NHL Rumors: Simmonds, Panarin, Tkachuk, More

In today’s rumor rundown, the Flyers are realizing what it might take to keep Wayne Simmonds, some teams interested in Artemi Panarin might be presenting themselves and the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning might be looking to make more moves.

Flyers Realizing the Status With Simmonds

Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post noted that while the Philadelphia Flyers have openly discussed their desire to re-sign forward Wayne Simmonds, they are starting to realize they may not be able to afford him. Entering the final year of his contract, the price for 30-goal scorers is high. In respect to being able to retain Simmonds, general manager Ron Hextall said, “Whether we can or not, I don’t have the answer to that.” He added, “Long-term, we’ll find out in the future whether we get something done before training camp or going into the year.”

Wayne Simmonds
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The consensus is that the Flyers are not willing to lose Simmonds for nothing, a trade market exists and the Flyers may choose to take advantage of it. A deal would come sometime around the trade deadline however and not in the summer.

Isaac also added the Flyers are close to getting a two-year deal with restricted free agent defenseman Robert Hagg done. He added that once the Flyers get that deal signed, they are not expected to sign any other players before training camp.  Even though eyes are on Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny, the Flyers are not in a hurry to sign those contracts. Hextall said, “We’ll continue to talk about it and evaluate it and see where it goes. When a guy’s a year out there’s no rush.” He added that the Flyers know they have player control in both cases so if the team can’t get them signed right away, it’s not a huge deal.

Related: NHL Rumors: Lucic, Pacioretty, Hayes, More

Possible Teams for Panarin

Rob Mixer of Sporting News started speculating as to some of the teams that might have interest in Columbus Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin. Since the Blue Jackets are not a big-budget team and won’t lose him for no return, speculation is the franchise has been talking to other teams about a trade. Mixer says the teams that may be interested in Panarin — as either a rental or long-term solution — are the Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings.

Artemi Panarin, Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blackhawks moved Panarin in the midst of cap issues. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

For the Leafs, the odds are not good but there’s a longshot they would consider him as a rental. That would only be the case if they didn’t have to give up any good young forwards. For the Sharks, the odds are better as the team might be willing to give up a number of assets to acquire Panarin, especially on a long-term deal. The Sharks have some strong young forwards that could help Columbus now and future prospects that could help later. The Panthers have prospects that might be enticing, namely Henrik Borgstrom and the Kings would have to send salary the other way, making it more a player for player type deal.

Related: NHL Rumors: Provorov, Faulk, Neal, More

Tampa Looking for a Right-hand Defenseman?

If the Lightning are no longer in on Erik Karlsson they may look at other options to bolster their blue line, especially a right-handed defenseman since their big-name stars on defense are lefties.

Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba
Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports)

Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh and Mikhail Sergachev are all left-handed, leaving Anton Stralman, Jake Dotchin and Dan Girardi on the right, which isn’t nearly as solid. In a mailbag segment, The Athletic’s Joe Smith suggests:

I still think the Lightning could, and should, continue their search for another right-shot defenseman. They’re pretty stacked on the left-side for the coming years with Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev and McDonagh, though Sergachev showed he could play regularly on the right. Tampa Bay will no doubt monitor the Jacob Trouba situation in Winnipeg, with the right-shot defenseman recently settling for a one-year, $5.5 million deal in arbitration.

source, “Lightning mailbag: How will a healthy summer impact Steven Stamkos?” – Joe Smith – The Athletic – July 27, 2018

Smith also suggests the Lighting might look at Justin Faulk out of Carolina or Christopher Tanev out of Vancouver.

Dallas Stars Still Looking at Moves

Mark Stepneski of NHL.com wrote Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill said discussions with teams are ongoing and moves are still possible. “I can’t name things, but there is still lots out there,” Nill said. He added, “I can’t say there is anything happening overnight, but there is a lot of dialogue still.”

Erik Karlsson #65, Ottawa Senators
Erik Karlsson #65, Ottawa Senators – February 3, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While Nill won’t be able to publicly comment on which teams and for which players conversations are taking place, part of the discussion might be about Erik Karlsson, who the Stars were rumored to be in heavily on. Things have been rumored to have died down on the Karlsson front but Nill’s suggestion the teams are still talking might mean the Stars are checking in from time to time.

The biggest hurdle in any Ottawa and Dallas deal is the rumor Ottawa wants top prospect Miro Heiskanen as part of the deal.

Brady Tkachuk Announcement to Come Inside of Two Weeks

It is being reported Brady Tkachuk will announce whether he will return to Boston University for his sophomore season or sign with the Ottawa Senators by August 12. The No. 4 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, said he first wants to concentrate on the World Junior Summer Showcase. Tkachuk said. “I want to make an impact wherever I go and be able to contribute and play my best.” He feels he has two great options but doesn’t want to underproduce.