NHL Rumor Mill – July 10, 2021

by | Jul 10, 2021 | Rumors | 45 comments

Check out the latest on Jack Eichel, Duncan Keith, Jakub Voracek, Seth Jones, Tyler Bertuzzi and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported several sources denied a story suggesting Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel had backed away from disk replacement surgery and would undergo a fusion instead.

He speculates an Eichel trade could happen after the July 21 expansion draft. Possible destinations could include the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild and Vegas Golden Knights, with the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and perhaps the Los Angeles Kings on the periphery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks, Rangers and Kings have plenty of promising assets and the cap space to swing a deal for Eichel. Whether they’re willing to pay the hefty price in terms of his expensive contract and the return to the Sabres (an equivalent of four first-rounders) is another story. The ongoing uncertainty over his neck injury remains a serious sticking point for every potential suitor.

The Athletic’s Michael Russo reported last month the Wild had preliminary talks with the Sabres. He indicated general manager Bill Guerin could be reluctant to mortgage his club’s future. Guerin also has to get Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala under contract.

Cap space isn’t an issue for the Bruins but their focus is on adding a top-four, left-side defenseman. They’re in talks with pending UFA winger Taylor Hall and could bring back Tuukka Rask and David Krejci on short-term deals for one more run at the Stanley Cup. They also don’t have enough tradeable assets to meet the Sabres’ high asking price.

Absorbing Eichel’s $10 million annual cap hit would be a problem for the Flames and Golden Knights. Like the Bruins, they lack sufficient depth in promising assets to outbid the others on Friedman’s list.

I’m not saying Eichel won’t be traded or won’t end up on one of those teams. I’m merely pointing out that it’s going to take considerable work to pull it off, especially if the Sabres are reluctant to lower their asking price or absorb a portion of his salary.


Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (NHL Images).

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers are reaching a point of “Does it happen or not” regarding a Duncan Keith trade. The Oilers have rejected most of what the Blackhawks sought in return, which may have include Ethan Bear and/or Ryan McLeod.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli said the Blackhawks don’t want to retain any portion of Keith’s $5.53 million annual cap hit. The Oilers’ interest has waned and they’ve pulled back on the assets they were willing to send to Chicago in return. Seravalli believes Caleb Jones was part of it. He also said the Oilers have tabled a “take it or leave it” offer and there’s only a certain price they’ll pay if the Blackhawks won’t retain salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Oilers general manager Ken Holland is taking a firm approach here. He’s under no pressure to acquire Keith. The Oilers could use a second-pairing left-side defenseman but they can find more affordable options if the Hawks won’t retain salary. There’s also no indication the Hawks will take on someone like James Neal or Mikko Koskinen for the purpose of buying them out. If the Blackhawks won’t bend, this deal falls apart.


The Philadelphia Flyers and Jakub Voracek have discussed that it might be time for a change. The 31-year-old winger was told he’ll be left unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft.

If the Seattle Kraken doesn’t select him, the Flyers will look elsewhere. Voracek has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $8.25 million. There’s also a chance they can’t move him via trade and he stays put.

Friedman also reported the Seth Jones-to-Philadelphia trade discussions are off for now. They can’t get the commitment they want from the Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Voracek’s still an effective top-six winger. He lacks no-trade protection but his cap hit will dampen his trade value unless the Flyers pick up part of it or take back an equivalent salary. Perhaps a three-team deal can be made involving draft picks to spread that cap hit around.

If Jones is unwilling to sign an extension with an acquiring team it could kill his value in the trade market. Teams are definitely interested but they don’t want to part with assets on a player who could depart next summer as a free agent.

Friedman wondered if the Carolina Hurricanes will qualify the rights of goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic over concerns of what he might get via arbitration. Same thing with winger Warren Foegele.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Hurricanes don’t qualify their rights they become unrestricted free agents on July 28. They would lose both players to other teams for nothing, though they’d probably try to trade them before then. Nedeljkovic was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy and would draw considerable attention in the UFA market.

Friedman took note of Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin acknowledging how tough the past year was for him mentally and his intention to honor the final year of his contract. He wondered if Bergevin might move into a President of Hockey Operations role with the Canadiens after next season while Scott Mellanby or Martin Lapointe takes over as GM.

Canadiens center Phillip Danault confirmed turning down a long-term extension prior to this season. Friedman believes the two sides were $500K to $750K per season apart. Bergevin indicated he hopes Danault remains with the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The statuses of Bergevin and Danault will be the hot topics for the Montreal media in the coming weeks. Danault is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. It’ll be interesting to see if the Canadiens increase their previous six-year, $30 million offer or if Danault will test the market.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had an interest in Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi until the 26-year-old left winger suffered a season-ending injury. Pending UFA winger Zach Hyman probably won’t be back with the Leafs. The Red Wings could be among Hyman’s suitors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Leafs will revisit that interest in Bertuzzi if he’s fully recovered from his back surgery. He is a restricted free agent who exceeded 45 points in consecutive seasons prior to this year. He’ll be costly to the Leafs in terms of salary and return to the Wings if the latter intends to part with him.

Teams are showing interest in Arizona Coyotes center Christian Dvorak. He’s under contract for four more years with an AAV of $4.45 million.

Friedman wouldn’t be surprised if the Los Angeles Kings attempted to land a winger such as Colorado’s Brandon Saad or St. Louis’ Jaden Schwartz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings were in the market for two top-six wingers in the trade market, preferably in their late-20s with some term left on their contracts. Saad and Schwartz are in the right age group but they’re due to become UFAs by July 28. The Kings might be interested but perhaps on deals for no more than four years.

The Blues could go after Gabriel Landeskog if he hits the open market and they trade Vladimir Tarasenko. Friedman thinks Landeskog will stay with the Colorado Avalanche.

There will be plenty of interest in Tampa Bay Lightning UFA forwards Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow.


  1. The Hawks are stuck with Keith, especially after those outrageous proposals … they made their bed …

    and Seth Jones is sticking it to Columbus … tells them he won’t sign an extension and now he won’t sign a long term deal with a team who has to give up their future for him … Jackets lost leverage and can’t seem to get a break …

    • Putting everyone between a rock and a hard place isn’t going to make him popular throughout the league. You have to wonder what the hell is his motive?

      • George what do you have against a player trying to get what he’s wants after years of sacrifice? Time is passing him by and the guy wants to win and will try to go somewhere where he can win, so money doesn’t seem to be his main concern which in my opinion he should be also concerned with that since careers are so short.
        I think him moving will be a win win for both parties but initially it will sting.

      • I have NOTHING against such a player – all I’m saying is, that uncertainty as to extension can’t make him popular with GMs who are expected to give up something tangible to get him – nor to the Columbus GM who could be left holding the s****y end of the stick. For Krissakes read what others say and quit jumping to conclusions every time.

      • George, What’s wrong with Jones picking his own future? He lived up to his obligations and now it’s his turn.
        As for friends around the league, watch how many teams want to be his friend when he hits the open market.

        I felt the same way about Tavares. It was his right to go where he wanted to play. We Isles fans dislike the way he went about it. Not the fact that he chose to move on. He fulfilled his obligation and that’s all you can ask.

      • Boy oh boy. I gotta learn to phrase things differently. I have NEVER said anywhere that he hasn’t earned the right to pick his spots. All I keep trying to say is, the fact he won’t commit to ANYONE after a trade that he would be willing to at least listen to offer extensions simply means that won’t make him a trade target IF Columbus demands top commodities in return. No team is going to turn over a boatload of good returns if there’s even a hint that he might still want to test the UFA waters after next season. Period.

        Any team that goes down that road and gives up a lot with no hint of listening to contract offers prior to the end of next season is headed for disaster.

        In other words, I was agreeing with Lyle’s blurb above.

    • Seth Jones isn’t sticking it to anybody Ed.
      He is a UFA and told them he will test the market and not just with teams willing to make a deal with CLB.
      That’s called being honest about your intentions. He is doing them a solid IMO.

      Teams control players for the majority of their careers and don’t consider what’s best for the player when deciding where to trade them or how much to pay them.

      If Jones was sticking it to them he would be non committal on his intentions and simply say let’s talk after the season. Then they get nothing.

      He owes CBL nothing but his best effort on the ice and being a good team mate.

      • Well said on Seth Jones..

      • Spot on. Jones made clear his intentions. Owes nothing. Unlike say, Tavares? CBJ’s should take their best deal they can get. It’s not bad to give over a prospect for a year if he makes your blue line way better.

      • He certainly doesn’t owe anything to Columbus. But if he steadfastly refuses to discuss – or indicate he’d be open to – a contract extension ANYWHERE he’s dealt, you can’t blame teams for being unwilling to relinquish anything substantial.

        Suppose, for example, Toronto gave up Nylander as part of the return and when the deal was concluded he refused to discuss an extension beyond next year? Or a top Pittsburgh or Boston F and they get the same response?

      • Another way to look at it George is the team acquiring him doesn’t have to pay as much to get him.
        If it works out and he signs there long term later on, then seems like a win to me.

        If he doesn’t you get what you paid for.

      • Which is why, Ray, I say elsewhere in a response to Caper that it makes sense for Columbus to hold onto him until next trade deadline in the hope that there will be a few top teams thinking they can go all the way and could use a top D-man. In that situation, they might get a better return than they would now if he’s being non committal about extending. See Philadelphia.

    • Sticking it to them would be a Johnny its not about the money Tavares telling the Islanders he definetely wants to resign……then signing with the Leafs.

    • Columbus continues to be a place where nobody wants to stay. Same thing year after year …. maybe there’s a reason? Who knows but it just amounts to yet another boring franchise stuck in mediocrity…. hey wait a minute maybe I am talking about my beloved Maple Leafs! Lol… end comment!

  2. I can’t believe how some GM’s get a free pass. Kekalainen is one of those guys. A couple of years ago when he decided to go all in and not get any compensation for players he knew were not going to resign the narrative was he made a bold move and was applauded. Since he has become the GM every player wants to move on from Columbus but Kekalainen is viewed as a good GM.
    Looking at Columbus from afar it seems to me that he is the issue. Columbus insists on pounding a square peg into a round hole.

    Imagine if Ottawa insisted on keeping their players to make one last run. They would be in the same boat as Columbus.
    In turn they have a very promising good young team that will be legitimate cup contenders down the road. Columbus will be spinning their wheels because they let their player leave for nothing.

    • Flamesfan, yep.

  3. Eichel’s a bruin there’s no denying that fact . He wants to play in Boston has said so. Could an interesting summer if Sweeney doesn’t slip back into hibernation. Sweeney blows this it’s back to sending out the resume’s with his pal Lurch in the front office.

    • Rick, doesnt matter what Eichel wants, his nmc doesnt kick in for another year I believe. That means Buf can trade him wherever the hell they want and Jackie boy cant say crap about it.

      If Bos wants him then theyll have to outbid all the other teams interested, who have more cap space and assets.

      • Canadian King all true, but, teams won’t trade for a player that doesn’t want to be there.

        To much of a gamble to give up the assets and pay the salary.

        For me the price and assets are not worth the gamble, for a player who injury is still a major concern. No thanks.

      • Could be caper, we shall see. The one thing to remember though, Eichel is signed up for another 5 years, so any team trading for him own his rights for that duration.

        Theres way too many GMs and owners that think they can change a players mind on their organization and City if given the chance. I suspect this will happen in Eichels case regardless of him naming Boston in the media.

        Of course, this is just one mans opinion.

    • “Yeah, I think every kid grows up dreaming of playing for their hometown teams,” Eichel said when asked if he’d ever play in Boston. “Whether that happens now or later in my career, whenever – if it ever happens. But it would be pretty cool. Who knows what’s going to happen here in the next little bit.”

      Direct quote. What athlete doesn’t say something of this nature during their career? And what percentage of these type of things actually come to fruition?

      There is no fact of Eichel being a Bruin, until it’s actually a fact.

      • Rick W Murray is just like Wendell Higgens before last season started: throwing out baseless speculation as fact without any knowledge or understanding of NHL hockey. It’s sad to read these homers armchair GM remarks. They think making trades as an NHL GM is the same as Sega NHL 94. This “Eichel is a Bruin” fact he’s been throwing around for weeks has never once been given any credence by stating a legitimate offer the Bruins could make that would net them Eichel. Nor does it acknowledge what Capt. Obvious stated above – not only does Eichel lack a NMC or NTC he also has a contract which binds him to whichever team trades for him. So until that contract is up he has absolutely ZERO control of his destination. So – in summary – Eichel has NO say where he goes and Boston has NO assets they would give up that would get them Eichel (assumption here is McAvoy and Paternak are non-starters from a trade perspective) means ther is NO chance Eichel lands in Boston.

      • That’s cause they the same person. Duh.

    • Boston has no ammo to get Jack

    • Rick, we’ve all accepted that fact already. Eichel will be a Bruin. 🙂

  4. Keith to the oilers team makes loads of sense just for the off ice mentoring he can bring to a team learning what it takes to be a winner. But he is on the verge of retirement and the hawks gotta drop that ridiculous price if they want anything for him.

    Jones is quality D at the right age. Columbus will get near to what they want.

    • I agree, Keith at the right price…be it in what is sent the other way and or retaining salary would have an amazing impact on the oiler roster. Its one thing to have role players with cup rings, its a bit different having a former norris and conn smythe winner on the bench when the going gets tough. He certainly is no longer likely that guy to jump over the boards and alter the momentum alone but he certainly could still be a guy that settles a bench and mentors a young D

  5. Just an update and/or clarification on a few CBJ-related items above. The “Jones is sticking it to the CBJ” narrative does not appear accurate. Both Pagnotta (this morning) & Friedman (earlier this week on the 31 podcast) reported that CBJ Jones is willing to sign extensions with some teams it just doesn’t appear he is willing to discuss it PHI so their interest is rightfully waning. Many are taking the unwillingness to sign in PHI and extrapolating that to all situations which just isn’t accurate.

    Second, the CBJ went “all in” and mortgaged the future in 2019 narrative is also mostly an inaccurate media perception. The front office wanted to re-sign Panarin but had no interest in re-signing Bob at the term and AAV he wanted. So, for right or wrong, they viewed their window for meaningful playoff success w/ that core as 2018 and 2019. For those interested here was their drastic “mortgage the future” trades at the 2019 deadline

    To CBJ:

    To OTT:
    2019 1st RD pick (Lassi Thomson)
    Davidsson (prospect now in KHL)
    Abramov (prospect now in KHL)

    Duchene didn’t re-sign so the 2020 conditional 1st never was traded to OTT (FYI….Despite another false popular media narrative, CBJ never even offered Duchene a contract…he was always a pure rental)

    To CBJ:
    2019 7th Rd pick (became C Tyler Angle who had 24 pts in 23 AHL games this year)

    To OTT:
    2019 2nd (G Sogaard) & 2020 2nd pick (F Sokolov)

    To CBJ

    To NYR
    2019 4th & 7th RD pick

    To CBJ

    To NJ
    2022 5th RD pick

    In hindsight, the Dzingel trade was the worst of the lot as the 2 2nds is expensive (and the prospects OTT drafted w/ those appear to have some promise) but the rental cost for Duchene (2019 19th overall and 2 prospects who are both out of the league 2 years later) is a pretty standard trade deadline deal

    If folks want to look at a place where CBJ got raked look at 2017 when they lost Karrlson in the expansion draft and the then the deals they made w/ Vegas to offload the Clarkson contract and keep Vegas from selecting Anderson and Korpi….1 guy that is gone and 1 that may gone by draft day….that hurts way more but rarely gets talked about

    Not trying to be difficult here, but there is just a lot of ill-informed narrative surrounding the Jones current situation and the “all in” 2019 situation….my 2 cents as a long-time, long-suffering CBJ fan

    • Deacon,
      You made my point.
      The defence of the moves that Kekalainen has made makes my point exactly.
      He gets a free pass
      If Columbus is happy with him it seems you will be doomed to mediocrity and players not wanting to play there.

      • Your welcome to your opinion but nothing I said proved whatever point u think u are making. Jarmo clearly made some misjudgedmwmts but all the armchair internet GMs have the luxury of hindsight being 20/20. I am fine that they went for it in whatvthey feet was their window and also fine w a rebuild now. Many other CBJ fans don’t agree and that’s also fine. To each their own

  6. Seth Jones, signed his contract, lived up to his contract and provided a 10 ten no trade list.

    That is the only provision 10 team no trade list.

    Maybe he wants to play for Dallas?

    Columbus has to decide if they can’t get Jones to sign a long term with another team is it

    A: better to trade him now for the best offer

    B: wait it out and see if better offer come along, especially around trade deadline.

    Risking injuries and team making playoffs then have to hang onto him.

    • Caper, it’s beginning to look like that will be the way Columbus goes. Keep Jones until the next trade deadline and see if there’s a team or two who believe they’re cup contenders and who could use a top D for the stretch run and so prepared to give up a lot more than Columbus could reasonably expect now if he continues to be non-committal about negotiating an extension beyond next season.

      • The chance of Jones being on CBJ roster opening night isn’t 0 but pretty darn close to it.

  7. As a hockey fan and solid reader of rumors, I’m so disappointed in Rob Blake. There are no solid rumors from the Kings. Tons of speculation but, nothing solid. As a KIngs fan I’m really happy about the lack of solid rumors. That Arvidsson deal came out of nowhere and was a great trade for the Kings. I hope Blake stay the stealth course going forward and avoid trash moves, like Kovalchuk, and actually fills a need. With that said, I really hope the Saad and Schwartz rumors are just speculations. I feel the Kings have that type of production from their up and coming youth and should give them the opportunity to prove themselves. Of the 2 players, Saad would probably be the better fit than Schwartz. I say that based upon Saad’s bouncing around with a few teams and probably a lot faster adjustment. Eichel would be an albatros. Kings already have 2 $10M+ players, no need to put 40% of the Cap on 3 players for 3-4 years. Landeskog, for selfish reason (fan of Djurgarden) is a pipe dream but, again, another $10M+ player. Kings have 4-5 quality RFA’s next year to think about. Can’t throw all the money at 1 player…but then again, LA is Hollywood so who knows?

    • Jorgen – can you clarify? You start off by saying you’re “so disappointed in Rob Blake” then go on to say “you’re really happy about the lack of rumours …” and hope Blake “stays the course.” So, you’re not disappointed in Blake?

      • George – as a fan of rumors, the disappointing factor is that Kings are very tightlip about what they are thinking. You don’t see a lot of rumors coming out of that organisation. That’s the disappointing part, with respect to rumors. Hockey wise, the job he’s done is good, maybe a bit over average up until now.

    • Hey Jorgen, love reading posts about the Kings as it seams to be a rare treat most days. That said, I agree with George O, not sure what your stance is.

      Personally I like Blakes moves thus far. He’s built the prospect pool to be one of if not the best in the league and hes committed to slow playing these prospects by not rushing them up. Which is rare these days.

      Love the Arvidsson trade. It’s a low risk, high reward move that cost very little in assets and wont handcuff the team down the road if and when the youngins get paid.

      That said, I agree with your “stay the stealth course” comment. Please keep posting.

      • Canadian King – there wasn’t really a stance, just an observation as a hockey fan that very little rumors are coming from the Kings camp. It’s fun to read speculations and rumors about your own team but, very little is coming from them. That was the view from a hockey fan standpoint. As a Kings fan, I’m kinda glad Blake & Co. are very tightlip and not feeding the fan base hopes and dreams via “insiders”.

      • Ah, gotcha now Jorgen. Yea I agree with you on that one.

    • Jorgen, Perhaps Blake went to the Lou Lamarillo school of top secrets.

      Seems to work for Lou.

      • Yes, Lou is the King, no denying that.

  8. Interesting little tidbit


    Yeah, I think every kid grows up dreaming of playing for their hometown teams,” Eichel said when asked if he’d ever play in Boston. “Whether that happens now or later in my career, whenever – if it ever happens. But it would be pretty cool. Who knows what’s going to happen here in the next little bit.”

  9. Columbus could have used Nyquist this year.
    Jones knows he is getting paid. He may want to explore his options and see if it can be the situation he wants.

    I bet Rangers wait until the 27 th. with ADA. Dont let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.
    No way Edmonton is giving away Ryan McLeod. Kid can skate . In some instances a flash that reminds me of McDavid . Only getting better.

    • Ya, Oil is set up down the middle for a long time. Need a tender, scoring left winger to have 2 really good lines.

      LD if Klefbom out. If in and healthy, D is solid. My guess is he won’t be.

      We’ll see what Holland can do now that he has a little $ to spend for the first time. No big splash, but maybe some decent bargains out there.

      • So, Ray. Are you right in the City of Champions, or are you in one of the bedroom communities, like Sherwood Park or Ft. Sask?
        Me and Mrs. Shoreorrpark are contemplating a move a little further North.
        What’s your take on the general area.
        I lived in Stoney Plain for a spell about 26 years ago. So much has changed.


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