Will Erik Karlsson return to the Ottawa Senators?
Ottawa Sun: Don Brennan reports Erik Karlsson a two-time Norris Trophy winner is expected to be the most coveted free agent available when the market opens on July 1, a well-connected source says that he hopes to receive competitive offers from two teams in particular — the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens.
Rumours are Karlsson’s wife, Melinda, who was born and raised in Ottawa, is “homesick” and would very much like to live close to her family again.
It’s believed a number of teams are preparing to make a serious pitch for the 29-year-old blue-liner’s services.
The well-to-do New York Rangers seemingly have the most to offer.
They are a short flight from Ottawa. They have projected cap space of more than $19 million next season, so that’s no issue. They have a glaring need for a general on the back line.
Karlsson will either re-sign in San Jose, or move out east and play for one of the Senators, Canadiens or Rangers.
Are the Vancouver Canucks interested in Nikita Zaitsev?
Yardbarker: Nikita Zaitsev recently requested a trade from the Toronto Maple Leafs for personal reasons, something GM Kyle Dubas is trying to facilitate. Zaitsev, 27, has five years left on his current deal however, which has made some speculate that Toronto may have to sweeten any deal to get him out of town.
Zaitsev’s contract carries a $4.5M cap hit, an amount that the Maple Leafs could certainly do without as they try to re-sign restricted free agents Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson, or even find some way to fit Jake Gardiner back into the fold.