Insider Trading: Will the Sharks part ways with Karlsson?
The TSN Hockey Insiders discuss where the Sharks and Erik Karlsson are right now on a possible trade, the Senators going to arbitration with Alex DeBrincat, the many options between the pipes in the off-season and the Oilers focusing on bolstering their defence.
Trade Bait 1-5
Gino Reda: How about Erik Karlsson, who rounds out our top five? On the upside, he's coming off a career season that's probably going to see him win the Norris, but he comes with four more years at $11.5 million a season. Pierre, where are the Sharks and Karlsson, right now?
Pierre LeBrun: They're on the same page. That's where they are. Both sides met last week, Karlsson's reps from Newport Sports and Sharks management. They came out of that meeting saying, 'Yes, let's try to get a trade done.' Erik Karlsson wants to play for a contender and the Sharks are rebuilding and so they really have a unified vision on where this needs to go, but you mentioned the contract. Is there a team out there, that can eat enough of that deal or how much are the Sharks willing to eat? Of course, Karlsson, has a full no-move and will have the last say on if he's comfortable with a trade partner. No guarantee this deal gets done, but a few teams already kicking tires the last few days.
Chris Johnston: While in Ottawa on this day, the Senators elected for salary arbitration with Alex DeBrincat, but how that should be interpreted is basically they set the window for when they have to trade him. Any salary arbitration case comes with a one-year contract awarded and there's an understanding here that DeBrincat is most valuable as an asset if he gets a multi-year deal. And so that means they're going to have to deal him by the end of July or early August when the arbitration hearings happen. I believe they're going to put a push on here to get that deal done much, much sooner by the draft this month. There's said to be very strong interest from the smallest of teams DeBrincat and his camp provided. And right now for the Senators, it's working through those conversations and finding the best return.
Trade Bait 6-10
Reda: If you're not into a scoring winger, but would prefer maybe a D-man, how about the Hurricanes' Brett Pesce? He's going into his final year with the Canes at just over $4 million a year or little extra cash can get you Noah Hanifin with one year left with the Flames at just under $5 million. If you need a goalie, how about John Gibson? The Ducks are in a rebuild and they can certainly make Gibson available. It's kind of an unusual year on the goaltending front. They're ordinarily in short supply, but Dregs we get the sense, there's some real options out there between the pipes.
Darren Dreger: No question. There are layers of goaltenders, lots of options available. Now, it's all salary-cap related for those teams that have interest. There are a number of teams that need at least a goaltender upgrade. So are you big name hunting via a trade and looking at Connor Hellebuyck or John Gibson with the Jets and Anaheim Ducks? Are you willing to test the unrestricted free-agent market assuming Adin Hill gets there? You've got Tristan Jarry, you've got Joonas Korpisalo, you've got an experienced goalie in Cam Talbot. You want a bold move? How about offer sheet Jeremy Swayman of the Boston Bruins, although I'm fairly certain the Bruins would match that, so there are different layers and options when it comes to goaltending.
LeBrun: And you mentioned Brett Pesce, Gino, when we can back to the D market, here. Listen, if the Hurricanes have their way, they're not trading Brett Pesce, they're signing him to an extension. And those talks continue with his camp, but I think the Hurricanes are also pretty resolute that if they can't extend Brett Pesce, they will move him this summer to get max value on the asset with a year left on his contract. Among the teams, I'm told that have already reached out on Brett Pesce: the Buffalo Sabres, who have made a priority as Dregs has reported before of going out and getting a top-four D. They have interest in Pesce.
Dreger: Yeah, I think the Edmonton Oilers have interest in Pesce as well. We know that the Edmonton Oilers are one of those teams in the market also looking to add another top-four defenceman, but in Edmonton it's about loosening up the money strings and creating cap space, so this isn't going to be easy for Kenny Holland. He would like to also add a competitive forward, a bargain forward like Connor Brown. So, maybe you're looking at Cody Ceci getting moved, Warren Foegele being on the move, Kailer Yamamoto and maybe others. So the Oilers could do more than just tweak.
Reda: The Cup run was a lot of fun to watch, but could we see some of the Knights turn the on-ice success into possible nice pay days, Chris?
Johnston: Yeah, they're still celebrating their Stanley Cup, so business isn't exactly getting done in Vegas these days, but one to watch is Ivan Barbashev, he was part of the Golden Knights' most effective line in the playoffs, most dangerous line. I think that he's willing to test the open market after having that run. Look, he loved his time in Vegas. It was a special run that ended with that Stanley Cup championship, but knowing that timing is everything, knowing that the market doesn't have a lot of strong names on there. I wouldn't be surprised to see him come free July 1. And he'll be looking for a raise in the $2.25 million he earns.
Dreger: Well look, a lot of teams, looking at potentially signing, they're pending unrestricted free agents, but every team is preparing for the upcoming draft and it's a little different for the Toronto Maple Leafs. They're still uncertain as to how involved, newly minted general manager Brad Treliving is going to be allowed to be. Can he go on the floor? Can he be at the table? Right now, he can't. There's ongoing conversations, between the Leafs and the Calgary Flames. The Flames have imposed the restrictions, so Toronto could get to Treliving, unlike Kyle Dubas of now the Pittsburgh Penguins, who doesn't have any restrictions on him.