NHL Rumor Mill – August 4, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 4, 2023

Check out the latest on Erik Karlsson and Elias Lindholm in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NHL NETWORK: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman anticipates a contract buyout coming this weekend for the Pittsburgh Penguins that could affect their efforts to acquire San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Friedman noted the Penguins avoided arbitration with Drew O’Connor earlier this week. That opens a 48-hour contract buyout window this weekend.

General manager Kyle Dubas prefers not to use contract buyouts. However, Friedman said he’s had a couple of people tell him to keep an eye on this weekend as the Penguins could attempt to get this closed (referring to a Karlson trade).

THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe also took note of the Penguins’ buyout window. He wondered if Dubas will use it to buy out the remaining two years of Mikael Granlund’s contract, potentially freeing up some salary-cap space to acquire Karlsson.

Yohe also envisioned other scenarios such as including Granlund in the package to acquire Karlsson from the Sharks, trading other veterans in cost-cutting moves, or the unlikely option of putting Jeff Carter on long-term injury reserve.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jacob Punturi examined the pros and cons of the Penguins potentially buying out Granlund. While it would provide significant immediate cap savings of around $4 million, it would also result in four years of dead cap space worth $1.38 million annually on top of what they’re carrying from their 2020 buyout of Jack Johnson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve previously mentioned my theory of Dubas buying out Granlund and then using the savings to put toward getting the Karlsson deal done. We’ll find out by the end of the weekend if that’s the case.


NHL NETWORK: Friedman said things were quiet regarding Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm. He believes the Flames want to sign the 28-year-old to an eight-year extension in the range of $8 million to $9 million annually.

THE ATHLETIC: Julian McKenzie and Shayna Goldman listed some potential trade destinations for Lindholm if he and the Flames fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension.

They took note of speculation linking Lindholm to the Boston Bruins. However, they question whether they have sufficient assets to pry him away from the Flames. They also looked at the Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes, Blue Jackets and Wild have the depth in tradeable assets to tempt the Flames. I’m not convinced that the Leafs and Canucks could pull it off. Salary-cap space could also be a concern for some of these clubs even with the projected increase by $4 million next summer.

NHL Rumor Mill – May 22, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – May 22, 2023

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill, we look at the latest on Erik Karlsson, a look at the Avalanche’s potential trade assets, and the Devils might swing a trade for a first-rounder in this year’s draft.


DAILY FACEOFF: Tyler Yaremchuk and Mike McKenna discussed whether the San Jose Sharks will trade Erik Karlsson this summer.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Yaremchuk thinks Sharks management might be kicking themselves for not taking whatever the Edmonton Oilers were offering for Karlsson before the March 3 trade deadline. They’ve since acquired Mattias Ekholm to skate alongside Evan Bouchard and are likely out of the market.

McKenna believes the Sharks must retain part of Karlsson’s $11.5 million average annual value through 2025-26 if they hope to get three first-round picks for him. If they’re to move him, he believes it has to happen this summer. He wonders if Karlsson is willing to waive his no-movement clause for a team in the top half of the league or only those among the top 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson’s value will never be higher than it is right now. He’s the favorite to win the Norris Trophy as this season’s top defenseman coming off a career-best 101-point performance.

There will be some teams interested in acquiring him but they won’t want to take on his full cap hit for the next four years. It’s believed the Sharks were willing to retain less than 20 percent of Karlsson’s cap hit before the trade deadline. They’ll likely have to retain between 30-50 percent to swing a deal this summer.

It’s unlikely the Oilers will be among them after acquiring Ehkholm and given their cap constraints.


COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Evan Rawal examined the Avalanche’s potential trade chips to put toward acquiring a second-line center this summer.

Defenseman Samuel Girard keeps coming up among the pundits with Daily Faceoff listing him at No. 3 on their recent list of off-season trade targets. However, trading Girard could be a risky option until the Avs know what’s happening with Devon Toews, who’s a year away from unrestricted free-agent status.

Rawal thinks the odds of the Avs trading Toews are low. Even if they don’t agree to a contract extension, he thinks the club considers him too important to trade and will retain him for another run at the Stanley Cup next season.

Trading someone like Alex Newhook would require getting another forward back. They only have five forwards under contract for 2023-24. There’s also still a chance that the 22-year-old Newhook could become a top-six forward.

Other potential trade chips include their 2023 first-round pick, their 2024 first-rounder, as well as Denis Malgin or prospect Oskar Olausson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have $13.35 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 with just 12 roster players under contract. However, they’ll get $7 million in cap relief by placing captain Gabriel Landeskog on long-term injury reserve as he’s sidelined for next season due to knee surgery.

Newhook and Bowen Byram are restricted free agents who’ll be seeking raises coming off their entry-level contracts. Even if they’re signed to affordable short-term bridges deals, the Avs still must free up cap space to re-sign or replace UFA J.T. Compher as their second-line center and perhaps find a left winger as a short-term replacement for Landeskog.

That’s why Girard’s name remains so high on most lists of this summer’s trade candidates.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Kristy Flannery reports the New Jersey Devils lack a first-round pick in the 2023 draft. It’s the first time that’s happened in a decade. However, general manager Tom Fitzgerald isn’t ruling out making a trade to get one.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils have their second-rounder but traded away their third-round pick. Perhaps he’ll bundle that second-rounder along with another pick or two (or maybe with a prospect) to move up into the first round.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2023

The Stars enjoy a 10-goal performance against the Sabres, the Oilers down the league-leading Bruins, Erik Karlsson sets a career-high for points, Kirill Kaprizov sidelined, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars crushed the Buffalo Sabres 10-4, marking their first 10-goal performance during a road game since October 1985. Jamie Benn and Mason Marchment each had a goal and two assists, Jason Robertson had three assists and Radek Faksa tallied twice for the Stars as they improved to 35-17-13 to sit atop the Central Division with 83 points. Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist for the Sabres (32-28-4) as they sit six points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 68 points.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Stars as Tyler Seguin left the game in the first period after being cut by a skate blade above his left knee. There was no postgame word regarding his condition but he was spotted on crutches following the game.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson scored his 20th goal of the season in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich each had two points for the 28-31-5 Blues while the Sharks fell to 19-35-12 on the season. Karlsson set a career single-season high with 83 points and reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time since 2014-15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson, 32, leads all NHL defensemen this season in goals and points. He’s considered the front-runner for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top blueliner.

The Edmonton Oilers nipped the Boston Bruins 3-2 to snap the latter’s 10-game winning streak. Darnell Nurse tallied the winning goal late in the third period as the Oilers (36-22-8) hold the first Western Conference wild-card spot with 80 points. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist as the league-leading Bruins (103 points) are at 49-9-5.

An overtime goal by Brock Nelson completed a three-goal rally by the New York Islanders as they dumped the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. Anders Lee tallied twice and Ilya Sorokin stopped 33 shots as the Islanders (34-25-8) hold the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 76 points, two ahead of the 32-22-10 Penguins as they remain in the final Eastern wild-card spot. Jeff Petry had two assists for the Penguins.

Patrick Kane scored his first goal for the New York Rangers as they downed the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on a shootout goal by Mika Zibanejad. Kane finished with two points while Artemi Panarin collected three assists for the 36-19-9 as the Rangers sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 81 points. The 26-33-6 Canadiens have dropped five straight all by one goal.

Los Angeles Kings forwards Phillip Danault and Adrian Kempe each scored twice to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2. Anze Kopitar had three assists, Joonas Korpisalo had 28 saves and Trevor Moore collected an assist in his return to the lineup for the 38-20-8 Kings as they sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 84 points. Nathan MacKinnon scored for the Avalanche (35-22-6) as they cling to third place in the Central Division with 76 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Avalanche, there’s concern over whether captain Gabriel Landeskog will return in time for the 2023 playoffs. He’s still recovering from the knee injury that has sidelined him for the entire season thus far.

An overtime goal by Alec Martinez lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jonathan Quick made 32 saves for the win as the Golden Knights (39-20-6) hold first place in the Pacific (84 points) with a game in hand over the Kings. Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov each had three points for the slumping Lightning (38-21-6) as they sit third in the Atlantic Division with 82 points.

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 on a shootout goal by Timo Meier. Dawson Mercer extended his points streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist as the Devils (42-16-6) as they sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 90 points. The Capitals sank to 31-28-7 (69 points) and sit five points behind the Penguins for the final Eastern wild-card berth.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov made 19 saves to shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0. Andrei Svechnikov’s first-period goal held up as the winner as the Hurricanes improved to 43-12-8 and sit second in the overall standings with 94 points. Felix Sandstrom made 28 saves for the 24-30-11 Flyers.

The Ottawa Senators kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken thanks to third-period goals by Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat. With 70 points, the 33-27-4 Senators are four points behind the Penguins. Jared McCann tallied twice for the Kraken (37-22-6) as their five-game win streak came to an end. They sit third in the Pacific Division with 80 points.

Arizona Coyotes goalie Ivan Prosvetov kicked out 39 shots for his first NHL win to beat the Nashville Predators 4-1. Clayton Keller collected two assists for the 23-32-10 Coyotes while the Predators (31-24-7) are six points out of the final Western Conference playoff berth with 69 points.


STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov will be sidelined for three to four weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kaprizov is the Wild’s leading scorer with 39 goals and 74 points. He’s their main offensive engine so losing him is a significant setback as they jockey for a playoff berth in the Western Conference. How they adapt to his absence will be a big test that could decide their postseason hopes in the very close Western standings.

SPORTSNET: cited a report by Sportico indicating nine different groups have submitted bids to purchase the Ottawa Senators. Some of those bids value the franchise at over $900 million USD.

The list of potential buyers is expected to be narrowed down within the next several days. The Remington Group (a Toronto-based real estate developer) and billionaire Michael Andlauer (minority owner of the Montreal Canadiens) are among the most prominent bidders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears the league hasn’t had any difficulty finding suitors willing to pay big bucks to purchase the Senators. Eugene Melnick, the club’s late owner, paid $92 million USD to purchase the team in 2003. Accounting for inflation, that would be worth nearly $150 million in 2023.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins are planning upgrades to PPG Arena for 2023-24 starting at the conclusion of this season. They include a new video board, LED ribbon boards, sound system, control room, and content management system.

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.


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.


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.


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 Rumor Mill – November 15, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 15, 2022

Four unexpected early-season trade candidates plus speculation over how the Leafs will replace the sidelined Jake Muzzin in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen lists the Vancouver Canucks Bo Horvat and Thatcher Demko, St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly and San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson as four trade candidates we didn’t expect to see.

Horvat, 27, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. With the Canucks struggling, his future in Vancouver has come under question. There’s speculation it could cost them $8 million annually for eight seasons to re-sign their captain.

As for Demko, Boylen indicates he’s not the sole reason behind the Canucks’ difficulties this season. However, the 26-year-old goaltender’s inconsistent play has been a contributing factor that could take him out of the franchise’s core of untouchable players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the losses piling up in Vancouver there’s a sense that something’s gotta give. There’s talk that head coach Bruce Boudreau could be replaced which seems the more likely option given how difficult it is at this stage of the schedule to swing a season-saving trade.

Of the two, Horvat is the more likely trade candidate given his contract status. Demko’s struggles are tied in part to the porous defense in front of him. Besides, trading Demko would only create the additional headache of finding a suitable replacement carrying an annual cap hit comparable to his reasonable $5 million per season.

If Canucks management shakes up the roster I suspect it’ll be in the New Year when we get closer to the March 3 trade deadline. Horvat would draw considerable interest from playoff contenders and should fetch a quality return.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Like Horvat, O’Reilly is due to become a UFA next summer. He turns 32 in February and will be in line for a hefty new deal. However, the Blues are transitioning toward younger talent while O’Reilly is struggling to score this season. They could peddle their captain if it looks like they’ll miss the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly has stated he wants to remain with the Blues beyond this season. I doubt he’ll be going anywhere if the Blues rebound and are a playoff contender by the trade deadline. Whether he and Blues management can agree to a contract extension is another matter.

If they’re out of contention by then it wouldn’t be surprising if GM Doug Armstrong trades him. He has parted ways with previous captains, letting Alex Pietrangelo and David Backes depart via free agency. Armstrong could look at getting something for O’Reilly rather than lose him for nothing.

Karlsson’s terrific start to this season for the lowly Sharks has sparked some musings about his trade status. Boylen observed first-year GM Mike Grier traded away Brent Burns to Carolina in July. Karlsson carries a hefty $11.5 million cap hit and a full no-movement clause. However, a trade might be possible if he’s willing to waive the clause to join a playoff contender and if the Sharks are willing to retain a healthy chunk of his cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burns was easier to move because his contract was shorter and more affordable than Karlsson’s. He’s signed through 2024-25 with an average annual value of $8 million, which made retaining $2.7 million of that AAV easier to do. Karlsson is signed through 2026-27, which is a far longer period to be carrying dead cap space.

I’m not saying Karlsson can’t or won’t be traded, only that his contract won’t be easy to move. I think Grier will want to retain as little of that big cap hit as possible.


TORONTO SUN: With Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin sidelined until at least February by a cervical spine injury, Terry Koshan believes GM Kyle Dubas should determine what’s available in the trade market regarding veteran blueliners.

THE JEFF MAREK SHOW (stick tap to “NHL Watcher”): Marek suggested Anaheim Ducks rearguards John Klingberg and Kevin Shattenkirk as trade options to replace Muzzin. Elliotte Friedman disagreed as he doesn’t believe they’re the type of defenders the Leafs need.

Friedman also noted the Leafs have been tied to Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun. However, he expressed concern over Chychrun’s injury history and the Coyotes’ high asking price.

THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel suggested pending UFAs such as the Washington Capitals Dmitry Orlov, the Ottawa Senators’ Artem Zub and the New York Islanders Scott Mayfield. He also mentioned the Chicago Blackhawks’ Connor Murphy, who has three more seasons left on his contract with an AAV of $4.4 million. However, he wondered if it could cost them a defenseman like Timothy Liljegren or Rasmus Sandin or perhaps forward Nick Robertson in order to get a serious return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koshan and The Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk reported Dubas intends to see if Liljegren and Sandin can elevate their play before going the trade route. They’ve managed to make do with Muzzin missing most of this season thus far. T.J. Brodie is also sidelined but he’s expected to be out for just a couple of weeks.

Dubas won’t go shopping for help as long as the Leafs can keep their heads above water while Muzzin is sidelined. If the blueliner is ruled out for the remainder of the regular season during his February re-evaluation, the Leafs GM will keep him on long-term injury reserve and probably use the cap relief to bring in a rental defenseman. The trade market will likely contain better options by that point.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 28, 2022

Could the Canucks’ struggles lead to Bo Horvat getting traded at some point this season? Are the Sharks ready to become sellers in this season’s trade market? Are the Sabres shopping for blueline help? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE SCORE: With the Canucks stumbling from the gate and showing little sign of improvement, Josh Wegman weighed in on the factors behind their struggles. He also believes management has a major decision to make regarding captain Bo Horvat.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

The 27-year-old two-way center is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Wegman believes the Canucks will have to shop Horvat by the trade deadline if they haven’t signed him to a contract extension by then, assuming they haven’t reversed their fortunes at that point.

TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos wondered why the Canucks spent the majority of the offseason attempting to move J.T. Miller only to sign him before Horvat. He claims the consistent message he heard was the Canucks captain rejected a low-ball offer that wasn’t close to what other comparable centers are making.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Almost all the talk out of Vancouver during the summer was the expectation that Horvat would be re-signed sooner or later. However, there’s since been some talk of the Canucks shopping him if an agreement isn’t reached before the March 3 trade deadline. That chatter could start to increase if the Canucks haven’t dug themselves out of the hole they find themselves in over the coming weeks.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports what he’s heard from other teams around the league is the San Jose Sharks have let it be known they’re willing to listen to offers for pretty much everyone on their roster except perhaps for Tomas Hertl.

LeBrun indicated it’s going to be difficult for first-year general manager Mike Grier to make the changes he wants with the roster full of players like Erik Karlsson carrying full no-movement clauses. However, that’s the route he wants to go over the next couple of seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks have won just three of their first 10 games. Unless they reverse that skid soon their playoff hopes will be dashed by Christmas, setting them up to be sellers in the New Year.

Karlsson, Hertl and Marc-Edouard Vlasic are the three Sharks with full no-movement clauses while Logan Couture has a three-team trade list. They also carry hefty salaries for the next several years, making them difficult to move even without no-trade protection.

Grier will have better luck shopping pending UFAs like James Reimer and Nick Bonino. They have modified no-trade clauses but also carry affordable cap hits, making them easier to peddle to playoff contenders before the trade deadline.

Winger Timo Meier will draw plenty of interest if Grier is listening to offers. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and will be a year away from UFA eligibility in July. While he’s off to a slow start to this season, the 26-year-old netted a career-best 35 goals and 76 points last season. He could become the Sharks’ best trade chip if they’re unable to agree to a long-term contract.


WGR550: Paul Hamilton reports Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams is looking around for some blueline depth after confirmed defenseman Mattias Samuelsson will be sidelined for several weeks with a knee injury. He also indicated Henri Jokiharju is week-to-week after fracturing a bone under his nose.

Adams said he’s looking at all options across the league. However, he doesn’t want to make a move based on reactions or emotions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps he’ll give the Carolina Hurricanes a call? They’re trying to move Ethan Bear and the Sabres have more than enough cap space to take on his $2.2 million cap hit for this season.