When the end of the San Jose Sharks season came, the biggest question immediately became ’what would happen to Erik Karlsson?’ The star defenseman is a free agent this summer, but was limited by injury at the end of the year and comes with plenty of question marks, including the draft pick compensation San Jose would need to send Ottawa if he re-signed. Karlsson tweeted out a cryptic thank you to the San Jose area, and immediately many started speculating that it would be the end of his time there. Speculation erupted, with landing spots like New York and Tampa Bay seeming the most likely.
Now in a new column, Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun suggests the unthinkable—a return to the Senators. Brennan reports that a source tells him Karlsson “hopes to receive competitive offers” from the Senators and Montreal Canadiens, in order to get closer to his wife Melinda’s family who are in Ottawa. That would certainly be a shocking development, given how Karlsson exited the Senators organization last summer and the way they have failed to sign any top talent over the years.
- Rumors have surfaced lately that Taylor Hall isn’t interested in signing an extension with the New Jersey Devils, but his agent Darren Ferris threw some cold water on that when speaking with Mike Morreale of NHL.com. Ferris called the report “fictitious” while Devils GM Ray Shero also doesn’t know where it came from, given his recent conversations with the Hall camp. Still, both admit that there is no rush to sign a deal despite their regular communication and that Hall won’t feel pressure when he is eligible for a deal on July 1.
- A report out of Finland from Sasha Huttunen has the Columbus Blue Jackets signing Veini Vehvilainen in the coming days, though obviously nothing is official just yet. Vehvilainen is a 22-year old goaltending prospect that the Blue Jackets drafted last year with a sixth-round pick, who dominated Finland’s Liiga for the second straight season. The report notes that the young goaltender could return to Finland to continue his development on a loan from the Blue Jackets, which makes sense given the number of netminders already under contract with the team in the minor leagues.