NHL Rumors: Karlsson, Gardiner, Williams, Flyers More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are questions surrounding Erik Karlsson out of San Jose, news on Jake Gardiner out of Toronto and questions about Justin Williams future in the NHL. Is Nashville going to land a college prospect and will the New York Rangers needs a new President?

What Will Happen With Karlsson?

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet is reporting that if defenseman Erik Karlsson doesn’t re-sign with the San Jose Sharks, there is talk he could be looking for a seven-year contract extension around $12 million per season with another team.

Erik Karlsson
San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson (65) Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

There is no report as to what exactly Karlsson is expecting from the Sharks but it has to be assumed that the number is quite different. Johnston didn’t go into detail about how any negotiations with the Sharks were going at this point but there has been speculation Karlsson is not totally sold on staying put.

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Jake Gardiner Wants To Get Paid

Despite injury issues, the reality of Jake Gardiner’s situation in Toronto is that the Maple Leafs likely cannot afford to keep the offensively-gifted defenseman. Johnston also notes that Gardiner could be looking for a long-term deal in the $6.5 million range and if so, that’s probably too rich for the Maple Leafs.

Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He’s been dealing with a disc issue in his back that could worry some of the potential suitors who might have otherwise been interested. A long-term deal at more than $6 million per season will be seen as a massive gamble for some if Gardiner’s back issues persist.

Related: NHL Rumors: Skinner, Canucks, Blackhawks, More

Justin Williams: Done or Keep Going?

When Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams signed with the team in 2017, it was likely assumed he’d finish out the term of his contract and then potentially call it a career. That would have come to a close this season. Things may have potentially changed.

Justin Williams Hurricanes
Justin Williams, Carolina Hurricanes, Mar. 1, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Despite his age, he’s been a big part of the success of the Hurricanes and a central part of their top six. He admitted to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News that he likes the idea that he’s not sure what he’ll do next. He said, “At the end of the season, whenever that may be, I’ll just decompress and see where life takes me.”

If he does stay, it is expected he would only do so with the Hurricanes and at over 35 years of age, the team would probably only offer an incentive-based contract for a single season.

Related: NHL Rumors: Sturm, Crawford, Luongo, More

Flyers Going Hard For Quenneville

Dave Isaac of the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reports that the Philadelphia Flyers will once again try to bring 60-year-old Joel Quenneville as the next head coach of the team this offseason.

Issac writes that because Quenneville has another season left on his coaching deal with Chicago if the Flyers are going for it, they’ll need to pay a premium price. Otherwise, Quenneville can sit at home and make $6 million. Issac writes:

A deal with future Hall of Famer Joel Quenneville fell through in December, but the Flyers are expected to try again this offseason despite the admirable job Scott Gordon did getting them from the league’s basement to contending for a playoff spot in late March.

source – ‘In final week of season, Flyers’ focus may shift to offseason’ – Dave Isaac- Courier Post – 04/01/2019

Predators Closing in on Lukas Craggs

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that Nashville is closing in on signing winger Lukas Craggs to an entry-level deal. BGSU hockey has reported a similar outcome.

Craggs just completed his junior season with Bowling Green State University and while he’s not an offensive dynamo, he did have 25 points in 35 games this season and led the NCAA in penalty minutes with 118. There’s some bite and skill to his game.

There is no word on whether or not the Predators are willing to let him burn the first year of his entry-level deal this season.

Glen Sather Stepping Down?

Bob MacKenzie is reporting there is word Glen Sather might step down to an advisory role with the New York Rangers. If so, it would require New York to look for a new President Of Hockey Operations.