NHL Rumor Mill – May 14, 2021

by | May 14, 2021 | Rumors | 56 comments

The latest on Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall, Tyson Barrie and Nolan Patrick plus recent speculation on the Red Wings and Lightning in today’s NHL rumor mill.


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.

Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

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.


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.

Perhaps GM Steve Yzerman could attempt to use one of his younger players to make a deal similar to the one where he shipped Anthony Mantha to Washington for a package deal involving Jakub Vrana.

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.

In a recent mailbag segment, The Athletic’s Joe Smith was asked which Tampa Bay Lightning players are most likely to be shipped out this summer to dump some salary.

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.


  1. Julien Brisbois got a break when Kucherov had surgery and opened up all that coin, he will have to do some serious cap juggling after this season to try and keep the band together …

    • Hey everyone, Captain obvious makes a bold statement.

      Yes, this too is obvious.

      • I don’t follow?

      • If you have a point, I missed it because you replied in the wrong place. I don’t think I’m alone in missing your point.

        If you’re looking to make things personal, or get into a pissing match because you disagree with something I said? I won’t indulge you here. You’re on your own.

      • Nah, Captain Obvious. I think Ron just forgot that there was a poster using that nick and it was a bit of sarcasm directed at ed – who deserves it.

      • Got ya. I missed that one. I thought you were trying to bait me. Apologies

  2. Re Nolan Patrick, This guy can’t have a ton of value right now, right? He passes the eye test but those migraine issues are a real wild card.

  3. Sorry need to vent. This league’s salary cap and LTIR are a complete joke. Kucherov missing the season but being fine for the first playoff game??? And the NHL has reviewed and it is fine? Why have any cap? And you see all the LTIR moves by other teams this season. Yes I know its all “legal”, but it still stinks.

    • The two leading recipes for success are building a better mousetrap … and finding a bigger loophole.

    • Red, totally agree. It’s a mockery. Recall reading 2 months ago Kucherov was skating.

    • Will add that I’m hoping Tampa sweeps Panthersso we can start talking Barkov rumors, who I’d prefer to Eichel for NYR! I proposed last off season a deal involving Panarin for Barkov

      • Barkov is among the NHL’s best two-way centers. Panarin is one of the league’s best offensive wingers. This deal isn’t a fit for the Panthers. They already have a top-scoring left winger in underappreciated Jonathan Huberdeau. Trading away Barkov for another scoring winger is acquiring an asset the Panthers don’t need while leaving a gaping hole at center.

      • dont see it happening.barkov is currently the face of the panthers

      • Lyle, agree on all accounts of Barkov value, but prefaced my comment with Tampa sweeping Fla in 1st round. There was rumors after last season about a shakeup. Disagree with them not needing a left wing just because they have one. Panarin has been mostly on 2nd line with Rangers. Huberdeau can play center, but not completely necessary. They drafted another stud last year who’s coming off an almost point per game season in Liiga, on top of having a nice crop already. Maybe Quenneville would prefer his stud LW from Chicago over Barkov if they bow out early?

      • Recent reports regarding the Panthers suggest they’re focused on re-signing Barkov. Maybe that changes if the Panthers get swept by the Bolts but probably not unless he wants to leave. As for Panarin, you’re forgetting he has a full no-movement clause and the Rangers have no desire to trade him. He loves playing in New York.

      • @Slick
        Barkov not leaving coach Q and the tax friendly state

        I prefer to keep Zib, pass on Eichel and add one of these centers Hertl, Larkin, Cirelli, RNH(no roster player cost),Lindholm

        RNH is going to be overpaid by somehow though and not worth more than 6.5

      • I know Panarin has nmc. I, like other Ranger fans love having Panarin. I still believe he wanted to go with his buddy to Florida but due to cap, they couldn’t fit both him and Bob. He may wave to go there. All new Fromt office plus we don’t know who Rangers next coach will be. What if it’s Torts? Panarin left him once already. I suggest this only due to the constant talk in NY about needing another center. This is an alternative to giving up top prospects for Eichel, which I believe they’ll pursue.
        ds. I see RNH getting extension with Oilers. and all others you mentioned won’t be traded. Next best option could be a hefty offer sheet for Peterson.

      • I think Torts coaching NY has a about a good of a chance as us all hitting powerball tonight.

        It’s just an available name being thrown out for a vacant coaching position. Nothing more.

        I’ll be shocked if Gallant is not NYs coach by next week. I mentioned a few days ago seems a good match on all sides. And with the only other available jobs being Buffalo, Arizona and Seattle.

        You’d have to be nuts to take the Buffalo gig.

      • ds….I think RNH would be the only option for FL. The others are all their respective team’s number one centers except for Cirelli, and I doubt Tampa is interested in moving a Young stud like him. The cost for any of those would be high. It would be interesting to know what you think the Panthers would have to give up for any of them.

      • Drury can offer a package of Nils or Jones+Chytil+ their 2021 1st rounder for a center which leaves the team in a great position.

      • Sorry ds, I thought you were a Panthers guy. I don’t think your proposal is nearly enough to get Cirelli or Larkin or Lindholm or Hertl. The cost would have to start with Laffy/Kakko, and then add from there. Chytl is looking like a #3 C who doesn’t play a 200 ft. game. If he were more, than NY wouldn’t trade him, and his value is probably at a mid round draft pick. The other guys are nice prospects, but haven’t yet proved themselves at the AHL level. Here’s a polite “No thank you”.

      • Capt O. I hope you’re right about Torts. Not a big fan of his. Guess it depends on what Drury thinks of him since he was on team when Torts coached. Not that far fetched. Looks like Gallant is 1st up and let’s hope it goes well.

      • @Iago
        Yes I could see one of the D kids+Kakko+1st pick…no way the Rangers can go zib-strome-chytil again next year.
        Nils is hyped and could be a top pairing guy sooner than later. If a team is hot on him that helps
        Laf is off the table.
        Curious who the Rangers bring in down the middle

      • I think Eichel is off the table until they figure out the neck situation. But if Calgary wants to make a shake-up, consider a trade for western Canada son Sam Reinhart. Sabres will need someone like Lindholm back and probably a little more for a player to was a top 10 in the league goal scorer this year.

      • Why would Calgary move Lindholm plus for Reinhardt? makes no sense. He is better and cheaper with a contract signed

    • I hear you redmonsters. And please don’t get me started on how Marion Hossa’s skin condition suddenly became intolerable when his actual salary dropped to a paltry $1m.

    • I find it hard to believe that Tampa would sit not only their best player, but one of the best in the league to circumvent the cap. I also find it even harder to believe Kucherov would willingly sit out.

      I think they’d sooner “Nancy Kerrigan” Johnson , Gourde, Kilhorn, etc.

      Could he have come back a month ago? Maybe? But the guy had hip surgery, not a sore throat or an allergic reaction to his equipment.

      Maybe they’re pushing Kucherov too hard to come back too early.

      Look no further than these ridiculous trades of Savard, Pronger, Horvat, dead contracts if you’re looking for a cap boogeyman.

      • Wonder if playoffs started a month ago, would he have been in lineup? We’ll never know.

      • Regardless, a player no matter how good he is, will have a hard time staying up with the play with regular NHL games, which becomes even harder in the playoffs when everyone is in peak condition and you coming off after a season-long layoff recovering from a major hip procedure.

        Will they be better with him, probably but I’ll be surprised if is a game-breaker right out of the gates… but we’ll see soon enough.

      • TBay will need some goals from both those guys with Hedman out.
        IMO he is their best player (along with Vas). They struggled in 2019 when he was hurt for the playoffs.
        I think I would take FLA in that one as hard as that is to do.

    • How effective do you think Kucherov will be after not playing a game in almost a year? I don’t agree with what TBay did, but Kucherov will not be the same player he was the last few season. He won’t be in game shape and he won’t be up to speed of the game, IMO.

      • I’ll take the over on that one-

    • And second place is to trades where not just one but two teams retain player salary so a third team can acquire the player. Very clever, but makes a mockery of the salary cap.

      There should be a cap on skirting the cap: a player can only have one team retain a limited % of his salary.

      • when they didnt allow teams to trade cap space which is seen as an asset, there were no trades or were hard to come by. You are on a rumor site… Trading cap space ($$$) helps rumors happen as well as actual trades that would not be possible without doing this.

        Cap manipulation is the same as a real hard nose player that makes hits right on that line of legal but in your mind, it was very dirty.

      • I am aware that I am on a rumors site Ron. It has never occurred to me that I should advocate for league rules that are good for rumours.

        As for the difficulty of trades, I stated quite clearly there should be a limit on cap retention, not an outrun ban.

  4. Brisbois will just ask the first high priced player or two that gets a hangnail to sit it out til round one of the 2022 playoffs.

    • A moved frowned upon when the Canucks do it, but applauded and cheered when the Lightning and Golden Knights do so because well they are the Lightning and Golden Knights and they do no wrong in the media and NHLs eyes.

      • When did the Knights and Canucks do something like this?


  5. Ottawa locks up Zub , two years 2.5 per , good signing IMO

    • VERY good signing Fergy22. While almost all the rookies who played a significant number of games (Gustavsson, Norris, Stutzle, Formenton, Brannstrom) – and even those with limited gp (Pinto, Daccord, Bernard-Docker) didn’t do anything to hurt their chances next season, in my humble opinion Zub really stood out, playing a solid physical D while showing he’s also capable of solid zone-clearing passes and joining the offensive side.

      So glad he chose Ottawa when being pursued by a number of teams as a UFA out of Russia.

      • Hey George, what do you think of Mylnyks Christmas vacation? Was it as bad as The Griswald’s? Ha

      • Thar was hilarious reading FD! And apparently he had his own Captain Bligh. The only thing lacking was a mutiny. So he and his girlfriend barfed their way around the Caribbean.

      • I wonder which persona represented Melnyk: the Thurston Howell III, Gilligan, or perhaps the debutante Ginger?

      • Love the signing. About a month ago I was saying a 2y 2.5-2.75 would be good. I then started to really want a 5 year deal. This is a deal I can live with though.

        Good money, they term works and puts us in the exact spot where we should start to see how are defenseman are shaking out (Looking particularly at Sanderson & Docker here). Will give Zub a chance to show he is part of the long term future. I really think he will be a long term fixture on the Top 4 and there is still more room for him to grow.

        Sanderson, Zub, & Docker are my predictions as our shut down guys with varying degrees of offensive upside. That could really let Chabot & Brannstrom play the offensive game a bit more freely!

  6. Regarding Nolan Patrick, Maybe the Sens should look into trading Logan Brown for Patrick. Both players need fresh starts, both are restricted free agents and could make sense.

    could also add trade Chris Tierny for Claude Giroux.

    • interesting proposal Mark but Philly would want more in return. Giroux would be a good veteran presence for Ottawa , Philly sheds a heavy contract. Not sure how the Philly faithful would feel about Fletcher shipping the captain out after 13 solid years of service. Not that Patrick is living up to his previous billing but Brown’s value is at an all time low. Giroux has a NMC but may waive to go to Ottawa , he played his junior in Gatineau and married an Ottawa girl + spends part of the off season in Ottawa.

    • This is an interesting proposal, I really doubt that it happens, and even taking that salary back, Ottawa would have to add more. But I like the idea of taking a look at Nolan Patrick for Ottawa. Not for center ice, but he plays the right wing and he does have a hard nosed game. I’d like to get him playing the 3rd line right wing and if he gets his scoring touch back, then that’s great!

      Giroux would be a good veteran addition down the middle. But that is either offsetting Pinto/White to the 4th line! So I don’t know how I feel about that.

  7. Question:

    If Eichel goes against the teams advice, has surgery & never recovers enough to resume his career fully, can the Sabres void the contract??


    If he has surgery against the teams advice & cannot continue to play, will the teams insurance cover him????

    • Uwey, depends what the contract language says. I would think the Sabres could void it, otherwise he would have had the surgery already wouldn’t he?

      Or he is just blowing smoke about it.

      • The consequence of voiding the contract would surely mean that Eichel becomes a UFA. Anyone, am I incorrect?

        If correct then the Sabres would be foolish to forfeit whatever assets they could get from trading Eichel, or forfeiting the chance of him being productive for them even via surgery they don’t like but he insists on.

        As for Eichel: he has a limited set of options; rest and rehab; traditional surgery; or surgery with an artificial disk. If he weren’t truly interested in the artificial disk surgery what is his motivation for advocating for it?

  8. Patrick fell on the laps of the Flyers. Nothing to lose whatever they do.

    Hossa didn’t find a miracle cream and came back for the playoffs. I still maintain this was legitimate . Ask Ron Flockhart speaking of Flyers .

    Eichel would need to play first before I gave up a Kings ransom

  9. Just curious here, but who do you guys consider the best pure defensive pairing in the NHL?

    Of course, as an Isles fan I get to see Pelech and Pulock every game. They get my vote.

    I watch as much hockey as anybody. But I do not get to see teams like Ottawa (unless they play the Oil or Leafs). So, I realize that I am missing a huge amount of input.

    Who do you guys think are the best shut down pair?

    Any nominees?

    • Theodore & Pietrangelo get my vote

  10. I think Florida beats Tampa in first round but could be wrong Florida just looks like they are on a roll. If you have first pick in playoff draft who do you take ? Mackinnon ?

    • Heard he is banged up Obe.
      Don’t know how bad.
      Needs to be a division winner so who comes out of the North? I think the Leafs but Oilers have been really, really good since first 10 games or so. If they win the North McDAvid wins the points IMO.
      Or go full Bruins and take Marchand.