NHL Rumors: Karlsson, Duclair, Maroon, More

In today’s rumor rundown the focus is on how the imminent trade to move Erik Karlsson is, all of a sudden, no longer imminent. There’s also news on how the Anthony Duclair contract in Columbus came to be, why Patrick Maroon has still gone unsigned and what the Calgary Flames intend to do with one of their new acquisitions.

Karlsson Trade on Hold

When the insider who reported the Erik Karlsson trade as all but done comes out and says,“Regardless of how this plays out. What I was told and reported, has not happened. That’s 100% on me… Sincere apologies to everyone.”, that means talks have slowed or the concrete information that led to his earlier statement was not all that concrete. Either way, the trade that was supposed to send the Ottawa Senators defenseman to Tampa appears isn’t anywhere close to being imminent.

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

While the teams who were rumored to be in on trading for Karlsson still seem to be in talks with the Senators, insiders are starting to think things could take longer than anyone expected. Some, like the Athletic’s Joe Smith, are no longer optimistic about a deal getting done. Smith writes that nothing is “imminent or close” and suggests that while a trade could still work out between Ottawa and Tampa, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion.

If nothing else, this opens the door back up for other teams but it sounds like trade offers will need to get better. Speculation is that Dallas not including blue-line prospect Miro Heiskanen has taken the Stars out of the conversation, for now, but Sportsnet’s John Shannon believes that the Stars are not out of it for good. If Dallas can adjust their offer more to the liking of the Senators, they’re still very much a team that could end up with Karlsson when all is said and done.

What most are suggesting is now holding up any trade is the insistence Bobby Ryan’s $7.25MM cap hit over four years be part of the trade. Teams interested in Karlsson would give a lot of assets for just Karlsson but everything changes when you’re asking the team to take on Ryan as well. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports that a trade could take a long time if the Sens won’t move Karlsson without taking Ryan off the table.

It sounds like the Senators have dug in because all of the teams who had an interest are trying to squeeze the best deal out of Ottawa and the Sens aren’t happy about it. Ottawa intends to make whatever team eventually land Karlsson come up to where they want them and the Sens aren’t budging yet.

Related: NHL Rumors: Karlsson, Weber, Parayko, More

Anthony Duclair Took a Discount to Sign in Columbus

One of the names that took some time to come off the free agent board was Anthony Duclair and that surprised some people. While he’s struggled since his time with the Coyotes, Duclair was still considered a young player with tons of upside and speed to burn. There were many teams interested but a deal just wasn’t coming together, mostly because teams were hesitant to offer him a one-way deal.

Anthony Duclair Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks left wing Anthony Duclair (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

Recently, Duclair signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets at a league minimum salary of $650,000. While it has to be noted that Duclair’s camp wanting a one-way deal might have limited his options, a report is coming out that he did so for the opportunity to play under coach John Tortorella. That same report is suggesting Vincent Lecavalier was actually the one who told Duclair if he worked hard and competed, Tortorella would play him a lot. If he didn’t, he’d rarely see the ice. It was the idea things were in his own control based on the effort made that Duclair realized he could get the best possible showcase in Columbus.

Duclair’s agent, Phillipe Lecavalier, told Aaron Portzline of The Athletic:

Duclair had interest from 10-12 organizations and serious offers from five or six teams. Philippe Lecavalier wouldn’t say how many were one-way offers, but NHL sources told The Athletic that Duclair turned down more money from at least one other NHL club. The term and the money, Philippe Lecavalier said, were secondary in the process.“I thought he should go to the best situation, hockey-wise,” the agent said, “not necessarily the best offer.”

source “Why Anthony Duclair settled for the NHL minimum and joined the Blue Jackets” – Aaron Portzline ofThe Athletic – 07/06/2018

This will be the type of gamble that could pay off well for Duclair or one that really hurts his chances of a prolonged career in the NHL. That said, plenty of players have seen resurgences in Columbus under Tortorella.

Related: NHL Rumors: Pacioretty, Duchene, Lehtonen, More

Patrick Maroon Considering St. Louis

Jeremy Rutherford is reporting the St. Louis Blues are making a push to sign free agent Patrick Maroon. They were one of the teams rumored to be in it from the start and insiders felt Maroon had St. Louis on their radar because it was his hometown but it appears nothing is close on that front as Maroon is being patient and waiting for the money he was seeking at the start of free agency.

Long-Term for Elias Lindholm?

Pat Steinberg is reporting Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving said they hope the team can work out a long-term deal with restricted free agent Elias Lindholm. He also noted Treliving thinks both sides are open to the idea.