In today’s rumor rundown, The New York Rangers might be looking at moving one of the “extra” centers they employ, the Oilers have called Ottawa about Erik Karlsson but the ask is huge, the Maple Leafs and one of their young core haven’t started discussions about an extension, and a few other notes from around the NHL take precedence.
With a lot going on and only a few days until the NHL Entry Draft, here are your biggest rumors for June 18, 2018.
Rangers Getting Calls on Kevin Hayes
Unlike most teams, the New York Rangers have almost too many good centers. A team that has told their fans they intend to rebuild, they are also a team that employs pivots Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ryan Spooner, Boo Nieves and Brett Howden. Obviously, the Rangers can’t put everyone at center so some will be moved to the wing, but this also opens up the potential for a trade, speeding up the rebuild which is something many believe the Rangers want to do.
Larry Brooks of the NY Post is reporting that Rangers forward Kevin Hayes is getting some trade interest and could be one of those centers who finds a new home before the NHL Entry Draft. Because the Rangers want to move up from their No. 9 spot in the draft, it could take Hayes to do it. Brooks says the team has talked to the Hurricanes about the No. 2 pick, but Hayes with the No. 9 selection won’t be enough.
If not for a higher pick, there is also speculation the Rangers try to move Hayes for a right-handed defenseman. Targets could be Jacob Trouba out of Winnipeg or Dougie Hamilton from Calgary. Should Hayes not be the player moving, Spooner also has a few teams interested.
Don’t Count on Draisaitl Trade
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal has reported the Edmonton Oilers have called the Senators about defenseman Erik Karlsson. As expected, the ask from the Senators is huge with most people thinking Leon Draisaitl would have to be included in the deal. Matheson says not to expect the Oilers to even consider doing so. He adds, there’s no way Edmonton would trade Draisaitl, who the team signed to an eight-year, $68MM contract a year ago. He’s only 21 years old has 54 goals and 147 points in the past two seasons.
Others have said it’s not necessarily about Draisaitl being better or more valuable than Karlsson but that the Senators wouldn’t target the German center because of the money he’s owed. Instead of a one-for-one deal, the Sens are looking to add multiple pieces. This means, the Oilers No. 10 pick in the draft plus either Oscar Klefbom or Darnell Nurse plus something else.
The only way the trade wouldn’t include a ton coming back from Edmonton is if they agreed to take on Bobby Ryan’s contract which sits at a $7.25 million cap hit for multiple years.
No Discussion on Marner Deal
TSN reported last week that there could be a sticking situation in Toronto regarding Mitch Marner’s contract and the Maple Leafs forking over the value Marner’s side believes he’s worth. Kevin McGran of The Star interviewed Mitch Marner who said the two sides haven’t even started discussions. “Nothing has been said yet, but nothing you can do,” said Marner. “If nothing happens, you still have a year to play under your rookie contract. Just go out there and try to prove you can make the team better.”
Marner will be eligible for a contract extension on July 1.
- Andy Graziano of WFan Sports Radio is reporting the Islanders have the No. 11 and No. 12 picks in the first-round of the draft and may put one of those picks in play to a team looking to move up or down. The Islanders are looking to add a defenseman and a second goaltender.
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that Senators UFA Chris Wideman would like to stay in Ottawa but the team hasn’t made him a priority and doesn’t know what will come of his future.
- Jay Zawaski is reporting that the Blackhawks have made trading Marian Hossa‘s contract this offseason a “priority”.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal has said the Stars might put right-handed defenseman Julius Honka on the trade market due to an excess at that position.
- Jimmy Murphy is noting the Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche have shown serious interest in Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin.
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.”