NHL Rumor Mill – February 10, 2024

NHL Rumor Mill – February 10, 2024

The Sabres are rumored to be shopping Casey Mittelstadt, speculation over Max Pacioretty’s future, two Canadian clubs could have an interest in Alexandre Carrier, plus the latest on the Flyers and Sharks in the NHL Rumor Mill.

REPORT: SABRES ACTIVELY SHOPPING MITTELSTADT

AFTER THE WHISTLE: Andrew Peters said Friday that he’d heard “from a very reliable source” that Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams is “shopping Casey Mittelstadt hard” because he doesn’t want to pay the 25-year-old forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mittelstadt is slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1. He’s in the final season of a three-year contract with an average annual value of $2.5 million. The versatile forward enjoyed a 59-point breakout performance last season and currently leads the Sabres in scoring with 42 points in 50 games.

Buffalo Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt (NHL Images).

Peters’ source didn’t know what Adams’ asking price would be for Mittelstadt but indicated that he’s looking for a goaltender. “They don’t trust the three that they have,” said Peters.

SPORTSNET: On Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman talked about Mittelstadt’s contract situation. He believes Mittelstadt would not be happy not to get a lucrative new contract when several other teammates did. “If you’re not going to pay him, you almost have to move him.”

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Jonathan Bailey cited Peters’ claiming the Sabres are shopping Mittelstadt. He believes the Flyers should pursue him and suggested offering up right-shot defenseman Sean Walker as part of the return.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Evan Rawal also noted Peters’ report about Mittelstadt. He believes the Sabres forward would be a good candidate for the Avalanche’s second-line center position. However, a young forward under team control for a few more years would be expensive to acquire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: ESPN’s Kevin Weekes last month suggested Mittelstadt could be available if Adams didn’t want to sign him to a long-term extension. He shrugged off the speculation while Adams has not spoken about it.

Mittelstadt will draw plenty of interest in the trade market if Adams is indeed peddling him. Finding a reliable, established starting goaltender, however, won’t be easy as the pickings are slim right now.

Maybe Adams could offer up Mittelstadt to the Calgary Flames for Jacob Markstrom provided the latter would waive his no-movement clause to go to Buffalo. Perhaps a deal could be made with the Nashville Predators for Juuse Saros provided he’s willing to sign a contract extension on July 1. Anaheim Ducks starter John Gibson’s been a fixture in the rumor mill stretching back to last season but the Sabres could be on his 10-team no-trade list.

COULD THE CAPITALS ATTEMPT TO MOVE PACIORETTY?

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun speculated the Washington Capitals could become sellers if they don’t gain ground soon in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Their pending unrestricted free agents include Anthony Mantha, Joel Edmundson and Max Pacioretty.

Pacioretty carries a full no-movement clause giving him and his agent complete control over his situation. However, LeBrun believes he could waive it for the right fit and a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

LeBrun thinks Mantha could be difficult to move even with retaining some salary. Edmundson’s playoff pedigree, meanwhile, could make him enticing to a contender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pacioretty is on a one-year deal with a base salary of $2 million plus another $2 million in performance bonuses. The six-time 30-goal scorer has seven points in 14 games thus far in his comeback with the Capitals.

LATEST FLYERS SPECULATION

SPORTSNET: In Friday’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek talked about possible trade-deadline moves for the Philadelphia Flyers.

They believe they are contemplating retaining Sean Walker and moving Rasmus Ristolainen. The latter would be easier to trade in the offseason for financial as well as hockey reasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen, 29, lacks no-trade protection but carries a $5.1 million AAV through 2026-27. He would be easier to move this summer when teams have more money to absorb that type of cap hit. However, he could still be a difficult sell unless the Flyers are willing to retain some salary.

They also believe Scott Laughton’s time with the Flyers could be drawing to a close. It could happen at the trade deadline or in the offseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laughton, 29, is a versatile two-way forward who can play center or wing. He carries an affordable $3 million AAV through 2025-26 and lacks a no-trade clause. He could attract a fair bit of interest in the trade market.

UPDATE ON THE SHARKS

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli suggesting Mikael Granlund might fetch the best return for the San Jose Sharks in the trade market.

Peng noted that the 29-year-old two-way center has bounced back this season with 29 points in 38 games. He carries a $5 million AAV through next season and lacks no-trade protection.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Julian Gaudio cited The Fourth Period recently claiming the Vegas Golden Knights are interested in Anthony Duclair.

The 28-year-old Sharks winger has just 17 points in 46 games this season with San Jose but was a productive middle-six forward for the Florida Panthers during their run to the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. He’s in the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $3 million.

Gaudio’s colleague Max Miller cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting there are teams with an interest in Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen. The pending UFA has put up good underlying numbers this season but doesn’t have a resume in high-pressure games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the three, Duclair seems the more likely to move given his cap hit and his performance in last year’s playoffs.

Granlund’s cap hit remains difficult to move unless the Sharks retain part of it. Having used up two of their three salary-retention slots on Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, I doubt they’ll keep any part of Granlund’s cap hit to facilitate a trade.

Kahkonen’s inexperience in playoff action will be an issue for contenders shopping for goaltending depth.

OILERS & CANUCKS COULD BE INTERESTED IN ALEXANDRE CARRIER

NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Michael Gallagher recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wondering if the Edmonton Oilers might be looking at Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier as a trade option. Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Thomas Drance recently mentioned Carrier as a trade target for the Vancouver Canucks.

Gallagher noted that Predators GM Barry Trotz isn’t necessarily shopping Carrier but is willing to listen to trade offers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carrier could be an attractive option for contenders with limited cap space looking for an affordable defenseman. He carries a $2.5 million cap hit, lacks a no-trade clause and is slated to become a UFA this summer.

Gallagher also noted the Predators are trying to move blueliner Tyson Barrie following his trade request back in December.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 18, 2024

The Red Wings upset the Panthers, the Canadiens down the Devils, the Sharks will retire Joe Thornton’s No. 19, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime power-play goal by Dylan Larkin lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. Alex Lyon made 32 saves for the win while Michael Rasmussen had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings (23-16-5), who vaulted over the idle Toronto Maple Leafs into third place in the Atlantic Division with 51 points. Sam Reinhart extended his goal streak to a franchise-record eight games for the 27-13-4 Panthers, who sit second in the Atlantic Division with 58 points.

Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov missed this game with a minor lower-body injury. Head coach Paul Maurice said he could hold Barkov out of Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild as a precaution if he’s not fully healthy by then.

Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield scored the winning goal and collected an assist as his club nipped the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Sam Montembault stopped 28 shots while Sean Monahan collected two assists for the 19-18-7 Canadiens (45 points) as they sit four points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Luke Hughes and Alexander Holtz scored for the Devils (22-17-3) as they sit two points ahead of the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils forward Timo Meier collected an assist in his return to action after missing six games with a mid-body injury. Teammate Brendan Smith missed this game with a sprained knee. He should be considered day-to-day for the time being.

HEADLINES

TSN: The San Jose Sharks intend to retire Joe Thornton’s No. 19 during a game next season. It will be the second jersey retirement in franchise history as Patrick Marleau’s No. 12 was hoisted to the rafter of the SAP Center last year.

Thornton spent 15 of his 24 NHL seasons with the Sharks. He’s their single-season leader in assists (92) and points (114) and their franchise leader with 804 assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton officially announced his retirement last October. He’s a certain first-ballot inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

TSN: Wednesday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres was postponed due to severe weather in Buffalo. The game was rescheduled to Thursday, Jan. 18.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner will return to action on Friday against the Devils. He’s been sidelined by a fractured jaw since Dec. 8.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Kasperi Kapanen is out for four weeks with a lower-body injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks winger Mikael Granlund is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury but does not require surgery. He suffered the injury during Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks following a hard hit by Mackenzie Entwistle.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders forward Casey Cizikas (lower body )has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 9.

NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: Cody Hodgson’s comeback continues as he signed a professional tryout offer with the Predators’ AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. Hodgson, 33, last played in 2015-16 and retired due to malignant hypothermia. He resumed skating last summer after receiving a clean bill of health.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Former NHL forward Tyler Ennis has announced his retirement at age 34. He played 700 games over 13 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers, netting 143 goals and 345 points. Ennis spent the last two seasons in Europe.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2023

Recaps of Friday’s game, the Avalanche sign Devon Toews to a new contract, plus updates on Zach Werenski, Taylor Hall and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin had a goal and three assists and Sidney Crosby tallied twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the Washington Capitals 4-0. Tristan Jarry made 19 saves (one of those on an Alex Ovechkin breakaway) for the shutout while Jake Guentzel picked up two assists. Charlie Lindgren stopped 31 shots for the Capitals as he filled in for Darcy Kuemper, whose wife gave birth to their first child (a boy) on Thursday.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reilly Smith also scored his first goal with the Penguins. He was acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights in June.

Shootout goals by Nick Bjugstad and Nick Schmaltz lifted the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-3 upset of the New Jersey Devils. Schmaltz had a goal and an assist in regulation time, rookie Logan Cooley collected two assists in his first NHL game, and Karel Vejmelka kicked out 33 shots for the win. Jesper Bratt scored two goals and collected an assist and Jack Hughes had three assists for the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I know that it’s very early in the season but keep an eye on the Coyotes this season. They’re a promising club that’s made steady improvement over the past couple of years. The addition of Cooley this season could provide a welcome boost to their offense.

HEADLINES

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche yesterday signed Devon Toews to a seven-year contract extension with an average annual value of $7.25 million. The 29-year-old defenseman was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews partners with Cale Makar on the Avalanche’s top defense pairing so it’s not surprising that they’ve got him under wraps on a long-term deal. The Avalanche still consider themselves Stanley Cup contenders and need Toews patrolling their blueline to remain in that position.

The length of the deal could be a concern. It kicks in next season when Toews will be 30, heading into a period when he’ll reach an inevitable decline in his performance during the final half of that deal. Nevertheless, the Avalanche feel it’s worth it if his play on the front end of his contract keeps them in Cup contention.

Cap Friendly indicates the Avalanche have just $2.6 million in cap space for 2024-25 with 14 active roster players under contract. They could get $7 million in wiggle room if sidelined captain Gabriel Landeskog remains on long-term injury reserve. Otherwise, they’ll have to shed some salary to fill out the rest of the roster.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed defenseman Zach Werenski (quadriceps contusion) on injured reserve for one to two weeks. They also recalled blueliner David Jiricek.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news for the Jackets is Werenski won’t be sidelined for too long though they will miss his puck-moving abilities while he’s on the sidelines. Still, this will give them an opportunity to get the promising Jiricek into the lineup for a few games.

NHL.COM: Speaking of Werenski, Philadelphia Flyers forward Garnet Hathaway was fined $5,000.00 for kneeing the Blue Jackets defenseman on Thursday resulting in the latter’s injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Chicago Blackhawks winger Taylor Hall has been downgraded from being sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered on Wednesday against the Boston Bruins to day-to-day. The 31-year-old winger was skating on his own following the club’s practice on Friday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall could return to the Blackhawks lineup at some point in the coming week.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks placed center Mikael Granlund on injured reserve after he reaggravated a lower-body injury during Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s expected to be out for at least a week.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Carson Soucey (knee injury) practiced with his teammates on Friday in a non-contact jersey and will travel with the club to face the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday. Meanwhile, forward Teddy Blueger is out week-to-week with a bruised knee.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed forward Adam Erne to a one-year, $775K contract and placed defenseman Markus Niemelainen on waivers for the purpose of sending him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

TSN: The Ottawa Senators have brought back former captain Daniel Alfredsson in a player development and coaching role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Alfredsson was previously named as a senior advisor of hockey operations for the Senators in 2015 but left the position two years later as the two sides couldn’t agree on a new contract. This new job ensures he’ll have a more hands-on role with the club compared to his previous gig.

TSN: Former Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi hopes to return to NHL action in November. He’s been rehabbing from the double hip surgery he underwent in June.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Someone looking for affordable depth on the wing might take a chance on Puljujarvi at some point this season. He’s now an unrestricted free agent as he didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Carolina Hurricanes, who acquired him from the Oilers in February.

ESPN.COM: The NHL has Mexico City in its sights among its short list of locations for future international games.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2023

Recapping Wednesday’s preseason action, the salary cap is projected to rise significantly in 2024-25, plus some notable injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON GAMES RECAP

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists to thump the Calgary Flames 7-2. Connor Brown tallied twice for the Oilers while Dan Vladar made 35 saves for the Flames.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Flames announced that forward Kevin Rooney suffered what is considered to be a long-term upper-body injury in practice earlier this week.

The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. Jackets rookie Adam Fantilli’s first-ever NHL preseason goal was also the winning goal while teammate Patrik Laine collected his fourth goal of this preseason. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 28 shots for the Sabres.

New Jersey Devils forwards Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Dawson Mercer each had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers. Ondrej Palat picked up three assists for the Devils. Adam Fox and Will Cuylle replied for the Rangers.

The Detroit Red Wings nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 with James Reimer making 21 saves for the win. Simon Edvinsson and Daniel Sprong scored for the Wings while Xavier Ouellet tallied for the Penguins. Former Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 22 stops against his former team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Red Wings announced that they had released forward Artem Anisimov from his professional tryout.

Seattle Kraken winger Eeli Tolvanen scored the winning goal to down the Vancouver Canucks 2-1.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: League Commissioner Gary Bettman made his preliminary projection for next season’s salary cap following yesterday’s Board of Governors meeting. With revenues up and stable team ownerships, he anticipates the cap could rise to between $87 million and $88 million for 2024-25.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The salary cap is $83.5 million for this season. It has been flattened since the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season because of the players’ $1 billion escrow debt to the owners as a result of the premature end of the 2019-20 season due to the start of the COVID pandemic. Bettman indicated there is $50 million of escrow debt remaining and it is expected to be paid off by the end of this season.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Josh Norris suffered another setback in his efforts to return to action from the shoulder surgery that prematurely ended his 2022-23 season. Head coach D.J. Smith remains hopeful that Norris, who’s been practicing with his teammates for the past eight days, will be able to play in the Senators’ final preseason game on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Senators center Shane Pinto remains out of training camp as his agent and Senators general manager Pierre Dorion continue to negotiate a new contract. The two sides have reportedly made progress in recent days. There’s talk around the league that the 22-year-old Pinto could accept a two-year deal with an average annual value of $2.35 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators now have $1.7 million in cap space after four players, including Jacob Bernard-Docker and Egor Sokolov, cleared waivers yesterday and were sent to their AHL affiliate in Belleville. Nevertheless, they’ll still have to shed more salary to get Pinto under contract and be cap-compliant when their season opens next week.

NEW YORK POST: Winger Kyle Palmieri has rejoined the Islanders after missing the opening weeks of training camp with an undisclosed injury. It’s unclear if he’ll participate in the Isles’ final two preseason games but should be good to go for their season opener next week against the Buffalo Sabres.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks forward Mikael Granlund returned to practice yesterday after missing a week with an undisclosed injury. He’s expected to be in their lineup for their season opener next week, replacing sidelined captain Logan Couture (lower-body, week-to-week).

TSN: Los Angeles Kings forward Arthur Kaliyev will face a disciplinary hearing for kneeing Anaheim Ducks forward Chase De Leo on Tuesday.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Diamond Sports Group, the bankrupt operator of Bally Sports Arizona, wants out of its contract to broadcast Arizona Coyotes games. They made the request in the Southern Texas Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday. Both sides are awaiting the court’s decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another day, another crisis for the Coyotes. It’s too bad because they actually have a promising roster led by rising star Clayton Keller that could surprise some folks this season. Sadly, few sports fans in Arizona will be able to watch them unless the team can find a new broadcaster.

DAILY FACEOFF: Former NHL coach Kevin Constantine has been suspended indefinitely as head coach of the WHL’s Wenatchee Wild for making derogatory remarks of a discriminatory nature.










NHL Rumor Mill – August 29, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 29, 2023

A look at questions facing several Pacific Division teams in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon recently looked at the biggest question facing each team in the Pacific Division.

Among them was whether the Calgary Flames would make any major trades before training camp opens later next month. The expectation is defenseman Noah Hanifin will be dealt at some point. There’s less certainty about center Elias Lindholm but it wouldn’t be a shock if the Flames moved him before summer ends.

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hanifin, Lindholm and center Mikael Backlund are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

Hanifin has reportedly informed Flames management that he intends to test next summer’s UFA market. There are reports the Flames and Lindholm’s camp are discussing an extension but no word as to whether progress has been made. A new contract for Lindholm could lead to one for Backlund.

Dixon wondered if the Los Angeles Kings might pursue another goaltender. He suspects that move might come during the season if the current tandem of Pheonix Copley and Cam Talbot aren’t up to snuff. Dixon isn’t sure if they could land Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck, in part because it would take some salary-cap gymnastics by the Kings to pull it off.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with this assessment. Kings general manager Rob Blake could be forced into the trade market if Copley and Talbot can’t get the job done.

The Kings have plenty of promising young players to draw on for trade bait and a recent trade history with the Jets. However, Blake could ask the Jets to retain half of Hellebuyck’s $6.166 million salary-cap hit to facilitate a trade or try to swing a three-team deal to spread it around.

Turning to the San Jose Sharks, Dixon wondered if offseason acquisitions such as Mike Hoffman, Anthony Duclair, Mikael Granlund and Jan Rutta end up getting flipped to other clubs.

Duclair, 28, could be part of the Sharks’ future but the others are over 30 and probably won’t figure into their long-range plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of that group, Duclair has the best trade value and would fetch the biggest return. That will depend on whether he wants to re-sign with the rebuilding Sharks or test next summer’s free-agent market. If it’s the latter, he’ll be used as a bargaining chip near the March trade deadline by the Sharks.

Dixon also took note of Elias Pettersson putting contract extension talks on hold with the Vancouver Canucks to focus on preparing for the coming season. He wondered if Pettersson might change his mind once he’s back in North America.

Dixon also wondered if frequent trade-rumor subject Brock Boeser gets moved before training camp begins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pettersson’s remarks prompted at least one pundit to suggest the club he covers at least look into whether a trade can be done for the 24-year-old center. Considering his value to the retooling Canucks, I doubt it.

Pettersson is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. If a new contract isn’t agreed to by then, the Canucks are under no pressure to move him as they’ll still retain his rights.

As for Boeser, he made it clear at the end of last season that he wants to stay with the Canucks. There’s no indication they intend to move him. That could change over the course of the season but for now, I expect him to be part of their roster when the schedule begins in October.










Penguins Acquire Erik Karlsson in Three-Team Trade

Penguins Acquire Erik Karlsson in Three-Team Trade

The San Jose Sharks traded Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a three-team deal involving the Montreal Canadiens.

The Penguins get Karlsson, forward Rem Pitlick, forward Dillon Hamaliuk and the Sharks third-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft.

San Jose Sharks trade defenseman Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Images).

The Sharks receive the Penguins 2024 first-round pick (top-10 protected), forward Mikael Granlund, defenseman Jan Rutta and forward Mike Hoffman.

The Canadiens acquire the Penguins 2025 second-rounder, defenseman Jeff Petry, goaltender Casey DeSmith and forward Nathan Legare.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks are retaining $1.5 million of Karlsson’s $11.5 million annual salary cap hit through 2026-27. Meanwhile, the Penguins are retaining over $1.562 million of Petry’s $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25.

Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas finally lands the big fish he was pursuing since mid-June. This is the biggest trade he’s ever made in the NHL and it could define his legacy with the Penguins.

With the first-pairing spot on the right side of the Penguins’ blueline promised to Kris Letang, Karlsson will either move into the second-pairing position or over to the left side on the first pairing. He will likely anchor the first power-play unit.

The Penguins didn’t get much cap savings from the Sharks’ retaining part of his salary. However, they were able to clear the entirety of Granlund’s $5 million average annual value from their cap payroll

This move could work out well for the Penguins if Karlsson remains a 70-80 point defenseman who meshes well with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin over the next two or three seasons. But if Karlsson’s performance declines and injuries start catching up with him, they’ll have a blueliner with eroding skills and a still-significant annual cap hit on their books.

Pitlick joins the Penguins from the Canadiens. The 26-year-old carries an average annual value of $1.1 million and will either skate on the Penguins’ checking lines this season or head to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Hamaliuk, 22, spent last season with the ECHL’s Wichita Thunder and is likely headed to the minors.

This move also leaves the Penguins with $1.495 million in cap space. They could get more if Jake Guentzel ends up on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

The Sharks aren’t getting a package of promising youngsters in this deal in Granlund, Rutta and Hoffman. Granlund and Rutta are coming from the Penguins while Hoffman joins them from the Canadiens.

This trio struggled with their former clubs and their best seasons could be behind them. Nevertheless, they should provide some experienced short-term depth for the Sharks as they continue to rebuild on the fly.

The real prize here for San Jose is shedding the bulk of Karlsson’s contract as well as getting a first-round pick as part of the return. They now have two first-rounders and two second-round picks in next year’s draft.

Meanwhile, the Canadiens managed to address some of their needs in this trade. They moved out Hoffman and his $4.5 million cap hit for this season, clearing space to bring back Petry at a slightly reduced price to add some experience to their young blueline, and brought in more depth to their goaltending with DeSmith.

Petry shouldn’t have much difficulty readjusting to the Canadiens. Despite his difficulties with the Penguins last season he still managed 31 points in 61 games. DeSmith could be the Habs’ third goalie behind Sam Montembeault and Jake Allen unless Montembeault or Allen ends up getting shipped out at some point.

Legare spent the past two seasons with the Penguins’ farm club. He will likely end up with the Habs’ AHL affiliate in Laval. The addition of the Penguins’ pick gives them two second-rounders in the 2025 draft.