When it comes to the rumor mill in the NHL, it can be super mind puzzling and send you for a massive twist. Sometimes, that twist lets you understand what is happening in the NHL. However, I’ll try to dissect all of this within today’s edition of Bargain Bin on Tuesday, June 20th.
Previous Bargain Bin Articles:
06/17 – Bargain Bin: Jets, Senators, Panthers, Free Agency
06/18 – Bargain Bin: Oilers, Jets, Flyers, Bruins, NHL Draft
San Jose Sharks
It’s no secret that the San Jose Sharks have been trying to shop defenseman Erik Karlsson. After a career season with an abysmal Sharks team, Karlsson provided the best piece of value that the Sharks could have shopped at the trade deadline. The issue in San Jose was the fact that they were asking for an equivalent of four 1st round picks.
With the San Jose Sharks likely not going to be in playoff contention for the next few seasons, they have approached Karlsson about a possible trade, and both parties are on the same page when it comes to a trade.
It will come down to the wire, and San Jose knows Karlsson is still a highly talented offensive defenseman, but he’s not the player he used to be, even with a 101-point season in 2022-23. Karlsson still has four years left on his eight-year contract worth $11.5 million dollars annually. This will be a tricky contract to move without retaining any salary.
The Ottawa Senators have been looking to shop Alex DeBrincat for some time now, the 25-year-old winger is now one full season removed from his career-high season, where he posted 41 goals and 37 assists for 78 points. DeBrincat will definitely be a priority trade candidate for teams looking to make an impact immediately next season.
There has been chatter that the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, St Louis Blues, and Detroit Red Wings are the top teams in the hunt for Alex DeBrincat. DeBrincat will certainly bring back a large sum and provide really solid stability for a team that wants to win now.
With the Ottawa Senators finally getting new owners, the DeBrincat deal might still go down unless DeBrincat sees the direction of the team and is content with signing. As of right now, it is known that Senators GM Pierre Dorion is leaning towards moving DeBrincat, and DeBrincat is leaning towards going to a new team. After all, DeBrincat never wanted to leave Chicago and was upset when he was traded to Ottawa.
Fans of the National Hockey League are certainly watching the situation surrounding the Arizona Coyotes. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman seems quite adamant that the Coyotes will stay in Arizona, seeking potential arenas in Glendale, Scottsdale, and other locations in Arizona. Even after the failed Tempe vote, Arizona seems destined to stay as the Coyotes for the foreseeable future.
Recently, a twist has been brought to light, Hartford has expressed interest in potentially acquiring a new hockey franchise, though the NHL seems reluctant to put a team back in Hartford.
The Arizona Coyotes saga is one of the most interesting stories to unfold in recent memory and will certainly be something that fans look at regardless of the outcome and wonder what went wrong.
The Edmonton Oilers have a lot to focus on this offseason, especially with limited cap space to attempt to build a contending team with. I previously discussed on Sunday’s Bargain Bin that the Oilers might look to trade some players with high cap hits that aren’t as effective as the team thought they’d be.
However, the Edmonton Oilers will look to effectively utilize their cap space, regardless of if a trade is made or not, to focus on improving their defense and potentially finding a bargain top-six forward.
Every year there will be a solid player stuck in a lesser role that a team signs for a low cap hit that turns into a bargain player that elevates the team. The Oilers look to find this magic this offseason, the question remains if they can strike gold sooner rather than later.
Some of the best chatter when it comes to NHL-related content surrounds free agency, which opens on July 1st. There are rumors that suggest that Milan Lucic could potentially become a Toronto Maple Leaf or that this is one of the worst years for free agency. Regardless of the matter, there are some pretty big unspoken names on the list of free agents.
Related Article: Lucic to the Leafs?
Ivan Barbashev quietly will go down as the best trade deadline acquisition at the 2023 NHL trade deadline. The only issue is that Vegas will be unlikely to retain their golden deadline acquisition as Barbashev is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
Barbashev had 16 points in 23 regular season games with Vegas and followed that up with 18 points in 22 playoff games and a Stanley Cup victory. Teams will look at the effectiveness of middle-six players at the trade deadline and look to make a splash to improve their depth. Barbashev certainly has set a standard when it comes to effective depth players.
Max Pacioretty has just barely played over a full season’s worth of games in the last three seasons. Anytime Pacioretty is on the ice, he’s proven to be an effective second-line player. He might be a bargain pickup for a team looking to take a chance on a player whose been sidelined for a significant amount of time with injuries.
In Pacioretty’s five games with Carolina this season, he posted three goals and points before being sidelined with an injury that took him out for the entire season. If a team that is ready to win now can sign the veteran forward to a cheap deal, it might be a solid pickup when free agency opens.
When a player is bought out of their contract, that can either motivate the player to make a strong comeback or can bury a player’s career. Oliver Ekman-Larsson will certainly receive multiple calls when free agency opens, and it’s a matter of when he will sign. The defenseman who provides experience can be a cheap depth option for any team looking to improve on a budget and quickly.
It seems as if the goalie market is quiet for right now, my previous article talking about the goalie market examines some big-name goalies available via trade and restricted/unrestricted free agency.
Related Article: A Red-Hot Goaltending Market
Carter Hart, Connor Hellebuyck, and Juuse Saros are three big names still under contract during the 2023-24 season. Adin Hill, Joonas Korpisalo, and Tristan Jarry are three big names on the free agency market this year. There will certainly be a carousel of goaltending this offseason, and it is certainly going to be a summer unlike any other.
Teams like Ottawa, Vegas, Montreal, Anaheim, Chicago, and many more will certainly be looking to take advantage of the goaltender market. With these big names on the table, there will be a fight among teams on who they are able to sign or trade for.