In today’s rumor rundown a report out of Montreal seems to suggest the Canadiens are unwilling to talk extension with forward Max Pacioretty, the Dallas Stars are once again in on Erik Karlsson, and Andreas Athanasiou and Nikolay Goldobin should be added to the trade-watch board.
Pacioretty Trade Inevitable
Recent reports have suggested the Montreal Canadiens were looking at extending the contract of forward Max Pacioretty after trade options were falling through. It appears those reports may have been inaccurate. Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic reports he was directly told the Canadiens will not negotiate a new contract with Pacioretty, and in fact intend to work out a trade “as soon as possible.” This news is something Godin says has been communicated to Pacioretty himself and that because the winger has no trade protection, there’s not much he can do to stop a trade from happening.
The report reads:
“But the new element in this story appears to be the refusal to even negotiate that has been communicated to Pacioretty… So we seem to have reached a point of no return in the relationship between the Canadiens and their captain of the last three seasons.”
Source: The Canadiens have told Max Pacioretty they will not negotiate a contract extension – Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic – 07/10/2018
Jimmy Murphy reports that the Pittsburgh Penguins will have renewed interest in Pacioretty as a result of this news but that Phil Kessel would need to be included in the trade.
Athanasiou Still Trade Bait
Unlike last summer, the Detroit Red Wings got a deal done with Andreas Athanasiou fairly quickly. Also unlike last summer, it appears the Red Wings would be willing to trade Athanasiou if the right deal presented itself. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press believes there is still a chance the team could trade the winger who has struggled considerably in the defensive zone.
With a price tag of $3MM for two years, St. James suggests that teams may see this contract as an attractive asset to land something that would offer better overall help for the team.
Dallas Once Again Karlsson Frontrunners?
While reports of Tampa Bay being still in the running for Erik Karlsson exist, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that Dallas has now re-emerged as the likeliest destination for the star defenseman.
Insiders believe the Nikita Kucherov signing was not an indication of Tampa’s change of direction but that the team always knew fitting in another contract was going to be difficult. The Stars interest in Karlsson has never wavered but they do not want to move Miro Heiskanen to make the deal possible. With the comments made by Steve Yzerman recently, maybe Dallas won’t have to.
Joe Smith of The Athletic reports:
Yzerman said the timing of the Kucherov extension was unrelated to any other moves he had in mind. Without mentioning Karlsson’s name, he said any report a deal was close or imminent was “very inaccurate… if you look at our commitments, if we were to bring on a significant contract, we would have to make the money work, so to speak.”
source “Nikita Kucherov deal doesn’t preclude Lightning from Karlsson sweepstakes” – Joe Smith – The Athletic – 07/10/2018
What Yzerman says is accurate in that the Lightning could let names like Braydon Coburn, Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi just walk away while trading Ryan Callahan and Tyler Johnson by how many changes are the Lightning wanting to make for one player. They also have to consider new contracts for Brayden Point and Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Vancouver Shopping Nikolay Goldobin
The Vancouver Canucks may be shopping Nikolay Goldobin.
Last season, Goldobin split the season between Vancouver and their AHL affiliate in Utica all while productive in the minors, and not terrible in the pros, he hasn’t translated that success into sustained production at the NHL level. Because he may be slotted at the 15th or 16th spot among Vancouver forwards, and because he must go through waivers to go back to the minors, he could be moved.
His production (while not great) and his age make him a potentially attractive waiver claim and as a result, the Canucks may feel draft picks are a better option. He could be a home run pick up for a club if he can turn his flashes of top-six potential into something consistent.
Chris Kunitz Chose Winning Over Money
Chris Nichols of Nichols on Hockey caused a bit of a stir in Western Canada when he had Chris Kunitz’s agent, Ben Hankinson on his KFAN in Minneapolis/St. Paul show and was talking about the veteran winger who recently signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. When asked about Kunitz’s decision process and why he went to Chicago, Hankinson said Kunitz happily took less money to play for a contender.
He added, “He had a team offer him a great deal this summer… it’s a team in Canada out West that wanted to sign him that’s been a good team off and on. They’ve gone through their struggles. But he’s like, ‘No, I don’t like their defensemen. They’re never going to win with those defensemen.’
It was assumed that the team he was referring to might have been the Edmonton Oilers but there was no indication of as much. What is interesting is that Chicago, a team who missed the playoffs last season, was considered a contender in Kunitz’s eyes.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”