NHL Trade Rumors: Latest on Erik Karlsson, Justin Faulk and More

Franklin Steele@FranklinSteeleAnalyst IIJuly 5, 2018

Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65), of Sweden, looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The 2018 NHL draft is behind us. Most of the big-name free agents have been signed since the window opened Sunday.

Headlines are starting to slow down as beat writers go on vacation for the next few months. But fear not, hockey fans. There are still some stars who are rumored to be available on the trade market.

Just because we're in the supposed quiet part of the offseason doesn't mean there is nothing to report. Here's your weekly reminder that P.K. Subban was traded in late June 2016. Tyler Seguin was moved in early July five years ago.

It's tough for general managers to swing big in-season trades, so if we're going to see megadeals, odds are good they will come some time between the draft and training camp. Here are some situations to keep an eye on in the coming days.

                       

Dallas Stars Have Emerged as Front-Runners for Erik Karlsson

Now that the John Tavares saga has ended—except for the New York Islanders, who will be dealing with the fallout for months, if not years—the biggest name available is Erik Karlsson.

And it's not particularly close.

It doesn't sound like the high-end defenseman will return to the Ottawa Senators next season. According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post the organization has granted several other teams permission to speak with Karlsson about a potential extension (h/t CBC Sports). It's not too difficult to read between the lines there.

TSN's Bruce Garrioch reported a handful of teams are in on the blueliner. Sean Shapiro of The Athletic, meanwhile, named the Dallas Stars as the front-runners to land Karlsson: "The Dallas Stars emerged as the front-runner to trade for Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. League sources told The Athletic on Tuesday that Dallas made the best offer so far for the defenseman, who has one year remaining on a seven-year contract worth $6.5 million annually against the salary cap."

As of Wednesday afternoon, Dallas and Ottawa were engaged in trade talks regarding Karlsson, per Shapiro. For what it's worth, it doesn't sound like the Stars have any interest in including top prospect Miro Heiskanen in a deal with the Senators, according to the Dallas Morning News.

              

Carolina Hurricanes Still Looking at Possible Justin Faulk and Jeff Skinner Trades

Heading into the offseason, we knew the Carolina Hurricanes would be a busy team. Owner Tom Dundon expressed an interest in wanting to get tougher to play against, and general manager Don Waddell has followed that directive this summer.

He acquired Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland at June's draft and then signed defenseman Calvin de Haan to a four-year deal worth $18.2 million Wednesday.

Landing Hamilton and signing De Haan turns Carolina's defensive unit into one of the bestat least on paperin the NHL, and Luke Decock of the Raleigh News & Observer believes it could help facilitate a long-rumored Justin Faulk trade.

While the Fourth Period's David Pagnotta says a deal isn't imminent, Justin Faulk should be an intriguing piece for a lot of teams around the league. While he's not the kind of player the Hurricanes want to build around apparently, he's a capable puck mover who has notched at least 30 points in each of the past five seasons.

The 26-year-old Jeff Skinner is a productive forward who has his fair share of defensive shortcomings. Given the lack of quality players available during free agency, though, there should still be plenty of interest in him.

             

Toronto Maple Leafs May Not Be Done Dealing

The past five days have been a whirlwind for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Landing Tavares via free agency sent shock waves throughout the NHL and could end up changing the way that high-end teams are constructed as we move forward.

General manager Kyle Dubas hasn't rested on his laurels, however.

They were in on De Haan until he signed with the Hurricanes and managed to flip Matt Martin and his $2.5 million cap hit to the New York Islanders on Tuesday. 

Dubas still might not be done, though. Josh Leivo may find himself on the outside looking in as Toronto's lines come together in the coming weeks. This isn't the first time the wing has found himself involved in the rumor mill.

In February, he asked to be placed back in the lineup or to be traded out of Toronto, per Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet. He's slated to be a fourth-line skater at best in 2018-19, so perhaps moving him makes sense for the Maple Leafs.

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