Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 22, 2021
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Eric Stephens was asked about the rumor linking the Anaheim Ducks to Jack Eichel. While Ducks management hasn’t publicly talked about the Buffalo Sabres center, they haven’t squelched the speculation.
Stephens felt any trade for Eichel could take place during the season after the 24-year-old center returns to the ice and proves he can still play at an elite level. A healthy Eichel would fit into the Ducks rebuilding plan.
Asked about the possibility of acquiring Eichel and St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasensko, Stephens pointed out their combined cap hit is $17.5 million. That move would mean trading away salaried players. Tarasenko’s history of shoulder surgeries would also be a concern.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Ducks with over $14 million in projected cap space. They have room for one or the other but not both.
I believe the Ducks are among the serious suitors for Eichel. They can afford to take on his full cap hit, they possess depth in young assets to use as trade bait and could use a young superstar like Eichel to rebuild around.
However, I don’t see general manager Bob Murray pulling the trigger until he’s got assurances Eichel is 100 percent in health and performance. As Stephens suggested, interested clubs could prefer to see him play this season before making serious offers to the Sabres.
As for Tarasenko, I doubt Murray would be interested in the Blues winger. Apart from his injury history, he turns 30 in December and is only signed through 2022-23. The Ducks GM wants assets that fit into his club’s long-term future.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall observed the Flyers will be right up against the salary cap when this season opens following their signing of Travis Sanheim to a two-year deal. He believes they’ll have different ways to become cap compliant before the start of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have around $281K in projected cap space with 22 players under contract for the coming season. That doesn’t leave much room for other roster moves that might become necessary, especially if short-term injuries start sidelining some players.
They could demote waiver-exempt players such as Morgan Frost or Tanner Laczynski but it would leave them short another roster player. It could also get complicated if they play well enough in training camp and preseason to secure a full-time roster spot.
Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher was very busy wheeling and dealing in this summer’s trade market. Perhaps he’ll have another move in store to clear some additional cap space.