NHL Rumor Mill – June 25, 2020

by | Jun 25, 2020 | Rumors | 33 comments

Check out the latest Buffalo Sabres speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty suggests the Buffalo Sabres’ “dumpster fire” might be a good opportunity for the Bruins to look into acquiring Jack Eichel. The Sabres captain was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, providing the Bruins with a local boy possessing superstar potential. With Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci aging, Eichel would give the Bruins a dominant young center. 

Should the Boston Bruins look into acquiring Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel? (Photo via NHL Images).

Haggerty noted Eichel’s recent exasperation with the Sabres’ ongoing mediocrity, suggesting perhaps he’s tacitly pining for a change of scenery. Acquiring him would be expensive. Haggerty felt it could cost the Bruins promising young center John Beecher, winger Jake DeBrusk, and a robust high draft pick package. They might also have to include a defenseman like Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo, which would be a difficult decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Folks may be looking at Eichel’s comments and seeing more than is really there. There’s no question he’s frustrated over the constant losing, and Sabres’ ownership should be concerned if their franchise player isn’t happy. Nevertheless, there’s no indication Eichel wants out of Buffalo…yet.

Another season or two of mediocrity could test Eichel’s patience. If that happens, the Bruins could be among the clubs queuing up to inquire into his availability and the Sabres’ asking price.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington recently observed Sabres defensemen Brandon Montour and Colin Miller didn’t seem to fit into coach Ralph Krueger’s system. He wouldn’t be shocked if new general manager Kevyn Adams moved them in the off-season for some help on the forward lines. Harrington also noted Krueger really likes Rasmus Ristolainen, suggesting the recent change in management could be a good sign for the 26-year-old defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen, Montour, and Miller frequently surfaced in this season’s trade rumors. Ristolainen suggested he might be among the first to be moved if then-GM Jason Botterill wanted to make changes, but he also sang Kruger’s praises.

With Botterill gone, Ristolainen might not be a trade candidate after all. Montour and/or Miller, however, seem more likely to be moved by new management, especially if Krueger has any say in the matter.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: In his Sabres postmortem, Matt Larkin noted the Sabres will have over $34 million in salary-cap space to work with during the off-season. He feels that’s enough to re-sign restricted free agents like Montour, Sam Reinhart, Victor Olofsson, Dominik Kahun, and Linus Ullmark while leaving enough to go shopping in the free-agent market. Given the current status of the club, however, they could be forced to overpay to attract UFA talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rather than chase overpriced UFAs, Adams should target clubs looking to shed salary before next season. With 13 teams carrying payrolls of over $70 million for next season, Adams could pluck away a couple of good young players from cap-strapped rivals.


  1. If Boston traded for Jack it would take a lot trading one of Carlo or Charlie would be difficult but I would keep Carlo. Can’t see Buffalo excepting Jake they would also want Studnicka.

    • I think they would want a C back as well Obe.
      I would keep McAvoy over Carlo.
      But not sure BUF moves a guy like Eichel without an impact young player coming back, IMO Charlie is, so would likely need to be included.
      B’s would need to keep Krug then to run the PP.
      Having said all that, BUF doesn’t trade one of the top 5 C’s in the NHL unless he forces their hand.

      • And he’s not getting traded to a division Opponent unless it’s a huge overpayment

    • Never trade away top player like Jack eichel..improve draft pick skill to play with eichel. Buffalo draft very poorly for many years. Example draft reinhart instead of leon Draistdal.

  2. When writers comment on how much cap space any team has then make suggestions on how to spend it, readers should remember how easy it is for writers to spend the owners money and how desperate writers are to have something to write about. Especially when there are no real hockey games.

    A few months ago I suggested that some teams may end up moving, closing, or being sold as a result of the financial stress that exists after this virus. I was accused of wishing for teams to close up shop.

    What I was suggesting was that some of these owners are more hat than cattle. And hard times will catch up to owners who are financing on borrowed money or moving money from one part of their business empire to finance a hockey team.

    There are 30 + teams in the NHL. Some of them must be suffering financial stress.

    Are the Sabres one of them? Recent wholesale personnel suggest they might be. And the price and need for oil and gas may be lowering. Who but the potential should be kept in mind for some of these teams.

    • Actually.OBD, that is a fair counter point to the “lots of cap space” argument.

      It is true that UFAs might find it more difficult to get big pay raises in the currrent market. Some owners been reluctant to spend to the cap in the past several good years. Add that to financial down pressures looking forward and it might be several years before spending on UFAs climbs.

      As for Buffalo, any UFA considering an offer there will well know the Pegulas are not interested in the $$ it will take to put a winner on the ice.

      PS: I like the big hat no cattle comment.

  3. We should stop with the Eichel speculation, and Haggerty’s suggested offer is underwhelming at best. If Buffalo traded Eichel, unless it recieves a massive overpay, they might as well shut down. Can’t wit for the lottery! Lowe????

    • Yes teams that are struggling should absolutely trade away their best player. It’s a winning formula. Eichel isn’t the problem yet, it’s 100% on management and they do need a lot of luck and wits to make this turn around. It won’t take much but they need to be good on their moves but have yet shown to have that ability.

      • why can’t an nhl organization realize that they are not going to be winning anytime soon and just rebuild properly—obviously Eichel aint happy and won’t be in 2 years—trade him—save money—especially during covid

    • well said Kevin. Lowe-HHOF ? They didn’t win all those cups in Edm. because of him. He was a good D man, don’t get me wrong, but Hall of Famer? Jack Eichel going no where at this time.
      what I don’t understand about Buffalo is, they started out so well last two years, then crapped the bed by new year. irreversible damage.

      • Hey Vincois, I do not want to hate on any one, but seriously Lowe was never a Norris finalist and only received votes in four of his 19 seasons and this is when the Norris voters liked defensive Dmen. The HoF voters got caught up in counting Cup rings, Lowe happened to play for a star-studded dynasty and then the Rangers. There were more deserving players, i.e. Mogilny.

  4. Re Harrington on Buff possibly moving Montour and/orMiller….

    I was just speaking (through my 1-900 medium Madam Zora) to Jimbo and we concur on the offer of

    Bjug, JJ, Chad Ruhweedel; ZAR


    Montour and Miller

    Madame Zora says Gedderdone 👍🙏🤞

    Through my other 1-900 Medium …. Senior Ziggy…. KD and I have agreed to offer….

    WW & Holl for Mountour and Miller and we will do so after WW’s signing bonus is paid (to help out the Pegulas)

    Senior Ziggy is very pro on this move

    • @Pengy

      That would be a horrible trade for Buffalo, nothing of value. Johnson is horrid, and his contract sucks. Bjustad is always hurt and overpaid.

      • Hi Timothy J Sztaba

        Make me a reasinable offer (One I just can’t refuse ) that rids Pens of #3

    • Bjugstads career is over, he has zero trade value and Jack has even less. Ruhwedal is a 7/8 dman on a good day. Montour and Miller are both right shots. And they combine for 7 mill in salary.

      I think they re-sign Shultz for 5 mill and stay put.

      • Hi Deee

        Shhhhh…. don’t give them insider info 🤐

        Anything to rid Pens of JJ…. they better not play him in the playoffs


        Bjug is a waste of $4.1 M cap next year….. give him and JJ to Billy G for a late rounder in ‘22

        This trade to happen before Jimbo signs UFA Soucy😁

        The savings in moving JJ and Bjug and with the D shown below much cheaper than this year’s D (even after Pettersson raise; plus existing space; well more than enough to re-sign both goalies; McC; Rodriguez and Simon plus space for reasinablecist depth UFAs (like Ennis and Psyk [who plays both W & D])

        Soucy/ Riikola or *Psyk

        Note …. Soucy; Riikola; Psyk replacing JJ; Shiltz ; Ruhweedel… D younger; faster; way way better defensively; upswing offensively !!!!

        *Plays both D and W

  5. Bjugstad is out again and won’t be participating in anything this summer. Value extremely low if you can’t stay in the lineup. A big man made of peanut brittle.
    Junk gets you junk.
    Miller and Montour have more value than one would think.

    • Buffalo has not done well in it’s dealings with Pittsburgh. I would think the only asset they would consider going after from the Pens would be Murray. What would the return be? Pens need draft picks and organizational depth. This could fit the needs of both teams.

      • Hi Marko

        Any trade MUST include JJ

        I certainly don’t want to see Murray go and there is no way I would like to chance Jarry going down then only having DeSmith as starter and subsequent game back up then Larmi with a massive 9 AHL games; 0 NHL games under his belt

        So … if Murray in deal ; Hutton is part of the return and of course no deal with Pens unless JJ involved

        …. so my Mediums Zora and Ziggy propose

        Murray ; JJ; Ruhweedel; ZAR for

        Hutton; Reinhardt ; Montour

    • Hi Silver Seven

      Yep… a reason I (along with Zora and Ziggy) was trying to move him

      Recently some reports out of Pitts state a possibility of Bjug available if Pens go deep into playoffs (deep run I’m for; and depth available good; but in his small Pens sample size… this year 13 GP… 1-1-2; overall as a Pen… 16 Pts in 45 games. To me his style of play does not fit well with Pens …. perhaps Sabres??

      Re value of Montour and Miller…. I like Miller and love Montour …. as far as I’m concerned…. Montour deal was an absolute steal from Ducks

      Montour on Pens or Leafs 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  6. Lyle, I think Winnipeg should try and trade for Ristolainen. They has an abundance of young talent and from what has been mentioned numerous times is Jack Roslovic could be a strong starting point. With resigning Demelo and possibly brining in Ristolainen and Samburg poised to make the jump that would help bring the Jets D corps and the team back into strong contention again. Your thoughts?

    • Ristolainen was linked to the Jets last summer, but nothing came of it. While I wouldn’t rule anything out, it appears he might not be a trade candidate if Ralph Krueger has anything to say about it.

  7. Jack Eichel is a young 23yr old elite Center, He isn’t going anywhere unless there is an established very good young center coming back and Boston doesn’t have that.

    • No kidding, Caper. If the Pegulas want to guarantee the permanent failure of the Sabres franchise, all they have to do is trade away their best player, one of the most talented young players in the league.
      I agree with Old Blue Dog – there will be franchises contracted or moved after the dust settles on this pandemic. Sadly Buffalo could be one of them.

      • Speaking of owners who could be hurting due to Covid, look no further then Delaware North, the company that the Bruins are part of and owned by the Jacobs family.
        Private, so no access to financials, but the industries they participate in are: Gaming, Parks, Resorts, Restaurants, Specialty Retail, Sports and Travel.
        That looks like a clean sweep of suck during Covid. Can’t be good.

  8. As ridiculous as it seems, Eichel rumors could heat up, but I doubt if Buffalo were to make such an unpopular move they’d deal him in division to Boston. And why or how would B’s do it without dismantling core? If you’re already concerned about resigning Krug, how do you add a 10 mil contract. What big contracts are going to Buffalo? And if you trade McAvoy or Carlo, and let Krug walk? How long does Chara play?

  9. https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/29323153/dismantling-buffalo-sabres
    This was a good read. Pegula admits that most of his business dealings are taking a hit. Could he decide to go full rebuild and spend down to cap floor? If he trades Eichel, he could save money and stockpile picks and prospects. Have to think Skinner would then be open to waiving his nmc, although Buffalo would probably need to retain salary. Eichel is already frustrated. I don’t see how much better they’ll be next year. Doubt they spend in free agency. I think lottery could impact what they do. Lucking into #1 spot could keep Eichel happy. Maybe even a top 3 pick that can step into lineup next year. If not, they should grab Askarov if they get a chance. Considered best goalie prospect in awhile.

  10. As a Bruins fan I’m really not interested in Eichel I don’t believe the Bruins need him. Studnicka can nicely take over for Krech in two year Bergie has four more left and they can sign Nathan Mackinnon rumor is he wants to play with Marchand. Keep all your young D men they are very hard to find.

    • The problem there, Ove, is that Marchand – not a big guy by any stretch – will be closing in on 37 when MacKinnon reaches UFA status

  11. George was a poor attempt at being funny obviously I would love Eichel just mentioned the Mackinnon thing as Marchand Crosby and Nathan always work out together off season.

    • Ahhh ok. 🙂 Well, if we’re looking at it that way Obe, Drake Batherson of the Sens is also part of that workout group in Nova Scotia

  12. Sabres wish they were mediocre. That would be an improvement over the current situation.

    Eichel is not going anywhere.