so maybe pesce and canes 1st rounder or good young prospect for nylander

  4. Please no Karlsson… yes he was great with Sens before… yes he had a banner year last year…

    But also yes he’s getting older… he’s injury prone… and that would eat up the entire salary cap and still leave no solid goalkeeping.

    Also Debrincat cannot be gone fast enough in my opinion. I don’t feel like he EVER really wanted to be in Ottawa and his play lacked any inspiration or guts.

  5. How about trading Debrincat back to Chicago? It served Chicago’s purpose to get rid of the scorers to win the lottery. Now they have the picks and prospects to acquire him back. Also…. they have Seth Jones signed for the next 7 years, that would definitely help Ottawa’s D.

  6. With Eric Karlsson,
    nobody is taking on his salary at $11.5 for 4 more years with his injury over the past years in this Cash straped salary world….❗️
    think Matt Murray trade the leafs made, this one is harder….

    An EK Trade will involve 3 teams to make it work…

    1/San jose will have to retain 40-45%
    2/Team 2 will have to retain 20-25+%
    3/Team 3 receiving EK,
    They pay about 40% of his sa;ary around $4.5M range
    team 2 gets a 2nd round pick for taking on salary
    SJ gets 3 peices
    A younger roster player,
    A good prospect
    A 2nd or 3rd round pick ❓……….🤔

  7. Elliott Freidman is reporting that the LA Kings informed Winnipeg they are interested in PLD

    This is great news for the Jets. All they need is for one team other than Montreal to show interest.

    Al long as PLD is willing to sign a long term deal in LA, the return just gets that much better.

    Montreal if you want him, your price just went up.

    • Hi Caper

      Sure we like him but not at any price. We already have Suzuki and Dach playing center, so if the price goes up, there will be plenty of other talents available (francophone or not, which i don’t care about) in the near future. Nice thing about a rebuilt is you can take time to make good decisions and Hughes is smart. Let’s see if a team agrees to sign him for just one year with hopes of him resigning there

      • Hi Mike. Not all we like him. Undeniable talent, or potential, depending on the night and therein the issue. I’d prefer he play out his next contract elsewhere and prove that he will deliver. I know he can but I don’t know that he will. As you note, Habs seems to be building with intent and I hope to see their development efforts put elsewhere.

  8. Didn’t check but history tells EJarlsson was a minus player even with 100 points. A retention of 50 % is a must and the there is a chance

    There goes the theory that the Habs can just wait on Dubois and get him for free. Not happening

    The draft should have done activity. “ I gave a trade to announce”

    • He was a -26 SilverSeven – but some of that is spread around on a struggling team.

  9. Vancouver bought out OEL today. Would SJ do same with Karlsson? I doubt it, but you never know.trading him won’t be easy. Wonder what Hertl thinks of all this after signing long term. 1st Burns gone. Then Meier Now EK.

    • WOW! Billy Guerrin taught them that!

  10. PLD to LA! That would be better for the Jets.
    PLD for Byfield, Arvidson and Lias Andersson