Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 2, 2023
SEVERAL CLUBS INTERESTED IN KARLSSON
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jacob Punturi cited TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reporting the Pittsburgh Penguins are among the teams interested in San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. LeBrun believes the San Jose Sharks allowed teams to speak directly with the 33-year-old Norris Trophy-winning defenseman.
THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe reports a source claims Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas engaged in talks with the Sharks about Karlsson. It’s believed a deal to Pittsburgh would’ve been complex and involved a third club. However, Yohe suspects it now appears more unlikely following Dubas’ free-agent spending spree on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes and Leafs could also be out of it given their limited cap space unless they can find some additional room or pull off a three-team swap. The Kraken still have plentiful cap space but whether they’ll seriously pursue a deal for Karlsson (provided he’ll waive his no-movement clause to go to Seattle) is another matter.
ARE THE BRUINS INTERESTED IN HANIFIN?
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve MacFarlane reports the Flames have set a high asking price for defenseman Noah Hanifin. He cites NHL insider Pierre McGuire telling Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy that he speculates the return to the Flames would have to include at least one established NHL player.
MacFarlane cited a source suggesting the Boston Bruins could be interested in Hanifin. That source proposed prospect Fabian Lysell being dangled while Brandon Carlo and Derek Forbort were mentioned as roster players. However, MacFarlane doesn’t think it would pry Hanifin away from the Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Other clubs will be interested in Hanifin, especially those that fail to address their blueline needs in this summer’s thin free-agent market. Flames GM Craig Conroy is counting on that. He can also afford to be patient with Hanifin under contract for this season.
THE LATEST ON DEBRINCAT
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators attempted to trade Alex DeBrincat over the past three weeks. However, those talks got shut down because his agent was unable to get a long-term deal after being given permission to speak to other teams.
Garrioch speculates a path to a trade might become clearer with the opening day of free agency out of the way. It’s believed the Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks had expressed interest. Teams in need of scoring punch include the Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals, Seattle Kraken, St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders and New York Rangers. However, the Stars added Matt Duchene yesterday while the Rangers signed Blake Wheeler.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Garrioch observed, the winger’s camp has to work with the Senators to facilitate a trade just like Matthew Tkachuk’s representatives worked with the Flames a year ago to facilitate his move to the Florida Panthers.
Teams could look into a trade for DeBrincat if they’re unable to address their needs via free agency. Whether they’ll ink him to a long-term deal remains to be seen.
PREDATORS KICKED TIRES ON KUZNETSOV
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber cited a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claiming the Nashville Predators had reached out to the Washington Capitals about Evgeny Kuznetsov. He noted that Predators GM Barry Trotz knows the 31-year-old center well having coached him during his days as the Capitals bench boss. However, those talks apparently quieted down.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators aren’t likely to revisit those discussions after signing Ryan O’Reilly to a four-year contract yesterday afternoon. Still, it’s noteworthy that a club looked into Kuznetsov’s availability. Perhaps another team in the market for a playmaking center will come calling.