Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 20, 2021

by | Jun 20, 2021 | Rumors | 30 comments

The Blackhawks could have an interest in Jack Eichel, the Coyotes could try to trade Oliver Ekman-Larsson again, and the latest on Matthew Tkachuk in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Chicago Blackhawks are among the clubs with an interest in Jack Eichel, who is expected to be traded by the Buffalo Sabres later this summer. Brooks believes any offer from the Blackhawks for the Sabres captain must include young center Kirby Dach and their first-round pick (11th overall) in this year’s draft.

Other clubs believed to have an interest in Eichel include the Anaheim Ducks, Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings and perhaps the New York Rangers. Brooks also reports the Blackhawks are thought to be interested in Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones and Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Dougie Hamilton, who could sign with the Seattle Kraken.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger examined the potential pluses and minuses for the Blue Jackets if they were to acquire Eichel. His neck injury, desire for experimental surgery to treat the condition, $50 million remaining on his contract and the high cost of acquiring him are the drawbacks. The upside, however, is the addition of a hopefully healthy elite 24-year-old superstar center in his playing prime.

Hedger points out the Sabres need goaltenders. The Jackets could include Elvis Merzlikins or Joonas Korpisalo plus two of their three first-round picks in this year’s draft (including the fifth-overall selection) as part of a package offer. It would be surprising, however, if the Jackets parted with that fifth-overall pick.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch is dismissive of speculation suggesting the Senators could pursue Eichel. While they could use him, his $10 million annual cap hit for the next five years plus the Sabres’ high asking price makes no sense for them at this point in their rebuild.

Garrioch instead suggested Anaheim’s Adam Henrique if the Ducks absorb part of his $5.825 million AAV. Henrique has strong chemistry with Senators winger Connor Brown playing for Canada at the recent World Championships. Other options could include Calgary’s Sean Monahan, Montreal’s Phillip Danault, Chicago’s Dylan Strome, Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart and Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks suggests the Blackhawks’ interest in Eichel could be tied to the uncertainty over the health of captain Jonathan Toews, who missed this season battling a mysterious illness. He’s expected to return to action next season but Toews and the Hawks are keeping silent about his condition.

With Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw on permanent long-term injury reserve, the Blackhawks will have nearly $11 million in cap relief if they wish to add a high-salaried player this summer. One can’t fault them for exploring the cost of acquiring Eichel if doubt remains about Toews’ condition. However, recent speculation has tied them to Jones and Hamilton given their need for a top-two defenseman. Those two would be more affordable to acquire than Eichel.

The Jackets have bee been searching for a true first-line center for some time. They have the cap space, those extra first-round picks and the goaltending depth to draw upon as trade bait for an Eichel offer. However, the Sabres could want that fifth-overall pick plus another player or a top prospect included in the deal.

Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson (NHL Images).

I agree with Garrioch that it’s nonsense to link the Senators to Eichel. Their young players showed considerable improvement last season. It would be wise to maintain their current pace for another season and see how they develop. The Sens should pursue an experienced center this summer but will likely target more affordable options.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Arizona Coyotes will try again to trade defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. They attempted to deal their 29-year-old captain last fall but he only agreed to waive his no-movement clause for the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks.

Friedman said the two sides will take a different approach this time. The Coyotes will check the trade market. If they get a suitable offer they’ll bring it to Ekman-Larsson and he can decide if he’s comfortable with it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson’s declining performance and his hefty $8.25 million annual average value for the next six years will make him difficult to move. The Coyotes could be forced to absorb some salary or take back an expensive contract to make this work.


STLTODAY.COM: Ben Frederickson believes the St. Louis Blues should make a pitch for Matthew Tkachuk if the Calgary Flames are crazy enough to trade him. He feels the 23-year-old winger could help the Blues find some of their missing spark with his gritty offensive style of play.

Tkachuk has one year remaining on his current contract worth $7 million and becomes a restricted free agent next summer. Frederickson believes he’d be worth sacrificing Jordan Kyrou’s scoring potential or their first-round pick (16th overall ) in this year’s draft or finding the necessary cap space for a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames general manager Brad Treliving has indicated he’s going to explore all his options this offseason. That includes possibly trading Tkachuk. So far, however, there’s no indication the young winger’s on the trade block. Most of the Flames trade speculation involves Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.

Frederickson is correct in his assessment of the Flames’ expensive asking price for Tkachuk. Nevertheless, there will be teams willing to pay it to get him. The Blues could be among the suitors but they might not win a bidding war for his services.


  1. Eichel will be a bruin before the end of August. Nuff said. Bruins pushing hard to get him.

    • Rick no thanks, first off Boston doesn’t have the parts.

      Second off he isnt worth the risk.

      Boston won’t be giving up McAvoy for Eichel, so that leave Pastrnak.

      Not to mention Boston isn’t listed as one of the teams with interest.

    • You’re right Caper, as it sites today with the injury you don’t trade Charlie or Pasta for Eichel.
      If he is 100% healthy I would trade Pasta in a heartbeat for him, just depends what you would have to add. Their 1st as well might get it done?
      He is signed to a very good deal, Eichel’s is about right.

      I’m not sure why anyone would trade high end assets until they know where this injury ends up. If he is considering experimental surgery, doesn’t that mean this is really serious? Who knows but seems that way to me. Or maybe this surgery will be routine in a couple years, I’m sure as hell not qualified to know.

  2. Rick…..with what trade offer. I don’t think the Bruins would trade McAvoy and he may be the only piece of any interest and he alone won’t do it. Don’t say Carlo. That ship sailed to concussion island

  3. Rangers can beat any other teams offer on Eichel.
    OEL to Krakken? Tochett had 3rd interview. If he’s coach, could he bring Arizona captain with him to serve same role in Seattle

    • OEL is a very good D-man, but not elite. The problem is, his cap hit is that of an elite D-man. I’d say he’s comparable to Jeff Petry, with an extra $2m. cap hit. And for 6 more years. It would be a risk for a team to pick him up.

    • If I am Buffalo, the only name from the Rangers that temps me is Fox.

      The Rangers won’t trade Panarin (NMC???).

      How much better has Eichel been than “Z” over the last 2 years?
      Right! He has not.

      Why do the Rangers need Eichel?

      I think that their rebuild is going well ahead of expectations. Stay the course. Keep this mix together and bring in some sandpaper.

      And I root for that other NY team that is still playing. But I am a realist and I think that the Rangers are doing exactly what builds championship caliber teams.

    • Rangers cant afford Eichel. They have too much money tied up in in Trouba, Panarin, CK20 and soon, Zibby. Cant add another 10 mil player. Rangers will have to pay Fox, Laf and KK soon also. Wont make sense.

  4. If the Flames arent stupid, Tkachuk is the last name on that list

    Bruins doesnt have the assets to trade for Eichel. Maybe if they retool for a year or two, not likely, they have the assets but not now.

    As for other options I only think Columbus should try for Eichel, because of the price, the reason for that is that he is locked up for 5 more years and cant leave

    • Tkachuk has a $7 million cap hit, but his actual salary this past season was $9 million. In order for the Flames to keep him as a RFA they must quality him at $9 million. At that money you should be a first liner and Tkachuk isn’t a first liner. That and he struggled when Sutter was hired as head coach are reasons why I can see the Flames trading Tkachuk.

      • Tkachuk to the Blues for Tarasenko and prospect Jake Neighbours. Bank on it.

  5. Toews will be traded to Tampa, where he’ll be placed on LTIR until next years playoffs.

  6. Some of Boston’s key media outlets are reporting it.

  7. Well Ben from STL needs to remember to qualify tkachuk next year it takes a whooping 9 million!!!!

    At 7 I like player at 9 I pass.

    • I guess it depends on how Tkachuk does this season. If he’s back to himself & hits 80 points 9.0 isnt out of the realm. Tkachuk isnt stupid either, knowing a flat cap he probably takes a longer term at around 7.5 to 8.0.. As a Flame fan it better be one heck of a offer to pry Tkachuk away from us.

      • In Tkachuk’s case, the guy is going to head to St. Louis eventually. You might as well get something while you can from him. Just a matter of time.

  8. Ran across this tidbit it’s a C&P and I think this is a big mistake by Sweeney

    Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney admitted that his plan is not to sign any of his pending UFAs until after the NHL Expansion Draft comes and goes. Players like Taylor Hall, David Krejci, Tuukka Rask, Mike Reilly, Jaroslav Halak, and Sean Kuraly will have to wait as the Bruins want to protect every player they are required to protect based on the expansion draft rules.

    • Most teams will do the same, have deals in principle, and sign them the day after the expansion draft. A gm would be a fool to sign a player only to risk losing him to Seattle

      • Remrmber…teams have exposure requirements in the ED so some signings are required to meet this.

  9. Sabres should jump all over Dach and the 11th overall …

    • Zegras & the 3rd overall is better

    • Yes, the only way Buffalo would have been able to get Chicago to agree to that deal is if they seduced them with copious amounts of liquor and women with pictures.

    • Not sure Chicago will give up Dach. But Reichel has history with Peterka. I would be open to Reichel, the 2020 1st #11 and either Bouqvist or Kubalik. Don’t want anything to do with Strome.

  10. I have no doubt the Flames would listen to offers for Tkachuk, unfortunately the offer that Fredrickson suggests is to low.
    I would think the Flames would want Jones or possibly Eichel, but Tkachuk plays the wrong position to be considered by those teams.

    I have not seen Jones play this past season but watched him in the playoffs last year and he was a dominate player.
    I think hands down he is the best player on the market, better than Eichel and way better than Hamilton.
    I would compare Jones to Hamilton like comparing Ferrari to a Camaro. Both sports cars but in name only.

  11. Eichel to Columbus in a deal for one of their goalies and one or both 1st rounders that is not their own 1st as pieces of a deal. Liane stays with Columbus. Jones may take a wait and see approach with the new center.

  12. Baffalo GM spreading “rumors”…. the only taker is a Rangers, don’t be deceived by other rumors

  13. I think you could get the Sens to bite on owning both Tkachuk brothers – even though they don’t need anymore wingers.

    Pretty sure Toews has Lime Disease. Probably caught on a hunting\cottage trip. That’s just rumors no source on that but that’s the grumblings I heard.