NHL Rumor Mill – September 10, 2021

by | Sep 10, 2021 | Rumors | 14 comments

Check out the latest on Jack Eichel, Brady Tkachuk, Elias Pettersson, Phil Kessel and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: In a recent roundup of notable hockey news, Elliotte Friedman reports the Buffalo Sabres had an “introductory meeting” with Jack Eichel’s new representatives. Thus far, however, no indication of any resolution in the 24-year-old center’s impasse with the team. Friedman believes the club revisited discussions with interested teams to see where they stand.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The issues probably remain the same for those clubs. They’re unlikely to pay the Sabres’ hefty asking price for a talented but expensive player who’s yet to undergo surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck.

The Ottawa Senators and Brady Tkachuk’s representatives are still working on a long-term deal believed comparable to teammate Thomas Chabot’s eight-year, $8 million per season contract. Both sides hope to have a deal in place before training camp opens later this month.

Friedman feels the Vancouver Canucks have made more progress in contract talks with Quinn Hughes than with Elias Pettersson. He wonders if Pettersson might be waiting to see what Minnesota Wild winger Kiril Kaprizov gets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could end up digging deep to pay Pettersson. Kaprizov reportedly could get $9 million annually on a five-year deal from the Wild.

Sources say Toronto Maple Leafs winger Ilya Mikheyev asked to be traded following last season but the club doesn’t want to accommodate his request. The departures of Zach Hyman and Joe Thornton mean the Leafs envision a bigger role for Mikheyev this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Playing time was apparently the issue for Mikheyev. He should get much more of that this season, providing him a terrific opportunity to prove his worth to the Leafs.

Friedman rejected rumors suggesting the Arizona Coyotes could trade defenseman Jakob Chychrun. However, he thinks veteran winger Phil Kessel could draw a lot of attention if he has a hot start to this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan observed, the Coyotes see the 23-year-old Chychrun as a player they can build around. Kessel, on the other hand, becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer and no longer has a future in Arizona. While the Coyotes only carry $6.8 million of his $8 million AAV, it could still be difficult to find takers for that cap hit.

A couple of teams are awaiting Tyler Bozak’s decision on where he’ll play this season. Friedman wonders if the 35-year-old center might land in Pittsburgh with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the shelf to start the season.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas scuttled rumors linking his club to New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban. “I can definitively say that we have not thought a single thing about any player that is going to be a free agent a year from now,” said Dubas.

Koshan also reports Dubas did give some thought to trading one of his core players during the offseason. However, it didn’t sound like much serious thought was given to that idea.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban’s $9 million annual average value and the decline in his performance in recent years make him difficult to move right now.

I don’t doubt Dubas and the Leafs’ brain trust gave some thought to shake up their core but it was apparent during their season-ending press conference that they want to keep that group intact for this season. That could change next summer, however, if the Leafs fail again to advance past the opening round of the playoffs. Dubas might not even be part of that decision as another early postseason exit could cost him his job.


  1. I have actually liked Mikheyev. Got hurt the first year. He needs to figure out how to finish as he creates chances with his speed almost every game. This will be his do or die season.

  2. Kaprisov was drafted in 2015 & is 3 years from IFA status, Petterssen was drafted in 2017 & is 5 years from UFA status. Making these 2 players bad comparables as $ & term are significantly impacted by how many UFS years your buying. If Petterssen wants a 5 year deal like Kaprisov he isn’t giving up any UFA years so the money should be significantly less. Why would the Canucks sign Petterssen to a 5 year deal not getting a single IFA year in return. That is terrible asset management.

  3. Striker,

    Pettersson would become UFA eligible 4 years into a five year contract only 2 games shy of getting it after 3 years.

    UFA status comes at 27y/o or having played 7 years of at least 40 games.

    He has more years played and is more important to the Canucks than Kaprizov is to the Wild.

    • Yea and I do not see how Petterson will take less than the $9m Kipri is getting in Minny.

      • Plus he is a center, has played 3 years(not one, I bet next year teams have a playbook on Kaprizov and who knows how he responds to that) and has produced in the playoffs

  4. Here in AZ, we are expecting Kessel to be retained 50%.

  5. If the Penguins bring in Bozak, will they try to bring back Kessel?

    That’s one way they could bolster scoring with their star centers out. The two combined for 110 points playing their 2014-15 season together in Toronto. Oddly enough, both of them were minus-34 that season. Oh well, if the Penguins are going to miss the playoffs for the first time in 16 years, they might as well go for their highest draft choice sing Crosby launched them on that streak.

    • Hi Francis

      Boz and/or E Staal on reasonable 1 Yr contracts to stem the tide 👍👍

      Next…. Zucker must be moved

      Then Phil could be considered for return… he’d have to come over at 50% max (could be less with a to-through)

      Gino will insist that Phil NOT be on his line; so will Sid…. so when Sid and Gino back…. IF PK comes over…. He’d be on Carters wing


      Sign Boz …. 1 @ $1M
      ALSO sign E Staal …. 1 @ $1M

      Cap covered with Gino LTIR (for Min 1/6th of seasons n [per TSN])

      Trade Zucker to Arz for Phil (at 50%)

      Now that trade is going to cost…. likely Laffy + O’Connor + maybe even ZAR

      When healthy

      Sid Guentz Rusty

      Gino Kappy E Staal

      *Carter McGinn Kessel

      *Blueger Heinen Rodrigues

      13th/14th : *Boz Zohorna

      *Boz can fill un for Carter or Blueger if there are injuries

      • Pengy–Did Zucker kick your dog?

        It’s hard to understand your persistent itching over a player who had some very good seasons with a pretty average Wild team. The dollar amount of his contract reflects those performances, although his stats with the Penguins betray that amount.

        You may have hit on the reason for that when you pronounced that Sid and Gino won’t want to play with Kessel. Perhaps, the Penguins have for too long allowed Sid and Geno to decide with whom they will play. Immediately after his trade, Zucker’s numbers playing with Sid were consistent with his Wild numbers. Those numbers fell afer he was made to ply with Malkin. That could be because of Malkin’s style of play.

        Zucker is a good player. Maybe, some players just don’t mesh. Or maybe, you taught Don Waddell what he knows about revenge. No matter what, I hope your dog is OK.

      • Pengy….It sseems like Zucker is your new Jack Johnson !! LOL

        right now with Sid and Geno out we might need him for a bit…

        Tyler Bozak or Eric Stahl would help short term.

      • Couldn’t even make it one week! Not even for your little Chrissy. I thought we had some laughs pengy! Did they mean nothing to you? Nothing!?!?

      • I also hope that Pengys dog is OK.

  6. Arizona has the cap space to retain 50% and the actual money owed is 1m on his deal. That means money wise they’re only retaining 500K. This will happen at some point.

    • If Phil shows that he has something left in his somewhat rounded tank, at 500,000 minus a few weeks salary – then I expect somebody will trade for him.