Insider Only Latest NHL Buzz: Jeff Skinner’s Payday, Erik Karlsson, Taylor Hall, Flyers going big in RFA market?

Latest NHL Buzz

Price of Doing Business hitting Buffalo

When you’re a General Manager like Jason Botterill who knows his seat is starting to get extremely warm in entering a make or break season for an impatient owner that has a history of paying executives, coaches not to work, you’ll get stuck in a situation Botterill now finds himself in.

The price of doing business when your job is on line can get rather expensive.

It started with the coaching hire and is now spreading to negotiations with Jeff Skinner.

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Pittsburgh was in the mix for Skinner at the 2018 draft and were among three teams Carolina was entertaining offers for at the time. Some say Pittsburgh was in fact the leader in the clubhouse until things got close to the finish line and Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

Karlsson to stun the hockey world?

Erik Karlsson by-passing the free agency interview period to not hear from the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers would be an absolute stunner to the hockey world. NHL executives have believed for months that Karlsson has always wanted to exhaust every avenue to try to make it work with the Tampa Bay Lightning at a discount price (his top choice for over a year a now), with the Rangers a strong Plan B before he considered circling back to San Jose.

Yet, Karlsson appears to actually be giving San Jose a harder look at staying in San Jose than many assumed.

“The word is that Erik Karlsson is taking a long, hard look at deciding if he wants to stay in San Jose,” NHL Insider Elliott Friedman during the ‘Headlines’ segment Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada. “And I think we’re going to know, in about a week, if he’s going to stay or if he’s going to investigate his other free agency options.
“He wants to win, the Sharks are perennially in it [and] they’ve made a good impression on him.”

If Karlsson re-ups with San Jose this early, NHL sources contend it’s likely Karlsson’s reps have drilled down enough intel already that Tampa Bay just isn’t that interested in making it work and the Rangers have cooled on him a bit in that the $9-$10 million a year payday San Jose is willing to give him, isn’t going to be coming from New York.

Microscope on Ray Shero

A fascinating storyline this summer will be how Ray Shero handles the Taylor Hall situation.

Hall eligible for an 8 year extension July 1, isn’t signing an extension anytime soon.

Devils officials have sensed even as far back as last summer when Hall won the Hart Trophy that Hall was going to be a tough sign for geography reasons and some teams say Shero quietly talked about Hall to a couple teams at the deadline to potentially set the framework for a summer deal.

Hall has no plans to demand a trade and has communicated to the front office he’s open minded and wants to see how quick they can build this back up before he decides on his future.

Yet, few should be surprised if leaks come out at some point this summer that ‘Hall would signing with these four teams’ if they traded for him.

One thing the Devils have been trying to sell Hall on is stability from ownership to the GM to the coach in giving head coach John Hynes an extension months ago in the middle of a brutal season and Ray Shero getting extended soon after, along with the organization investing heavy in the hockey operations department.


— Every summer there’s speculation that an offer sheet is coming for a big name RFA but it’s always just talk.

Count Philadelphia a leader in the clubhouse, though, as the biggest threat to make things at least uncomfortable for the Leafs when it comes to Mitch Marner’s plans to hear from other teams. Chuck Fletcher was brought in to go big and he’ll be leading the charge in chasing Marner.

— Speaking of the Flyers, tonight they acquired center Kevin Hayes from the Winnipeg Jets for a 5th round pick. Hayes will be an UFA on July 1 and Philadelphia gets a three week head start before the interview period. A top priority has been adding a second tier level center to take pressure off Nolan Patrick.

— The Leafs are getting significant trade action on winger Kasperi Kapanen, a pending RFA. Carolina has made multiple attempts to acquire Kapanen, Toronto has all intentions of keeping Kapanen with the hopes of doing a bridge deal but that’s the type of player with Toronto’s cap crunch that multiple teams should be looking hard at Kapanen for an offer sheet.

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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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