NHL Rumors: Which players are seeking independence from their current teams?

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Today’s NHL Rumors has an Independence Day theme to it as we look at players likely wanting a new opportunity away from their current teams.

Some of the choices on this list have either requested a trade or have made comments to suggest that maybe the grass is greener for them elsewhere.

Let’s dive into the top 5 candidates.

NHL Rumors: Pierre-Luc Dubois

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Mar 6, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois (80) skates around New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) during the second period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pending RFA Pierre-Luc Dubois tops the list after informing the Winnipeg Jets that he will test the UFA market when eligible in 2024. If that doesn’t scream I want to be playing elsewhere, then I don’t know what else could.

The 24 year-old posted 28 goals and 60 points in 81 games this past season. He’s wrapping up a two-year deal with an AAV of $5M and will be highly sought after as he was when the Blue Jackets traded him two seasons ago.

He’s been linked to two teams already.

A report surfaced that the New York Rangers spoke with the Jets during the Stanley Cup Final about a potential deal. The other rumored destination is the Montreal Canadiens, with multiple insiders saying he wants to eventually play in his hometown.

Jakob Chychrun wants postseason action

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May 8, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) smiles after defeating the San Jose Sharks in overtime at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jacob Chychrun admitted to being disappointed that an injury suffered prior to this past trade deadline put the kibosh on any potential deals.

The current forecast for the Yotes still has them as a bottom dweller until a new arena is built in a few years. This has the 24 year-old thinking about his future.

“I don’t know. I’m signed for 3 more years,” he said. “The trajectory of where the team is going and a lot of that stuff is important to me. I want to be in a position where I’m getting to play a week from now, not packing up.”

The Coyotes were asking for a package that started with a first round pick, a young player, and a prospect. They will likely get that at the draft. Keep an eye on the Ducks, Devils, and Kings as potential suitors.

Chychrun recorded 21 points in 47 games.

Alexandar Georgiev has requested a trade

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Jan 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) makes a glove save against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers may find themselves in a good position to get something for goaltender Alexandar Georgiev by the NHL Draft. Despite teams knowing they are unlikely to qualify the pending RFA and making him a UFA come July 13.

The 26 year-old undrafted netminder has been looking for an opportunity to become a stater dating back to last season and has requested a trade per The Athletic. There were certainly several teams interested in acquiring him near the trade deadline and a rumored deal with the Arizona Coyotes fell through when Igor Shesterkin was hurt in January.

Although Georgiev struggled early in the year, he did finish with a solid 15-10-2 record. His GAA was decent at 2.92 and he had an .898 SV%, with 2 shutouts. He certainly upped his trade value by closing out the season from March 15 on with a 8-1-0 record, a 2.45 GAA and a .909 SV%.

The Oilers were reportedly one of the teams that made an offer last season and they still make sense. Two other teams that have UFA goalies that may not fit their cap plans are the Toronto Maple Leafs with Jack Campbell and the Colorado Avalanche with Darcy Kuemper.

New York’s believed ask is a high pick or prospect for Georgiev, which if true means the Rangers are living in fantasyland. A third round pick would be a steal for them right now since they can only trade his negotiation rights.

Jake DeBrusk trade request still valid?

jake DeBrusk rumors
Nov 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) takes a shot during the first period against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Back in November, Jake DeBrusk’s demand for a trade became public. The question everyone that needs to be asked is if it request still stands?

“The Boston Bruins are legitimately trying to (trade him),” Elliotte Friedman said in December. “They’ve searched the market hard to see what’s out there and will do it on their timeline. They will look for a forward or defenseman they consider of equal value.”

DeBrusk was making $3.675M prior to signing a 2-year extension worth $4M AAV before the trade deadline. The belief at the time was it would make him easier to trade if he was under contract. No trade obviously took place.

The 25 year-old winger finished last season with 25 goals and 42 points in 77 games.

UPDATE: DeBrusk rescinds trade request.

Erik Karlsson trade?

Erik Karlsson
Jan 17, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) controls the puck during the first period against the Los Angeles Kings at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Karlsson, 32, scored 35 points in 50 games. His season was cut short due to surgery on his forearm and the San Jose Sharks missed the playoffs again.

The team just fired head coach Bob Boughner and still have no GM in place with the NHL Draft days away. All signs are pointing to a rebuild and that’s not something Karlsson wants to do at his age.

“Obviously, I did not sign here to go through a rebuild or go through what I did for 10 years in Ottawa,” Karlsson said via NHL.com last year. “But it is what it is. I think that we need to find a way to build with a core group that we have here and figure out a way how to be competitive here in the upcoming years.”

Trading Karlsson is problematic because of his contract. Even if he waives his full no-move clause, what team will take on five more years with an $11.5 million AAV? The teams that have cap room aren’t contenders, so why would Karlsson waive to go to a team like Detroit?

A buyout would be catastrophic as the Sharks would have a $1.8M cap penalty from 2027-28 through 2031-32. That would be right around the time they are competitive again.

Although Karlsson may want out, the Sharks will find it near impossible to move him.

Editor’s Note: To everyone, thank you all for the reading The Daily Goal Horn and have a safe Fourth of July!