NHL Rumor Mill – December 7, 2022
COULD THE OILERS ATTEMPT TO ACQUIRE ERIK KARLSSON?
TSN: Darren Dreger reports defense remains an area of concern for the Edmonton Oilers. He said there’s some within the organization with an interest in Erik Karlsson though he admits it seems impossible for them to land the San Jose Sharks blueliner.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples considers landing Karlsson a long shot for Edmonton. The Sharks would have to retain half of his $11.5 million cap hit or get a third team involved in the deal to make it work. He guesses the Oilers would have to part with Tyson Barrie, Jesse Puljujarvi, two first-round picks (lottery protected) and Philip Broberg or Dylan Holloway.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s assuming Karlsson would waive his no-movement clause to come to Edmonton. Anything’s possible, I suppose, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen. Even if he does, I don’t think the Oilers can afford what will be a hefty asking price by the Sharks, who aren’t in any hurry to move him.
THE LATEST ON BROCK BOESER
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports teams are gauging whether they’ll get into the bidding for the Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser. The 25-year-old winger’s contract is an issue as he’s signed through 2024-25 with an annual salary of $6.65 million.
The teams LeBrun have spoken with are interested in Boeser but lack the cap space for this season and next to take him on. One team is very interested if the Canucks are willing to retain salary, something they don’t seem keen on doing.
LeBrun still feels nothing is imminent. He believes it’ll take a lot of work to move Boeser between now and the March 3 trade deadline.
THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal examined why Boeser could be seen as a distressed trade asset. He believes teams could consider the winger as an oft-injured, one-dimensional player who doesn’t score consistently at even strength to justify his current contract.
Boeser’s youth, overall production and what could be an affordable asking price by the Canucks could make him intriguing for clubs in need of scoring depth. However, the term of his contract could become an issue.
Dayal wonders if the Canucks would be willing to take back an inefficient but modest contract rather than include a sweetener like a draft pick or prospect to make a Boeser deal more palatable to interested clubs.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve MacFarlane wondered whether the Flames could afford to acquire Boeser with expensive contracts for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar due to kick in next season. They’d have to shed salary to make the dollars fit. MacFarlane doubts the Canucks will want to trade Boeser to a division rival like Calgary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve noted before, there are only three teams (Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres) with the cap space to acquire Boeser’s full salary. The Ducks and Coyotes are rebuilding and Boeser might not fit into their plans. The Sabres have plenty of scoring punch but could use some reliable goaltending depth.
I’m not ruling out the possibility of Boeser getting moved by the March 3 trade deadline, especially if the Canucks are willing to retain some salary or take some salary back in a trade. However, this could be a move that occurs in the offseason when teams have more salary-cap flexibility.
AN UPDATE ON JAKOB CHYCHRUN
TSN: Darren Dreger reports interest in Jakob Chychrun is starting to pick up since the Arizona Coyotes defenseman returned to action two weeks ago. He’s looked good with three goals and three assists in seven games.
Dreger believes there’s still apprehension among interested clubs in paying the Coyotes’ high asking price. However, he thinks there are some teams starting to reach the point where they’re realizing they might have to pay up.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators have had talks with the Coyotes about Chychrun in the past but couldn’t reach a deal. The Senators face limited options in the trade market to shore up their blueline with Artem Zub sidelined again for several weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A Chychrun deal could take place in January or February. The longer he remains healthy and productive, the more likely someone will step up and meet the Coyotes’ asking price.
WILL THE AVALANCHE ATTEMPT TO BOLSTER THEIR BANGED-UP ROSTER?
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Colorado Avalanche suffered another blow with Nathan MacKinnon joining fellow Avs forwards Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin, Evan Rodrigues, and Artturi Lehkonen on the sidelines.
All of those players are expected to return this season so the Avalanche can’t go out and replace them on the salary cap. He thinks they’ll hang in there until closer to the March 3 trade deadline, when they’ll have some flexibility to make some additions.
THE JEFF MAREK SHOW (Stick tap to NHL Watcher): Elliotte Friedman suggested the Avs could in the short term pursue an affordable forward such as the Florida Panthers’ Chris Tierney. At some point, he anticipates “they will take a big swing” at someone like the Canucks’ Bo Horvat or the Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews.