Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 1, 2021

by | Aug 1, 2021 | Rumors | 28 comments

Check out the latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Jack Eichel and Elias Pettersson in today’s Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers and Rob Rossi report multiple sources close to Marc-Andre Fleury said he and his family haven’t yet made a final decision on his future. The 36-year-old goalie is apparently wary of trusting another team after the Vegas Golden Knights traded him to the Chicago Blackhawks. Fleury learned of the trade on Twitter rather than directly from Vegas management.

Will Marc-Andre Fleury report to the Chicago Blackhawks? (NHL Images)

Fleury has one season left on his contract and could decide to retire instead of report to the Hawks. However, he could be leaning toward reporting to the Blackhawks after making inquiries with people familiar with the club’s ownership, front office and coaching staff. The Hawks have also been in contact with Fleury and remain hopeful he’ll play for them. He could seek assurances he won’t be traded this season. 

His reluctance to go to the Blackhawks is based on what’s right for his family and has nothing again against the team or the city. There’s speculation the Blackhawks could trade him back to the Pittsburgh Penguins but GM Ron Hextall doubts the Blackhawks would trade him. The cost of acquiring Fleury would be complicated given their limited cap room.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury apparently received assurances from Golden Knights owner Bill Foley that he wouldn’t be moved despite his lack of a full no-trade clause. Many of his former teammates interviewed by The Athletic said they’d be surprised if he walked away. The story also cited league sources citing their belief Fleury will play this season because he hopes to play for Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Fleury’s concern seems to stem from an unwillingness to move his family to Chicago if they’ll turn around and trade him later in the season. Based on The Athletic’s reporting, he could reach a decision soon.

A trade back to Pittsburgh isn’t out of the question but that appears a long shot at best. It will require a significant cost-cutting trade that could prove too complicated to pull off without weakening the Penguins elsewhere in their lineup.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wonders if the Buffalo Sabres would be willing to retain half of Jack Eichel’s $10 million annual cap hit to facilitate a trade. He envisions a scenario where the Rangers could then pitch promising winger Kaapo Kakko in a package deal including other prospects and perhaps a first-round pick. That would enable the Rangers to re-sign Mika Zibanejad for around $9 million per season, giving the Blueshirts a powerful one-two punch at center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, if you’re gonna dream, dream big!

Brooks also reports the Golden Knights are still believed to have an interest in Eichel,  despite their limited salary cap space. Even when Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon was acquiring Evgenii Dadonov from the Ottawa Senators, he was apparently preparing to send multiple assets to Buffalo for Eichel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy recently reported the Sabres’ asking price from the Golden Knights was believed to be winger Reilly Smith, prospect Peyton Krebs, promising defenseman Nicolas Hague and a first-round pick. However, they’re already sitting just above the $81.5 million salary cap. It’ll be a tight fit even if the Sabres picked up half of Eichel’s cap hit, meaning another cost-cutting deal would have to be made.


THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma recently reported Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning was wary but unworried about Elias Pettersson receiving an offer sheet. “I don’t think people should be concerned,” he said, pointing out the constructive talks with Pettersson’s agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have over $14 million in cap space with Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Jason Dickinson and Olli Juolevi to re-sign. Hughes is ineligible to receive an offer sheet because he hasn’t played enough NHL games to qualify. An offer sheet for Pettersson could complicate things for the Canucks but I don’t think they have too much to worry about here.

Assuming the Pettersson camp is open to an offer sheet, the compensation rate due to the Canucks, if he were signed away to a deal worth between $6.16 million and $8.22 million, is a first-round pick, a second and a third. From $8.23 million to $10.276 million, it’s two firsts, a second and a third. Beyond that, it’s four first-rounders.

I don’t see teams pitching over $8.22 million annually for Pettersson. The Canucks can easily match that so there’s little incentive to try.


  1. I get that these guys have family’s to look after but this is your chosen profession and moving around a lot sometimes is an issue … Fleury can afford to rent a big place in Chicago and if he’s traded again will still have the resources to rent and keep his family together. I like what the Blackhawks have done so far this offseason, Fleury could be a difference maker for them.

    • I think the issue is more how he was treated on the way in and out of Vegas. They seemed to lie right to his face since acquiring Lehner, and hiring Deboer.

      • To get Eichel the Sabres want four pieces and are looking for a number one center. Sabres should look at what is out there and at what price. I would suggest they consider Johanson and/or Duschene as part of a package? If a team acquires one or both of these guys and presents them as part of a package for Eichel this could be start? The key is that a team could get them relatively cheap from Nashville then the key point is they are part of a package but not at eight million salary but at five or six. Nashville keeps some money and the other team also keeps some.

        For example If Columbus offered Duschene and Johanson each at five million salary, one of their first round picks, one of their goaltenders, and Domi Buffalo then decides who they want to keep. Sabres could turn Duschene, Johanson and/or Domi into more picks and prospects because their cap hits are now under five million. Each of these guys look good at five million or less cap hit but not at eight. All of a sudden you have cost effective players versus overpaid players?

        This kind of a deal could work for multiple teams and maybe even keep Nashville interested? Buffalo starts with one first round pick, two second or third line centres, and the other PIeces. These pieces should return at least second round or first round picks at the trade deadline if traded? In the Columbus example they might want to keep everyone to see how this would work? From a Buffalo perspective you would solidified the center position except for number 1.

        Some thing to think about?

    • Yes but he is nearing the end of his career in his chosen profession and has made enough money and sacrificed enough already. He is in a position where he doesn’t need to do so anymore if he chooses not to and just retire instead. He has earned that.

    • and, as it stands, I really don’t see Fleury beating out Price, the incumbent and noted “big game” performer, for the Olympic team.

      imo they will take Price, an outstanding younger goalie to prep him for 2026, and a backup.

      Fleury is good, now, but I’m not sure they’ll want a 37 – 38 year old backup in 2022.


    • Hey.. Jeffery Toobin…

  2. If Buffalo wants to maximize their return, they should consider retention. Cap space has value. I honestly don’t see Rangers making trade unless they do. 50% for 5 years seems like a pipe dream. But 25%? Toronto still paying 1.2 mil of Kessels salary. 7 years of retention.

    • One can only pray the Rangers are not serious about resigning Zibanejad at anywhere north of 7.5 per. He’s not an elite center, let alone even an elite scorer. He’s a streaky, one dimensional player that doesn’t make his line mates better.

      • NickrOck. Just a silly comment. Streaky? Zib had a well documented case of covid where he suffered through after effects for much of the start to season. One dimensional? Doesn’t make players around him better? Buchnevich just got paid coming off career year playing with Zib. He’s on top PP and was also one of their best penalty killers. If he continues his level of play through this season and hits market, there’ll be plenty of teams lining up for his services.

      • whats silly about it? the season prior he didn’t have covid. when was the last time he won a face-off? buchnevich will do just fine without zibanejad.

    • It’s completely understandable that MAF is taking his time deciding this move. When your in you prime playing years, it’s easier to pick up and move, now I’m sure he has family, ie kids, who’s lives will be affected more but such a move. It’s smart and thoughtful parenting is what I see, plus when a person puts in that much time and is that kind of quality of a player I believe he has earned the right to do what’s best for him. I’m sure anyone of us would be just as shocked and even jaded if we we’re him. 100% he would help the hawks if he ended up in net there.
      As for Eichel, in no way should Buffalo entertain the idea of salary retention. He’s a star player until he is not and until then, no need for Buffalo to dig themselves a deeper hole. I think Buffalo blew it with him. The last opportunity will be once everyone starts to finalize their cap compliant rosters. I’m having a feeling, that’s it’s either he plays to showcase he’s ok and then traded like some mentioned or he’s sitting out. Too bad it got to this.

    • Salary retention for 5 years is highly unlikely. The Pegulas need to save as much cash as possible in these lean times. Super yachts cost a lot to maintain.

  3. Can someone explain to me why on God’s green earth Buffalo would want Reilly Smith first of all he is unrestricted next year and second he’s not very good. If I’m Buffalo no chance I hold any money and second I want first round picks and young prospects players I have control over.

  4. Buffalo continues to make low ball signings. They currently have a roster of 20 players, and are about 7/8 million below the cap floor. If they don’t retain salary or take back salary in a trade… and there return is a bunch of prospects in elc’s, there’s no way they’ll get to cap floor. Trading Eichel puts them another 10 mil under.

    • Slick that is the very reason the Sabres may have to retain on Eichel. At this point there’s probably a better chance that happens then this kid ever plays for Buffalo again. Since it’s apparent nobody wants to take a chance on him at $10.5 million, retaining at least would give Adams more from which to choose coming back as the number of interested teams with retention would surely have to increase

    Like Really , A team going no where ,

    i have to stomach the Leafs. which is utterly . almost impossible, but the SABRES

    • Steven,
      If you don’t like what’s on here Ken then go somewhere else…. like finding a hole to crawl into and close it over on yourself! All teams are commented on on this site! Sabres and Leafs included.

      • Steve
        Why don’t you go some where else …
        Where did u come from anyways
        Obviously u r a Sabre or a die hard something Fan
        Don’t forget to take your meds today !!!
        I don’t think you have been in schedule with your present medication

  6. Leafs sign Ritchie and Kase from Boston, 2 players the Bruins say good riddance to ,,,,

    Bruins go around and sign Foligno …
    Am I missing something here ?!?!

  7. Missed posting yesterday… nice country day trip with Mrs Pengy

    Thumbs up to Dubas getting Ritchie (I was hoping for Ritchie on Leafs or Pens)…. Cap hit a bit higher than I expected; but Leafs added size… something they needed. Don’t expect speed or big offence… just the tell him to park his keister in the face of the opposing goalie

    Re Eichel …. and all the talk re Risks…. The key thing here is we miss the human side of things…. Eichel is the one who may or may not get the surgery…. There is always a risk with any surgery…. And this is neck surgery

    I can tell you of my close knowledge on neck surgery… my late mother-in-law had surgery to fuse two disks in her neck… the surgery was not successful… she was confined to a wheelchair for her remaining 22 years of life after that. One of my best friends had the same surgery… at 25… his head is slightly turned to one side now; and has been since the surgery… that’s 35 years

    Yes these are rare cases… but it does happen… so Eichel is taking a personal risk

    Re business/financial risk…. This lies

    A) directly with the underwriting insurer (I have no idea contractually if they have any say in the matter [or if policy can be canceled if a non approved procedure is taken…. anybody here from the insurance world? If so…. Do you know if they do have a say?])

    B) Indirectly with Sabres… a failed surgery… loss of number 1 player… loss of future Revs

    Pens and HexBurkie….. absolute nightmare job so far

    Pens out round 1…. Needed badly to improve…

    Due to their incompetence…. Here is where Pens are

    G… status Quo

    D… worse… Ceci out… not replaced externally… so as at now likely Friedman… an OK player; but no question …. Ceci >> Friedman

    F…. Cataclysmically worse….

    McGinn is a fair player… but is in no way near the tenacity ; energy; hits; feistiness as Turbo

    Simon back… reasonable Cap hit…. But IMHO… does not fill the flex (C/W and with great defensive skills) that Gaudreau provided

    That leaves Heinen (who only plays W) a depth/4th liner with 13 Goals (82 game pace) trying to replace McC (Centre and Wing ; who played and fit in well on every one of the top 3 lines) who was 28 goals (82 game pace)…. NOT EVEN CLOSE. No I’m not in anyway trying to say that Heinen was brought in to replace McC…. Just trying to show you what’s left after accounting for Turbo’s replacement and a forward replacing Gaudreau

    Then there is the little matter of a minimum of 1/6th of the season without Gino; AND

    Zucker still on team


    As at now… with no further trades or acquisitions …. Pens are likely destined for 6th in Metro …. And thus out of playoffs

    Leafs are also worse than last year; and will most likely be battling for a WC spot… much better than Pens though as WC battle would require them (Pens) to get to at least 5th in Metro…. How does that happen with roster as is?

    I’m hoping and praying for a miracle of MAF telling Bowman that he won’t report to any team unless it’s Pens…. Call it a pipe dream …. But it’s the one I have

    In that case stuck with a choice of losing MAF for nothing….. Bowman accepts a trade of Zucker/DeSmith for MAF

    The next best dream has Vlad (@ 50%) traded for Zucker (@ 50%) plus DeSmith and Laffy; then Pens sign Duby for $2M or less


    P-O J/Riikola


    That line-up has a chance at top 3 in Metro

    • Pengy, obviously you really dislike Zucker, what makes you think he would be easy to trade?

      Rutherford has made it tough to make moves since he has traded so many picks and prospects and the cupboards are bare. IMO Hextall has his work cut out for him. Having Burke as his boss can’t make it any easier.

      • Hi Sparky

        Fully agree… Zucker very tough to move

        I don’t think :

        Vlad (@ 50%) traded for Zucker (@ 50%) plus DeSmith and Laffy; is far off value for either side…. I doubt it has been discussed

        signing Duby for $2M or less…. That IS easy and doable

        Re : “ you really dislike Zucker”

        Not the case. I don’t know the man at all

        I dislike (A) the heavy contract relative to what he brings; and (B) his dramatic negative impact on Gino production

        His negative impact on Gino means his only value is on the 3rd line…. $5.5 M for that…. Waaaaay too much

        Zucker at $2.75 M…. OK

        I’m also very bitter about what Jimbo gave up for him

        Jimbo publicly lauded and coveted him for quite a while forcing him (Jimbo) to over-pay and by a very big margin…1st and Addison… ouch 🤕

        That loss in trade has absolutely nothing at all to do with Zucker himself…. That is Jimbo’s fault

        Yes Rutherford through bonehead moves; left the cupboard barren; and limiting Hextall’s flex.

        Having Burkie there is also not helping

        But…. Giving up a 28 Goal (82 game pace) scorer Centre/Winger who was great on the PP and who played up and down (easily fitting in I might add) the top 3 lines; who is only 24; and carries a paltry $2.9 M Cap hit (and RFA after that)….. for basically NOTHING….. just to protect a 4th line player (who could have easily been replaced at a cheaper hit, by Gaudreau)…. Is pure gonzoland thinking

        That action lost him both McC and Turbo

        So Pens less feisty and set up to score less GFs

        That is NOT doing his (Hex’s) job even remotely adequate in nature

        IMHO, as is, set up to miss the playoffs 😭😭😭😭

    • Pengy. I posted a link in morning coffee section for the interview that Lyle alluded to. Suggest you go have a look to better understand Eichel situation. Neurosurgeon discusses Eichel condition, options, and prognosis. No need for folks here to post uninformed opinions anymore.
      To Buffalo: Strome,Chytil, Lundkvist and a 1st rounder. To NYR: Eichel, 30% retained

  8. …Hit the road Jack and don’t ya come back no mo, no mo….
    I’m ready for this to be over.
    I’m thinking a prospect, a 1st and a conditional 1st (and some cap) should get the job done.
    Example: Krebs, 2022 1st, 2023 1st (if Jack plays 60+ games) and R.Smith.

    • You’ll need to add Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka to that offer before negotiations can really begin.

  9. MY heart quickens at the thought of Mrs Pengy ., a blanket, a picnic basket, amongst the wild mountain thyme

    • Edelweiss not Thyme

      But thanks; I think?

  10. Analytics I read values Pettersson at a 15m value, now, no one would pay that since you want surplus value but a 10.2m offer still adds value and makes it hard for Vancouver to match but not impossible. 10.2 makes it 2x1st+2nd+3rd, cheap if you compare to Eichels cost, risk, given that you are a playoff team


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