NHL Rumor Mill – June 29, 2021

by | Jun 29, 2021 | Rumors | 70 comments

Check out the latest on Seth Jones, Matthew Tkachuk, Jack Eichel, Viktor Arvidsson, Wayne Simmonds and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports he’s still hearing a lot about the Philadelphia Flyers having an interest in Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman didn’t elaborate but it’s not surprising the Flyers would look at Jones to fill their glaring need for a top-pairing, right-side blueliner. They have the assets to make a competitive pitch, but they’ll have to shed salary to squeeze in his $5.4 million cap hit for next season. Cap Friendly shows them with $13.08 in projected cap space. Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim are due for new contracts plus they need to find a suitable backup for Hart.

The Flames issued firm denials regarding a recent rumor claiming Matthew Tkachuk wanted out of Calgary. That’s different from when no one denied the leak that Seth Jones would test next summer’s free-agent market or the news the Arizona Coyotes will try to trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson or reports the Carolina Hurricanes allowed Dougie Hamilton to speak with other teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There weren’t any earlier indications Tkachuk was unhappy in Calgary prior to last week’s rumor claiming he wanted out. Flames management could consider all options after missing the playoffs this season. Moving Tkachuk, however, doesn’t sound like one of them.

Things were quieter on the Jack Eichel rumor front last week. Friedman expects things to pick up once they hire a new coach. Interim coach Don Granato and Rick Tocchet are among the contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports several sources said the Rangers have had preliminary talks with the Sabres and would like to look into Eichel’s medical condition. He said it’s uncertain if general manager Chris Drury is performing due diligence or has a serious interest in the Sabres’ captain. The Sabres haven’t granted permission for clubs to examine Eichel’s medical records but it’s expected they would do so if trade talks intensify.

Friedman also heard Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson could be available. The hard-working winger has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A healthy Arvidsson would attract considerable interest. However, he’s been hampered by injuries the past three seasons, which would explain why the Predators could be willing to move him.

It sounds like Wayne Simmonds could be returning for another season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds completed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Leafs. Given their limited cap space, my guess is they’ll try to sign him to a one-year deal worth under $1 million. They’ll also probably wait until after the expansion draft to formally announce it so they don’t have to place him on their protected list.

**UPDATE: TSN reports the Leafs signed Simmonds to a two-year extension with an annual average value of $900K. 

Friedman thinks some trade discussions are stalled over worries about expansion draft protection. There’s also concern the Seattle Kraken could draft exposed players and then flip them elsewhere. For example, they could select someone like Matt Dumba or Mark Giordano and then entertain bids and potentially absorb part of their salary. Friedman feels either player would make sense for the Edmonton Oilers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken GM Ron Francis will try to use the same playbook as the Vegas Golden Knights during their expansion draft. He’s going to look at side deals if it lands a return that provides long-term benefits.

Speculation suggests Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook could test the free-agent market. There are also Warren Foegele trade talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The potential departures of Martinook and Foegele could be in anticipation of re-signing pending UFA defenseman Dougie Hamilton and restricted free agents Andrei Svechnikov and Alex Nedeljkovic. The Hurricanes have over $29 million in projected cap space but new contracts for those three will eat up a big chunk.

The New Jersey Devils could consider moving their first-round pick (fourth overall) in this year’s draft for a good young defenseman.


  1. Jack Eichel will be a Bruin … heard it from Pluto

    • Awesome George 👍

    • Thats pretty linear thinking George…

  2. Let’s see – Jason Spezza, in 56gp, scored 10g 20a 30 pts – which averages out to a 15g 29a 44 pt 82 game season, and in 7 playoff games, added 3g 2a 5pts – while winning a healthy % of his faceoffs – and he did all that for the rock-bottom price of $700,000.

    Simmonds, meanwhile, had 7g 2a 9 pts over 38 gp – averaging out to 10g 4a 14 pts and in 7 playoff games contributed 0g 1a 1pt – while his “grit” didn’t manifest itself into any great team accomplishments when the dust settles. And he cost $1.5 mil off the cap!

    I would think that the NHLPA hopes to hell that any re-signing deal is down around the Spezza level.

    • Not sure why they’d be interested in Simmonds coming back at anything above league minimum?

      There are better options available.

      • I dont understand why they want him back at all, he is just to slow

      • Anything below can be buried in the minors. Don`t be shocked if Simmonds becomes a coach with the Marlies in the near future. I can hardly wait for when Dubas announces Jumbo Joe signs his 5 year extension

      • Below 1050000 need coffee

    • George, to say the Leafs fan base is antsy is an understatement. Re-signing Simmonds at $900000 is a good example.
      Based on some reactions, you’d think the sky is falling.
      The contract is under
      $1 million for a player that you can put on waivers at any time.
      Let’s get upset in October, gang, not today.

      • While all that is very true, BCLeafFan, I think the question some are asking is, what did Simmonds bring to the table to make him worth re-signing – at any price? He’s slow, contributed very little offensively and whatever “grit” he may have displayed in his younger days was non-existent this season. He certainly did nothing to enhance the team’s performance. Some are legitimately asking if there are no younger, better options available through free agency?

      • George there’s a few facts, some of which we would never know because unless you’re in the room we won’t, but at $900k who opulent you get that has the skill sets he brings? You said younger but who and why younger? Haven’t everyone’s said the Leafs need face punchers? He’s one and most likely not the only one…in short, this is a depth signing, nothing else. Spezza on the other hand, Leafs better know how lucky they are with him.

    • His grit does make a difference. The first part of the season he was also able to contribute offensively. After recovering from a broken wrist, not so much. Hard to shoot, have magic hands in front of the net, oh and face punch….I believe in Wayne. He, Campbell and Spezza have the most heart on this team, IMO.

  3. The New Jersey Devils could consider moving their first-round pick (fourth overall) in this year’s draft for a good young defenseman.
    Q1 Why would any team trade a good young Dman for a pick in what will be an “unusual” draft at best?
    Q2 Why would NJ trade 4OA for a potentially more expensive and fewer years under control Dman? Unless its Dahlin, Sergachev or Heiskenan (and it WON’T be) the Devils should pass on that.

    • Logical step would be re-uniting Hughes brothers by using #4 on Luke. They could fill the gap year or two it will likely take to get him to the NHL by trading the #28 pick and a prospect to Buffalo for Ristolainen.

    • Glad to see Simmonds re-signing in Toronto. Hope he plays as well in the playoffs next year as he did this year. But I hope this sets a bar for Perry re-upping with the Habs.
      As to the Devils, this reminds me of 2018 when the venerable Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette suggested that the Habs trade the #3 overall pick for a first line center. No suggestions on who it could possibly be, just get it done. As if it were that easy. The good young D-men who are worth trading a #4 pick for simply aren’t available. Even Seth Jones would only be worth picking up if he agreed to an extension and I doubt he’s want to sign up for a rebuild.

  4. One concern with Tkachuk is that he personally hasn’t said anything. Could be many reasons for this, but worth noting that when this happened with Gaudreau, the player came out and said multiple times that he would be happy to resign in Calgary.

    • Well Eichel hasn’t really said anything either, has a herniated disc in his neck, a $7.5M bonus to be paid coming up and 5 yrs left on a bad $10M cap hit that has an NMC kicking in next season but folks love positioning speculation to attract web clicks nonsensically…

      • Is a healthy Eichel worth 10 million for the next 5 years? Yes
        That’s what the GMs are trying to determine.

        It’s a huge opportunity for some team and the media attention makes a lot of sense.
        Its the NHL where superstars do not move often, unlike the NBA or MLB – this is big news and rightfully so.

  5. Simmonds signed @ .9 ; Oilers, Nugent-Hopkins set to announce new eight-year contract worth $41M

    • Another mistake by the boy wonder.

  6. Simmonds signed a 2 year deal. AAV $900,000 per.

    The Nuge signs an 8 year AAV $5.1
    That’s good value for the Oilers.

    • Thanks Shoreorrpark! I missed that one. That is a great deal for the Oilers. I was thinking it would be something between $6.5 to $7 million a year to get him resigned.

    • Insanely good value on Hopkins! That is a shocking development.

      • Yep. That’s a huge name off the UFA board, and quite early. Makes me wonder why so quick on the draw if his full intention was to re-sign with the Oil, why not wait until after the draft so he wouldn’t have to be protected, therefore protecting another player of value.
        I think that would be a better move, but I’m not a GM and have no idea what those men are planning.

  7. IF Eichel is healthy and just unhappy, Senators grab him.

    Eichel and Risto to Ottawa

    Zaitsev, Zub, Josh Norris round 1and 2 draft picks this year,

    Senators get far and away the best player in the trade and a decent D man. The cupboard is full with young guys and its a weak draft year.

    Buffalo gets a promising young C and young D, a decent D , #10 and #39. and save on the cap

    • Not worth it from an Ottawa perspective. I’d stay away Eichel personally. Price tag is way too high and what you are suggesting Ottawa give up isn’t worth it. Zub is solid and Norris has so much potential and has shown considerable growth this past season.

      • I am tempted to say the Sens should try for Jack, but only if they don’t give up Timmy or Brady or Sanderson.


        From Buffalo: Skinner and Eichel
        From Ottawa: 1st, White or Teirney, Dadanov, and another player (Logan Brown? Abramov’s rights? Grieg?) or draft pick (which would be contingent on how many games Eichel plays or how many points he gets)

        Taking Skinner’s contract on has to be worth at least 2 first round pics.

        One of the centers has to go back to open up a spot. And one Dadanov or Murray has to go back to make money work.

        Now – Buffalo can get a better deal somewhere else. And NO WAY does Eugene take on 19 million dollars in money. And I honestly think Eichel doesn’t want to go anywhere but a big market like NY or LA.

        Just a thought.

    • NO thank you. An injury ? costing $10 mil off the cap while giving up an up and coming – and BIG – C in Norris and probably the best UFA signing of last year in Zub? Not hardly. And they’ve already got far better D than Ristolainen both on the main team and coming up.

      That will never happen.

      • I keep reading that Eichel will end up in Boston. 😉

      • LOL. Yeah, that keeps popping up somewhere … makes you wonder why we’re all wasting time with other scenarios 🙂

      • Wait what’s Ottawa giving up for both risto and jack?

        AND a big no??? Okay!

      • Could Ottawa supply the goods yes but IMO Ottawa would be nuts, they should stay the course they are on. Besides, if Adam’s won’t trade him in the division when other teams are mentioned why would he trade him to Ottawa? All reports say he wants to move him out west.

        The part I disagree about is his injury…Eichel went public bc it was his way to cause controversy and get traded without asking out. The Pegula’s have shown that they will cut off their nose to spite their face in the past see ROR and E Kane.

        Eichel did his season ending zoom call and made the Sabre’s look bad but the next day Adam’s didn’t even let the reporters start with questions and explained that the Sabre’s were within the CBA rules with their actions and Eichel never rebutted. Job done he caused controversy. My opinion is surgery is never brought up after he is traded and he’s ready to go day one. BTW, it was public knowledge he had a herniated disk but was never an issue till he went public about he wanted surgery. It’s all a con job on Eichel’s part to me.

    • No way, no chance, no thank you! Look, I’m not saying that Eichel isn’t a game changing center, he is and if healthy easily the best player here. But this is the kind of move you make when you are in the thick and know what you have and are ready to push. Our assets need to be used to fill gaps in areas we don’t have.

      I don’t believe we need the Top 6 C at all! As a matter of fact, I truly believe that Stueztle is going to be moved to C next season and before long in Ottawa Stueztle/Norris/Pinto will be one of the deepest center combinations in the NHL.

      Also, I think Zub still has more upside and I just don’t see moving him, particularly for Risto, who yes is physical and a good PP quarterback, but we already have Chabot/Brannstrom for the powerplay. Use the assests to improve our depth on the wing, maybe a short term upgrade on Zaitzev, or get a stellar deal from a team looking to not lose someone to expansion (Dumba).

      A trade for Dumba is exactly what Ottawa should be going for. They have the cap space and he can play the top RD with Chabot! Prime player age, only 2 years left on his contract. This is the type of upgrade Ottawa should be looking at.

      • JJB,

        First of all I specified IF he’s healthy.

        Eichel is only 24, his best years are ahead of him and he’s heads and hands better than Stueztle/Norris/Pinto will ever be.

        The young D prospect pool can easily live without Zub.

        Risto isn’t the key to anything, just a placeholder.

        The opportunity to have a 24y/o legitimate 1C that is already a point a game player isn’t something to sneeze at.

        Ottawa is in the rare position of having the assets and cap space to make a dramatic improvement for years to come.

        I’ll repeat, its all conditional on his being 100% healthy, others he isn’t worth taking for free.

      • ” he’s heads and hands better than Stueztle/Norris/Pinto will ever be. … ”

        And you know that for a fact how? Is your real name Kreskin?

      • George O

        24 y/o point a game Centres don’t come along every draft so while it isn’t a “fact” that he’s heads and hands better than Stueztle/Norris/Pinto will ever be, it’s a high probability.

        He’s young and there all ready, they still need to get there and more importantly I’m only suggesting one of them not all three.

        Do you seriously expect Norris to be a point a game player? Eichel is only 2 years older than him

      • Habsfan30, Nashville traded Seth Jones to Nashville for a “can’t miss” 1st line centre Johansen. How did that work out? Congrats on your Habs getting to the cup final.

      • No one – and I mean NO ONE – expected Zetterberg to be a point a game C – and he was taken way down the draft list (round 7?). Norris showed as much in his first year – a truncated year – as Zetterberg did in his. He may not develop to be that level – but at this stage no one can say for sure one way or the other. But the potential is there – as is Zub’s potential on the D based on that same truncated season. And You expect Ottawa to give up them AND their 1st and 2nd round picks plus Zaitzev?

        Don’t think so.

      • A young 24 year old ppg center who can’t stay healthy , is currently injured, probably will miss a significant portion of next season (possibly beyond or never returns the same ppg player) complains , hasn’t won anything, hasn’t played a single playoff game and has proven exactly jack squadoodle is worth what exactly?

    • Really don’t see the Sabres trading Jack to a team in the Northeast. The offer would have to be overwhelming. Your trade idea has merit but probably not enough for the Sabres to have to face Jack so many times a year.

  8. If the Sabres intend to trade Eichel, it would be imperative that they rid themselves of Jeff Skinner’s contract as well. Skinner’s 14 points in 53 games last season is outrageously out of line with his $9-million cap hit for the next 6 years, and he can’t be expected to improve on that without supporting players like Eichel and Hall on the team. The Sabres might find it’s to their advantage for these events to take place before Eichel’s NMC kicks in for the 2022 season.

    If Skinner would waive his NMC, the expansion draft could provide the Sabres a miraculously fortuitous way out of their dilemma, and it could also get them a player with Eichel pedigree. Would a deal, or some variation of one, where the Kraken gave their No.2 overall entry draft pick to the Sabres in return for Eichel and a promise to select Skinner in the expansion draft be amenable to both teams?

    • Hi Francis

      Although I don’t think GMRF takes the deal; I like that line of thinking. I had pondered similar (but with a higher demand from GMRF)

      The downside to Krakken is (1) the albatross Skinner contract with only (2) a fair chance that Eichel (with or without surgery) returns to form ; and (3) Eichel’s reported “dressing room” issues AND his repeated jumping of chain of command [going right to owner]; and then add to that …. (4) deal pending on Skinner waiving his NMC (to go from Buffalo to Krakken may not be a hard sell)

      The counter offer might be more given up by Krakken; but Skinner comes at 50% retained

      Francis could then retain another 50% (of the 50%) and trade Skinner …. receiving team gets him at $2.25 M Cap hit….. whatever that nets in trade; goes to Sabres

      So in that case it is 2nd in this draft; plus whatever Krakken get for moving Skinner to a third party; plus maybe another asset either acquired in the expansion draft or side deal

      Again there are risks; and many moving pieces; so unlikely to happen; but Krakken; if Eichel returned healthy and with a different mindset/attitude; would start out with a Franchise centre

      I still say Eichel to Jackets has most logic; but Eichel as a Bruin or Ranger has highest odds of coming to fruition

      • Pengy, I don’t see any chance of Buffalo sending Eichel to Bruins. Rangers in good spot to out bid anyone and still have a ton of prospect depth.

      • Pengy–Let’s not forget that the Sabres, or any team dealing for the Kraken’s first rounder, is not guaranteed to be getting a future NHL player, let alone one of Eichel’s status, especially with the hindrances involved in analyzing this year’s pool of talent. There’s always a possibility that the Sabres could end up with nothing more than the dissolution of Skinner’s contract. For that reason, I assigned some risk to the Kraken by having them select Skinner. Skinner could possibly find new life, or get back his old one, with a new team.

      • To the Bruins for what? At least the Rangers have some young high-end talent that could be dangled and draft picks higher up the scale..

  9. RNH signed 8 year extension

    • His deal includes a no movement clause. Does that exempt him from the expansion draft, Lyle?

      • No, that’s for next season. He’s still technically on his current contract until July 28. The expansion draft is July 21

      • Hi BCLeaf

        I know you directed this to Lyle, but thought I’d throw my thoughts in

        The contract and therefore NMC , would start with 21-22, so I’m thinking that IF left unprotected; Kraken could scoop him up

      • Sorry Lyle

        I was typing and your post wasn’t there

        I hit submit and yours showed , then mine

        Sorry for the duplication

        Not intentional

  10. To CHI: Eichel
    To BUF: Dach & the #11 and a conditional 1st rd pick 2022 (if Jack is healthy and CHI make the playoffs this year)


    To CMB: Reinhart & Skinner $1m retained)
    To BUF: Texier & the #5 along with Domi
    If not Tex the what else with the #5 for Reinhart?


    • If both some miracle this is proposed:

      To CMB: Reinhart & Skinner $1m retained)

      To BUF: 5th round pick

    • Just one who’s going Boston

  11. Simmonds for 2 @ $900 K vs Spezz at League min….. let’s just say; one of those two got seriously ripped off

    Nuge at a Cap just a tad over $5M…. that’s a hometown discount

    He would be 2C on most clubs and $6M minimum for 7 years (more gross , one less year)

    I’m sure Knights would have gone $6 M * 7; and Nuge will take home around *$21.5 M after 8 years in Ed ; and $42M for 7 years in Vegas would have net him closing in on *$27 M…. a gain of $5.5 M ; and playing one less year!!! And going to a team that was but 4 separate goals away from being Stanley Cup finalists 3 out of its 4 years of existence!

    *Numbers re Gavingroup

    Holland …. great move

    The only thing I would have done was to make it a handshake deal ; to be officially signed the day after the expansion draft… that way they could have protected an additional player

  12. curious what everybody thinks cbj can get for seth jones without a contract extension

    • Pens politely offer Zucker+ Marino+Ruhwedel; and a personal thank-you from Mario, Sid and the gang

      Please advise if that will do it; willing to negotiate

      • The Blues respectfully offer Tarasenko, Dunn and a pub crawl with Brett Hull.


  13. Did Holland and RNH just set the market for UFA’s this off season?

    A legitimate 2C on most teams and a 1C on some for $5.125 definitely factors into the perceived value of 2nd/3rd/4th line UFA’s looking for jobs.

    • Danault pay day just went way down

  14. With Buffalo naming Granato their coach, can we expect trades to start happening? Where does this leave Tochett?

  15. Eichel will be a Bruin I’m hoping as kind of a bonus Seth Jones will also be a bruin. Now just get Of Rask.

    • I’m with you on Eichel, Rick. However, I’d wait for Werenski to put in his time in Columbus rather than pay big for Jones. Werenski is heads and shoulders above Jones. It really isn’t even close. Anyone who says otherwise isn’t a good judge of talent.

      • I heard through reliable sources both said the b’s would push hard for Eichel. Because of old man time Creeping up on Patrice and Krejci &They have no other prospects. I’ve given up on Studnicka, Coyle a 3rd line centre. I believe Patrice may have one or two good years left and likewise for Krecji it’s a big gamble. But the health issue might prove to be a factor a healthy Eichel maybe 2 #1 draft picks, good established player and prospects.but with health concerns they could and should land him. They need young guy with the gifts this player has to offer. Don’t forget management thought The Rocket was too brittle to play in the nhl.

  16. Exact reason not to trade Eichel to Boston…long in the tooth at center and none in the system, same division so why help strengthen a division foe who doesn’t have what Adam’s wants. If Adam’s did that he should be fired on the spot.

    • Exactly. Why do some miss the obvious?

    • I wouldn’t deal within conference, let alone the same division. They’re all fighting for the top 8 spots. I’d say the Bruins and Rags have about the same chance of landing young Eichel…….slim to none. Regardless if the Rags have a better prospect group. If I trade him, I’m not looking for maybes. I’m looking for established players and low first round picks. Like top 5 picks, and several of them to complement said established players.
      Pasta and Marchand moves the needle.
      Outside of The bread man the Rags have nothing I covet. Not even the hair farmer DJ.
      Eichel needs to be sent West. Vancouver has what I’d want.

      • Agree, I think Minnesota could also put together a good offer sans the high draft pick which as Dreger said just means the prospect and good roster player gets spicier to make up for the low firsts that would be included.

  17. This just in…leafs sign Dion Phaneuf to league minimum contract and Chris Kotsopoulous to Professional tryout contract.

    • Classic Kyle.

      • You mean classic Frank.