NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canucks, Sharks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are questions about what the Toronto Maple Leafs will do if and when they finally get Rasmus Sandin signed to a new deal. It is believed the Vancouver Canucks will sign Bo Horvat, but then what?

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Where will they get the money to upgrade their defense? Finally, has Erik Karlsson asked to be traded from the San Jose Sharks?

Maple Leafs Don’t Need to Make a Trade

Per Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, the Maple Leafs don’t need to move out salary while Sandin remains unsigned. And, depending on the cost he comes in at — Sandin has little leverage and it may be best for him to take a one-year deal – the team could keep Justin Holl and roll out 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

Justin Holl Toronto Maple Leafs
Justin Holl, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Siegel writes:

Another option (depending on what Sandin signs for): Place Holl on waivers and claim $1.125 million in savings if he clears. And if he doesn’t, well, problem solved still. That said, it’s hard to see Dubas waiving Holl, a well-liked personality in the dressing room who the Leafs GM found and developed.

source – ‘Maple Leafs training camp: What are the 9 biggest storylines to watch?’ – Joan Siegel – The Athletic – 09/08/2022

Related: Golden Knights News & Rumors: Hague, Stone, Brossoit & More

Siegel argues that the other option if the Maple Leafs feel a trade is best is moving Alex Kerfoot.

Can Canucks Sign Horvat and Improve Blue Line?

Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre was asked about the likelihood that the Canucks get an extension done with Bo Horvat and he said he believes the Canucks will sign him. He noted that the reality is that the jump in salary for J.T. Miller is about $2.75 million. He expects the jump for Horvat to be around $1.5 million. That means finding $4 million, which the Canucks should be able to do with just the amount of dead cap space coming off of their books.

Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks
Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

MacIntyre says the challenge is finding more money to upgrade the defense. Further to that, where will they get the funds to extend Elias Pettersson who will need a new deal in two seasons? He notes, “That feels like a long time from now, but there is going to be constant salary cap pressure along the way.”

Did Erik Karlsson Request a Trade Out of San Jose?

There have been some changes in San Jose with Brent Burns asking to be moved and subsequently shipped to Carolina. Did fellow defenseman Erik Karlsson ask to be moved as well? That question came up recently and Karlsson denied any rumors that he might have asked to leave.

Erik Karlsson San Jose Sharks
Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He explained:

“No, I committed here a long time ago. It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to early on. There’s a lot of things that probably played into that. I’m not going to get into details about that, but I am excited for the future here now. I hope we can move in the direction to be successful again. Is that going to be this year? I mean, who knows? But I do think something good can come out of here.”

Karlsson noted that one of the things he wants to do this season is to find a way to stay healthy. He’s missed time over the past few campaigns and he knows he can approach things differently. He wants to be more proactive when it comes to avoiding prolonged injury absences and that might mean taking a game off here and there to avoid big chunks to time missed towards the end of the season.