NHL Rumor Mill – June 17, 2021

by | Jun 17, 2021 | Rumors | 50 comments

The Jack Eichel trade chatter is heating up plus the latest on Sam Reinhart in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports hearing trade conversations between the Buffalo Sabres and other teams regarding Jack Eichel are getting “serious and intense.” He believes Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams will want a first-round pick in this year’s draft as part of the return.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

LeBrun lists the Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers among the clubs as potential landing spots.

WGR 550: Franklin Heinzmann suggests the Ducks could be the ideal trade partner for the Sabres. He wondered if they would offer up promising center Trevor Zegras and the third-overall pick in this year’s draft as part of the return for Eichel.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan believes the Ottawa Senators should also be among the Eichel suitors. He points out they desperately need a big, talented center.

The price for Eichel, who’s coming off a down season and a neck injury, will never be better. With one of the lowest payrolls in the league, the Senators can afford his $10 million annual salary-cap hit for the remaining five seasons of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt teams calling the Sabres to inquire about the asking price for Eichel. First-line centers in their playing prime don’t become available every day. They’re also certain to be interested in his ongoing treatment for a herniated disk in his neck. After all, if you’re going to part with some prized assets for a $10 million superstar, you better be sure he won’t have any lingering health issues that could hamper his performance.

The Kings seem the best fit in terms of cap space and tradeable assets. They’re also reportedly seeking two top-six forwards this summer. In my recent conversation with John Hoven of Mayor’s Manor, however, he said it’s believed they’re seeking established scorers around 27-years-old with two or three years remaining on their contracts. In other words, they want transitional players to buy more development time for their promising youngsters.

Everything I’ve seen and heard about the Ducks in recent weeks points toward rebuilding with younger players like Zegras. GM Bob Murray attempted to acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois earlier this season, but that was when he still considered his club a potential playoff contender. I could be wrong but I think it’s a different story now.

I agree with Brennan that the Senators are well-positioned to make a competitive bid for Eichel. However, Dorion and his staff like the potential they’re seeing from their club over the last two seasons. I’d put them in the “long shot” category.

Rick Carpiniello, The Athletic’s Rangers writer, said he’s heard they’re “not likely, or much less likely now”, to pursue Eichel. He didn’t elaborate but I suspect that’s due to the recent front-office shake-up and their hiring of Gerard Gallant earlier this week as their new head coach.

The Wild need an established first-line center but I’m not sure GM Bill Guerin will part with the assets necessary to get Eichel following his club’s solid performance this season. He could consider more affordable options in the trade and free-agent markets. The Flyers seem more focused on pursuing a top-pairing right-side defenseman than on landing a first-line center.

With nearly $25 million in cap space, the Blue Jackets have the room to take on Eichel’s cap hit, and that will include signing restricted free agent winger Patrik Laine to a new contract.

The Jackets have three first-round picks in this year’s draft to draw upon as trade bait. The Sabres need goaltenders and the Jackets are reportedly willing to move Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins to a return that addresses other roster needs. Perhaps there’s a fit there. Heck, maybe they include Laine in the deal if he proves difficult to sign to a long-term extension.


THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes it would be worthwhile for the Vancouver Canucks to kick the tires on the Sabres’ Sam Reinhart. A versatile forward who can play center or wing, the 25-year-old North Vancouver native wants out of Buffalo and wants to move west.

There’s a buzz among Canucks fans about potentially parting with the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft to acquire Reinhart. GM Jim Benning has indicated he’s going to keep his options open with that pick, including shopping it for a good young player.

SPORTSNET 650: Chris Johnston believes Reinhart can be a top-six contributor for a team with Stanley Cup aspirations. He feels he could be very effective in a second-line role behind an all-star first line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Benning took a lot of flak last year for letting Tyler Toffoli depart to Montreal via free agency. Acquiring Reinhart could atone for that move.

Reinhart to Vancouver seems like a great fit. The Sabres would be very interested if Benning came calling with that first-round pick, though they could also ask for something else to be included in the deal.


  1. Anaheim would be crazy to give up Zegras and the 3rd overall for Eichel, wouldn’t do it …

    Columbus looks like the best fit but for Eichel that’s like going from the frying pan into the fire … one loser to another … especially if JK deals Jones …

    I have a feeling the Sabres aren’t going to get what they want for Eichel …

    • I agree they won’t get what they want, but something close to it. Remember Sakic held onto Matt Duchene til he got what he wanted. Buffalo’s in a tough spot. They know how bad they are, want to fix it, but also don’t need their star player pissing/moaning every off season. I’d be anxious to get him out of here. Columbus has a lot to offer.

      • Hey Ed and Vin…would love to have Eichel w/ CBJ as it solidifies 1C but the consistent word coming now is that they are going full rebuild and stocking prospects and picks w/ the various deals they are considering. I still wonder if they could outbid ANA, LA, or NYR. The Jones, Goaltender, and Laine situations are going to be interesting to watch this summer

      • how about seth jones 1 of cbj goalies and a 2nd or 3rd round pick

      • How about Eichel to Kraken. Could be the face of the newest team right out of the gate. Would the 2nd overall pick be enough to entice sabres or is Ron Francis not willing to make the deal

    • If the BJs brought in Eichel would that be incentive for Jones to stay???

      • Uwey…Unfortunately, reports here suggest it wouldn’t change anything. Jones isn’t staying long term. A real bummer I can tell you

    • Sorry Deacon, I am not trying to poke at the Jackets but one of Eichel’s issues is that the Sabres haven’t won and won’t for years.

      I cannot see him wanting to come to Columbus who are about to embark on a several years long rebuild. He might not get to veto it but surely the Jackets will not want to bring in a player who doesn’t want to be in that situation, as well as the risk he brings with his injury.

      • LJ…I completely agree and have similar concerns that CBJ are reportedly in on w/ Reinhart. It certainly appears as though a full on rebuild is coming (the choice of Larsen rather than Gallant has been suggested to be a primary indicator of the short-term direction). I don’t enjoy the pain of a rebuild but they have several meaningful trade assets & cap space that if managed well can position them for long-term success after a couple years of acquiring picks, prospects. Many CBJ fans don;t agree w/ my view and the org is trying to navigate the rebuild message with it’s financial implications on ticket sales etc…but I think it is the right time to tear it down and build it back

    • Only team worse than Ducks was Buffalo. How is that better than Columbus?

  2. Trading for Reinhart would not atone for last season’s biggest blunder. It will only prove yet again the Canucks under Benning/Weisbrod have no long term plan and no cap and asset management skills. They can’t absorb Reinhart’s $5 million cap hit, and this move does address the huge holes on defence, lack of 3rd & 4th line centers, and a prospect pipeline that is empty thanks to a “super scout” who trades away picks rather than draft patiently and build from within. 7 years and counting of “living day to day”.

    • does *not* address

    • As per Cap Friendly, Vancouver has just under $15 million in cap space to sign 7 players. Those players include RFA’s Hughes and Pettersson. I don’t see how they can afford to sign Reinhard even if they are able to send a bad contract to Buffalo in the deal. Hughes and Petterson will at the least take $10 of that $15 million.

      • Canucks will gladly fit Reinhart in there no problem


        Podkolzin added in

        Gonna be a fun team to watch finally.

        Yeah alot of naysayers will poo-poo on the deal but hey…let the good times roll

  3. With Young studs Hughes and Pettersson both needing new deals, how would Van bring in a guy like Reinhart who also needs a new contract? He’s arb eligible and surely will want a raise over his last years salary of 5.2 mil. Vancouver would need to send a bad contract that would only raise the ask for Buffalo. Can’t see it happening.

  4. Wouldn’t read too much into Carps article. Looks like some gamesmanship going on there to bring cost of Eichel down. Owner James Dolan said after firing front office that he expects to compete for cup next year. So, unless there’s another star player available in a trade, there’s no way Rangers aren’t involved in Eichel talks.

  5. Canucks could not afford Toffoli who proved to be a good fit but now can afford Reinhart ? Dim Jim

    Maybe a Laine Eichel principle trade would work. It will take more than picks and prospects to land a star Center injury or not.

    I have maintained all year the Ducks have plenty of assets to land Eichel without including Zegras. Let Getzlaf retire or move to a Cup contender . Offer Henrique this year’s and next first and Sam Steel.

    Can’t wait until the draft

    • I think the Sabres would like a good young roster player (Comtois), a prospect preferably a center(Perrault), and this years first. Maybe another draft pick

    • Silver,

      The Caucks wanted to resign Toffoli but per the resident mastermind in the GMs office :

      “we wanted to get Toffoli resigned but we ran out of time”.

      How do you “run out of time” when everyone was in a lockdown, no AHL or CHL games to attend or scout?

      Bennings a buffoon, taken 7 years of his 5 year plan to build a last place team and now says only two more until they contend.

      If anyones going to be “out of time” it should be Benning.

  6. I don’t see Eichel with any team other than east or west coast…Isles a dark horse? Devils for the home town boy? Leafs? Not likely because they have no assets that Buffalo would want. Flyers? Drat picks maybe but wouldn’t Buffalo want more certainty than just picks?

    • Jon, Home town boy?

  7. watching the game last night I kept wondering where is Cody Glass ? with Stephenson out of the lineup I would have thought Glass could slot in the #1 center role. Kolesar and Roy work hard but they are bottom 6 at this stage IMO. If Vegas has an Achilles heal it is at the center position. Krebs will get a shot next year but they do not have a bonafide #1 center right now.

    • Hi Fergy22

      My thoughts posted on the morning coffee side; parallel yours

      Brown in replacing the roster spot of Stephenson was not good. Brown was lost out there… and costly

      That said…. Knights started the game with visions of Bolts in their heads and didn’t respect the intensity and capability of the Habs

      Getting their heads in the game; respecting the Habs as a very good adversary; and Stephenson back or Glass in for Brown…. that will move the needle tremendously

      • Pengy , agreed , Ducharme put a solid game plan together and the Habs players executed.

      • only way to do it is the UN-PR move and trade Fluery elsewhere (his choice) for picsk adn take those picks with Tuch to Buffalo for Eichel.

        The sign vet backup like Halak for $1m and will out the bottom half with the rest.

        Karlsson still # 2C for Smith and March
        Move Eichel with Stone & Patches

        Stephenson down to 3C

        Not going to happen but only way I see it happening

    • I think Vegas is the dark horse in an Eichel trade…they will swoop in with a late offer especially if Montreal were to knock them out.

      • Vegas had cap issues this season having to reduce their roster size a couple of games this season. For next season they have 22 players already signed and only $2.4 million in cap space. So they would need to clear out $8 million dollars to fit Eichel into their cap. The issue with their 8 highest paid players all have some sort of trade protection. I don’t see how they can fit Eichel under their cap.

  8. Re Handsome Jack

    There is no doubt he has the natural talent

    He does come with some issues (reported to have jumped the coach and GM at least a couple of times and reached out to owner(s) when he wasn’t happy; and then there was the dressing room issues that he “forced” the trade (brutally lost by Sabres) of RoR); and now more importantly…. the neck injury and potential surgery

    Agree… his trade price will never be lower

    IMHO…. waaay too much gamble for Dorion

    Rangers appear out

    The Ducks suggested move above that includes Zegras….. that’s a tough gamble

    I don’t think Billy G goes in on Handsome Jack

    So to me…. it really only leaves a realistic Kings v Jackets in any “bidding war”

    Kings for sure will have to give up the big lad (who will still be a teenager for another 14 months) and more; and then will have closing in on $40 M tagged for their top 4 Cap hits (cite the Leafs model)… and 3 of them this year will be 37; 34; 32. Top 5 ~ $43M….with 4 of them average age (this year) at just a hair under 35… so ????

    GMJK….. could offer up one of his two G’s (that he had a fair shot of losing to Krakken anyway ) and just gamble then with picks

    If the surgery is not a success…and he stays LTIR…. insurance covers Sal ; they would have likely lost a goalie to Krakken; gambling then only picks for a possible return to form top line C….👍👍👍

    • I thought both of the Young Columbus goalies were exempt from the draft ?

      • Iago,
        Korpisolo is a 4 tear veteran. He and Kivlieneks, if either Korpi or Elvis is traded prior to the expansion draft, would also be available.

      • From Cap Friendly’s Expansion Draft Simulator Merzlikins and Tarasov are exempt. Kivlenieks and Johnson are not exempt.

  9. Don Brennan couldn’t find a sports article if someone else wrote it for him.

    Eichel is damaged goods, physically and mentally. Will he recover and have a career….maybe. But at the price point the Sabres will set for him it’s a massive gamble. For me he’ll always be a Bobby Ryan. The guy drafted second – who frankly – isn’t as good.

  10. I wouldn’t touch Eichel with a ten foot pole. 10 million per or whatever is a lot of money for a player that may work out. Wait and see how his neck issue is resolved and then take a look. Move on teams….nothing to see here !!

  11. The Bruins D needs a rebuild … they have McAvoy and #48 who is a PP guy and a #6 Dman… Carlo is a RFA but seriously how much can you count on him with his concussion problems …..75 & 55 didn’t improve that much this year from last … need a LD and some blue line size and toughness …. that D was in forecheck hell during the NYI series

    • I agree they need a LD Joe, preferably of the physical variety.
      Never like to see concussions but players can come back and have long successful careers. Bergeron and Crosby come to mind.

      • Giordano with some salary retained to BOS for something

      • agree..but 4 in 5 years

    • perhaps trade for slow foot Zadorov and sign Oleksiak for 2 physical LD

      pair Zadarov with McAvoy and Oleksiak with Carlo
      then fill in the bottom pairing

  12. Forget the Ducks for Eichel. How would he be happy being on 2nd worst team? Besides, 3rd pick and Zegras will not be enough. I don’t see Kings. They’re already loaded down the middle. Minnesota interesting. If they can include Dumba, that off sets cap hit and solves problem with protection list. They have 2 picks in 1st round, plus could add Rossi. They’re already a playoff team and Eichel could make them a serious contender. Still, NYR has 15th pick, a few roster guys they can include, and way too many top end prospects. They’re not in same division, and considering Buffalo starting over again, they’re really not competing against each other. They may be in same state, but Buffalo might as well be another country compared to NYC. Not same market.

    • @Slick
      LA makes sense in that they can send a potential 1-2C and the 8th pick etc. Their core wants another run

      Dont see Drury gambling on Eichel.

      • ds. But you see Blake gambling on Eichel? 1st off, nobody is gambling. Any team trading for him are only doing if they’re confident they’re getting a healthy Eichel. Guessing you wouldn’t trade Lafreniere or Kakko, even though we have no center prospects, but you think Blake will trade Byfeld plus, plus? Hopefully with Brind’amor signing with Carolina today, the rest of the coaching chips will fall into place. I’m sure any coach Buffalo hires probably wants a say in future.

      • @slick
        I would roll dice on Eichel if was Kakko + just one more asset.
        Laf is untouchable imho.

  13. No way Buffalo gets any thing close fair market value for Eichel at this point. Between his contract, questions of his character, everyone knowing Buffalo wants to move him, and most pressingly questions of health Adams will be lucky to get a good -but not great young roster player, good -but not great prospect, and a first round pick.

    best choice for Buffalo is to mend fences with Eichel, wait it out -until at least he’s healed and shows he can still play and then try to do something at the deadline or much more likely next summer.

    • Next summer that NMC kicks in and the Sabres lose any leverage they have…teams can wait till it kicks in and then Eichel holds the trump card. If he is to be traded it is now when he has no say so.
      How many good teams have 10mil of open cap space at the TDL? Sabres don’t need any bad contracts to make it happen at the TDL…they have Okposo and Skinner. They certainly aren’t going to hold salary for 5 yrs.
      Now or get totally screwed

      • good point, i wasn’t thinking of the trade clause. so knowing that…. well, no way Buffalo doesn’t get totally screwed. today or tomorrow, they’re effed.

      • What trump card does Eichel have?

        An under performing player with a serious injury and an albatross contract who has wanted to leave Buffalo for years.

        He’s going to use a nmc to block a trade????

        If there was a way, he’d have to pay to get out of there.

  14. how about seth jones max domi to vegas for alex martines and ver 1st and 2nd round in2021 gives cbj 7 picks in top 100 or this unrealistic

    • Martinez is a UFA

    • Sorry norm……but God No. Jones is CBJ’s most valuable trade asset if they end up settling for that return with they are up the creek

  15. Bruin fans get to know Mason Lohrei 6.4 205 and can shoot the puck he is just filling out and figuring things out. If I’m Boston I work hard on signing Landeskog he has the leadership and physical game they need.