NHL Rumor Mill – June 16, 2021

by | Jun 16, 2021 | Rumors | 29 comments

The latest on Jack Eichel, Dougie Hamilton, Patrik Laine, Rasmus Ristolainen and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman said he’s asked around to see if the Buffalo Sabres gave other clubs permission to speak with Jack Eichel but that doesn’t seem to be the case. He added the club and its captain are negotiating the next step in his recovery from a herniated disk in his neck. Sources indicate if the Sabres shop Eichel or Sam Reinhart that we shouldn’t be surprised if they end up with another high pick in the first round of this year’s draft.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, Lance Lysowski predicted the Sabres will grant permission for interested clubs to speak to Eichel. That will be necessary because of the treatment Eichel requires to treat his injury. If a rival club is willing to allow him to undergo the surgery he seeks and offers the right trade package, Lysowki believes the Sabres will make the deal sooner rather than later.

THE ATHLETIC/BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Fluto Shinzawa believes the Boston Bruins will pass on Eichel because of his neck injury. “A $10 million player has to be a sure thing,” he wrote. Joe Haggerty dismissed any talk of the Bruins acquiring Eichel as “fantasy stuff.”

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy wondered if the Seattle Kraken could use the prospect they select with the second-overall pick in this year’s draft as part of a package offer for Eichel. One NHL executive said he was told Kraken general manager Ron Francis checked in on the Sabres captain.

THE ATHLETIC: Rick Carpiniello reports hearing the New York Rangers are not likely, or much less likely now, to get into the bidding for Eichel.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel’s neck injury will determine the number of teams with interest in the Sabres captain. Some could be willing to take a chance on him having surgery on his herniated disk, a procedure that’s never been performed before on an NHL player. However, I think most general managers share Shinzawa’s opinion. If you’re going to invest assets and cap space acquiring an expensive talent like Eichel, you better be sure he’ll be 100 percent healthy.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Philadelphia Flyers might not aggressively pursue Dougie Hamilton. The 27-year-old Carolina Hurricanes defenseman is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. The Hurricanes are allowing Hamilton to speak with other teams.

Friedman indicated the Flyers’ interests in addressing their blueline needs appear to be elsewhere, speculating they could target Columbus’ Seth Jones or Minnesota’s Matt Dumba. He also suggested the Seattle Kraken and New Jersey Devils could make sense for Hamilton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi believes it would cost the Flyers “multiple high draft picks and either Travis Sanheim or Phil Myers for starters” to acquire Hamilton, and only if they can get him to sign a long-term contract extension. He feels the Flyers would have difficulty fitting him under the cap unless Jakub Voracek headed the other way.

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jordan Hall speculates the Flyers could consider more affordable options if they can’t land Hamilton or Jones. He pointed out they had an interest in Dallas’ Jamie Oleksiak before tumbling out of playoff contention by the trade deadline. Hall also mentioned Vegas’ Alec Martinez and Pittsburgh’s Cody Ceci as other UFA options.


SPORTSNET: Friedman said the Florida Panthers are expected to be aggressively pursuing improvement this offseason. He’s curious if they ask the Columbus Blue Jackets about Patrik Laine. He and Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov have a good relationship.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will depend on whether the Jackets are going for a full-scale rebuild. A shake-up is probably coming after Seth Jones indicated his intent to test next summer’s free-agent market but it could be a retooling rather than a teardown.

I don’t see the Panthers being keen to take on the potential headache of Laine’s contract negotiations. It will cost $7.5 million to qualify his rights.

The Jackets could decide not to qualify him and let him depart as an unrestricted free agent. However, that would leave them with little to show for shipping Pierre-Luc Dubois to Winnipeg.

He cited Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News reporting the New Jersey Devils had an interest in Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. He wonders if they might also consider Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere if the Flyers included a sweetener in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lysowski pointed out the Devils have the assets in picks and prospects to make a bid for Ristolainen, who indicated last month he’d be open to a trade. The issue here is he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Devils could acquire him and see how next season plays out or they could insist on him signing a contract extension first.

A scout suggested to Friedman that interest in Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique could pick up following his solid play for Canada at this year’s World Championships.

Friedman doesn’t put much stock into recent rumors suggesting Jared Bednar could lose his job as Colorado Avalanche head coach. Despite the club’s disappointing playoff exit, the team still believes in Bednar.

The San Jose Sharks have given pending UFA forward Kurtis Gabriel permission to speak with other teams.


  1. No way do I see the Devils going after Ritso. He is an overpaid mediocre Dman, why give assts up for that and then have to give him a raise. Stay away please.

    • As a Sabres fan, I’m all too familiar with Risto’s defensive lapses. In fairness, the Sabres have given him too many minutes and subpar partners for almost all of his career. But at 5.4 mil for 40 pts and physical play, he’s absolutely not overpaid. He would flourish on a team that has sufficient depth to slot him appropriately — 2nd pair and 1st PP unit.

  2. ‘However, that would leave them with nothing to show for shipping Pierre-Luc Dubois to Winnipeg.’

    Lyle , the Jackets would still have Roslovic who came over as part of that deal . Crazy how much Laine and Dubois stock have fallen in the past 12 months

    • True, though to be fair, Laine was the prize when they shipped Dubois to Winnipeg.

  3. Bednar refused to make the needed adjustments savvy nhl head coaches make and was outcoached by DeBoer … nothing is going to change that … he needs to go but probably won’t …

    Sabres are light years away, they should be dealing anyone who has value …

    the team to watch this offseason is Columbus … they have to go one way or the other, can’t live in no man’s land …

    • Had to reread your post Ed. Saw the word outcoached and assumed you were talking about Maple Leaf genius Sheldon Keefe.


    • Well I think you could put Keefe in the same category. Half a season with a terrible power play and no changes made. He was also out coached by an interm coach.

      • What a pathetic brain trust – Keefee and Dufus!

  4. Am I missing something? Why would Devils, or any team trade for a player that was put on waivers only a short time ago? even w/ “sweetener” Clearly Flyers have been trying to move Ghost. There’s no interest in Ghost (at his salary) from any team. He’s a decent PP guy. That’s all he brings to the table. Another contract they’re trying to run away from.

    And I hope the Devils aren’t really pursuing Risto.

    • Vincois, totally agree. Think its local reporters trying to create news by piecing tidbits into some story. Just because the Devs need better Dmen does not mean they are just going to help other team out with their cap problems and in reality not fix the defense. Shero was supposedly let go because he would not give a voice to the analytics team. I believe Dellow and Cane would shoot down any of those proposals based on their analytical review. And the eye test just confirms that view. The Devils cannot afford stupid moves such as these.

    • Pretty much spot on. Defensive liability for sure but the offensive side did improve over the season.

      I highly doubt the lineup of takers for Ghost is grry long.

  5. FInal offer
    To NJ: Eichel, Risto & 3rd
    To BuF: Subban, Hughes & #4 this year
    Giving Buf #1 & #4 (to draft Hughes brother)

    for CMB perhaps they offer Laine to Seattle for the#2 overall along with a player they grab from the expansion draft?? Giving them #2 and #5

    • I sincerely hope you’re joking.

  6. laine to the panthers????interesting.he may be close to barkov, but indifferent play will change all that.

  7. Eichel will be a Bruin. Haggerty one of least most reliable Boston sports reporters. I trust Haggerty’s word about as much as I trust Eklunds trade rumours and that an e-4

    • Rick, Hags has no inside information he only has opinions.

      On the positive he likes Rask as about as much as you.

    • So what does Boston give up to acquire Eichel Rick?

      • Boston has exactly nothing that Buffalo would want, plus they’re on the east coast. I don’t know what Rick knows that the rest of the world is missing. I’m curious to find out!

    • Haggerty makes point that besides not having assets or cap space, very unlikely Buffalo sends him to division rival

  8. Friedman talks at lengtin that podcast Lyle referenced other day, about how teams will do due diligence on Eichel. Most likely teams have already been in contact and have had their own medical staffs review all the peticulars. Nobody trading for him unless they’re 99.9% he’ll be back playing completely healthy.
    So, most likely going to NYR! I believe they’ll also be a team talking to Gabriel as well.

    • Gabriel is exactly what the Oilers need.
      My guess is he wants to keep giving it a go in COL, but if not, go get him Kenny.

    • Why give up prime assets for Eichel when you can offer sheet Pettersson at 5×10,5 for 2 firsts+2nd+3rd?

      If Landeskog leaves the Avs, Rangers are first in line

      • Vancouver not letting Pettersson go. Landeskog not going to Rangers. Loaded at left wing. Panarin and Kreider both full nmc, plus Lafreniere.
        Gabriel played for SJ last season.

      • I thought you were talking about Landeskog Slick.
        Never even heard of Kurtis Gabriel, looks like a scrapper judging by games, and PIMS.

  9. Lebrun wrote story today that Eichel sweeps are hearing up. Guessing teams are confident they’ll get a healthy Eichel.

  10. I believe Eichel will be a bruin just a gut feeling. Seth Jones will be on the blue line.
    The No 1 thing going against the sabres Eichel has a very serious injury that lowers his value a few years back you would have to give up about a quarter of your team along with a First round pick. Now I believe first rounder Rask and Carlo would do it. Wait and see.

  11. Rick, there’s no way any of that happens. You think Eichels value is low because he has an injury, and you offer a dman that’s currently out with 4th concussion, a ufa goalie, and a late 1st rd pick? Buffalo gives away a top player to a divisional rival? And what are you trading to get Seth J?

  12. B’s don’t need Eichel and what that would cost. Certainly way more than suggested above. They do need Seth Jones who will also be expensive .

  13. Jones would be nice but unless signed crazy to give up something good for one year. Mason Loheri looks like exactly what we need 6.4 205 and can score.


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