As the San Jose Sharks look to turn a corner with the franchise, not necessarily declaring a rebuild, rumors surrounding superstar defensemen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson have turned up in recent months, with some speculating the Sharks could try to deal one of them. That speculation didn’t seem too off-base, but with the Sharks without a GM for the first time in nearly 20 years and still searching, it was unclear if the team would want to make that sort of franchise-altering trade before making the hire, and if the new hire would want to do such a thing as well.
Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News had a chance to speak to the new man in charge in that of Sharks GM Mike Grier, who touched on Burns’ future in San Jose. Grier said that he would speak with Burns soon and let him lead the way on whether or not he wanted to be dealt, understanding if the former Norris winner wanted to win now, but adding that he had been a “great Shark.” Burns, who has a modified no-trade clause, does in effect lead the way already in this situation, but Grier’s comments show that San Jose is ready to proceed in either direction with the 37-year-old, depending on how their conversation turns out. The defenseman has three more years at $8MM per season left on his contract.
- If and when superstar free agent Johnny Gaudreau hits the free agent market on Wednesday, he will be one of the most sought-after players to ever go to free agency, with no shortage of suitors. One of those suitors, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports, will be the New York Islanders, who he believes will “competitively” pursue the winger. It’s no secret that the Islanders have been looking for offense and a dynamic winger to play with Mathew Barzal, especially after missing the playoffs following back-to-back trips to the Conference Finals. Bringing in a player like Gaudreau would solve many of those problems of course, but having just under $11.2MM in salary cap space while needing to sign RFA defensemen Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanova Gaudreau signing would necessitate another move to shed salary on the Island.
- Although he was untended by the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brendan Lemieux may still re-sign with the team after all is said and done, reports TSN’s Chris Johnston, with contract talks still ongoing. This news isn’t too shocking, as the gritty winger has played well for the Kings since being acquired from the New York Rangers during the 2020-21 season, but coming with a qualifying offer of $1.65MM, Los Angeles may have opted to try and re-sign Lemieux at a lower rate, not taking the chance of him accepting a salary they may view as too high.
- Erin Brown of The Hockey News reports that the PHF will announce its 2022-23 expansion plans on Tuesday morning. One of the premier women’s hockey leagues in North America, the PHF currently consists of five teams, including the Buffalo Beauts, Boston Pride, Metropolitan Riveters, Connecticut Whale, and Minnesota Whitecaps.
- The Montreal Canadiens announced that defense prospect Jayden Struble suffered a lower-body injury today and would miss the remainder of development camp. The Canadians’ second-round pick, 46th overall, in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, just finished his third season at Northeastern University, where he put up three goals and 11 assists in 34 games from the backend. The defenseman has just one more year before he will become a UFA if he does not sign with Montreal.