NHL Rumor Mill – May 14, 2021
LATEST ON EICHEL, HALL, BARRIE AND PATRICK
WGR550.COM: TSN insider Frank Seravalli said he spoke to an NHL general manager potentially interested in trading for Jack Eichel saying he considers the Buffalo Sabres captain untradeable at the moment. He cited the status of the center’s health and his apparent unhappiness with the Sabres.
Eichel and the Sabres’ front office are in disagreement over the treatment of a herniated disk in his neck. He’s said to be interested in a surgical procedure never done on an NHL player before while the Sabres prefer a conservative rehab approach.
Seravalli still feels there are teams around the league with sufficient salary-cap space who would take the risk on Eichel. He believes the Los Angeles Kings are interested based on a cursory conversation they had with the Sabres before the trade deadline. He thinks they have the assets to make a trade work but rules out the Kings parting with top prospect Quinton Byfield.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel and the Sabres have reportedly agreed to wait until early June to decide on the next step in his treatment. The healthier he is, of course, the more interested they will be. As Seravalli indicated, those clubs will want to review Eichel’s medical reports before agreeing to swing a deal with the Sabres.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss recently reported Bruins president Cam Neely said his club would like to try and re-sign Taylor Hall but they’d like to see how things go in the playoffs. Hall is providing a big boost to the Bruins’ offense since his acquisition from the Sabres at the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer but has expressed an interest in staying with the Bruins. His performance in the upcoming postseason and what he’s looking for in his next contract will determine his future in Boston.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports Tyson Barrie could test this summer’s UFA market following his solid bounce-back performance this season with the Edmonton Oilers. Barrie would like to stay in Edmonton but he also wants the stability of a long-term contract. That might not be possible with the Oilers attempting to re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last season’s disappointing performance with the Toronto Maple Leafs hurt Barrie’s stock in last year’s free-agent market. His play this season could fetch him a lucrative new deal elsewhere. Dreger mentioned Barrie could seek a five- or six-year term. Whether that’s possible given the current salary-cap constraints remains to be seen.
Frank Seravalli speculated on the possibility of Nolan Patrick seeking a fresh start away from the Philadelphia Flyers. The 22-year-old forward is a restricted free agent and recently hired his third agent in as many years. Seravalli said the Flyers still feel Patrick is a player just scratching the surface of his talent and would like to see him get a full summer of training and come to training camp healthy for the first time in a while.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Selected second overall in the 2017 NHL Draft, Patrick missed all of 2019-20 with migraine issues. Perhaps the two sides will work out another one-year contract and see how things work out from there.
RECENT SPECULATION ON THE RED WINGS AND LIGHTNING
THE ATHLETIC: Max Bultman recently examined the Detroit Red Wings’ biggest offseason priorities. He wondered if they might use their stockpile of draft picks and abundant salary-cap space to accelerate their rebuild as long as the players’ involved fit their desired age range.
Bultman also feels the Wings should see if they can leverage this summer’s expansion draft to perhaps add players who might be exposed by other clubs. They must also find more offense and decide if they’ll bring back goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings were among the teams linked to Jack Eichel earlier this week. While they have the cap space and assets to make a competitive bid, I’m not convinced Yzerman would pursue that type of deal. I’m not saying he won’t kick the tires but a blockbuster of that magnitude could cost more established assets than he’s willing to give up.
Smith believes Tyler Johnson will be moved despite the failed attempts to move him via trade and waivers in the offseason. Johnson’s no-trade clause becomes a modified one this summer but a sweetener (like a first-round pick) might have to be added.
The Lightning also have players they could move in return for assets, such as Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn. They don’t want to lose either player but one of those forwards could be among the cost-cutting options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could also involve some creative moves by Lightning GM Julien BriseBois involving a third team similar to the deal that brought David Savard to Tampa Bay before the trade deadline.