NHL Rumor Mill – May 21, 2021

by | May 21, 2021 | Rumors | 45 comments

Reaction to rumors linking Jack Eichel to the Coyotes, plus the latest on the Flames and Red Wings in today’s NHL rumor mill.


AZ COYOTES INSIDER: Craig Morgan said a report earlier this week claiming the Arizona Coyotes were a “serious contender” to acquire Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel appears to be inaccurate. His understanding is the Coyotes aren’t interested in trading for Eichel and he doesn’t think they’ve even talked to anyone about the Sabres star.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Morgan acknowledged the Coyotes could use Eichel, noting they haven’t had a legitimate first-line center in 20 years. However, they forfeited their first-round pick in this year’s draft, which would be a crucial part of the Sabres’ asking price.

The Coyotes cannot afford to give away any more first-round picks. Concerns about Eichel’s neck injury, leadership and his willingness to be in Arizona would also be worrying issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Los Angeles Kings could be the front-runners if the Sabres put Eichel on the trade block. They’ve got the cap space, plenty of draft picks, and considerable depth in prospects and promising roster players to make a competitive bid if general manager Rob Blake is so inclined.

The Rangers would be next but their proximity to Buffalo would make trading Eichel to New York a sticky issue for Sabres management. Their preference could be moving him as far away as possible.


CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Flames general manager Brad Treliving acknowledged his club must make changes following this season’s disappointing performance. Whether he’ll be sticking around to make those changes remains to be seen. While Treliving is said to have two years left on his contract, he indicated he hasn’t heard from team ownership yet about his own job security.

Gilbertson also reported captain Mark Giordano could be left exposed in this year’s expansion draft, where he’d be a tempting target to be plucked away by the Seattle Kraken. Giordano said he wants to remain with the only NHL club he’s ever played for. However, the Flames can’t risk leaving younger defensemen like Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin or Chris Tanev exposed.

Daniel Austin reports winger Johnny Gaudreau is willing to discuss a contract extension. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Gaudreau said he loves the city and loves playing there. Austin considers the winger to be their best trade chip and re-signing him won’t be easy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Big decisions are coming for the Flames this summer, starting with whether Treliving remains as the general manager. If he does, he’ll likely be working more closely with head coach (and former Flames GM) Darryl Sutter on addressing their roster needs.

The Flames’ best option with Giordano is exposing him in the draft but cutting a side deal with the Kraken so they’ll take someone else from their protected list. Otherwise, they’ll have to hope Kraken GM Ron Francis will be put off by Giordano’s age (37) and the single year left on his contract.

Gaudreau’s been the whipping boy for fans and pundits for the Flames’ recent struggles. Nevertheless, I think he’s sincere about wanting to sign an extension. He’s going to seek a hefty raise over his current $6.75 million annual average value.

Given the decline in Gaudreau’s production over the last two seasons, the Flames must decide if he’s worth that kind of long-term investment. If not, they could shop him this summer. for the best possible return.


THE ATHLETIC: Max Bultman reported Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman believes his club must add more scoring and shore up the depth on the left side of his blue line.

Bultman speculates Yzerman could turn to free agency or trades to address those issues, especially for a left-shot defenseman. He also noted the Wings GM would consider trading draft picks and prospects for a 26-or-young scorer who would fit in with the club’s current young forwards.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports Marc Staal is open to returning with the Wings next season. The 34-year-old defenseman is an unrestricted free agent this summer, completing a six-year, $34.2 million contract. He’s also open to playing with brother Eric (who’s also a pending UFA with the Canadiens) or Jordan in Carolina.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Jonathan Bernier is also interested in returning with the Wings. Like Staal, the 32-year-old netminder is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Look no further than Jakub Vrana for the type of young forward Yzerman would like to add to his roster. He acquired Vrana from the Washington Capitals (along with two draft picks and veteran winger Richard Panik) in exchange for Anthony Mantha at last month’s trade deadline. Yzerman didn’t give up draft picks and prospects in that deal but he would to in order to land another comparable young scorer.

If Staal and Bernier are willing to accept affordable short-term deals then there’s probably a place for both with the Wings. However, that will depend on what moves Yzerman has in store during the summer. Both could be replaced by younger options via trades or free agency.


  1. I don’t see room or a fit at all, but part of me would love to see Eric & Marc sign in Carolina this off season! Just to have them all together (sorry Jared).

    It was never realistic that Eichel would go to the desert, realistically they have an absolute mess they have to clean up out there. They are in cap nightmare, some pretty bad contracts, not the greatest prospect pool, and depleted draft picks. The Desert Dogs are in for a long road to righting the ship.

    • Agreed. And if the Sabres are looking to trade Eichel because he’ s disgruntled about playing for a dysfunctional franchise, why would the Yotes think Eichel would be happier in the desert?

  2. Re: Giordano. Hefty raise? For a player approaching his 39th birthday? In a flat cap? I don’t think so.

    Re: Red Wings. It would be great to be able to pick up a 26-or-younger scorer. That’s why they’re not easily obtainable. In order to get one they had to give up another.

    • I didn’t say Giordano would seek a hefty raise, Howard. I said Gaudreau would.

      • Sorry. I misread that. That’s what happens when a team has two highly paid players whose names start with “G”.
        And by the way, I wasn’t doubting that even Giordano would seek a hefty raise, just that he’d get it. Given the circumstances, I doubt that Gaudreau will get a hefty raise. Unless he has a dynamite season in 21-22.

    • I have made that same mistake so many times LOL

    • Hi Howard, Gio is 37 with an October birthday.

      • Yes, he will be turning 39 about 3 months after his current contract expires.

  3. Imagine if both Giordano and Weber weren’t protected and the Kraken took them both.

    Two aging D, Captains of their respective teams, both tough as nails, booming shots from the point and clear the front of the net.

    Trading youth for leadership that would set the tone for an expansion team.

    Talk about protection for their goalie.

    • And if they arnt making playoffs and they both healthy is imagine they could potentially bring back 1sts at the deadline as rentals

      Well giordano at least. How many more years on Weber?

      • Weber becomes attractive on account of his contract.
        He has a big cap hit but his salary drops drastically.

        6 million-3 million-1 million-1million-1million.

        If he retires before the end of contract his Cap hit falls to Nashville

      • Yep HF30. Like Luongo’s deal. Canucks still paying that this upcoming season.
        I can’t see Seattle picking old expensive guys if they don’t have to.
        They should be good, but a repeat of LV type success would surprise me a bit.
        But hey, I said that about Vegas too.

    • And for sure the Kraken finish dead last. Ron Francis will not touch aging defensemen that are slow and being paid way to much unless he needs them to get to the cap floor.

  4. I wouldn’t mind seeing Gaudreau move to the Wings… I think he’d be a great fit and go right along with the youthful plan that Yzerman has in store..

  5. Johnny hockey won’t be getting any raise unless some team is desperate after he is a UFA. Sorry but he just isn’t that effective anymore past his prime and on a down hill road to nowhere good. Reminds me of Skinner signing and yes he did get the money and yes Buffalo would like a redo.

  6. Hoping for a full speedy recovery for John Tavares. Not a fan of his nor the Leafs but as the father of a son that suffered a severe concussion I sincerely hope he heals with no longterm issues.

    • Good on ya, mate.

      • My boy lost a year of school, 11/2 seasons of hockey and a season of football due to a slewfoot from behind,, crushed his head on the boards then the ice…….after the game was over.

        I hope JT has a much quicker recovery.

    • Isles fan who prayed for Tavares to be okay after that hit.

      I was one of those who boooed him out of the Coliseum when he returned with the Leafs.

      But I never want to see a player injured.
      Get well soon, JT.

  7. to CGY: Eichel & 3rd

    to BUF: Monohan & Giordano & 1st

    Gio helps lead this young Buff D and they get a #1 C for Eichel

    • No way Calgary does that – Eichel is a huge cautionary tail.
      No one trades for him until healthy. Sabres would have to eat money too.

      Just a mess in Buffalo and Calgary – trading problems to each other does what – make more problems.

      Get well #JohnnyTO91

      • Wow my reaction was no way Buffalo does that.

      • Why would Buffalo do that?

      • My reaction to Chrisms and Kent.
        That is exactly the kind of trade Cgy needs to pull off. Which they won’t be able to unless Eichel demands a trade and sits until they do.

      • I’m with you Chrisms, no chance buffalo does that trade.
        Laughable that someone would suggest that someone suggested that Calgary would be the team to decline this.

      • Re Ray Bark Im not saying that Calgary shouldnt do it, Im saying that from a Buffalo perspective its not enough

      • Buffalo would have no interest in a soon to be 38 year old defenseman. They need younger players.

  8. If LA gets impatient and I think Drew Doughty’s comments were encouraging that, then LA does make a lot of sense for Eichel.

    I think it would Byfield and a add.

    • Its already been reported, Byfield is a non-starter in any trade for Eichel. If a trade gets done then its a package based around Turcotte and Kaliyev (2/3rds of Team USAs top line that just won a gold medal at the Jrs).

      If thats not enough for Buffalo, then go find a better package elsewhere.

      • Oh yeah, no way I deal Byfield for a huge ?

        In fact, I don’t see how ANY responsible GM could give up anything of consequence for a player who could be on the verge of a recurring and debilitating sort of injury until and unless he shows that that is not the case. Not at that cap hit and term.

        And if he’s able to do that – and if Buffalo still thinks about moving him – the price goes up.

      • I think more is being made of Eichel’s injury then it is. I bet a dollar to a dime if he is traded he’s ready to go on opening night. He’s using this BS about surgery and the Sabres saying no just to create controversy and get traded.
        Adams countered with the team has 12 weeks according to the CBA to see if PT cures it, something Eichel failed to mention in his season exit interview. It’s all a game of chess to work his way out of dodge.
        Now if you want to question his character and leadership I could understand it.

      • Well, LEN, that’s one opinion and could well be a valid observation. But that means there are two diametrically opposite sides to the severity of his injury, and IF it is severe – and not some B.S. to speed up a trade – how do they impart that to a skeptical GM of another team?

        To me, if what you say is true all that will do – without irrefutable truth to the contrary – is make a trade all that much more difficult for Buffalo in terms of what they can expect to get back.

        I just don’t see the logic.

  9. With all respect to Giordano, but if Kraken picks him, the Flames should do cart wheels. Yes he can still play, but it frees up 7m in cap space they could use. Also, JG isnt the problem in Calgary, however he needs to play with the right kind of players to be effective, Monahan is not that player. JG needs to play with a really good center and a bruising winger so he gets the space to do what he does best, not sure Lindholm is that player but he is way better than Monahan.

    Possible destination for JG would be LA where he could play with Kopitar and do really well. If new contract it would be a slight raise at 7,5X4

  10. So the Canucks are bringing back Dim Jim Benning and resigned Travis Green as coach.


    The benchmark for stupidity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

    7 years into Bungling Jimmys 5 year masterplan to win a Cup and he pronounces he only needs a couple of more years to get it done. 9 years of a 5 year plan?

    Pouring gasoline on a fire is no way to put it out. This is brutal, beyond brutal.

    Vancouver Canucks, Proudly promoting mediocrity since 1970.

    • James Dolan begs to differ. His team had no expectations of contending this year, yet he chose to fire everyone! And he’ll keep paying out millions for them not to be part of team.
      On Eichel: Rangers and LA have both been reported to have already discussed a trade in past for Eichel. It’s been widely reported that Rangers weren’t giving up #1 pick (Lafreniere). I’m assuming Kungs have already passed in dealing Byfeld as well. I’m curious to see how much interest Blake has, cause I’m 99% sure Rangers will go hard after him. Obviously teams spend a lot of money on medical staffs and nobody is trading away the farm for Eichel if he’s got long term issues with neck. I’m guessing fans and pundits don’t have a clue about his health or what future risk is. Eichel will be a Ranger, and package won’t be close to exaggerated offers put out here.

      • So pray tell what non exaggerated offer would you propose that brings eichel to ny and beats out other teams offers?

      • Thought the same thing Chrisms.
        This is assuming neck injury not permanent, and that Eichel isn’t a complete A-hole, but there is no way I trade him for Lafreniere straight up.
        Eichel has been elite when healthy at the most difficult position to find.
        How many C’s are out there that you would prefer to have for the next 5 years over Eichel (Contract aside)?
        I have 4, maybe 5 with Barkov.

        Laf will likely be a very good player, IMO he will never be as good as Eichel already is.

      • Philly offer up Patrick, Couturier & Konecy for Eichel & Tage Thompson??

      • Chrisms. By exaggerated, I refer to comments I’ve seen in past where posters believe any deal starts with 2 of Laf, Kakko and Fox. That’s just not happening. I don’t know what Buffalo is looking for as far as prospects vs roster players. Rangers would probably try to include either Buchnevich or Strome just to balance cap hit some. They have a 1st this year that’ll be no lower than pick 15. They’re deep in defense prospects. If I’m Drury, I’d start with Strome, Nils Lundkvist , Kravtsov and a 1st.

      • I doubt bufferler accepts less than laf or kakko. Thing is. Neither is a center and neither proved they were super star potential… which eichel has. The just don’t see a match.

      • I don’t see Kings trading Byfeld, therefore, I don’t see Rangers giving Lafreniere up. Kakko maybe, but then I’m insisting they take Strome and the prospect becomes a next tier guy like Hajek or Reunanen. Buffalo has a couple good young centers, as well as possibly getting 1st or 2nd overall pick this year.

    • I for one am thrilled that the coach and coaching staff were brought back.

      • Why?

      • Why? They have the best goalie coach in the NHL and that whole staff group was connected as well as Green being pretty darn good himself. He squeezes everything out of the players he has and then some. Coaching is not the problem in Vancouver.

        The problem are some bad contracts eating up valuable cap space.

  11. @Ray if I were to compare excatly what we have today since no one knows what tomorrow brings. Centers I would take over Eichel

    Centers who are potentially equal

    Other centers if you need 2 way

    I’m not saying Eichel isn’t an excellent player, I just don’t think he is top 5


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