NHL Rumor Mill – November 17, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 17, 2022

Could the Senators attempt to bring back Erik Karlsson or are there better trade options for them with the Canadiens or Penguins? Should the Leafs target Karlsson or are there better alternatives to address their defense? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD THE SENATORS TRY TO REACQUIRE ERIK KARLSSON?

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculating the Sharks may have had conversations with the Ottawa Senators regarding Erik Karlsson. In 2018, the Senators traded Karlsson to the Sharks, who signed him to an eight-year contract with an average annual value of $11.5 million.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Karlsson has never lost his affection for the city of Ottawa and he and his family still maintain a home there. With the 32-year-old defenseman enjoying the best start of his career, Sharks general manager Mike Grier earlier this week indicated he was willing to entertain offers for the blueliner.

Peng points out that trading Karlsson will be difficult given how few teams can afford his contract, which also contains a full no-movement clause. He also noted that Friedman doubted the Senators could afford to do so even if the Sharks agreed to retain 50 percent of Karlsson’s cap hit. That’s because they still want to re-sign winger Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Artem Zub.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Grier’s comments combined with Senators GM Pierre Dorion telling reporters he’s still actively shopping for a defenseman prompted some folks to suggest a reunion with Karlsson. If the Sens had more long-term cap space perhaps there would be a possibility, assuming that Karlsson would waive his NMC to return to Ottawa.

The Senators have $21.7 million of cap space for 2023-24 if the cap only rises by $1 million as originally projected with just 10 players under contract. DeBrincat, Zub and Shane Pinto will eat up a big chunk of that cap room as well as pending UFA goaltender Cam Talbot if they attempt to re-sign him. If not, replacing Talbot could also prove to be expensive.

There is also the question of the Sharks’ asking price. They’re not going to just give Karlsson away, especially if they have to retain a portion of his cap hit to facilitate a trade. They’ll want a decent return, perhaps in the form of a package containing a first-round pick, a high-end prospect and a promising young player like Pinto or Jake Sanderson. And if it becomes a three-team trade to spread the cap hit around, that third team will also want a sweetener.

ARE THERE OTHER BLUELINE TRADE OPTIONS FOR THE SENATORS?

TVA SPORTS: Louis Jean wondered why the Senators didn’t attempt to sign David Savard in 2021 when he became an unrestricted free agent. He felt the 32-year-old rearguard would’ve been a perfect complement for Thomas Chabot.

Savard is currently signed with the Montreal Canadiens through 2024-25 with an AAV of $3.5 million. Jean wondered if Dorion might put in a call to Habs GM Kent Hughes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible, I suppose, but I don’t see that call taking place. If Dorion wasn’t interested in Savard in 2021, he’s probably not interested now.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski recently wondered if the Penguins and Senators could become trade partners. In addition to needing defensemen, the Senators could use some help at center with Josh Norris sidelined until at least January with a shoulder injury.

Kingerski suggested Brian Dumoulin and Jeff Carter as short-term options for the Senators since both are slated to become UFAs next summer. Other options could include center Teddy Blueger and defensemen such as Mark Friedman or Ty Smith.

In return, Kingerski suggested the Senators part with Alex Formenton. The Sens have until Dec. 1 to sign the RFA winger or he’ll become ineligible to play in the NHL this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators could be on Dumoulin’s 10-team no-trade list and I don’t see Carter agreeing to waive his no-movement clause to go to Ottawa. If Dorion were interested in the Penguins’ defensemen I believe he’d prefer Marcus Pettersson or Pierre-Olivier Joseph than Friedman or Smith.

LATEST LEAFS SPECULATION

TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos proposed a way for the Maple Leafs to acquire Erik Karlsson. “Could the Leafs get the Sharks to take (Jake) Muzzin’s contract back, retain salary, and build a deal around top prospect Matthews Knies?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Why would the Sharks want Muzzin’s contract? He’s earning a $5.6 million AAV through 2024-25 with a full no-trade clause this season. They could agree to that if the Leafs are taking Karlsson’s full cap hit through 2026-27 off their books, assuming Muzzin agrees to be shipped to the Sharks.

I’m assuming the “retain salary” bit refers to the Sharks’ absorbing part of Karlsson’s $11.5 million AAV. However, if they’re taking on Muzzin’s contract, why would they retain any part of Karlsson’s cap hit? Sorry, I don’t see that happening.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli lists six trade options for the Leafs to replace Muzzin by using his placement on long-term injured reserve to acquire a defenseman.

The Anaheim Ducks’ John Klingberg tops Seravalli’s list, followed by the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Vladislav Gavrikov and the Los Angeles Kings’ Matt Roy. The Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy and the Washington Capitals’ Nick Jensen or Dmitry Orlov round out the list. He also suggested keeping an eye on the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those defensemen likely won’t be available until close to the March 3 trade deadline.

Klingberg isn’t a shutdown blueliner like Muzzin so I don’t see him as a good fit for the Leafs. Gavrikov could be a better option but I think the Jackets intend to re-sign him.

Seravalli points out the Kings have a surplus of defensemen and Roy has another year on his contract. However, they could be reluctant to part with him given his adaptability and ability to play big minutes. Seravalli also admitted Soucy might not be available yet given the Kraken have exceeded expectations thus far this season. I agree that he could be an intriguing option if the Kraken are out of playoff contention by March and looking to sell.

The Capitals could go into sell mode if they’re out of a playoff berth before the March trade deadline. However, I see them improving as their injury-ravaged roster gets healthier, which could put Jensen or Orlov out of reach. As for Dumba, his status could depend on where the Wild are in the standings as March approaches.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2022

The Sabres’ Tage Thompson has a six-point night, the Ducks’ Jamie Drysdale could be sidelined for the season, plus updates on Charlie McAvoy, T.J. Oshie, Jake Oettinger and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson tallied a hat trick and collected three assists to lead his club to an 8-3 drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. Jeff Skinner collected three points, including his 300th career NHL goal, as the Sabres improved their record to 6-3-0. Dylan Larkin, David Perron and Olli Maatta replied for the Wings, whose record drops to 4-3-2.

Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE After tallying just three points in his first seven games of the season, Thompson now has nine points in his last two contests.

Shootout goals by Brent Burns and Andrei Svechnikov lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Washington Capitals 3-2. Svechnikov also scored the tying goal that sent the game into overtime and the shootout frame as the Hurricanes move to a 6-2-1 record while the Capitals drop to 5-4-1. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 785th career NHL goal.

The Los Angeles Kings improved to 6-5-0 by dropping the St. Louis Blues 5-1. Carl Grundstrom scored twice, Kevin Fiala had three assists and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the win. The Blues have lost five straight and fall to 3-5-0.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt and Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury are the league’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 30, 2022.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Bad news for the Anaheim Ducks as they announced Jamie Drysdale will require surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The 20-year-old defenseman could miss the remainder of the season as his recovery period is four-to-six months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough break for Drysdale as he was hoping to build upon his 32-point rookie performance last season. It’s also a big loss to the blueline of the rebuilding Ducks, who’ve stumbled from the gate this season with a 2-6-1 record.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Some good news for Charlie McAvoy as he’s resumed practice with his Bruins teammates. The 24-year-old defenseman is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and wasn’t expected to return to action until December 1. He’s ahead of schedule but isn’t going to play during their upcoming three-game road trip.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McAvoy could return by mid-November at the latest if he performs well in practice over the next week or two. He will provide a significant boost to their blueline, which has performed well in his absence. It will also force management to find a way to shed salary to make room within their salary cap payroll for his arrival.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie is out indefinitely while defenseman John Carlson is day-to-day as both players are sidelined by lower-body injuries.

SPORTSNET: Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger will have his lower-body injury re-evaluated in a week’s time. The club cannot recall Anton Khudobin due to salary-cap issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars addressed this by signing Matt Murray to a one-year entry-level contract. Murray, 24, played 11 games with their AHL affiliate, five of those this season. He is not to be confused with sidelined Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Matt Murray.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars rookie center Wyatt Johnston will be staying with the club for the season. The 19-year-old played his ninth game of the season on Saturday, raising questions as to whether the Stars would return him to his junior club before his 10th game for contract reasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the first season of Johnston’s entry-level contract goes into effect when he plays his 10th game. Had the Stars returned him to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, his ELC would’ve slid to next season.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins center Jeff Carter has been sidelined by a lower-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forwards Marcus Foligno and Ryan Hartman suffered upper-body injuries during Sunday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights netminder Laurent Brossoit has been sent to their AHL affiliate for a conditioning stint. This is the next step in his return to the Golden Knights lineup as he recovers from offseason hip surgery.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2022

Recapping notable news from Saturday’s preseason games, the Canadiens sign Jake Allen to a contract extension, the Jets unveil a statue of Dale Hawerchuk, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON HIGHLIGHTS AND NOTABLE HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Alex DeBrincat scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Ottawa Senators overcame a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. Those goals were DeBrincat’s first with the Senators since being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in July.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Canadiens, they signed Jake Allen to a two-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Allen is also getting a pay raise, going from an average annual value of $2.875 million to $3.85 million. He also gets a seven-team no-trade list for 2023-24 and a three-team no-trade for 2024-25.

Allen told reporters he’s happy to stay with the Canadiens and help them with their rebuilding program. He sees himself as a mentor to goalies Cayden Primeau and Sam Montembeault.

And speaking of the Senators, goaltender Cam Talbot missed this game with an undisclosed injury. He’s listed as day-to-day and isn’t expected to be sidelined for long.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets unveiled a statue honoring the late Hall-of-Famer Dale Hawerchuk prior to Saturday’s preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers. Hawerchuk was drafted by the original Jets in 1981 and spent nine seasons with the club, becoming one of the greatest players in franchise history. He died of stomach cancer in 2020.

Two goals by Brent Burns (including the game-winner) enabled the Carolina Hurricanes to nip the Florida Panthers 4-3. Burns was acquired from the San Jose Sharks in July.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Taylor Hall and Fabian Lysell suffered minor injuries during the Boston Bruins’ 4-0 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. They’re expected to be sidelined for only one or two days.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: As for the Flyers, their injury woes continue as goaltender Felix Sandstrom left the game with a lower-body injury. Starter Carter Hart is currently out with an injury but is expected to be ready for the Flyers’ season-opener on Oct. 13.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Jeff Carter and Teddy Blueger remain listed as day-to-day with injuries suffered scrimmages last week.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes signed Calvin de Haan to a one-year, one-way, $850K contract. The 31-year-old defenseman had been in camp on a professional tryout offer.

Nathan Beaulieu’s PTO with the Anaheim Ducks earned the 29-year-old blueliner a one-year, one-way deal worth $850K.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken unveiled Buoy, a blue scraggly sea-troll as their new mascot.

NHL.COM: Dominik Zrim is among several new hirings by the San Jose Sharks. Zrim founded the website CapFriendly in 2015 and becomes the Sharks’ director of salary cap management/CBA compliance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations, Dominik, and good luck with your new job.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 27, 2022

The Flames set a franchise record in win over Blue Jackets, the Avalanche’s home win streak continues, the Penguins re-sign Jeff Carter, the Canucks hire Patrik Allvin as GM, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames fired a franchise-record 62 shots at the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-0 victory. Johnny Gaudreau collected three assists, Matthew Tkachuk scored two goals and Jacob Markstrom turned in a 23-save shutout. Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins made 56 saves. With 46 points, the Flames tie the Dallas Stars but take over the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference with two games in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Merzlikins wasn’t to blame for his club’s lopsided loss. His teammates let him down with a lousy defensive effort. They also lost center Alexandre Texier as he left the game with an injured hand.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (NHL Images).

Cale Makar’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins, extending their home winning streak to 17 games. They forced the extra frame with unanswered third-period goals by Samuel Girard and Gabriel Landeskog while Nazem Kadri finished the night with three assists. Charlie McAvoy collected two assists for the Bruins. The Avs are tied with the Florida Panthers with 63 points but hold first overall with two games in hand while the Bruins hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 51 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Avs as center Nathan MacKinnon left the game following a hard hit from Bruins winger Taylor Hall. MacKinnon’s face was bloodied by his own stick following contact from Hall’s shoulder. He could miss the Avs’ upcoming game with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on a shootout goal by Auston Matthews. Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell reached the 20-win mark in a season for the first time in his career as his club remains in third place in the Atlantic Division with 55 points. The Ducks picked up a point thanks to goalie John Gibson’s 41-save effort and sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 50 points.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Dylan Strome tallied his first NHL hat trick in an 8-5 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Alex DeBrincat scored twice and added an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have been trying to trade Strome since last season. The Athletic’s Scott Powers speculates his improved play of late might make him more enticing to other clubs if he keeps playing well between now and the March 21 trade deadline.

The San Jose Sharks got a 32-save performance from James Reimer to beat the Washington Capitals 4-1, handing the latter their third loss in the past four games. The win keeps the Sharks (46 points) in the hunt for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

HEADLINES

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Jeff Carter to a two-year contract extension. The 37-year-old forward will receive an annual average value of $3.125 million with a full no-movement clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable contract for a veteran forward who still has plenty left in the tank. He’s been a good fit with the Penguins since joining them in a trade last season. He’s sixth among their leading scorers this season with 12 goals and 26 points in 36 games.

Cap Friendly indicates this signing leaves the Penguins with $51.8 million invested in 10 players for 2022-23. Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Bryan Rust and Kasperi Kapanen are among their free agents to be re-signed or replaced.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks officially announced Patrik Allvin as their new general manager. He’d been with the Penguins for 16 seasons and was named their assistant GM in 2020. Allvin previously worked with Canucks president Jim Rutherford during the latter’s tenure as Penguins GM.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Canucks management team in place, there’s speculation big roster changes could be coming before the March trade deadline. I’ll have more about that in today’s NHL Rumor update.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Aaron Dell received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for interference on Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson.

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of Batherson, he suffered a high-ankle sprain as a result of Dell’s actions. He was slated to play in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game and has been replaced by Brady Tkachuk. Batherson could be sidelined for months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Batherson is the Senators’ leading scorer so this is a significant blow to their offense.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

CBS SPORTS: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dylan Samberg is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild got some good news as defenseman Jonas Brodin is set to return after missing several weeks with an upper-body injury.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks intend to begin reaching out to potential general manager candidates for interviews this week. Current interim GM Kyle Davidson will also interview for the job.