NHL Rumor Mill – July 22, 2023

by | Jul 22, 2023 | Rumors | 22 comments

Erik Karlsson confirms speaking to several teams, a look at Travis Konecny’s future with the Flyers, and an Islanders’ salary-cap solution in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


TSN: Chris Johnston reports Erik Karlsson confirmed speaking with several teams as the San Jose Sharks attempt to trade the 33-year-old defenseman.

Among the clubs that Karlsson spoke with are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Seattle Kraken and Carolina Hurricanes. “I just want the best chance to get to the best team,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins appear to be the front-runners based on numerous reports out of Pittsburgh and from other NHL insiders in recent days. They seem confident of their chances of landing the three-time Norris Trophy winner.

The holdup could be whether the Penguins use their second buyout window to shed a roster player once Drew O’Connor’s contract situation has been resolved. His arbitration hearing is on Aug. 4 but could be settled before then. We’ll find out in due course.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Travis Konecny (NHL Images).


THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor recently looked at where Travis Konecny fits into the rebuilding Philadelphia Flyers’ long-term plans. The 26-year-old winger enjoyed a bounce-back performance in 2022-23 by tying his career high of 61 points, becoming one of the few bright spots in a miserable season for the Flyers.

General manager Daniel Briere was willing to listen to offers for Konecny this summer but there was never a sense that he was peddling the winger in the trade market. He’s signed through 2024-25 at a reasonable average annual value of $5.5 million. Konecny played well for head coach John Tortorella. He and Briere both like what the winger brings to the team.

O’Connor suggests the Flyers have plenty of time to trade Konecny beyond this summer. If they can’t or won’t re-sign him he could fetch at least a first-round pick in return. Briere can afford to keep his asking price high.

They could also re-sign Konecny. However, that could prove a risky long-term investment for a player whose new contract would start at 28 and stretch well into his 30s.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Konecny’s future will be decided by the progress of the Flyers’ rebuild and whether he has a place in it. I daresay he’ll continue to surface in the rumor mill if the Flyers remain near the bottom of the standings for the coming season.

Konecny’s trade value throughout 2023-24 will rise if he builds on last season’s performance. His future will also depend on whether he wants to stick with a rebuilding club. If he has no interest in signing a contract extension next summer, he could be shopped during the 2024 draft or before the 2025 trade deadline. His lack of a no-trade clause gives Briere plenty of potential suitors to choose from.


NYI HOCKEY NOW: Andrew Fantucchio observes the Islanders sit above this season’s $83.5 million salary cap by over $486K. They can remain there until the start of their 2023-24 schedule when they’ll have to become cap compliant.

Fantucchio suggests veteran enforcer Ross Johnston could become a salary-cap casualty. He carries an AAV of $1.1 million through 2025-26. He played just 16 games last season and was often passed over when vacancies opened in the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fantucchio suggests the Isles could demote Johnston to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. They could also explore the trade market if they hope to shed his entire cap hit from their books.


  1. I thought the Avalanche might be intrigued by Konecny? The fact that he is a winger, scored 30 goals I think on a not very good Flyers team, has a bit of an edge to his game, a good skater with a good shot, reasonable AAV and not a UFA until the following year, etc. A straight up trade for him He could fill a big hole on the Avalanche, I believe? Despite all the good moves they made, to me they still will be missing that key production from the wing that a guy like Burakovsky brought. Some clutch goal scoring.

  2. Flyers need to listen on all players, but trading TK doesn’t have to happen soon, it’s all about asking price and someone paying it.

    1st + 2nd + Top prospect is where it should start. We can take cap back or retain and make the haul even better.

    Carter Hart is the more pressing issue in my eyes. Buffalo with all those prospects and picks sounds like the perfect trading partner for the Flyers.

    Hart for 2nd and Kulich or savoie or rosen?

    Really hoping we can make a deal involving Travis Sanheim moving. Getting rid of all our long term contracts seems like a smart move until we identify our new core players and where the holes are we need to fill.

    • MP, maybe the Flyers wouldn’t like what the Avalanche have to offer vs some other teams? Wouldn’t know if they are interested in Konecny but I don’t see why not? Girard and a 1st, would that do it for them? The Avalanche love Girard though, so who knows? His speed generates a lot of offense but I think he is unable to handle bigger guys who stand in the crease/ or go there. I like him though but he is on a reasonable contract too and the Flyers could utilize him for sure!

      • Might be a deal at the TDL, where the Flyers can then flip girard to a playoff team and acquire more picks.

        Right now Flyers are all about picks and high end prospects. Good thing is we have 2 retain spots and Elis LTIR to work with this year to make trades.

    • Buffalo Prob would do Rosen and a 2nd, certainly not Kulich or Savoie (they wouldn’t do either straight up for Hart). The Canada team investigation is holding things up with him, I’m assuming

    • It’s nice to dream.

  3. According to CapFriendly, Penguins close to -2,300,000 over the cap. Easy solution (at least) trade or buy-out Mikeal Granlund.

    • Good luck with the trade part, that contract is close to worst in NHL atm. Buyout or make him part of the deal for Karlsson but you will have to pay either way to get rid of him.

      Just a horrible pick up by Hextall, glad he left you guys with some junk like he did to us.

      • Hextall pulled a chiarelli on his way out the door!

    • Granlund Buyout a MUST

      Frees up $4.2 M in Cap

      Trade frees up only $0.8 M more ($5M) but will cost buckets in sweeteners

      Can’t buyout until 48 hours AFTER deal with O’Connor reached (be it pre, or actually from/as a result of; Arbitration)


      • @Pengy
        Out Desmith GrAnlund Petry

        No Karlsson Deal

        IN Matt Dumba
        Max Comtois

        Tomas Tatar..

        Out Tristan Jarry

        IN john Gibson

      • Hi BnG

        With you except Jarry out, Gibson in

        That, in no way should be considered

        Gibson is not the goalie he used to be

        With plan B (Dumba)…..must use Cap savings and saved assets on 3C

        If Sid or Gino goes down, Eller can’t handle top 6 centre responsibilities

        Ducks loaded in Centres…. Strome and Henrique not needed in this rebuild

    • @ Speed Kills….Trade Casey Desmith. $1.8 Million

      Trade or Buy out Granlund whick is $4.1 million on a buyout or $ 5 million if a trade.

      Move Rutta $2.75 or Pierre Oliver Joseph $825,000

      If possible jeff Petry $6.25 million.

      Dubas has reshaped the bottom six Eller, Accari Nieto traded for Ryan Graves and Rielly Smith..

  4. Re Karllsson trade and Grier

    Grier has made it clear he is not even picking up the phone for any team asking for 50% retention. So far he’s standing firm on 30% max

    Cap is not the issue for Sharks… they are rebuilding… won’t need space in next for years… the retention issue therefore is cash

    EK still owed $38 M…. So 30% (per ESPN, SN, TSN) is Grier’s (as at now) line in the sand ….30% of $38 M….$11.4 M

    If Dubas is still gung-ho on EK….BTW I’m advocating for the easier plan B with Dumba and an upgrade at 3C…. If he must have EK….

    Pens in no way , can Keep Petry AND simultaneously acquire EK

    Petry can nix 1/2 the NHL teams, and (per media); wants to stay as close to fam (Michigan) as possible. If we believe what media is saying …. He won’t wave to end up a Shark

    He’s still owed $9.5 M…. Dubas should ask Grier to retain on Petry in a to-through to a team of his choice. 50% …. $4.75 M … take that off “line in the sand “ above ($11.4 M). Petry at 50% (to team of his choice) … @ $3.1 M Cap…. Will get Grier a 3rd for sure; maybe a 2nd…. Add that to his EK haul

    Pens MUST buyout Granlund…. O’Connor signed; Granlund bought out…. Leaves Pens at 23 on roster; and at least $1 M in space

    Petry out, Rutta out, Smith up…. 22 on Roster …. Leaves $9.2 M in space for a certain Norris winning Swede

    Line in sand (above) $11.4 M, less $4.75 M (Petry) = $6.65 M … 6.65/38= 17.5 % retention …. EK at Cap hit of $9.5 M….. so

    To Sharks:
    1st ‘24 (lottery protected) from Pens

    1st ‘25 (lottery protected) from Pens

    *2nd from final team getting Petry


    A prospect (likely O’Connor) definitely NOT named PO-J, Smith, Pickering ; Poulin, or Yaeger

    *Greir retains 50% of Petry, and 17.5 % of EK…. Total $11.4 M (equivalent to 30% retention on EK)

    Team of Petry’s choice…. Gets Petry at 50% retained , receives *4th (‘26-Pens), but gives Sharks a *2nd (‘25)

    *Petry @ 50% for sure gets a 3rd from final team….. but if Petry @50% comes with a 4th (from Pens)…. They’d pay Grier a 2nd

    Pens get EK at $9.5 M

    Bury either Nedjelkovic or DeSmith (definitely don’t need both) bring up Poulin…. Pens now at 23 and just under Cap

    Pens D:

    Friedman/P-O J

    3rd line… Eller centering Accairi and Nylander
    4th line : 3 from…..Carter, Poulin, Legare, Nieto, Puust … or O’Connor (if he is not the prospect Grier wants)

    Can Canes beat…. 2 (Two) 1sts, a 2nd, a prospect, a 3rd pairing NHL RD/ LD …. With Sharks retaining (total) ONLY 30%; AND fit in $9.5 M in space…. I am skeptical

    **Again…. My choice is plan B…. Pay less in assets to boot Petry and Rutta, buyout Granlund; sign Dumba…. Use some of those precious assets saved (not getting EK) and trade for a good 3C and a good 3rd line winger

    Pens Standing pat…. Likely means a tough battle just to get 2nd WC spot…. And may not get it

    All starts with signing O’Connor, booting Granlund…. Gedderdone

    • Dumba has been pretty terrible for tha last two years, I would stay away. Granted EK amounts to a high amount of risk, but at this stage with the roster they have they should take the chance since the reward is high if it pans out and the cost isnt to high

      • Hi Kent

        I wouldn’t say terrible; but definitely below expectations

        I truly believe a change of scenery will have an uptick on him

        Under no circumstances am I saying he is near EK

        But…. I think he would be better (with a change of scenery) than what Petry will be this year. Also younger, faster, better hands

        The key part is that he acquired without assets given up….. use some (not even 1/2) of assets needed in EK trade to acquire proper 3C, and better 3C wingers

        Granlund must go

        Eller can’t fill in top 6 if Sid or Gino go down

        Pens true need is 3C

        Petry out/Dumba in…. Slight uptick

        Dumo out , Graves in, already a big uptick

        Smith in for Zucker…. Saw off

        3 C is the key issue. Granlund a bust

        Ducks are the answer….. their future down the centre has …. In alphabetical order….Carlson, McT, Zegras… with Luderstrom, Gaucher, and Nesterenko in the pipeline, plus 3 others

        Making Henrique and Strome redundant

    • Latest rumor – Sam Pollin among part of trade package.

      • Hi SK

        Hadn’t seen that…who was stating Poulin was part of deal?

      • Hi Pengy

        Recent trade rumor hearing from multiple sources:

        Sam Pollin, Casey DeSmith, Jeff Petry (third team?), 1st round draft pick, conditional 2nd round pick

        prior rumors included POJ, Granlund, other ok prospects

        also, hearing Sharks wanted Marcus Peterson as part of the deal; hearing Kyle Dubas declined.

      • Thanks SK

        although I’d hate to see Poulin go…

        If it’s

        Poulin, DeSmith, Petry (with better be zero retained byPens ); 1st And conditional 2nd … that’s ok by me giving up…. And if Pens aren’t retaining on Petry (what are they saying the pick is to middle team for retention?)

        How much retention by Grier?

        Petry/DeSmith out ((with a Fwd up to replace spot on Roster)…. Frees up $7.2…. Less current overage… $2.3 M…. Leaves only $4.9 M for EK

        Granlund buyout less league min replacement…. $3.3 M more…. (On top of $4.9 M)….total max $8.2 M space for EK….$8.2 M is at 29% retained on EK…. Just squeaking in

        Under no circumstances should Dubas move Pettersson or P-O J

        With all above; zero room to maneuver…. And still no effective 3C

      • The rumor I read, from the Athletic was that Poulin was part of the July 1st trade package that “almost” happened.

        Also read in many places. Maybe even here, that Petry will not waive his ntc to go to San Jose.

  5. All of Johnston’s cap hit can be buried since it is only 1.1 million. Don’t need a trade to shed it completely.