NHL Rumor Mill – June 22, 2021

by | Jun 22, 2021 | Rumors | 41 comments

The latest on Jack Eichel, which teams could make a pitch for Dougie Hamilton and whether the Bruins should pursue Oliver Ekman-Larsson in today’s NHL rumor mill.


FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams seeks a king’s ransom for Jack Eichel. A league executive told Murphy that Adams could seek up to six components in the return for the 24-year-old center.

The Buffalo Sabres are said to seek a king’s ransom for Jack Eichel in the trade market (NHL Images).

Those components include a top-six center 25-year-old or younger, a top-four defenseman 25-or-young, a first-round pick and various prospects. Murphy said that monumental asking price has some NHL executives wondering if the Sabres GM has misread the market for Eichel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Adams is going to seek the best return he can get. He’ll start out with a big asking price, interested parties will counter with much-lower offers, and they’ll meet somewhere in the middle.

The initial asking price doesn’t seem to be deterring teams from making inquiries. WGR 550’s Jeremy White hears it could be done in a matter of days, not weeks, with the status of Eichel’s neck injury and the conditions of a trade some of the hurdles still to be cleared.

At the very least, the Sabres should get a high first-round pick, a top prospect and a good young NHL player in the return for Eichel. They’ll probably get one or two other pieces as well. They could land two first-rounders if they’re dealing with a team carrying extra picks in the opening round in this year’s draft.


SPORTSNET: Mike Johnston recently examined several teams that could pull off a sign-and-trade scenario for Dougie Hamilton. The Carolina Hurricanes are allowing the 28-year-old defenseman to speak with other clubs prior to his July 28 eligibility for unrestricted free agent status.

Johnston’s seven destinations are the Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Seattle Kraken, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks could be the top suitor here. They’ll have nearly $11 million in cap relief to draw upon if necessary with Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw on permanent long-term injury reserve. Johnston noted a recent report indicating they’re interested in Hamilton, as well as Columbus’ Seth Jones.

Hamilton could be a fit with the Flyers but a recent report out of Philadelphia suggested they couldn’t pull this off without shedding a high-salaried player. They’re also rumored to be looking at Seth Jones.

The Jets have over $20 million in projected cap space with restricted free agents Andrew Copp and Neal Pionk to re-sign. They could have enough for Hamilton if they’re willing to pay up to $8 million annually but that won’t leave much room to fill out the rest of their roster.

Kraken GM Ron Francis could make a pitch, but Hamilton might not be keen to sign with an expansion club. The Devils have plenty of cap space to sign him to a big raise but we don’t know if he’s willing to join a rebuilding team. Their priority could be finding scoring wingers for young centers Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes.

The Rangers already have Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba on the right side of their blueline. The Oilers, meanwhile, could put more focus on adding a scoring winger especially if they lose Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to free agency.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty observed recent reports indicating the Arizona Coyotes will try again to trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The 29-year-old defenseman has struggled over the last three seasons and carries an $8.25 million annual cap hit for the next six seasons. He also carries a full no-movement clause but was willing to waive it last fall for the Boston Bruins or Vancouver Canucks.

Haggerty also pointed out Ekman-Larsson still managed three goals and 24 points in 46 games this season. With the blueliner considered a depressed asset, this could be a good opportunity for a team like the Bruins to acquire him while his trade value is low if the Coyotes will pick up part of his cap hit.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes the Bruins should pass on Ekman-Larsson. If they acquire all or part of his remaining cap hit, it’ll tie up money to re-sign free agents Brandon Carlo and Mike Reilly. His disappointing play is also a red flag. Goss believes Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm is a better option if the Bruins intend to pursue a trade for a left-side defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Goss, though I doubt they’ll be able to pry Ekholm away from the Predators. It’s possible Ekman-Larsson’s performance could improve on a better club like the Bruins, and the Coyotes could pick up a healthy chunk of his cap hit. It’s the six years remaining on his contract that concerns me.


  1. Lyle, assuming OEL’s play does pick up on a better team then his value in the future goes up thereby offsetting mich of that concern on the remaining years no? Meaning after the window closes you trade him to another contender if you are Boston. If you got a cup or two out of it ..no one cares. If you didn’t….well it’s a gamble

    • That’s a heckuva gamble for a player carrying six more seasons on his contract even if the Coyotes pick up part of the cap hit.

      • Do you watch or follow the Coyotes? OEL was 34th among D in P/PG, playing around 21 min./ game, while playing with borderline NHL players for partners. OEL hasn’t had a good partner for years. He may not be worth his contract, but it’s not as bad as some are saying.

  2. Putting Rangers as a possible landing spot for Hamilton doesn’t show much interest in actual reporting. Besides Trouba and Fox,(who will both be eating up a ton of cap space once he extends) Rangers have 2 highly touted prospects on right side.

  3. OEL could join Eichel on Black and Gold

    • so like Marino & Petterson for OEL ?

  4. Writing that Hamilton can go to the Rangers is the same as suggesting that Eichel can go to the Leafs, just lazy and uninformed.

    I can see OEL go to the Bruins but not for much, which the Bruins dont have anyway, and if Arizona retain about 3m in cap. I still think it would be worth the risk and he has always been a good skater so I think he can regain his form somewhat

  5. If I’m a Sabres fan I don’t want Kevyn Adams making these decisions, the franchise has already been setback years & years …

    and until the Bruins acquire some legitimate nhl d-men they will always be non-factors … with all of the concussions and head trauma he has experienced Carlo won’t last much longer …

    • Adams was hired by the Sabres a year ago. Exactly what did Adams do that contributed the Sabres set back?
      Traded Marcus Johansson for Erik Staal.
      Signed Tayler Hall, Tobias Rieder, and Cody Eakin.
      He also got good deals on his RFA’s.
      Yeah he didn’t get a great return on trading Hall, but it didn’t cost the Sabres anything but money to get Hall in the first place and Hall’s value wasn’t that high either.
      I think it’s a little early to be criticizing Adams.

      • How many goals did those 3 free agent forwards score ? 10 goals total in a combined 127 games. Staal scored 3, Johansson doubled that.
        One season certainly does not make a GM, but do some research before throwing it out there that he had some successes!

  6. I agree with Lyle….Bruins Don’t need Ekman-Larsson they have Two offensive Dmen and if they sign Reilly they should be all set … The need is for a couple of big tough Dmen who can get the puck out of the D zone

    • I’d trade for OEL if the yotes held some salary. He’s way better than all here are giving him credit for.

      • Bravo, bravissimo shoreorr change of scenery especially with losing teams like the sabres, coyotes & Edvan’s favourite team the mighty ducks not the nhl version the movie version since he lives in a fantasy world everyday. Remember Neely and Hall? It can work with OEL.

        Neely & Hall and Edvans favourite team the might ducks not the nhl version, the movie version since he lives in his fantasy world every day.

  7. I’m beginning to think teams will rationalize why trade for Hamilton when you can possibly get into a bidding war, not giving up anything. Likely a team will trade for his rights (only) and keep fingers crossed they can sign him like Philly did with Hayes. Whomever trades for Seth Jones knows that they’ll have him for one year, unless it’s Avs/Stars

  8. Sounds like quantity over quality for Eichel. Can’t see 6 assets.
    Top 6 and first round yes. 3 other top prospect nope. Unless a lot of money held. Acquiring team would leave the cupboard bare and that is the risk aside from the disc in the neck .
    Monahan Pelletier this year’s 12 th overall and 3 round if Flames involved as example only.

    • If Treliving is smart he would try hard in swapping out Monahan for Tkachuk. Monahan has a 10 team no trade list and is a UFA in 2 seasons. Tkachuk doesn’t have trade protection and is still a RFA after next season. Although he will have to be qualified for $9 million, so Treliving can avoid having to do that as well.

      • I always enjoy your Oiler fan suggestions on what the Flames should do. As a Flames fan, I think Holland should trade Draisaitl + Bouchard for Seth Jones and Max Domi.

      • How exactly does that make the Oilers better? The Oilers would be trading a top line centre and potentially a d-man that can quarterback a power play for a third line forward and a second pairing d-man. The Oilers aren’t in the need to be making big blockbuster trades to get what they need.
        With my comment the Flames would have a strong centre lineup with Eichel on the first line, Monahan or Lindholm on the second line, and Backland where he belongs on the third line.

      • KevJam, the Flames would have a stronger lineup if Monahan were involved in an Eichel trade. Eichel, Lindholm, and Backlund would be a great top 3 for centers. Eichel’ s injury risk could be partially offset by Monahan’s injury risk. The Sabres would need a replacement at centre for Eichel. My Oiler trade was an attempt to show you how it is to have a major rival try to suggest trades for you. I have to say though, there is no chance Seth Jones would be a 2nd line dman on the Oilers or most teams. Draisaitl is either a 1st line winger or a second line centre on the Oilers.

  9. “At the very least, the Sabres should get a high first-round pick, a top prospect and a good young NHL player in the return for Eichel. They’ll probably get one or two other pieces as well. They could land two first-rounders”

    Maybe with a bridge and some swampland too.

    Putting aside Eichel’s unhappiness. his huge contract, his failure to elevate the game of his linemates, at this point in time he’s damaged goods.

    Neither Physio or Surgery are guarantees of successful recovery.

    At this point in time he’s worth a plugged nickel.

    • He’s definitely elevated the play of his line mates. Compare their production on and off his wing. Skinner, Olofsson, Pominville, etc.

  10. A top 6 forward, a top 6 defenceman, top prospect and picks for Jack Eichel?

    Why would anybody not named Benning even consider doing that?

    If thats the asking price then Eichels in for a long career in Buffalo.

    • Why would you suggest Benning would consider doing that? Pettersson, Horvat and Miller can all play C…Reinhart maybe, but not Eichel.

      Is this just another uninformed suggestion made as another cheap shot at Benning?

      Feel free to not like Benning all you want but you suggesting that as a possible move Benning would consider just shows you are not interested in discussing what Eichel might be worth to other teams. Instead you are more interested in an outrageous and invented claim of your own in order to troll Benning. Bravo. You win the internet.

  11. The “Duchene” factor. Adams will hold out thinking the dump truck load is coming.

    We shall see.

  12. If Kraken GM Ron Francis makes a pitch for Hamilton. he might find that Hamilton is more keen to sign with an expansion club than what we suppose. The NHL has made certain that expansion teams are Cup contenders right out of the gate. The Kraken might be Hamilton’s road to fame.

  13. I understand EdVAn Impe’s frustration regarding GM Adams making decisions. It is the same with Dubas. What point of making moves if the philosophy has not changed.

    When organizations need fundamental change then the decision makers need to change and then start the process.

  14. Re Hamilton

    Sign and trade only happens if Hamilton is on board with the team he is to be traded to…. he won’t agree to a sign and trade to Sabres

    Hamilton’s only gain in the sign and trade is the extra year (8 vs 7)

    The sign and trade is happening (if it does at all) for only a few teams

    To me , it might be more probable that he waits until UFA and negotiate a 7 year deal….. more teams in the bidding than the sign and trade…. those teams give up no assets to acquire him through UFA

    How much will he lose signing a 7 year (vs 8 yr) deal?

    He could re-up with 1 year left ,with whatever team he is on in his last year of 7; and re-up with a non 35+ contract (different limitations)

    If he signs an 8 year; his next contract (if he stays) WILL be a 35+ contract

    They are just points to consider

    Would I like him on Leafs…. yes…. but not happening

    Would I like him on Pens…. yes…. Zucker out (Trade or Krakken) frees up $5.5 M; and Hextall would then likely move (Krakken or trade) Marino to have Hamilton as 2RD…. net effect is a gain in about $1M to $1.5 M in Cap

    They’d still need to move out Matheson or Pettersson (probably easier move)

    If P-O J can step up…big if …. but

    DH/P-O J

    That D costs ~ $1M than this year’s , but big improvement…. Zucker out @ $5.5M (less the $1M extra cost for D)…. leaves$4.5 M to replace Zucker’s output…. $4.5 M is enough

    Is this happening… no… to many moving pieces… but would be nice

    First move is Ronny calling Ronny…..

    RH to RF…. take Zucker in draft and we’ll give you Marino and Ruhweedel

  15. Am I missing something? I have been reading here & many other sites about a sign & trade for Hamilton.
    Hamilton has been already talking to teams & checking out the landscape for his services. Why in the world if Hamilton finds a match elsewhere that helikes & higher salary than Carolina is willing to cough up would he sign with Carolina & allow the trade to a team he is willing to go to & have them gut key assets from the team he is going to try & win a Stanley Cup. On the flip side, why in the world would a GM knowing Hamilton is willing to sign your offer want to give up assets when all he has to do is wait out until he’s free to sign. At best I can see a 3rd round pick going for his rights. I see this as a trade & sign. Seems to me Carolina likes other teams doing their negotiations & may just match the best Dougie could get & then its up to Dougie where he wants to play, which should be the case all along.

  16. Why would teams risk a mountain for what could be a injury plagued career. This neck surgery is what i call buyer beware – run while you can.

    Wait for him to be 100% and show he is fine before giving up 6 pieces – if a team does that they are mad and need a new GM fast.

    Let’s not forget the price tag here and the commit to a player with neck issues.


  17. Adams needs to be given a chance. Yup, it’s a big gamble… Yet again. But I do see and hear the right things. My predictions. Eichel to Anaheim for Zegras and the 2021 3rd overall, maybe a little more, but I can’t realistically seeing much more. Reinhart to LA for Turcotte and the 8th overall. Sabres draft 1 – Power, 3 – Wallstedt, 8 – Clarke. That would give us ,Sabres fans, a solid start to a rebuild we could look forward to watching for a while.

    • wait… isn’t this already the rebuild?
      The end of it… or the beginning of greatness?
      What happened?
      And why will it work this time?

      It is still Buffalo… which is the part that needs to change to really attract quality guys. Sorry just the facts…

  18. The Hamilton sign and trade scenario increases the opportunities for him.

    The cap freeze limits the teams that could afford him as a UFA but trading contracts back affords more teams the money and cap space to make a palatable deal.

  19. Not sure why the Leafs would move Reilly (good offensively, adequate defensively) out to sign Hamilton (good offensively, poor defensive game). Toronto would be better off going with the player they know than Hamilton.

    Only way Id move Reilly is if he is intent on reaching UFA and a deal cannot be made.

    Reilly at 6.5 – 7.0 is much better than Dougie at 7.5 tp 8.0.

    Adding Hamilton only serves to cut into the Leafs already limited cap room.

    Toronto needs to add a decent defenseman with the focus on defence, not another pond hockey playing creampuff.

    Problem is the masterminds running the Leafs see a shiney new toy and they just have to have it even if it makes zero sense to get it. Exhibit A- Johnny its not about the money Tavares.

    How much better would the Leafs be if that 11.5 million was spent on a 6 million dollar defender and a 5 million dollar forward? More offensive depth, better defense. Better shot at the ultimate goal.

    • Not the words I might have chosen but agreed re Reilly vs Hamilton.

  20. If I’m the Bruins GM and they want Jack Eichel to be their next number on centre after Bergeron retires I offer Coyle Carlo a prospect and two firsts. My top 3 centers would be Bergeron Eichel Studnicka. If Krech would sign a two year cap friendly deal than he would be my third not sure they could afford him. I can’t see Eichel going to a team rebuilding as he won’t be any happier there.

    • The Bruins don’t have any pieces to go after Jack unless the names Pasta or Mac Avoy are on the table. Carlo has career ending concussion issues. Coyle has has a NTC. Even so, the Sabres are not going to face Jack four times or more a year when someone out west offers more. Liking the rumors to Chicago. Even if they don’t include Dach. Chicago’s 1st #11, Reichel, Boqvist and Borgstrom would get it done for me.

      • Little early to call Carlo’s concussions career ending isn’t it G-Man?
        Most players come back from them. The issue is when they don’t it is really bad.
        My guess is he will be back and playing come the fall.

  21. Anyone have a guess as to what it will cost to sign Seth Jones when he becomes a UFA after the 2021-22 season?

    • Seth Jones Is a comparable to Darnell Nurse and they make the same money now.

      Darnell Nurse 26y/o 6’4 221 $5.6 million LD

      Seth Jones 26 y/o6’4 213 $5.4 million RD

      2 big young mobile D

      With a frozen cap…$6.5-7

  22. Not sure how reliable this is, but on SiruisXM Steve Kouleas and Shane O’Brian are saying that Tkachuk may want out of Calgary.

    • Shane O’Brien insider!