Erik Karlsson “wants to win”, Hawks get Connor Bedard a linemate in Taylor Hall: Around the League
Photo credit:© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
Welcome back to Around the League — the column here at CanucksArmy where we examine news and notes from around the National Hockey League — oftentimes through a Vancouver Canucks-tinted lens.
Things are heating up ahead of what’s most likely going to be the busiest week of the NHL offseason! Let’s dive right into it.
Erik Karlsson wants to win
Erik Karlsson was brutally honest when he met with the media ahead of the Monday’s NHL Awards show in Nashville. The veteran blueliner is tonight’s odds-on favourite to win the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman following his 101 point season.
But that’s the last trophy Karlsson cares about winning. Instead, he’s got his eyes set on the Stanley Cup.
“Time is running out,” Karlsson told media. “I played with too many guys throughout my career, amazing players that should be winners and should have won, that never did. I don’t want to be that guy.
“I want to win. I’m the best when you need to be the best. But if I don’t have the chance to get to the place where you need to play the big games, then I might as well not do it. I could go through 82 games a year and be good, but I want to play when it matters.”
There was plenty of buzz around Karlsson at this past season’s trade deadline, but a deal never materialized. Taking on Karlsson’s $11.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons is not something teams take lightly or can be even a tad bit unsure about, even if there’s salary retention involved in any deal.
Nonetheless, Karlsson has made it clear as ever — he wants to go to a contending team, and he wants to do it soon.
The Sharks acquired Karlsson ahead of the 2018-19 season in a blockbuster trade that eventually netted the Ottawa Senators Tim Stützle in return. The Sharks have been a disaster ever since as they seem to have completely miscalculated their ability to contend. They signed Karlsson to an eight year deal worth $92 million during the 2019 offseason.
Hawks get Bedard a winger in the form of Taylor Hall
Late Monday morning, multiple reports broke the news that Taylor Hall was headed to the Windy City. The Chicago Blackhawks eventually acquired Hall, along with pending UFA Nick Foligno from the Boston Bruins in exchange for the RFA rights to Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula.
For the Bruins, the NHL’s President’s Trophy winners free up $6 million off of their salary cap ahead of what many expect to be an aggressive offseason as they look to repeat their regular season performance of this past season. Only this time, the Bruins will look to follow it up with some postseason success as well.
For Chicago, the Hawks have picked up Connor Bedard’s new linemate. When they announce the first overall selection on Wednesday night, he’ll slot right next to Hall on the first line of the club’s projected opening night lineup.
Hall, who turns 32 in November, tallied 16 goals and 20 assists through 61 games with the Bruins this past season. He has two years remaining on his contract which carries a $6 million cap hit.
The rumour mill is only going to get hotter as we get closer to the draft on Wednesday and Thursday and day one of free agency on Saturday, so be sure to keep it locked on CanucksArmy.com all week long!
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