NHL Rumors: Subban, Karlsson, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are updates on the Nashville Predators and a number of their players, the Toronto Maple Leafs and what they’ll do now, plus the Vegas Golden Knights who have to improve their blue line.

Predators Quick Hits

John Glennon of The Athletic is writing that Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis wouldn’t comment on whether he will need another knee procedure or not. “I think we will be releasing stuff on health matters later,” said coach Peter Laviolette when asked for his comments.

Ryan Ellis (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Fans will be eager to know the status of Ellis as he was often harped on during the series with the Dallas Stars for not being as effective as some expect of the solid blueliner. If he was severely injured, it would offer an explanation.

Thomas Willis, the Digital Manager & Producer @PredsNHL added a couple of other notes about the team. First, he said that the Nashville Predators GM David Poile said they have every intention of re-signing Rocco Grimaldi. Second, he said pending UFA forward Brian Boyle said he’d be interested in re-signing with the Predators.

Brooks Bratten writes that pending UFA forward Wayne Simmonds, who played in only two games for Nashville in this year’s playoffs, was not a factor. He said he wished he could have helped but also said he hasn’t thought much about free agency and next season.

On P.K. Subban Trade Rumors

Glennon spoke with Subban about the possibility of him being traded out of Nashville considering the team has admitted that it will make some changes. Subban answered:

“I can’t think of anything in a negative way about this organization or city or my transition here that would want me to play anywhere else. But at the same token, if I’m talking facts, I’m the highest-paid player on this team, and with that comes a responsibility.”

Subban said it was up to him to help this team get out of the first round of the playoffs and he didn’t do that. He understands the business of the NHL, he believes the Predators deserve the best team they can put on the ice and all he can hope is that he’s part of the solution and that he can help the Predators win a championship.

Related: NHL Rumors: Babcock, McCrimmon, Sabres, More

Maple Leafs Dilemma

Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun notes the difficulty Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas faces with his free agents while carrying limited salary-cap space. He believes there’s no way the Leafs can sign all of Mitch Marner, Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen.

Zach Hyman, Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner, John Tavares
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman, Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Koshan writes:

The Leafs, as it stands now, have used approximately $75 million of that on existing contracts… That leaves roughly $8 million for restricted free agent Mitch Marner, who will be looking for much more. Count on Marner seeking Auston Matthews money once Dubas and agent Darren Ferris sit down to start serious negotiations (with the Leafs’ elimination fresh, that has not happened yet).

source- ‘Ability of Dubas to deke through potential salary-cap issues key in Leafs’ off-season’ – The Toronto Sun – Terry Koshan – 04/24/2019

Koshan adds that Dubas needs to try and find a way to shed the team of Patrick Marleau’s contract, get Nikita Ziatsev off the books and make a decision on Nazem Kadri who many believe might be a trade candidate with his selfish play in the post-season that saw him sit out the remainder of the series.

Related: NHL Rumors: Mikheyev, Zuccarello, Jets, More

Golden Knights Need Solid Defenseman

Greg Wyshynski and Chris Peters of ESPN both believe the recently-eliminated Vegas Golden Knights need to make changes to the roster after being eliminated from the playoffs in round one this year. Their target should be a foundational defenseman.

San Jose Sharks Erik Karlsson
San Jose Sharks Erik Karlsson (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

There was previous interest in Erik Karlsson and the Golden Knights certainly got a close look at him in this past series but they would need to make some roster changes to find the cap room to add him. Considering the team needs to re-sign center William Karlsson, that could mean trading
Cody Eakin ($3.875 million), Ryan Reaves ($2.775 million) and Nick Holden ($2.2 million). 

You may not get an argument from some fans on Eakin who’s five-minute major played a significant role in the Golden Knights being booted in Game 7.