Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 16, 2021

by | May 16, 2021 | Rumors | 30 comments

Is there a path for the Bruins to land Jack Eichel? Should the Rangers consider signing Pekka Rinne? What’s the latest on Seth Jones’ contract talks. Check out the latest in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


THE BOSTON GLOBE: Matt Porter examined possible paths for the Boston Bruins to acquire Jack Eichel. The Buffalo Sabres captain raised eyebrows during his exit interview last week expressing unhappiness over his situation, claiming there was a disconnect between himself and the club regarding treatment for his herniated disk in his neck.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Porter believes the Bruins could afford Eichel’s $10 million annual salary-cap hit for the next five seasons if they let unrestricted free agents like David Krejci, Tuukka Rask and Sean Kuraly depart this summer. He also pointed out Bruins president Cam Neely admitting his club is a little thin at center. Current top-two centers like Patrice Bergeron and Krejci are in their mid-thirties.

The toughest question is whether the Bruins can afford what would be an expensive asking price by the Sabres. Porter feels it could mean parting with winger David Pastrnak. Eichel’s injury could also complicate matters.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Bruins general manager Don Sweeney will inquire about Eichel if the 24-year-old center and the Sabres fail to smooth over their differences. Sweeney has a recent trade history with the Sabres, having acquired Taylor Hall from them at the trade deadline.

Sweeney got Hall for a song because the veteran winger used his no-movement clause to ensure he’d go to Boston. The Bruins won’t have that advantage with Eichel because his NMC doesn’t kick in until 2022-23.

Sabres GM Kevyn Adam would seek a significant return, perhaps one too expensive for the Bruins. That could involve Pastrnak or defenseman Charlie McAvoy.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks makes the case for the New York Rangers to sign Pekka Rinne if the Nashville Predators goaltender becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. He feels the 38-year-old Rinne would bring much-needed leadership to the Rangers’ dressing room and act as a mentor for starting goalie Igor Shesterkin.

Brooks believes Alexandar Georgiev, the Rangers’ current backup, might benefit from a change of scenery if the Blueshirts move him and his $2.425 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rinne could test the free-agent market this summer. However, I suspect he’ll retire as a player and perhaps take on a front-office role with the Predators. I

If Rinne decides to continue his career I don’t think he’d be the right choice for the Rangers. Yes, he’d bring leadership but performance is another matter. His best seasons are behind him and he saw only one start for the Predators over the final month of the regular season.


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports the Columbus Blue Jackets have asked Seth Jones if he’ll consider looking at a contract extension at some point during the offseason. The 26-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Johnston said Jones has spoken with his agent and is taking the weekend to think things through. He expects the blueliner will get back to Jackets management over the next several days about whether he’s willing to discuss an extension now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation the Jackets could attempt to trade Jones this summer if he won’t commit to an extension. However, The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline recently reported the Jackets were willing to keep Jones into next season without an extension. Initial discussions had begun between Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen and Jones’ agent, Pat Brisson.

Kekalainen also told Portzline he and his staff have looked at whether the return is greater for trading pending UFAs one year away from the expiration of their contracts versus moving them at the trade deadline. He feels competition tends to be more intense at the trade deadline.

The Jackets could take their chances going into next season with Jones if he remains unsigned and try to change his mind. If he doesn’t, they’ll shop him to the highest bidder at the trade deadline.


  1. I would never trade Pastrnak or McAvoy for overrated Jack Eichel .. therefore I really don’t see a match there …

    • I am with you: Jack Eichel has captained and done little to lead, and by virtue of his first overall selection will always be over-rated. Sure, talented. Has he dominated? If he had, the Sabres would have won more over his tenure. It is speculate things like better line mates, locker room culture bringing out more from him. But … an NHL team would have to be really desperate for a marquee name and the salary that will be coming with him to mortgage their future with the hopes that Jack can centerpiece whoever is left on the roster and farm to greater heights. The point is this ISN’T Crosby, McDavid, MacKinnon, Matthews or Barkov even. This Jack Eichel.

      • ….sorry…

        It is easy to speculate things like better line mates, locker room culture bringing out more from him. But … an NHL team would

      • 78 and 82 points on a crappy Sabres team the last two full seasons….overrated? Seriously?

        You can say lots about Eichel and the Sabres poor play, lack of a second line center, lack of a second scoring line, but if you honestly look at what he’s done with who he’s had with him and the horrible coaches he’s dealt with…won’t even mention the Sabres stellar track record for developing talent.

        Too many people talking out of emotion and not looking at the facts. Or they only have seen the pressers after games and never really watched him play.

      • 2nd overall.

    • Ed,

      Totally agree.

      • “78 and 82 points on a crappy Sabres team the last two full seasons….overrated? Seriously?”


        A captain is expected to do more than just put up some points.

  2. Larry Brooks. Hahaha
    Only coach left standing after purge was Benoit Allare. Goalie coach. Don’t need a back up to bring leadership or to mentor. Quite a few goalie prospects in system, besides fact Gorgiev and Kincaid are both on roster.

  3. I think Jack Eichel would be a sensational edition to the bs. He’d be the best centre man since a young Bergeron. Jack Eichel will be a bruin for the rest of his career easy choice.

    • Seth Jones to Philly please.

      Frost,Sanheim, 2021 1st(lottery protected)

      • Uhhhh,

        Hell no.

    • And who goes to Buffalo to get Eichel, Rick?

  4. It’s all fun for us armchair GM’s and media pundits to speculate on Eichels future but in all honesty I don’t think there is a GM in the league that would jeopardize his teams future until they are 100% certain his injury is not a factor.

    It seems to me when your talking disc issues in the spine that is way to risky to mortgage your teams future on.

  5. Whew I thought Montreal media was loopy.

    Pasternak, a healthy happy productive 24y/o played 438 games, has 200 G and 227 A, and a $6.66 million cap for 2 more years .


    Eichel, an unhealthy, unhappy 24y/o played 375 games, has 139 G and 216 A and a $10 million cap for 5 more years.

    Go ask Alice when she’s 10 feet tall

    • Doing the math, he almost a point per game player with Buffalo…
      That’s actually impressive.

    • Yup, Eichel’s vertebrae is a major issue in my view. It is a serious enough surgery no matter the method. To take the risk as you say for 5 years at 10m is really questionable. McAvoy will not win the Norris as he does not play the number 1 PP. Pastrnak had surgery early in the season and has not had a stellar season but the form is still noticeable. There are other alternatives at center including the draft. This is a click bait article. Eichel on the west coast.

  6. I noted last week. I would have to see Eichel play with Buffalo first. Technically damaged goods.
    Pastrnak in any deal is a no go for me. Has been the best value in hockey.

  7. When does Eichel’s no trade kick in ?

    • This coming season I believe.

    • July 1 2022 after next years draft

    • After 21-22 season….Sabres would be smart to trade him now while they have leverage to deal with 31 teams instead of waiting to the next off season when Eichel can pick where he goes or teams have the leverage to low ball the Sabres.

  8. I will say it again, and it is not only the Bruins, but IMO I just do not see any team paying anything close to what a healthy productive Eichel would normally net you.

    Injuries, large contract cap hit, knowing he likely wants to stay on the east coast and his unhappiness with the Sabers really hurts his value.

    As someone said above, teams would be foolish to trade their future for Eichel at this point in time. Would a healthy Eichel look good on any other team, he sure would, but I just don’t see it in the cards unless they take a massive underpayment.

    • Gonzo, nmc kicks on season after next.

  9. If Ottawa were to go in on anyone that is always being mentioned, I’d have them take a big swing at Seth Jones! Perfect RD! Play alongside Chabot and one of the top pairings in the league.

    Chabot – Jones
    Brannstrom – Zub

    This is a top 4 I can get behind. I’d start the bidding with Jake Sanderson & our 1st round pick if we could do it at the draft. Then I guess it goes to what will Columbus be looking for? Mini rebuild, retool? Can we move Zaitzev as part of the deal for some cap flexibility.

    Would be a deal worth exploring that would help Ottawa in the rebuild and speed it up, Jones fits right into that mold.

  10. Van Impe , I totally agree with
    Pastrnak, McAvoy , definitely -NO !!

    Rick Murray – U want him for Boston – What are U offering the pathetic Sabres ?

    Heartbreaker , by the way , last night ms game , I despise Wilson and the Capitols …

  11. I’m with you on that Ovechkin gets away with lot because who he is Wilson is the dirtiest player in the league. I think there will come a time he’ll be banned if not for entire season maybe half or more. I already mentioned before what I think the bruins might have to do to get Eichel in case you missed it, Carlo two first rounders Anything more wouldn’t touch him.even Ed cracked a smile at this one. I love it when Ed smiles his ears disappear.

  12. You have to give up something good and some money in order to have Jack on your team. Bergeron is aging so Eichel would be a good add. Buffalo will want something back and not an aging player because they are rebuilding. If I’m Boston my offer is Charlie McAvoy Charlie Coyle a first round pick this year or next and a prospect not named Studnicka. This trade allows Boston to sign Hall let Krech and Rask go and let Swayman show you what he has to offer. My two cents

  13. I would never trade Pastrnak for Eichel even if he is a center. In my mind better character, probably better as a player and cheaper. I think a team that has the cap and the prospects in play to offer are few unless you just swap good player out good player in. With that in mind there are in reality only a few teams available, Rangers, LA and Carolina(who wont). So unless they are in on it Buffalo will have a hard time getting their moneys worth.

  14. The problem with the Sabres isn’t Eichel, just like it wasn’t O’Reilly. It’s choosing the wrong GM, who chooses the wrong coach…every 2 years. The Sabres need to fix this situation. What UFA would sign with a last place team that has recently traded ROR and Eichel, and likely Reinhart?

    • This is so true.
      If the rumours are to be believed, the owners are the issue, thinking they are hockey people is the root of the problem.