NHL Rumor Mill – May 12, 2021
More Jack Eichel trade speculation plus the latest on the Coyotes in today’s NHL rumor mill.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports multiple sources said Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel had a contentious exit interview with the organization. It’s believed he’s exploring an artificial disk replacement in his neck on the advice of his medical team. The Sabres, however, aren’t thrilled with that option because of the lack of evidence of its effectiveness on elite-level athletes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That resulted in Eichel’s surprising comments about his future during his season-ending media conference call on Monday.
Eichel may have played his final game for the Sabres. He will attract plenty of interest in the trade market despite his medical treatment.
The Rangers are the obvious suitor given their interest in Eichel last year. They weren’t willing to part with their 2020 first-round pick because it was first overall but that could be an option this time around unless they win the draft lottery again. Friedman wonders if the Sabres would ship Eichel to New York but also mused over whether they would say no if the Rangers made the best offer.
Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets could try but Friedman wonders if they have the pieces. He thinks the Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings could do it. The Ottawa Senators could too but it doesn’t make sense for them. So could the Montreal Canadiens.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun also believes the Rangers could be a suitor for Eichel, as well as the Minnesota Wild. The latter have to re-sign Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek so they have to make the money work.
Frank Seravalli doubts the Sabres would want to trade Eichel to a division rival and risk facing him six to eight times a season. He thinks California teams like Anaheim and Los Angeles would be better destinations. Ducks general manager Bob Murray wants to make a splash while the Kings reportedly had a cursory conversation with the Sabres about Eichel before last month’s trade deadline.
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun asked several NHL team executives about a potential Eichel trade sweepstakes and received a wide range of views. Despite some concerns about Eichel’s injury history and character, LeBrun has no doubt that the center will be too tempting for teams to pass up.
Michael Russo believes the Minnesota Wild would have to shed salary to fit Eichel’s $10 million annual average value within their salary cap. He wondered if the Sabres would be interested in an offer of Kevin Fiala and Matt Dumba. However, they could prefer a first-line center or blue-chip center prospect as part of any return for Eichel.
Hailey Salvian thinks Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving could look into acquiring Eichel. She speculates Matthew Tkachuk would have to be part of a package offer.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Marcus White doesn’t see the San Jose Sharks winning a bidding war for Eichel. The Kings and Ducks can outbid them and they have more cap space to work with.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still believe the Rangers and Kings would be the front-runners in the Eichel sweepstakes if they choose to pursue a trade. They have the depth in assets to make a strong pitch.
Ducks GM Bob Murray did attempt to acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois in January before he was traded to Winnipeg. However, the Sabres will ask for promising Trevor Zegras and perhaps defenseman Jamie Drysdale as well. Murray didn’t want to part with either guy for Dubois and could be reluctant to do so for Eichel.
The Blue Jackets have the cap room but I don’t see them outbidding the Rangers or Kings. Cap Friendly shows the Flyers with over $69 million invested in 17 players for next season. They must shed cap space to make room for Eichel’s $10 million cap hit and I doubt they can tempt the Sabres into helping them.
The Senators have the depth in promising assets and plenty of cap space. However, they seem happy with how their current roster is developing and could be reluctant to mess that up with a big splash in the trade pool. The Canadiens have the assets but, like the Flyers, lack the cap space to pull it off.
Wild GM Bill Guerin could kick tires on Eichel. While Joel Eriksson Ek has blossomed into a solid two-way center but they still lack a genuine first-liner. However, I think Guerin will consider more affordable options to address that need.
Treliving of the Flames could also inquire but I don’t believe he can meet the Sabres asking price or outbid other clubs He could, however, look at Eichel’s teammate Sam Reinhart. Friedman suggested Reinhart, a West Vancouver native, could attract interest from the Western Canadian NHL teams.
AZ COYOTES INSIDER: Craig Morgan believes the Arizona Coyotes’ biggest need is a No. 1 center but believes they’ll have to draft and develop one as rival clubs are reluctant to trade such commodities. If GM Bill Armstrong pursues a center it’ll likely be a middle-six option.
Morgan also believes the Coyotes need a physical top-four defenseman with a right-hand shot. Addressing that need is a priority for Armstrong.
Of the Coyotes’ pending unrestricted free agents, Morgan believes Alex Goligoski is the only one who might be brought back. He feels Goligoski would get a one- or two-year deal.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman speculates the Coyotes could trade winger Phil Kessel for draft picks and prospects. He was among the top-30 in goals this season and is due for a $5 million bonus for next season followed by $1 million in base salary. Friedman also shot down a rumor suggesting the Coyotes would buy out Nick Schmaltz.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel would certainly fill that first-line center need for the Coyotes. They have the cap space but I don’t see them getting into the bidding given the reports earlier this season of ownership’s financial woes.
Kessel still has his 8-team no-trade list but that still gives the Coyotes a decent number of possible destinations if they wish to move him. Any interested parties, however, will wait until he’s received that bonus payment.
Eichel, ho-hum. Adams will have to receive an overpayment to even consider it. With the recent spat about surgeries other teams will seek a discount, and that just can’t work for Adams after the Hall debacle. Rangers make sense, but if prospects Laf, Kakko, Fox and stars Panarin, Zibs, Trouba are off the table it again makes no sense for Adams. If he could get Kakko, Miller, another prospect and a first Adams might be tempted. But I think even that is not enough.
The Habs should trade for Eichel, have him add an “e” to the end of his name and put one of those accent lines above the middle “e”. That way they could convince the Premier of Quebec that he’s French.
In all seriousness, if the Habs do have the pieces, they could make the cap work. Suzuki would likely be part of the deal. Danault would probably not be re-signed. And someone else, Drouin possibly, would have to go the other way to balance out the numbers. But there go the two Quebecers.
Ny would be crazy to offer Miller , Kakko a first rounder plus. That’s 3- 1st rounders plus another prospect. They’d be better off going in on an offer sheet. Or leaving the top 3 centers alone and concentrate on a 4th line center.
Don’t think NY should even be in on Eichel at all. Fox shouldn’t even be a consideration. This kid plays well above his age. He’s already a Norris candidate at 23. He is an elite level d-man already. Ny needs to leave the top 4 d alone.
Don’t think Buffalo would want Trouba.
Bottom line, I don’t believe the risk on Eichel is worth the reward.
Captain, you might be the only guy talking sense here. Not only are you giving up 3 decent young players and another 1st (like they are talking) you are swapping all those cheap players for a very high priced guy. Add to all of that that he is injured and there is a lot of unknown around that injury.
Buffalo is in a tough spot with his injury, with everyone knowing he wants out and no matter what anyone says, if other teams know he wants to stay and play on the east coast, teams like LA are not going to open the vault to trade for him.
I don’t doubt it would be crazy for Rangers. However if Dolan is running the show crazy will be normal for them Look what his meddling has done to the Knicks, so don’t underestimate Dolan.
Quinn done in NY. Dolan is gonna rework this team in Sather’s image.
Quinn being fired is absolutely the right move. Honestly, I expected this on Monday.
4 coaching jobs up for grabs. I’d imagine NY would be the most desirable out of the 4 for any available coach out there. (Buffalo, Arizona and Seattle being the other 3)
Someone here mentioned Quinn never finishing that contract out a while back. I agreed.
I don’t believe the exit interviews did Quinn any favors from what’s been reported for the last couple of months. Rumors of disconnect have swirled for a while now.
Drury seems to have the reigns , not Dolan or Sather.
However, Sather didn’t do as bad of a job as everyone thinks. 3 conference finals and and one Stanley cup final on his watch.
It didn’t make a lot of sense to fire Davidson and Gorton and keep Quinn.
Quinn being fired is going to backfire on the Rangers. He is the right coach at the right time for these young players. Dolan’s impatience is going to wipe out the improvement that this team has made over the last 3 seasons. In addition if they go after Eichel and give up any top young players, this will also backfire as Eichel is one hard check away from ending his career and he is not what the Rangers need unless they can trade quantity instead of quality in order to get him. I would much rather they get Tkachuk rather than Eichel.
I don’t think losing a coach who had no success in the NHL is going to backfire.
As I mentioned, there has been whispers for moths of discontent between some players and Quinn. When a coach loses the room in any sport, it’s time to go. Especially when players like Zibanejad and a few other can just walk away.
I don’t believe this team is a true contender just yet. But I believe they could be a playoff team with the right guy and in 2-3 years a serious contender.
It was pretty obvious something was wrong when Drury and Knoblach coached this team with a much more relaxed team than we’re used to seeing.
Quinn’s constant benching and scratching was falling on deaf ears and it showed.
How could no success from Quinns time possibly go worse? This is a young, expensive team and they showed this many nights. It’s time to make the next step.
NY did exactly what was needed for the short and long term. I’ll take a Gallant over Quinn all day.
I don’t think NY is giving up these young players for Eichel. Certainly not with question marks hanging all over Eichel.
Young explosive team. Not young expensive.
Canadians have the assets…where?
Caulfield would have to be included, you would think. But the Habs lack any cap space to take on $10 million.
I Think Seravalli makes the most sense and lets face it LA is the New York of the west…they crave star power and could provide a blue chip center prospect in return which New York can’t. They have the cap room and you only see Eichel 2x a year.
What I love is we want your NHL top 10 center but you can’t have any of our top prospects.
Personally I don’t want Kakko so if New York wants Eichel that bad it starts with Lafreniere or I would just hang up the phone.
Ducks have a lot to offer besides Zegras and Drysdale. Geztlaf retired out …Eichel in.
Comtois , Terry ,Steele , Manson
If those guys didn’t get Dubois then why would they get Eichel?
Hall a rental Jack ain’t
Rumor is Jack wants to be a Bruin not sure what it would take but McAvoy for sure and a lot more rumors are Hall and Jack want to play again together but in Boston.
Jack and Hall didn’t do anything together this year so not sure how I feel about the Bruins getting him in a trade.
However, maybe Jack coming to the Bruins has the same effect as it did on Hall playing 2nd line and not having to be the man.
MaCvoy is a non starter IMO any trade would likely revolve around a young goalie, studnikca, a 1st and another decent prospect.
I would still be cautious on his injury if I was any team trading for him.
Gonzo dontya know the B makes you play big! If you’re not wearing the black and gold, you’re….
lol, the Bruins have not made a play like this since the 80’s. The only big plays they have done have been to ship out Thornton and then ship out Seguin.
Eichel to Boston would take a small miracle. First concern – you have the top line, already set with Berg-Pasta-March….do you need a $10M 2nd line center, to replace a guy you have right now at $7.25; resigning Krecji would be the better route, still has some hockey in him and they know what they are getting.
2nd — Boston still has to sign a starting goalie (Rask is an 34 yr old UFA).
3rd – with 1 big RFA and 4 UFA on the back end, you still have to fill out that part of your roster. Doubt they want to have a bunch of rookies in front of their new goaltender.
Eichel is staying put. These are the risks when you sign a big contract (ie > $9M) — you limit your options if the relationship goes south.
There is always hope in a trade that Buffalo would retain some money in any deal. IMO that is the only way Buffalo is going to get a really stacked package for JE based on everything going on right now.
As for him playing 2nd line center, as much as I can appreciate Krejci and believe he has a couple of years left, I would take Jack all day long if healthy.
Phil Kessel has one year remaining on his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2022. I do not see interest from other teams interested in a one-season rental player. Kessel starts 2021-2022 with Arizona. If the Coyotes do not qualify for postseason play, Kessel could be traded as a rental player.
“I do not see interest from other teams interested in a one-season rental player.
Why not? Especially if Arizona pays out his bonus. Someone good for at least 20 goals being paid a million bucks? There would be teams lining up to bid.
I wouldn’t touch Eichel with a ten foot hockey stick …
And Eichel thanks you for that, as I’m sure would anyone else.
Habfan30, I saw your reply to my post about the Habs acquiring Eichel too late to reply.
They have the cap room: with Tatar, Danault, Staal, Gustaffson and Merill off the books the Habs have almost 12 million in cap space. That assumes the Habs let Danault walk, but there is no difference in the cap space if the Habs sign and trade Danault.
Now this doesn’t factor in Gallagher and Drouin’s returning from LTIR, but I can’t see Drouin returning to the Habs so add another $5 million in cap space. Note too how clever the Leafs were in getting around the cap this year, so there are a lot of different choices on how to fit Eichel’s salary.
Who goes to the Sabres? Anyone not named Suzuki, Gallagher, Toffoli or Caulfield. The only pause point is the experimental surgery that Eichel wants, which apparently has been successful for pro athletes but with a very limited # of cases to go on.
LJ, if the Sabres trade Eichel to the Habs, I don’t see how Suzuki is not a part of the deal. They would want a solid, young Centre in return. I would figure it would cost Suzuki, one of Kaiden Guhle/Jayden Struble/Matthias Norlinder/Jordan Harris, this year’s First, possibly another mid-level prospect and a guy like Drouin to balance out the cap. I agree that there’s no way the Habs trade Caufield. As for Toffoli and Gallagher, the Habs obviously won’t trade them and, in any event, the Sabres would prefer younger and cheaper players.
Meanwhile, the Madison Square Massacre continues. David Quinn has been fired.
Howard, IMO Suzuki is too valuable to trade. If he is traded, the Habs may be forced to pay too much to retain Danault (excellent defensively, poor offensively), and hope that KK takes a bigger step next year than I can see happening.
I doubt the Sabres will trade Eichel to the Habs. I am just frustrated by how the lack of production at center has hobbled the Habs who finally have some wingers who can score. Something has to change, or next year will look like this year. Right now, the center who will make the biggest difference is Suzuki. Hold on to him and see Eichel can be had as well.
Substitute KK for Suzicki, add Guhle, Drouin, Jake Allen & a 1st and I’m down. Eat some dollars if you have to. Just get a guy that can perform as a true #1 centre.
Eichel is never coming north of the border.
My guess leading guess is LA for Byfield + they might be impatient. Second guess Bluejackets good D man, good young goalies and high draft pick. They have 3 in first round.
OBD, Eichel wants out because the Sabres will not be Cup contenders in Methuselah’s life span. He hasn’t played in one playoff game in the 6 years he has been in the NHL.
His feelings have been widely reported so I don’t understand why pundits keep suggesting LA, or NYR for that matter, as they aren’t going to be legit Cup contenders in the next several years.
I’d love the Habs to go get him, for while they aren’t legit Cup contenders now he would surely elevate them.
I think with these big name guys more strings get pulled behind the scenes than regular fans would guess. For Canadian teams the time to get these guys is at the draft.
I know we disagree as to the value of Suzuki. I am ready to cede you the point as you see him more often than I. I don’t see him as a #1.
Hindsight is 20-20. I don’t know what the Habs put on the table when the Blue Jackets traded the big French Canadian centre. That was the chance and I thought Winnipeg overpaid. A big miss for the Habs.
Lj think you are the Habs fan that doesn’t want to hear about the choice of KK over Tzachuk. And I understand as nothing can change the past. However, drafting and forcing Tzachuk to be a centre and trading for big French Canadian centre now would totally change Montreal as a credible cup challenger. They have the size on D and the goaltending but not much at all at centre.
By the way this Leaf fan does not think the Leafs are a legitimate challenger nor would I be very surprised if the Leafs lost again in the first round.
OBD: It isn’t that I don’t want to hear the truth about KK; rather, it is that at 20 years old it is too early to right him off.
Is Tkachuk the better player now: sure he is. You suggest that he be forced to play center. I don’t think a player can be forced to play center – it’s a hard position to play well.
If one switched Tkachuk for KK right now the Habs would be better off. But I believe the shop worn thinking that a dominant # 1 center is both imperative for success and almost as hard to find as a unicorn.
Above I have repeated my desire to trade KK and just about any other Hab for Eichel, so again, I am neither sensitive about peoples’ views of KK, nor am I wed to the guy.
But I also believe it likely that he will be a Hab for two more years. If by that time he has not made steady and considerable improvement then he will join Drouin as a big bust.
Eichel has no choice where he goes and that’s why the Sabres must act now…if LA comes in with a great offer that’s where he goes whether he likes it or not. If the Sabres let this go into the season they lose all the leverage they now possess bc that NMC goes kicks in after next season. Jack did his best to piss off management and ownership with his interview yesterday so he can get out of dodge asap just like ROR did.
Eichel will be bruins for life
The Rangers need to say no to Eichel. will give them two centers with injury histories. Also the Sabres were no better or worst without Eichel/Hall on the ice. Rangers do not need that head in the room.
I’d prefer making a deal for Hertl or similar. The Sharks are not contenders
I know it’s not going to happen, but I would love to see Eichel with Laine in Columbus. The Blue Jackets have the cap space to make it happen but I don’t think they have the pieces to trade for him.
Doesn’t anyone wonder what kind of a “guy” he is besides his obvious on ice talent. Whiny b>tch? extent of his back issues? Worth selling the farm for? Also, if a team has to unload 3/4 players just to make room cap wise, does it make sense?
I think Columbus is a good possible partner. Or Kings/Dux
Hey Vincois, I would agree on your choices, and believe Buffalo is best served burying him somewhere on the West Coast out of the division and time zone.
What about Calgary…maybe a blockbuster with Reinhart joining Eichel and Tkachuk as one of the players coming back. Maybe a third team is needed to make it all work. Just a thought
I don’t think Buffalo is trading both.
Ottawa won’t get into anything on Eichel. They are committed to their core of young players and want to see who shakes out next year as part of the future and then start to use their depth of young players and picks to swing a deal.
If Ottawa adds any players at all in the off-season, it will be a trade or a depth signing for a right wing. Even then, good chance they could stand pat. Expansion I think they lose either Dadonov or Tierney and this to me will be the indicator. I think Ottawa is ready to ship Dadonov.
Tkachuk- Norris – Batherson
Stutzle – Pinto – Brown
Forementon – White – Paul
Dzingle – Tierney – Watson/Abromov
Logan Brown & Sokolov in the conversation for spots up front.
Chabot – Zaitzev
Brannstrom – Zub
Mete – Brown/Docker
I am fine seeing how this team would shake out in Ottawa next year. It’s a solid two way club, defensively responsible, hard working, score by committee.
Quinn fired. Does this hurt Rangers chances of going after him?
JJB some good takes , Senators need to stay away from Eichel at all costs. I am with you on shipping Dadonov and Tierney however possible. I believe they need a veteran first pairing d man to play with Chabot. Zub impressed me this year, he could pair with Zaitsev or Branstrom. I don’t see Mete in the mix and JDB needs a year in Belleville IMO. The top3 lines are good projections but I would add some veteran sandpaper to play with Watson on the 4th line, I would like to see them lure Glendening as the 4th line pivot. Dzingle gets cut loose unless he wants to sign for a deep discount. Sokolv may get a look & I predict L. Brown gets shipped to Seattle as an incentive for them to take Dadonov. Brown was projected as a 1/2 center and that ship has sailed. For the most part Dorion needs to steer clear of the UFA market this year , last seasons additions did not pan out at all
Hoo-ya agreement on that last sentence.
Hmmm that last statement is a curious one… would one say that the pro scouts are not up to snuff as compared to the amateur scouts? Scary when you consider if the GM needs both parts to be “right” especially when trading away a cheap young player for a bigger cap hit experienced player which at some point they will need to do.
good point Ron , Senators amateur scouting gets top marks , pro scouting not so much based on last years UFA signings and trades.
While in hindsight it’s hard to disagree Fergy I still maintain there were extenuating circumstances in the veteran acquisitions last year.
Where Coburn and Paquette were concerned, they were the cost of getting Tampa to take the Gaborik and Nilsson LTIR contracts – which the Senators would never use for cap reasons.
Both were over-used by Smith in the early 2-12-1 funk before Coburn was dealt to NYI for a 7th rounder in 2022 and Paquette – along with another stiff, Galchenyuk, to Carolina for Dzingel – who has at least contributed to the turn-around.
Gudbranson, obtained for a 5th round pick in 2021, was brought in as a sandpaper element to replace Borowiecki – but unfortunately, trotting both he and Coburn out there on different tandems did nothing to help the D in the early going. He then went to Nashville for a 7th rounder in 2023 and a minor-league D.
Stepan cost a 2nd round pick and in retrospect was the worst result of the lot in many ways, although in his case he had to leave his wife and newborn in Arizona, which couldn’t have been easy to handle even in the best of times, never mind a world-wide pandemic. Then, of course, he had the season-ending injury – but to his credit he gave 100% every time he did play – I wish him well.
Murray was always a gamble, I think we all knew that. I also did not mind the signing of Dadonov at all. For what he is paid to his production history he is actually quite discounted. The problem is he doesn’t fit into the Ottawa system, this is more why I think it is time to move on from Dadonov and I don’t believe an incentive would be needed for Seattle to go with him.
I think we are in agreement though that if Ottawa is going out there at all, it is for a veteran winger that has some grit to play in the bottom 6.
I’d love to get a top pairing D, for Chabot. But those aren’t easy to find and I’d rather at this just wait on Docker/Sanderson/Brannstrom to fill the role.
Mete 100% coming back next year. He has been great for us and when paired with Brown, statistically they were forming one of the top 3rd pairings in the NHL for their brief time together. Could be right about Docker.
I don’t think they will be like last year, they saw the veteran route wasn’t the way to go and unless someone like Zach Hyman becomes a UFA, I’m staying out of this market.
JJB , Dadonov put up big numbers playing with Barkov and Huberdeau , end of story. Some games I have to check the box score to see if he really played , he was that unnoticeable. Hyman would be a bonus but I can’t see the Leafs letting that happen. I would much rather sign a guy like Forbort or Cole than bring back Mete.
George , I was ok with Gudbranson , Brown is AG light. As you know I have been sour they let Boro walk , he was my favorite Senator player.
Fergy22, it’s hard not to like Borowiecki’s character. He’s an engaging personality. But let’s be honest, here. He would never be more than a swing 7th D, and when he did play, his style and aggressive approach to the game – and the fact he isn’t a big guy – meant he was frequently banged up, and often out for stretches. As he is now in Nashville – and has been since March 10. He turns 32 in July. $2 mil per is just a tad too much.
LJ That is fair enough and I agree with it. It is league full of mature big men. Their major interest is not winning the Stanley Cup but their contracts. In fact, I have written here, these are not teams but 31 different collections of sub-contractors we fans call a team.
One thing I think almost all teams do is put too many first year pros in the NHL. I don’t if the major motivation is beating the cap or keeping screaming fans happy by swinging for the fences with a rookie.
KK did not get enough time in the minors. And it seems to have slowed his growth. He may still make it as you say. He seems to have the support of his older team mates. There are places where rookies and sophomores don’t get much support from the older guys.
I would surprised if both he and Suzuki worked out.
Could not agree more, OBD, and the Lightning and Red Wings are good examples of teams that turn prospects into solid pros in the AHL.
Right now and thru the offseason I wouldn’t trade McAvoy straight up for Eichel……they can have Carlo & DeBrusk and a piece .. that would probably mean two of three wouldn’t be back ….40..46…71
Carlo might start that conversation, but Buffalo has enough underachieving wingers already. Debrusks name will get you a quick dial tone.
Nothing a few goals in the playoffs won’t change though
A few goals in the playoffs isn’t changing that. Buffalo isn’t taking Debrusk. They have enough issues at wing as it stands.
I’m sure other teams would outbid that offer.
Now if Boston wants Skinner or Okposo in return, that may make it work. But that won’t work for Boston’s cap.
Eichel will be a Ranger. Inevitable.
Trade Eichel to LA for Byfield Quick and Brown 21’1st 22’1st and prospects whatever to make it work
Trade Reinhart and Risto
Then Byfield and maybe use Buf 1st to draft a center as Eichel replacement
Prospects and picks can fill the holes in lineup
By the time Quick Brown and Okposo cap are gone there picks should be close enough to play. Build around Dahlin Cozens Mittelstadt and there young D that are getting called up and go from there
Nah! LA passes at that offer.