NHL Rumors: William Karlsson, Ducks, Devils, More

In today’s rumor rundown, there is news about the status of contract negotiations between the Vegas Golden Knights and William Karlsson, there is speculation the New Jersey Devils will be sellers at the deadline and there is bound to be a massive change coming to the Anaheim Ducks.

Golden Knights Not Rushing to Sign Karlsson

In the face of rumors that offer sheets might exist in the NHL marketplace this summer, one team isn’t worried. The Vegas Golden Knights have superstar William Karlsson on their roster, but despite the value he’d have around the league and potential for him to be worth an offer sheet, in an appearance on Fox Sports Las Vegas (audio link), GM George McPhee indicated that there is no push to get a deal done with his top pivot.

William Karlsson - Vegas Golden Knights
William Karlsson – Vegas Golden Knights

McPhee said that both the Golden Knights and Karlsson’s camp came into the season looking for clarity on what kind of player Karlsson really is. He signed a one-year, $5.25 million deal last summer following a breakout year that saw him collect 78 points, but there were questions as to whether or not he could repeat that production. Right now, he’s on pace for about 52 points.

Rightfully so, McPhee and the organization are going to take a slower approach to contract negotiations with Karlsson and aren’t worried about an offer sheet when players like Matthews and Marner are out there getting more attention.

Related: NHL Rumors: Schenn, Bobrovsky, Canadiens and More

Devils Will Be Sellers

The question in New Jersey these days is whether or not their step back from last year’s fantastic season is an indication for GM Ray Shero that the team should be active sellers at this year’s deadline or stay the course.

Ray Shero - Devils
GM Ray Shero addresses the media at the New Jersey Devils 2017 Development Camp. (Photo Credit: New Jersey Devils/Patrick Dodson)

During a radio segment on TSN 1290 in Winnipeg, Darren Dreger stated that he feels the team will opt to be sellers are ready to move out several pieces. Dreger says players like Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri and Sami Vatanen are likely untouchables, but someone like Keith Kinkaid, Corey Schneider, Marcus Johansson, Brian Boyle, and Ben Lovejoy could be moved.

So too, the team might consider moving long-time leaders Andy Greene and Travis Zajac.

Related: NHL Rumors: Bobrovsky, Simmonds, Matthews, More

Changes Coming in Anaheim

The Anaheim Ducks are in the middle of a free fall down the NHL standings. Losers of 10 in a row, The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek wrote on Friday that the team sees this is a “critical time” because, despite the returns of some power players to their lineup, they’re still losing games.

Jakob Silfverberg Ducks
Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks, Oct. 24, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

With a roster that, on paper, should be better than it is, the blame has shifted towards coaching, namely head coach, Randy CarlyleCarlyle is on his second stint with the team and in his third year, seems unable to fix the issues. Given the talent he has on his team, his inability to shift the fate of the team may just cost him his job.

Duhatschek wrote:

They need to prove that this collection of the team can get it going. Otherwise, change is coming and it could start with the valuable two-way forward, Jakob Silfverberg, available at the deadline because he is on an expiring contract and the Ducks are deep on the right side.

source – ‘Duhatschek Notebook: Tempering trade deadline expectations, California struggles and a Rick Nash appreciation’ – Eric Duhatschek – The Athletic – 01/11/2019

At the very least, Anaheim has to be considered a “seller” at the deadline and GM Bob Murray will need to consider moving impending free agent Jakob Silfverberg, as well as move depth pieces from their goaltending and prospect pool.

The steps in Anaheim appear to be to first try to immediately turn things around. If that can’t be done, fire Carlyle and then start making trades.

Related: NHL Rumor Shootdown: Auston Matthews Offer Sheet

Sharks Won’t Move a Defenseman

There is some speculation that the San Jose Sharks are going to be players in the rental market at this year’s deadline and that a defenseman might be used to pick up a decent piece. Kevin Kurz suggests that assumption may be premature.

He writes: “Everyone seems to be in such a rush to trade one of the Sharks’ eight defensemen. I’d pump the breaks a bit on that. Teams typically need 8-9 d-men to make a long run, and Sharks are set up well for that. And scoring is not an issue at the moment.”