In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are updates on the potential future for Erik Karlsson, how many teams might be interested in Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker and the Edmonton Oilers have some interest in a German winger named Frederik Tiffels.
Erik Karlsson Notes
Kevin Kurz of The Athletic and covering the San Jose Sharks says Erik Karlsson didn’t really give any hints about his future when talking to the press after the Sharks season came to a close. Karlsson said that he “hasn’t really thought” about his future.
That doesn’t mean others haven’t taken to trying to figure out what Karlsson’s next steps will be. Elliotte Friedman believes that Karlsson is considering having surgery for his injury. Speculation is that it’s his groin.
From there, Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News says Karlsson seems open to the idea of returning to San Jose. That said, he does admit that the lure of unrestricted free agency might be appealing as Karlsson has spent a decade waiting for an opportunity to test the market.
@Prospects_Watch: Elliotte Freidman said on the Fan 960 that he thinks Karlsson’s first choice would be the Tampa Bay Lightning. That’s a big shuffling of deck chairs required for the Lightning though if they are interested as they have about $73 million committed to 17 players.
If it’s all about money for Karlsson, he won’t be going to Tampa Bay.
Who Wants Jason Zucker?
Michael Russo of The Athletic took a closer look at the trade talks that surround Jason Zucker. Noting there was a loud buzz about a deal between the Wild and the Penguins that would see Phil Kessel come to Minnesota, Russo says Zucker is obviously on the block.
Russo reports that the Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, and Calgary Flames have all expressed an interest in Zucker and if you go back to last season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes had discussed him as well.
At this point, Zucker has got to feel it’s a foregone conclusion that he will be traded in the next month. Those close to Zucker say that if that’s the case, his only concern is landing in a good spot because his 10-team no-trade clause doesn’t kick in until July 1.source – ‘Russo: Wild’s summer off to rocky start after Phil Kessel nixes Jason Zucker deal’ – The Athletic – Michael Russo – 05/27/2019
Zucker has four years remaining on his current deal which carries a $5.5 million cap hit per season. He scored 21 goals and 42 points in 2018-19.
Of note, the reason Kessel said no to the Minnesota Wild seems to be that he doesn’t believe they are close to contending for a Stanley Cup. GM Paul Fenton even called Kessel, but couldn’t convince him they were a top team.
Oilers Going Back To Germany to Find Gold?
The Edmonton Oilers had great luck, plucking arguably the greatest German-born player out of the prospect pool in Leon Draisaitl. They may be going back to that well.
Postmedia’s Kurt Leavins reports that Edmonton is looking to shore up their winger depth with cost-effective options. One option is German winger Frederik Tiffels who is a particularly quick skater and would fit in well with what the Oilers are trying to do.
There are some potential complications with this signing as Tiffels has two more seasons left on his contract overseas. It’s unknown if his deal has an NHL out clause.
If the Oilers do sign him, this would be their second international signing on the wing as they signed Joakim Nygard last week.
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.”