NHL Rumors: Zetterberg, Karlsson, Stone, More

In today’s rumor rundown, the NHL is looking into the validity of Henrik Zetterberg’s injury, the Ducks had serious interest in Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone called out a reporter for what he called a false report and the Blue Jackets are fielding calls but have no desire to trade Artemi Panarin.

NHL To Look Into Zetterberg’s Situation

It’s not to say that the NHL doesn’t believe Henrik’s Zetterberg’s injury situation is legitimate, but any time there is an injury that forces a player into early retirement and that player happens to have a contract that has two final years on a long-term deal where the remaining seasons are paid out at a much lower rate than the others, the NHL has to cross their T’s and dot their I’s. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Craig Custance of The Athletic, the NHL is looking into Zetterberg’s situation just to cover itself from any possible blowback.

The NHL did the same things with Joffrey Lupul and Marian Hossa and this simply a matter of formality for the Red Wings who shouldn’t be concerned. As long as the NHL’s independent doctor reaches the same conclusion the team doctor did, the team will face no penalties.

Henrik Zetterberg Red Wings
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings, December 20, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Daly said:

“We don’t question it by any means. We know he’s been suffering and it’s been a significant issue for a number of years going back to the Olympics. He couldn’t even participate in the Olympics. You know it had to be a serious injury. I have no doubt to the bona fides of the situation. But will we (investigate) to make sure we check the boxes? Probably.”

source – “Custance: NHL satisfied there was no ‘precooked deal’ on Zetterberg but cap recapture remains a threat to others” – Craig Custance- The Athletic – 09/18/2018

Daly also said the league looked into Zetterberg’s contract when it was first signed to ensure it abided by the salary cap circumvention rules at the time and the league found no fault in the deal. He actually said it was Zetterberg and not the team who suggested adding the extra two years.

It looks like there won’t be any penalties assessed to the Red Wings, but Zetterberg can’t formally retire until his contract comes to an end.

Related: NHL Rumors: Theodore, Wood, Maple Leafs Offer Sheets

Ducks Nearly Acquired Erik Karlsson?

After a summer of drama, it was the San Jose Sharks who ultimately landed defenseman Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators. That said, Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register is reporting that Ducks GM Bob Murray acknowledged the Ducks had discussed a similar package of players.  Murray said the only reason Anaheim didn’t stay in the conversation is that they knew they would have trouble signing Karlsson to a contract extension.

Erik Karlsson #65, Ottawa Senators
Erik Karlsson #65, Ottawa Senators – February 3, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Murray said, “I was more than capable of giving him what he got. But, if you can’t afford a person, why are you going to do that?” Murray was right in that the Ducks already had over $69MM committed to just 14 players for 2019-20.  The salary cap could go up and the Ducks still would have had trouble making an $11 million salary fit without first moving a big piece of their roster.

That news is quite interesting considering Anaheim was never a team rumored to be in serious consideration for Karlsson when the rumors were hot and heavy.

In regards to a possible contract extension with the Sharks, Pierre LeBrun reported a clause in the CBA means Karlsson can’t sign an extension with the Sharks until February 25, 2019, if he wants the full eight-years on an extension. The rule often goes so unnoticed that Daly had to send a reminder memo to the 31 NHL teams with clarification about how the structure of those types of extensions worked.

Related: NHL Rumors: Panarin, Karlsson, More Possible Trades

Stone Denies Wanting Out of Ottawa

Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun reports Senators winger Mark Stone was upset over speculation by TVA Sports’ Louis Jean that Stone was looking to leave the Senators. Jean said, “What I’ve been told is Mark Stone does not want to be in Ottawa anymore… He is frustrated because he sees the direction the club is going. The team is not able to retain their good players.”

Mark Stone- Ottawa Senators
Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators, Nov. 15, 2016 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Stone immediately dismissed the report and claimed he’d never heard of Jean so he had no idea where he would get such false information. Stone insisted he loved it in Ottawa and hopes to continue playing with the Senators.

Speculation will continue to run throughout the season when it comes to Stone’s future in Ottawa. He signed a one-year deal which will give rise to the idea of him being traded before the deadline if the Senators are having a rough season.

Related: NHL Rumors: Nurse, Rask, Nash, More

Blue Jackets Do Not Want to Trade Panarin

Darren Dreger of TSN said the Columbus Blue Jackets are still fielding offers for Artemi Panarin but the team absolutely does not want to trade him. If possible, GM Jarmo Kekalainen is trying to convince Panarin to re-sign, as he is Sergei Bobrovsky but things aren’t looking positive in Columbus.