NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2023
TRADE SPECULATION CONTINUES TO DOG KARLSSON AND MEIER
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Max Miller cites TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggesting Erik Karlsson might not be a member of the Sharks by next season. Appearing on the Got Yer Back podcast, LeBrun felt if the 32-year-old defenseman gets traded it’ll be in June when teams have more salary cap flexibility.
Miller also noted LeBrun recently interviewed Karlsson, who carries an $11.5 million salary cap hit through 2026-27 with a full no-movement clause. The blueliner said he and his family are happy in San Jose but he still wants to play for a winner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun’s not the only pundit who thinks a Karlsson trade won’t happen until the offseason. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen said the same thing during a recent mailbag segment. I’ve also said that a summer deal seems more likely than an in-season one because of his hefty cap hit and his no-movement clause.
Meanwhile, Sheng Peng cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying the Sharks could let teams talk to Timo Meier’s agent about a contract extension if they get a trade proposal they like. Friedman believes the 26-year-old winger could be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, citing the aggressiveness of Sharks management and their willingness to do business.
Meier is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights. He’ll be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility and will cost the Sharks $10 million to qualify his rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A trade proposal they like is something that will help them immediately as well as in the long term. A good young NHL player and a high-end prospect likely have to be part of the offer for Meier.
The Sharks could move Meier by the trade deadline but they aren’t under pressure to do so. They can afford to wait until the summer if they don’t get any offers they like by March 3.
POTENTIAL SUITORS FOR HORVAT
SPORTSNET: During Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said he believed interest in Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat intensified this week. He also indicated that the Canucks haven’t given interested clubs permission to speak with Horvat’s agent about a new contract. The 27-year-old center is eligible for UFA status on July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horvat carries a reasonable $5.5 million cap hit. Nevertheless, clubs like the Bruins, Devils and Lightning could find it difficult to acquire him because of their limited cap space. The Hurricanes could be interested now that Max Pacioretty is done for the season, giving them $7 million of LTIR cap space if needed to make an addition or two at the trade deadline.
UPDATE ON DUMBA
THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild’s decision to scratch Matt Dumba for the second straight game is sparking speculation that a trade could be in the works, among other theories. However, the club insists they’re not working on moving the 28-year-old defenseman.
Smith writes the decision to scratch Dumba remains performance-based. He also indicates that there’s no guarantee the blueliner will be moved by the March 3 trade deadline, claiming there hasn’t been a lot of interest. Most teams are capped out, Dumba has struggled at times this season and there are other notable blueliners in this season’s trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Senators reportedly scouted Dumba earlier this month. However, the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch believes the blueliner’s recent scratch from the lineup isn’t a good sign. He also noted that Senators general manager Pierre Dorion took in the recent game between the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars, pointing out the Kings could be willing to move one of their right-shot defensemen.
LATEST ON THE RED WINGS AND PANTHERS
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen looked at which Red Wings could be on the move if GM Steve Yzerman becomes a seller at the trade deadline. Tyler Bertuzzi seems the most likely trade candidate if the pending UFA isn’t signed by March 3. However, Allen doesn’t expect center Dylan Larkin to be moved even if he remains unsigned by the deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Larkin’s contract talks break down completely I’ll be surprised if the Wings trade their captain. I believe there remains a genuine desire on both sides to hammer out an agreement before July 1.
As for the rest, they won’t all be traded. Nevertheless, I can see Bertuzzi and Nedeljkovic getting shopped.
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito still believes his struggling club has a shot at reaching the playoffs. At the moment, the Panthers are in no man’s land as they’re neither buyers nor sellers at this point. The next six weeks will determine which direction they go.