Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 25, 2021

by | Jul 25, 2021 | Rumors | 54 comments

This year’s draft is history and the start of free agency is days away. Check out the latest on Jack Eichel, Dougie Hamilton and more in today’s Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


NHL.COM: Dan Rosen reports Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams continues to field calls from teams interested in acquiring Jack Eichel. He also hasn’t ruled out keeping the 24-year-old center if he doesn’t receive a suitable offer that addresses his club’s needs.

THE ATHLETIC: Rick Carpiniello believes the reason Eichel wasn’t traded this weekend was the Sabres’ asking price remains too high. A league source said Sabres owner Terry Pegula wants Eichel traded to a Western Conference team.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers must resolve Mika Zibanejad’s contract situation one way or the other before turning to Jack Eichel. They cannot afford to carry both.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Brooks believes the Rangers prefer re-signing Zibanejad but the price has to be right. Preliminary talks between Zibanejad’s camp and the Rangers have begun with the 28-year-old center reportedly seeking a deal similar to Eichel’s $10 million annual average value for seven or eight years. The Rangers prefer to keep the term to between five and six years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The asking price and Pegula’s supposed desire to ship Eichel to the west could assure he’s still suiting up with the Sabres this fall. At this point, it’s difficult to envision a scenario where a Western Conference club ponies up the equivalent of four first-round picks.

Time isn’t on the Sabres’ side. I’m not doubting Adams’ sincerity when he said he’s fine with Eichel being on the roster next season but his preference is to move him. I don’t blame him for setting a high asking price but he’ll have to lower it if he wants Eichel off the roster before training camp opens in September.

Zibanejad’s a talented center but the Rangers would be crazy to invest $10 million annually on him. He’ll be 29 next April and I don’t think he’d get that much from any club around the league. Maybe they reach an agreement on a five-year deal worth around $8 million. We’ll see. Lots of time for this to play out.

It’s time to start preparing for this to be the summer of Eichel in the rumor mill.


NHL.COM: Dan Rosen believes the goalie market will be intriguing with many teams seeking help between the pipes. The Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks could be busy addressing that issue via trades or free agency. So could the Colorado Avalanche if Philipp Grubauer departs as a free agent on July 28.

Trade targets could include Robin Lehner or Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights. Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning said Braden Holtby might be available.

Several teams, including the Minnesota Wild, Winnipeg Jets and New Jersey Devils will be shopping for defensemen. Pending free-agent blueliners include Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Suter, Keith Yandle, Alexander Edler, David Savard, Alec Martinez, Tyson Barrie and Zdeno Chara.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The News & Observer’s Chip Alexander reports the Hurricanes are continuing talks with Hamilton’s agent. Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said they seemed to be getting closer to an agreement but it would have to be reached before free agency opens on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Larry Brooks reports there could be mutual interest between Hamilton and the New Jersey Devils that could come in the form of a seven-year deal worth around $9 million. That would replace P.K. Subban’s contract when it expires next summer.

The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa reports the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders are among the clubs pursuing Suter, who was recently bought out by the Minnesota Wild. Yandle could also be an option for the Bruins if they don’t land Suter.


  1. Still confusing. If Armstrong was willing to lose Vlad for nothing (expansion), why is he so fixated on the right deal now? Teams were willing to take the full cap hit (NJ could definitely afford it) don’t understand why he wants a significant return now. Hamilton back in Carolina makes the most sense, would be shocked if Jersey ponies up to $9 million for 8 years, those last 3-4 years could get ugly.

    • Because if Armstrong lost Tarasenko in the expansion draft, that means he would still have Vince Dunn on the blueline.

      If he gives away Tarasenko for nothing now, that means he’s lost Tarasenko AND Dunn with no return.

      • Nasdaq

        He could have traded Tarasenko before the expansion draft AND kept Dunn.

        Keep in mind that Tarasenko has had three operations on the same shoulder so he’s a very risky acquisition. He also carries a pretty high cap hit which limits which teams can afford his salary.

      • “He could have traded Tarasenko before the expansion draft AND kept Dunn.”

        If he could have, don’t you think HE WOULD HAVE???

    • How do you know the teams that were willing to take Tarasenko’s cap hit weren’t going to be sending a bad contract back for him?

  2. Zibanejad 10 million I don’t think so Hall got 6 Rangers nuts to pay over 6 he isn’t a star.

    • I’ve, are you actually comparing a 1st line center, to a 2nd line winger? Even with his well documented poor start to last season due to post covid fog, Zib still had
      24 goals and 26 assists in 50 games. Hall had 10 goals and 23 assists in 3 more games (Buff and Bos combined) previous season 41g-34a- 57 games. I don’t see him getting 10 mil per, but hopefully maybe give him an extra year to keep AAV down. Seems to be the trend. I also don’t believe Rangers should give him extension until after getting Eichel. Gives team leverage knowing you have a 1C already and don’t need to panic and overpay/over term Zib.

    • Obe, maybe Dorion signs UFA Brassard then trades him to the Rangers for Zibanejad to help them free up cap space to go for Eichel : : :

      • George I like your thinking but as long as Ottawa doesn’t pay him anywhere near 10 million and as for term 5-6 years max.

      • LOL. Not a chance he gets anything CLOSE to $10 mil – from anybody.

    • Last spring Zibanejad showed he was a top 10 player in the NHL with an amazing run point wise. His intangibles adds to the value. First time I react on Mr. Richardson’s writing. 5 years at 8 is bollocks.

      2019-20 stats:

      Leon Draisaitl (C/W) Edmonton Oilers 71 43 67 110 1.55 18 -7
      Connor McDavid (C) Edmonton Oilers 64 34 63 97 1.52 28 -6
      Artemi Panarin (LW) New York Rangers 69 32 63 95 1.38 20 36
      David Pastrnak (RW) Boston Bruins 70 48 47 95 1.36 40 21
      Nathan MacKinnon (C/RW) Colorado Avalanche 69 35 58 93 1.35 12 13
      Yevgeni Malkin (C) Pittsburgh Penguins 55 25 49 74 1.35 58 7
      Mika Zibanejad (C) New York Rangers 57 41 34 75 1.32 14 9
      Nikita Kucherov (RW) Tampa Bay Lightning 68 33 52 85 1.25 38 26
      Brad Marchand (LW) Boston Bruins 70 28 59 87 1.24 82 25
      Patrick Kane (RW) Chicago Blackhawks 70 33 51 84 1.20 40 8
      Steven Stamkos (C/W) Tampa Bay Lightning 57 29 37 66 1.16 22 14
      Jack Eichel (C) Buffalo Sabres 68 36 42 78 1.15 34 5
      Sidney Crosby (C) Pittsburgh Penguins 41 16 31 47 1.15 15 -8
      Auston Matthews (C) Toronto Maple Leafs 70 47 33 80 1.14 8 19
      Mitchell Marner (RW) Toronto Maple Leafs 59 16 51 67 1.14 16 6
      Jonathan Huberdeau (LW) Florida Panthers 69 23 55 78 1.13 30 5
      Jake Guentzel (W/C) Pittsburgh Penguins 39 20 23 43 1.10 14 11
      J.T. Miller (C/W) Vancouver Canucks 69 27 45 72 1.04 47 11
      Kyle Connor (LW) Winnipeg Jets 71 38 35 73 1.03 34 4
      Mark Scheifele (C) Winnipeg Jets 71 29 44 73 1.03 45 2

    • Do you watch the Rangers at all? Now I do agree with Lyle, 10m times 7 or 8 is way to much. I think I also wrote somewhere that 8-8,5 on a 5-6 year deal is tops, as in either 8×6 or 8,5×5. I think Z is really good, but he isnt 10m good and he is 29 next year

      • I am a Ranger fan and I have to be honest he is a 1 dimensional player, a streaky one at that. He scores in bunches when he’s scoring but he also can go stone cold. He also cannot win a faceoff to save his life. I personally don’t think he’s a center that makes players around him better. Therefore I would be hard pressed to give him 7.5 tops on a 5 year deal.

        But on a side note apparently reports are circulating that Panarin and Shesterkin are not too pleased with Drury shipping Buchnevich out of town. I think it was a poor deal, and there is a huge overcorrection taking place with this attempt to “get tough”. You traded a player that was just coming into his own scoring and providing offense because you “couldn’t afford him” but we paid Krieder the invisible man 6.5 per. What a joke.

  3. Did anyone else come away from Chuck Fletcher’s Cam Atkinson press conference thinking it’s the end for Konecny? He went on in detail about the kind of guy Atkinson is. Chuck wouldn’t do that for someone he was going to flip,…would he? as a way to really sell the whole thing? One of the two will be flipped for a #6 or 7 defenseman. They need to use the difference to sign a backup goalie and there is certainly a log jam of sorts there between the 2nd and 3rd line. Maybe Seattle will take Konecny they still have there top 8 to fill out on offense/

    • Why would that spell the end for TK? It just moves him to the second line with Hayes. They’re going to pencil York in on D with Braun and Morin will be their 7. They resign Hart and Sanheim for around $8-9 mil and have about $3 mil left over. To sign a goalie.

      IMO, if anyone gets moved, it’s going to be someone like Laughton

    • TOR would happily take Koneckny or Laughton of PHI hands for Dermott. 😁

  4. Having watched Hamilton in Calgary for a few years I don’t think he is worth 9 million. He was the softest 6’5” defensman I have ever seen play. Other teams would be cycling the puck and Hamilton would be using his stick in stead of his body to stop the cycle.
    A 6’5” guy that played like he was 5’5”
    He would be worth 7.5 million for his offensive game.

    • I AGREE 100%.He is soft and he can t play in a big market.To thin skinned.Wanted out of Boston early in his career.Better value for less term and sign someone like Savard for a third the price or Barrie who is a very skill set to Hamilton.

  5. If Zibanejad is your first line center your in trouble 2 nd line center for sure he is no 10 million dollar player not close not ever in my opinion. But hey hope they pay him 12 one less team to worry about.

    • Obe. Over last 3 seasons (2 shortened by coved) Zib has 95 goals and 104 assists. How many centers have those numbers? And if they do, they’re probably making a lot of money to do it, or they will be. Who is your team and their 1C?

      • How about Bergeron Mackinnon Scheifele Aho Barkov Point Sid Lol By the way Hall is one year older than Zibanejad has more goals more assists by a mile played more goals won MVP and has more Pims.

      • Zibanejad also ranks ahead of Stamkos and Tavares over the last 3 years.

        We can rank him against every center in the league until we’re all blue in the face, what are the odds of NY landing anyone else mentioned?

        You work with what you got. Not what other teams got. I’d prefer under 10 for 5-6 years. But what other choice do they have but to pay him? 19th among all forwards over the last 3 years in scoring. 11th among centers.

        I dare say they’re not landing Mathews , McKinnon, Point, Mcdavid or Draisaitl any time soon. So it’s a mute point to compare the contracts.

    • Also, as I said, I don’t think he’ll get, or will he demand 10m.
      IMO, there’s no way Eichel plays for Buffalo this year. Adam’s seemed unaware that Eichel has been working out as reported by others. His dance partners will decrease when teams start signing other ufa options. Buffalo currently showing a cap of 43.5 mil according to cap friendly. If cap floor is around 60 mil, and they trade Eichel, they may actually have a hard time getting there. Should probably give Dahlen a deal like Makar’s. I don’t see any expensive ufa signings coming, so maybe they should consider retaining salary on an Eichel trade. Seeing as his health and contract are both bringing down value.

  6. Come on Bruins…. fix the D need a goalie and rebuild that 4th line

    • Saw the Goaile thing Joe.
      So does that mean Rask isn’t coming back? Seems to.
      Is he retiring or?

      I would think he will get some decent offers if he is open to moving.
      TOR? EDM?

      • Don’t really know what their thinking is ….if they plan on signing Rask they are still going to need a goalie until he gets back & then what do you do with the extra goalie they bring in for Rask … ship Swayman back to the minors or carry 3 goalies and what are they going to pay for the extra goalie they bring in until Rask is ready ?

      • Swayman hasn’t had that many games as a pro.
        Getting another 30 – 40 starts in the AHL never hurt anyone.

    • Hi Joe

      I will personally buy the goalie equipment and pay for goalie school if Sweeney takes on Zucker to play goal ; and Pens will throw in Ruhweedel for your D….both…..for a 7th in 2045


      • @ Pengy…Look Zucker will get traded just as Jack Johnson finally did…..LOL Difference is Zucker is a second line player who is a little over paid but productive.

        Too many teams need scoring and Zucker is a 6 time 20 goal scorer despite not reaching his potential in Pittsburgh. and only 29..

        LA Kings— need scoring and are looking for a top 6 winger to add to Ardvisson that they recently acquired.

        Anaheim —-can’t score period and rely too much on guys like Henrique, slow foot Getzlaf, and others…and they have the cap space.

        Seattle –needs some goals although they seem to have a deal in place for Jayden Schwartz waiting until Wednesday to announce.

        Calgary –could use some scoring.

        Arizona- Is trying to get to the cap floor and could use Zucker. losing Garland.


        Detroit-needs scoring has the cap space

        Marcus Petersson can be moved to lots of teams need defense. While is isn’t overly physical he is steady, has a decent first pass, and a good stick at 6 foot 4.

        Winnipeg==Is screaming for defenseman and could use Petersson and Rikola. Jusso Rikola is serviceable and under used in Pittsburgh.

        Calgary–lost Giordono and could use Marcus Petersson.

        Detroit- Can use a steady, young defenseman.

        Arizona-Needs to get to the cap floor. They lost OEL, didn’t resign Gologoski, and Hjlarmson retired.

        Montreal-Losing weber heard they might be interested in Petersson who is steady can play 2nd or 3rd defense.

        Also I think Anaheim is a good trade partner for us and Burke has a relationship with Murray.

        BIG deal money is almost even (actually we save $ 1 million so we would have $7.5 million in cap space for free agency.

        – 29 year old RHD Josh Manson 1 year left at $4.1 million actual cap hit

        – 27 -Rikard Rakell left winger 1 year left at $3.8 million

        – 22 year old winger Maxime Comtois- final year of a three year entry deal $820,000

        – $ 8.72 million to Pittsburgh

        TO ANAHEIM;
        – 29 year old LW Jason Zucker 2 years left at $5.5 million

        – 25 year old Marcus Petersson LHD UFA in 2024 with a cap hit of $4.025 million

        – 26 year old Zack Aston Reese winger 1 year left at $1million

        – A Second round pick in the 2022 draft.

        $10.6 million Anaheim they have cap space.
        Thoughts ?

    • I’d to see them take another swing at negative 28 again. But Sweeney’s got to do better than Yandle. There’s one more stab at this and I think that’s a wrap for this club they’ve gotten old and wounded. My list of D beginning with number one would have been Seth, followed by Hamilton, Savard, Martinez, Oleksiak forwards Eichel, Landeskog, Danault Goalies Peter Mrazek,

      • Rick Habs fan here . I never thought about Danault signing with Boston . But wow . PB and him as 1 2 shut down centres may see Syanman win the vez

  7. Adam’s traded his last year’s top scorer … versatile, speedy , hi hockey IQ , Rightie, 25 , C/W , 38 goal (82 Game pace) RFA …. for a first (Next year BTW) and Levi….

    …. yet he still is demanding the equivalent of 4 firsts for Handsome Jack… with a yet to be proven fully recovered neck; and with apparently still discord over proper path forward re treatment for said neck; and with HJ’s past of jumping line of command (over Coach and GM going straight to owner); and with dressing room issues (Cite the RoR debacle); and with a $10 M cap hit (tough to fit in); and with an owner bent on limiting the trade pool to 1/2 the league (Western teams)…l

    The price tag comes way down AND owner allows Eastern teams to bid…. Or HJ remains a Sabre… and then if not moved by 30/6/22… in Buffalo or destination of his choice… control all with HJ come 1/7/22

    Not a good situation for Sabres

    • By holding firm to his demands for Eichel I believe Adams is intent on making his mark by saying to Eichel – in effect – “sorry, but you’re going to start the season here in Buffalo and if you really want a change of scenery, show us and the rest of the league that a) you’re healthy and b) you can produce to the level for which you’re being paid handsomely and when the offers come in for that quality, then I’ll deal you …”

      Otherwise, he runs the risk of accepting far less than he should only to see Eichel produce in his new location.

      • Hi George you may be right in your assumptions

        I have little confidence in HJ this fall on Sabres and producing like he has in the past for a full 82 games

        The rebuild officially on (Reinhardt et al moved)…. Sabres are years away from a contender ; and at least 3 years from being in playoffs again…. $10 M per for questionable HJ is not warranted

        I would (were I Adams) talk to Pegula and get the ability to trade with 31 teams and not just 16 Western clubs

        If they have already bought in to the idea that there is a possibility that he remains on team ; and knowing no playoff chances for at least 3 years… that’s $30 M in sunk costs

        So from a business perspective… $30 M sunk cost… no real expected return…. Retention and trade is the better route

        Adam’s best move IMHO ; would have been Thursday…. Call GMJK who is dying for a 1C…. He HAD 3 firsts in his pockets… offer

        “I’ll take 2 of those 1sts (the lower 2) and Foudy….. I’ll retain 20% of HJ; but you JK , must also take Okposo

        That’s 3 firsts (Foudy was a 1st) and $14 M in Cap freed up

        Clb gets their 1C at a Cap hit of $8M; they then could buy out Okposo ….costing them only $4M in cash (they save $10 M cash on HJ’s) with an irrelevant cap hit this year and next year (rebuild) of $5 M, the $3M. Followed by $1M, $1M

      • I guess it will depend on whether Pegula is as vindictive as he is rich. If I’m Adams and my boss said “f*&k him, let him show that he’s healthy and, if so, that he’s a pro … then move him for the best offer you can get …” then Eichel will be a Sabre – to start the season anyway.

        If he is healthy and is producing as he’s capable the offers will go up exponentially.

        But aside from that unlikely scenario, if you look around there aren’t a lot of teams with the cap space to take that hit on without finding a home (or homes) for the players they’d have to then shed to make room. And finding places for them won’t be any easier than finding a suitable place for Eichel.

        And I seriously doubt any of the few rebuilding teams with sufficient space are going to bring in a $10 mil hit, especially with any uncertainty as to his health along with a clutch of good young prospects who, themselves, are going to be seeking new lucrative deals and who they wouldn’t want to relinquish to Buffalo in the first place since that would, in effect, turn them into”Buffalos.”

      • “ The rebuild officially on ”


        The rebuild has been on for about a decade! Are they rebuilding the rebuild?

      • That’s pretty obvious.

    • I would trade 4 1sts for Eichel, if I were Sweeney.
      I’d even throw in Moore and Wagner just to show good faith.😊

      • If Sweeney does that he should be fired on the spot! Two 1sts and maybe debrusk a prospect Beecher that is it. Health concerns. Still want Eichel, But Buffalo has to lower their terms.

      • All 4 picks would be from 20 – 32.
        Fair price for a talent like Eichel.

      • Since all 4 #1s would need to be spread out over at least 4 years, are you assuming the Bruins are going to finishing in that range over that time? That’s a pretty old core and their system isn’t exactly brimming with high-end prospects. The danger there is, the 3rd and 4th #1s could wind up lottery picks – and so they’d better hope Eichel remains healthy over that stretch.

  8. Calgary can’t possibly be this quiet with all of their needs. Not one site is reporting much on them. Anybody know anything about who they are in on, free agency or trade wise. I’ve heard Coleman but that’s just another bottom 6, which is great but we need a LD1 or 2 and RD3 and at least 2 light top six forwards, plus a decent back up goalie..

    • Meant legit not light..

    • Hey Nomad,

      Yeah it seems very quiet. Probably means Monahan and Gaudreau are staying. Goardreau will probably get extended Which is not a bad thing as I would hate to loose him for nothing next year.

      The worst thing Treliving can do is go backwards so if he does make a trade it better be to improve the team. That is easier said than done

      • Respectfully disagree Flames Fan. Not only would we be giving up our best prospects and pick, we would be losing our best shot at good affordable youth on entry level contracts (for cap space) and have to fit in a potentially seriously injured Eichel and his huge salary under the cap. The only way the Flames can make this work is if Buffalo takes players to offset the money. Risky imo.

      • Is Calgary quiet because they are making a play for Eichel with Monahan?

    • Coleman may well be capable of top 6 play. He has the tools. Constrained in NJ system, and filling a different role (splendidly) in TB, but I think he can produce 60 points as a top 6 winger. COnsider who he was behind in TB

  9. The Sabres are starting the year with Eichel unless he holds out. He is a big ask by Adams because he has no choice. However, You can’t expect from the Flames as example = Zary Peltierre Coranado and next year’s first

    Isn’t Rask hurt ? I thought I read he will miss some time starting the season . My bet is he retires. Bring back Halak. Has a ring to it

  10. If I’m Boston I play the two kids in net to start the year and see how things go if not we’ll sign a vet or trade for someone like Holtby. Some chatter out there that Boston has their eye on Kuemper not sure what to think. Swayman is the real deal should have come in if Rask was injured and not 100 percent.

  11. There’s rumour about Eichel and the Habs, just goes to show how wild and hungry for a story people are.

    Frankly I don’t buy anything I see about the player, the ask, Pegula’s ask, none of it.

    I wouldn’t take the guy for free without proof that he’s healthy and shows it on the ice.

    Peter Fish and Kevyn Adams have managed to bungle their way to completely depreciate Eichel.

    At this point it’s no longer what assets to trade for him but what will it cost them to have a team eat his cap.

    • If I were the Flames I would burn it down and start over. No pun intended. Gaudreau is way too soft and predictable, it’s time for Monahan to move on, and I would build around Tkachuk. I’m sure fans are sorry to see Gio go but it frees up some good cap room. Flames need changes.

      • Sorry Flames fan, I meant to address Silver Seven below and I really botched that as well. I better get new glasses as I misread his post as well. Sorry to both of you.

  12. Noted, George. I’m pretty confident that the gang has at least 4 more great seasons in them. Not one of those 4 picks would be a lottery pick.
    On the flip side, even if the last pick was a lottery pick, at least we have Eichel.

  13. Captain how many teams can afford Zibanejad at 10 million not many and for sure none that are any good and if he likes New York than he will take less and if he won’t let him walk can’t pay just because they think they deserve it. Negotiations is a huge part of running a franchise can’t have the tail wagging the dog and they should have known what his expectations were long ago and if didn’t agree traded him at deadline. Most of those huge contracts are anchors a few years down the road Tavares Karlsson Price Suter Parise Subban and more.


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