In today’s NHL rumors rundown, are the San Jose Sharks looking to trade defenseman Erik Karlsson? Should they be, it won’t be the easiest trade to make. Meanwhile, are the New Jersey Devils looking at Kevin Fiala in free agency?
There is injury update news on goaltender Darcy Kuemper and did forward Mark Scheifele officially ask the Winnipeg Jets for a trade after he came out last week and hinted he might want to move on?
Preliminary Karlsson Trade Talks
As per Elliotte Friedman, some very preliminary trade talks during the season involving Erik Karlsson and a couple of teams took place. Friedman said, however, that he doesn’t think the veteran blueliner will go anywhere and that the Sharks are merely exploring their options.
Friedman suggests the Sharks might be wondering if the combination of Brent Burns and Karlsson has meshed as well as the Sharks would have hoped and it is possible that in a tight salary cap world, moving one of them might be an option. If the opportunity comes where the Sharks can get something they like, this is a storyline worth watching.
Karlsson has a $10 million signing bonus this year, which means if someone trades for him after July 1st, they’ll get him next season for $2 million. Then the next two year’s signing bonuses are only $1 million so he becomes an affordable option until the cap is expected to jump back up. He does have a no-move clause worked into his contract.
Darcy Kuemper is Possible for Game 4
After taking a high stick from Ryan Johansson in Game 3 versus the Nashville Predators, goaltender Darcy Kuemper is possible for Game 4 but not a guarantee. Johansson’s stick accidentally got through Keumper’ss mask and into the right eye area. It was said to be a not too serious injury but the swelling around his eye is what might keep him out.
The Avalanche have a commanding 3-0 lead in that series but Kuemper out for any length of time would be a huge loss for the Avs.
Scheifele Did Not Ask for a Trade
Last week, forward Mark Scheifele made some curious comments when he said he needed to have a tough talk with the Jets organization about his future. He left it rather open-ended as to whether he would want to keep moving forward with the team, based mostly on knowing what direction the franchise was headed.
Friedman reports the two sides did sit down and Scheifele has not asked for a trade. This doesn’t mean he won’t be traded or that he may not eventually ask for a move, only that he didn’t ask when the two sides sat down for their initial end-of-season meeting.
This is good news for the Jets as it seems to suggest that Scheifele is at least willing to give the Jets a chance to improve the roster and hasn’t just given up.
Kevin Fiala on Devils’ Radar
After saying the Devils might be open to moving their first-round draft pick this summer, insiders are connecting the dots and pairing Kevin Fiala with the organization. Jeff Marek suggests that GM Tom Fitzgerald might like the idea of pairing Fiala with Nico Hischier and the Devils certainly have the cap space while the Minnesota Wild probably do not.
One of the intriguing things Marek suggested was that an offer sheet might come into play with Fiala. If the Wild can’t afford to keep the 85-point forward anyways, an offer sheet might be a quick way to get him out of there with the Wild getting a good return.
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.”