NHL Rumor Mill – July 14, 2023

by | Jul 14, 2023 | Rumors | 23 comments

More speculation tying the Penguins to Erik Karlsson plus the latest on Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tony DeAngelo in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited The Athletic’s Rob Rossi reporting the Pittsburgh Penguins are confident that they’re the preferred destination of San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. “They have multiple plans for how to acquire him if/when the Sharks decide to make a move.”

Peng also cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli telling Sportsnet 590 Toronto that “a number of teams” have spoken to Karlsson directly. He also didn’t mention any specific teams other than the Carolina Hurricanes.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

The Penguins were reportedly very close to acquiring Karlsson on July 1. Whatever happened, that deal died later in the day.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dave Molinari finds the interest in Karlsson by Penguins president of hockey operations Kyle Dubas to be “more than a little perplexing.”

Molinari points out the Penguins are already “reasonably solid” on the right side of their defense plus they’re already pressed for salary-cap space next season without taking on part of Karlsson’s $11.5 million salary-cap hit. Acquiring the Sharks defenseman would also sacrifice more of the Penguins’ organizational depth by draining an already shallow prospect pool.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s clear the Penguins intend to shore up the depth around aging stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang in the hope of staging one final run for the Stanley Cup with that group.

If Dubas can pull it off without sacrificing too much of his limited prospect depth it might work out for them. Nevertheless, I don’t see how the addition of Karlsson would provide this club with the type of depth necessary to stage another run for the Cup based on the current makeup of the Penguins roster.

Moving one or two current roster players as part of the return for Karlsson will still leave them with limited cap space and fewer tradeable assets to address other depth areas over the course of 2023-24.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber cited Capitals.com’s Mike Vogel seeming to hint that Evgeny Kuznetsov did request a trade last season. “Kuznetsov could hasten his exit with a strong start if he still desires a departure from the District,” wrote Vogel.

Reports of a trade request surfaced toward the end of last season. Kuznetsov didn’t comment directly about the rumors but did seem to deny them.

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan attempted to move Kuznetsov at the 2023 NHL Draft but nothing materialized. There were talks with the Nashville Predators that would’ve reunited the winger with Barry Trotz but those discussions fell through. MacLellan indicated on July 2 that he would continue to monitor the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Kuznetsov’s performance last season combined with his $7.8 million average annual value through 2024-25 and 10-team no-trade list makes him a tough sell in a summer with a flattened salary cap.


THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Gustav Elvin explored why an agreed-upon trade between the Flyers and Hurricanes that would send defenseman Tony DeAngelo back to the Canes has not yet occurred.

It’s been nearly three weeks since reports emerged the two clubs had a trade in place with the Flyers retaining 50 percent of DeAngelo’s $5 million cap hit for 2023-24. However, it may have been held up because the CBA states that a team cannot reacquire a player whom they have retained salary from for a minimum of one year after the date of the transaction.

That prompted speculation the deal would be finalized on July 9, one year and a day after the Flyers had acquired DeAngelo from the Hurricanes.

Elvin wonders if the holdup might be tied to the Hurricanes’ rumored interest in San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. He speculates that might mean trading Brett Pesce to free up cap room to acquire Karlsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could drag on for a while if the Hurricanes are jockeying with the Penguins to land Karlsson. DeAngelo would complete the final year of his contract with the Flyers if their deal with the Hurricanes falls through. They could also attempt to find another club willing to take him off their hands for 50 percent of his salary.


  1. E.K makes more sense on the Canes as they need offence. However they don’t need his -26 and would drive BrindAmor around the bend . Not sure why the Pens are so interested. Makes no sense. Wouldn’t they be better off with a Hanifin or Pesce ? How about signing Tarasenko for no assets

    • It’s my understanding that if you remove EN and SH goals, EK +/- was close to zero. He’s defense is fine plus, it’s a much more talented roster

      • Ya dcm9290, I would bet a month’s pay that Karlsson would not be a minus player on Carolina.
        The reason he gets so many EN goals against him is he is on the ice when they pull the tender and need a goal, and SJ needed a late goal pretty flippin’ often.

      • You don’t get hit with a – if you’re on the ice during a pk and a goal is scored.

      • +/- is a poor stat; it just doesn’t tell us much of import. But look at his rates: at 5V5 (i.e. the situation where most of the game is played), he’s a 2.9 on-ice GF and a 3.0 on-ice GA per 60 minutes played. He’s a positive Corsi and Fenwick player and is obviously very strong on the PP. I’d say he’s going to make any team better even if he isn’t the strongest defensive player but he’ll look a hell of a lot better on a good defensive team like Carolina.

    • Last season Erik Karlsson was on the ice for 21 empty net goals. Remove all the empty net goals, -5 on a poor Sharks team.

      • Wow that’s a lot! Is there a site where you pulled that number? I’d be curious to see the league “leaders” in empty net +/-.
        It’s gotta be the top line offensive guys, because when you pull your goalie you generally send out all your top offensive weapons (6 of them too).

      • According to reports, he was a -53 on the year. 5v5 he was close to zero. All of this on a San Jose subpar roster. I believe his benefit to 5v5 and the PENS PP#1 far outweigh whatever perceived lack of defense that people are banging him for. This team is at its best when they’re flying up and down the ice and when they’re PP and PK units are amongst the league leaders. He can do wonders for that PP#1

    • EK was great both ends of the ice during that one Sens run. i am sure he would align with Rods game plan to win a cup. never heard of him having issues with a coach

    • @ silverscreen…maybe but bur s and EK weren’t great together in san Jose..

      He firs a tad better in Pittsburgh but i would rather have matt Dumba younger, xheaper, bett + 29

      For his career Karlsson -145

  2. Re

    “ Molinari points out the Penguins are already “reasonably solid” on the right side of their defense plus they’re already pressed for salary-cap space next season without taking on part of Karlsson’s $11.5 million salary-cap hit. Acquiring the Sharks defenseman would also sacrifice more of the Penguins’ organizational depth by draining an already shallow prospect pool.”

    I agree with all above AFTER the words “ right side of their defense”

    reasonably solid on the right only starts to potentially apply if Rutta and Ruhweedel don’t play this year.

    Petry will be 36 this year and on the decline

    Tanger, a future HoFer, is already 36

    “Fair” at best, would describe Pens RHS as at right now (and that’s with Ruhweedel definitely in WBS, Friedman up)

    EK in, Petry out does improve the right side; should assure playoffs…. But the cost is huge; and certainly does not guarantee ECF appearance let alone getting to SCF

    Granlund buyout , sign Dumba, is a first move

  3. Sheesh. Karlsson. This year’s version of Chychrun!

    • Agreed George it is like this long labor and the baby just isnt ready to pop..good god please induce..

      I would rather have Matt Dumba..move desmith Petry buyout granlund..

      Lots of cap space then.

      Letang Dumba rutta right side good with that.

      Im oretty sure letang will b better tough year mini stroke dad passing..and i think Rutta will rebou d as well. Give dumba $ 5 million 2 years $10

      We are $1.5 million over
      Move desmith thats $1.8 we are cap compliance

      Granlud buyout gives us $4.1 petry $6.25 $10.35

      Dumva takes $5 million

      Leaves us $5.35 left

      • Explain who is going to take petry w/o a huge sweetner?

      • Hi mp

        Yep sweetener… but include a middle team… lowers it

        Petry’s not tradeablr at full whack; but is with retention

        Final team would trade a 2nd (‘25) for Petry at $3.1 M Cap; $2.4 M cash AV (that’s 50% retained)

        Pens retain 30% ; send a 2nd (‘25); for “future considerations

        Middle team retains 20%; receives two ‘25 seconds (one from Pens; on from final team)

        So doable at s cost of a 2nd

        Pens save $4.4 M in Cap; add Granlund Buyout ($4.2 M)… total $8.6 M

        Right now media is talking in around $3.5 M for Dumba

        That nets $5.1 M Cap space; and Pens still with 1st (‘24) …. (Which was just one of the pieces being given up for EK); plus prospects (NOT named P-OJ, Pickering; Smith; Yaeger) … to be used in a trade for a 3C

        and D:



        Friedman/P-O J


    • George,
      Your Right its getting to much now…
      Punters are making up Stupid Stupid stories about him and if there is No News from the media,
      there go-to is
      Lets put EK in there for an other day of Garbage and try to whip something up

      im not going to coment about EK again till the trade is done sometime in 2024….😲
      We are heading down Calgary today for a week to see some of the Calgary Stamped 👍

      • Well you better get driving Willie as the Stampede ends on Sunday.
        Just got back last night, good times!

    • It’s the typical off season reporting on top of the “very few other potential trades to talk about” thing again this year.

      How many days did we also have to get this amazing updates on Debrincat and how nothing happened…

      Now that one dropped so this is all they have left.

      I do not really know why, but I can just FEEL this trade going so badly for Dubas if he pulls it off.

  4. Mp…yes Petry will b tough to move but if we add a sweetener maybe..

    If not move desmith buyout Granlund can still get matt dumba.

    Move rutta to left side or move Pojoseph
    Can b done

  5. Dooby…. Have a boo at what your cross state fellow GM is doing….

    Buying out ADA…. Net Cap savings this year is $3.3 M…. In two years…. Dead cap for two years is $1.7 M

    ADA is a 27 year old D-Man that put up 11-31-42 in 70 GP last year

    You Dooby…. Have been saying that you don’t want to buy out a 31 year old small forward that was less productive than ADA (again… a defenseman) and Granlund was in more games (10-31-41 in 79 GP); who has a larger Cap savings ($4.2 M) this year; and similar deadcap ($1.8 M for 2 years vs $1.7 M for two years for ADA

    Oh… and your team is already $2.3 M over the cap and must make a move …. Flyers were just $300 K over prior to this buyout …

    Have the buyout paperwork ready for the moment O’Connor signs on the dotted line

    If you had no intention of buying him out… why did you sign Eller?

  6. 10 D men I would have before Erik Karlsson
    1- Cale Makar
    2- Adam Fox
    3- Charlie McAvoy
    4- Roman Josi
    5- Victor Hedman
    6- Miro Heiskanen
    7- Quinn Hughes
    8- Alex Pietrangelo
    9- Zach Werenski
    10- John Carlson

    No particular order and not to mention Burns ,Morgan Reilly ,Sieder

    • Obe…great list..

      I wish Pittsburgh would go after Jossi.

      Jake Guentzel
      2024 # 1 pick
      Prospect Sammy Poulin
      Pierre oliver Joseph
      2024 # 2 pick

    • None of those 10 dmen are reasonably available in a trade. Just sayin’