In today’s NHL rumor rundown there is an update on the status of Andre Burakovsky and the Washington Capitals, there are some quick hits on the Carolina Hurricanes and Jeff Skinner talks with the Buffalo Sabres seem to be going well. Will Erik Karlsson create free agency drama and will the Avs land a big fish over the summer?
Burakovsky Wants to Stay With Capitals
Talented but often under-producing forward Andre Burakovsky has said he’s like to stay with the Washington Capitals despite rumors the team might be trying to move him. A restricted free agent, Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post took a look at his situation.
Khurshudyan expects the Capitals will not issue a qualifying offer but will keep negotiating with Burakovsky. They’re hoping his desire not to leave the team will help them get a better deal than the $3.25 million offer they would have had to make. Burakovsky said:
I love Washington, I love my teammates, I love everyone around — everything, the organization. My goal is to stay, and hopefully, I will be able to.source – ‘To qualify or not qualify restricted free agent Andre Burakovsky, that is the Caps’ question’ – Isabelle Khurshudyan – Washington Post – 05/19/2019
Burakovsky is only 24 and has a lot of speculated upside but he recorded just 25 points in 76 games this past season. He’d had trouble finding his offense in the NHL and people are starting to wonder if he’ll ever live up to the billing that came with him as a highly-drafted player.
Hurricanes Quick Notes
The Fourth Period is reporting the Carolina Hurricanes would like to bring pending unrestricted free agent winger Justin Williams back and might offer a one-year deal.
They are also looking at buying out goaltender Scott Darling, have talked to pending UFA Micheal Ferland (who they don’t think will be back), and might be looking at a deal for RFA Sebastian Aho that is similar to Washington Capitals Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s deal of eight years at a $7.8 million cap hit.
Finally, there is some speculation the Hurricanes could revisit talks with the Toronto Maple Leafs and they had some interest in Nazem Kadri.
Skinner Talks Going Well in Buffalo
If you ask Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill, negotiations be the team and forward Jeff Skinner are going great. Botterill was on WGR 550 in Buffalo earlier this week and said:
A contract is never done until you get it signed, but our discussions with Jeff have been extremely positive. I think it’s been a relationship that has worked out very well for the Buffalo Sabres, and I think it’s a relationship that has worked out very well for Jeff.
Erik Karlsson Situation To Be Tavares-Like
Chris Johnston said on Sportsnet 960, expect the free agency situation surrounding defenseman Erik Karlsson to be “this year’s John Tavares”. Johnston figures Karlsson could garner as much attention in this year’s free-agent window as Tavares did in last year’s and it put most of free agency on hold.
Johnston doubts Karlsson will re-sign with the Sharks and suggests the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning as potential suitors.
One thing to watch is how much Karlsson’s injury history plays into what teams are willing to offer. He was speculated to get around what Drew Doughty got in LA, but injuries may worry team’s thinking about making that kind of commitment.
Avs and Free Agency
The Colorado Avalanche have a ton of room to add players in free agency, even after they sign Mikko Rantanen. According to Sportsnet’s Rory Boylen, Their targets may include, Mats Zuccarello, San Jose’s Gustav Nyquist, and the Islanders’ Anders Lee as possible UFA targets.
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.”