NHL Trade Rumours: Erik Karlsson, Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner

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We’re days away from the NHL trade deadline and we have a fresh batch of NHL trade rumours. Today we look at the Tampa Bay Lightning making an aggressive run at the Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson, the Anaheim Ducks pursuing Thomas Vanek and the Pittsburgh Penguins looking into Michael Grabner.

Latest NHL Trade Rumours

Erik Karlsson

Rumour: Travis Yost of TSN said that the Lightning are actively going after superstar defenceman Erik Karlsson. Tampa Bay is interested in other defensive options and will look into others if the Ottawa rebuffs them.

Analysis: Landing the speedy Swede would be a huge coup for general manager Steve Yzerman, but there will have to be a lot of moving parts involved. Managing cap space and making things fit will be the hardest part. Sens general manager Pierre Dorion is insisting someone take Bobby Ryan’s contract off the books.

This trade is going to take a lot to get done and may need a third team to get involved. However, don’t doubt Yzerman and his ability to get players to play in Tampa.

Thomas Vanek

Rumour: Rick Dhaliwal of News 1130 and Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver reported that the Anaheim Ducks are looking into Vanek. Anaheim looked into signing the Austrian forward over the summer, but he ended up with the Canucks. Vanek’s agent will check with Vancouver general manager Jim Benning on his client’s status.

Analysis: It always seems that Vanek is on the move at the deadline and this year is no different. The Ducks need depth if they want to get a Pacific Division or wild card spot. Vanek would be a nice addition to the bottom six. He would also help the Ducks struggling power play, which is near the bottom of the league.

One thing that could nix the deal is Vanek’s chemistry with young Brock Boeser. The young forward has formed a solid partnership with the veteran and Benning may want to keep them together.

Michael Grabner

Rumour: The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking into another Austrian forward. Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette’s Jason Mackey reported from a source that the defending Stanley Cup champions are interested in Michael Grabner of the New York Rangers. He would continue to add to the Pens extensive list of talented wingers.

Analysis: Grabner is like currents Pittsburgh players Carl Hagelin and Bryan Rust in that they’re good skaters with plenty of production. All of them also carry reasonable contracts. Grabner is currently making $1.65 million this season and becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the campaign.

The Rangers would love to get something for a person they’ll not be able to afford in the offseason. A pick or one of their numerous prospects would be a nice return for Grabner. Trades within the division are always dicey, but it will fill a need for both teams.

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