Sharks, Maple Leafs, Penguins, Wild, Oilers

In today’s NHL gossip, San Jose Sharks interim GM Joe Will says he’s open to talking about any player when it comes to a trade; these include Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed some of their top Finnish talent.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have received bad news as Sidney Crosby will be out for Game 6 and what are the plans for the Minnesota Wild after exiting this year’s playoffs? Finally, is KHL free agent Andrei Kuzmenko reluctant to sign a contract because he is leaning toward the Edmonton Oilers?

Sharks ready to discuss all trading options

Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News writes that Joe Will, the Sharks’ interim general manager, said he was willing to discuss the possibility of trading either Brent Burns or Erik Karlsson this offseason “if he feels that such a move would improve the team”.

Brent Burns San Jose Sharks
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Noting that nothing is taboo, he stated:

“Nevertheless, they are exceptional players and we have a lot of high-end players. Ideally we’d like to include everyone in what we’re doing here, but we’ll just see what happens in the future when we put in a new (CEO)… Nothing is imminent. No changes or anything imminent but open to discussion.”

Source – “Sharks interim GM on potential trade with Karlsson or Burns: ‘Nothing is taboo’ – Curtis Pahelka – Mercury News – 05/12/2022

Will said the Sharks aren’t waiting for a new GM to be hired to do the work they feel they need to do to improve the team. “We do everything,” he said. This does not mean that a trade is completed. Burns has three years left on his deal at $8 million a season. He also has a three-team trade clause. Karlsson receives $11.5 million in the 2026-27 season. He has a full no-movement clause.

Maple Leafs sign two

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced three-year entry-level contracts for Roni Hirvonen and Topi Niemela on Friday. Both players’ contracts begin next season and have an average annual value of $856,666. Neither is destined for immediate promotion to the NHL, but both have spent significant time playing professional ice hockey in Finland. They are considered players who could make the jump faster than many prospects.

🖊 We have signed striker Roni Hirvonen and defender Topi Niemelä on future entry-level three-year deals. #leaves forever

Crosby out for Game 6

Coach Mike Sullivan said Sidney Crosby will not play in Game 6 for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sullivan said of Crosby’s status: “He went ice skating with Ty Hennes this morning. He won’t play tonight.” The Penguins could be short of a number of players as Brian Dumoulin continues his recovery from the ice and Rickard Rakell will be a game decider. Tristan Jarry won’t be playing tonight.

See Also: Canucks News & Rumors: Ekman-Larsson, NHL Draft, Boudreau & More

Crosby exited Game 5 against the New York Rangers in the second period after defenseman Jacob Trouba connected with him with a hard high hit near the faceoff spot. There was no hearing for Trouba.

Now what for the Minnesota Wild?

ESPN.COM’s Kristen Shilton took a look at what the Minnesota Wild will do after they’re knocked out of the playoffs and have a ton of salary cap concerns. General manager Bill Guerin is grappling with the fact that about 15 percent of his salary cap payroll is being eaten up in dead capital by last year’s acquisitions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

Bill Guerin Minnesota Wild
General Manager Bill Guerin of the Minnesota Wild (Photo by Brandon McCauley/NHLI via Getty Images)

She notes that contract negotiations with Kevin Fiala will be a priority and that they need to focus on finding a reliable backup goalkeeper. Marc-Andre Fleury is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Someone like Matt Dumba could be commercially bought to make room on the books.

Latest on Andrei Kuzmenko

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports: “Understandable hype surrounding Andrei Kuzmenko’s NHL future. The interview process continues.” He adds that there are currently teams in the playoffs he has yet to speak to (Edmonton Oilers is one), but once that happens, he and his agent will move on to the second round of talks. “No hurry,” writes Dreger.

Speaking of the Oilers, it doesn’t look like goaltender Mike Smith will face an extra discipline for the javelin against Andreas Athanasiou in Game 6.

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