NHL Rumor Mill – September 25, 2021

by | Sep 25, 2021 | Rumors | 63 comments

Check out the latest on Jack Eichel and Tomas Hertl in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WGR 550: TSN insider Darren Dreger said the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel remain at an impasse over how he should rehab the herniated disc in his neck and the best medical course of action for the 24-year-old center.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Dreger said Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams and Eichel’s agent Pat Brisson remain in constant communication. They’ve assembled a list of teams that have expressed some interest in the center but he doesn’t think any progress has been made in those discussions.

Nick Kypreos recently tweeted one of a half-dozen teams interested in acquiring Eichel said they’d consider acquiring him if the Sabres are willing to add condition clauses to the deal, such as games played, scoring, etc. Dreger agreed it’ll take more than a generic trade package to sway the Sabres into trading him.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports one NHL executive claims the Buffalo Sabres asking price for Jack Eichel remains high. “It’s insane what they’re still asking. They’re going to be stuck with him and his value is going to decline even more.”

Murphy believes the Boston Bruins were among the clubs rumored to have kept tabs on Eichel’s situation. However, his sources couldn’t confirm if they’re still engaged in trade talks for the North Chelmsford, Massachusetts native.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: When healthy, Eichel is a player any team would like to have on their roster. However, there isn’t a club willing to acquire him as long as he remains sidelined and the Sabres maintain their asking price (believed to be four assets comparable to four first-round picks) or refuse to allow for conditions to be written into a trade.

Since there’s no end in sight to this situation, I’m curious as to what you, the reader, believe it would take for a team (such as your favorite one) to acquire Eichel. What realistic trade offer would it take for, say, the Bruins to meet the Sabres’ asking price? Remember I said “realistic trade offer”. That means no package containing has-beens and never-weres. Post your offers in the comments section.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng reports Sharks GM Doug Wilson said he’s had “several conversations” with the agent for pending free agent center Tomas Hertl. He indicated he would keep those discussions in confidence.

Wilson added Hertl knows “how we feel about him.” He expects to speak with the 27-year-old center in the near future.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports “numerous NHL teams” have reached out to Wilson about Hertl. It appears he’ll be staying in San Jose for the time being. Meanwhile, those clubs that asked about him are waiting to see how their rosters shake out through training camp and the opening month of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hertl’s trade status could become clearer once the calendar flips to 2022. His name will appear more frequently in trade rumors if he’s still unsigned as the March trade deadline approaches. His status will also depend on where the Sharks are in the standings by that point.


  1. I’ll give it a go from the B’s perspective Lyle.
    This assumes he gets the surgery and a clean bill of health, because if he can’t play he isn’t worth anything.
    The B’s don’t have elite prospects, so that won’t work, so need to be a younger roster player with some years of control.
    2 options – Pasta or McAvoy.
    As a B’s fan I would prefer it be Pasta. Likely need to add from a talent perspective, but Pasta on a great deal so maybe a 1 for 1 swap, but guess more needs to be added by B’s.

    • What B’s fan wants to swap Pasta a sniper in prime who is a good teammate for a local kid who has elite skills but may never be the same and could be part of the reason for the room issues in Buffalo?

      I have to say Pasta and McAvoy have to be both untouchables for Eichel.

      • ds, agreed that the Bruins without trading their future core, the Bs don’t have the assets Buffalo wants. Trade denied.

    • Ugh. this is ridiculous.

      Kevyn Adams is like a Ferrari dealer in a working class-town.
      1. Nobody is the town has any money now for a Ferrari (salary cap)
      2. Even if they did, he’s trying to sell a non-functioning and partially-wrecked Ferrari for over sticker price.

      He has massively overplayed what he thought he had.

      I’m not sure there is a team that will take Eichel for a 5th rounder just to get out from the cap hit. Seriously. I don’t think Adams could legitimately just give him away at this point. The fact he thinks he can get any assets back – let alone high-end assets – is just laughable.

      Not that I blame him for trying. If insurance is paying him on LTIR, then he’s not really in any rush.

      • I agree 100%. It has gotten down right silly to think that Kevyn Adams has any kind of a hand to play. He has none…period. The part that ticks me off is not letting Eichel decide with his doctors what he should do. I’m sure the team doctors are very good at what they do but it’s not their bodies that are involved here. They are just holding the party line which does not favor Eichel. I wonder if the owner will eventually step in because this story is getting really old.

      • Agreed. Best case for Buffalo is let Eichel have the surgery, show he can play, and trade him then. What is to loose? He is not playing now and as you said, no one will pay a high price for him as is….except Buffalo right now….

        Nothing would ever change if every new idea was stopped up by “It has never been done before”. Imagine if that had stopped up the Wright bros……

  2. The Bruins could offer a pkg like
    Debrusk Zboril.plus John Moore to help make the $ fit also a prospect not named Studnicka or Lysell This years 1st and a conditional 1st based on games played by Jack this year.

    • I’m a big Bruin fan and would love to have a healthy Jack on the Bruins, but I’m not sure any of these three would qualify out of Lyles “has beens or never weres” description. I could certainly see one of the three being included (Moore, pref to clear room for Jack’s contract) but that would also up the ante that has to be included ie # of 1sts to go as well. I would definitely not include Pasta or McAvoy although given the Bruins prospects I think it may take one of them to get the deal done. So for me no deal! Wait for him to become a free agent still be youngish and pay him for what he is worth at that time. He has already said he would like to be a Bruin at some point. Can’t believe I am saying I agree with a Hab Fan but I do feel that HabFan30 has a great point on there being talent upcoming on the Waiver wire.

  3. Eichel speculation is a waste of time until there is some kind of clarity about his ability to even play again and if so, at what level.

    More importantly over the next couple of weeks teams will be tweaking their rosters, trimming and slipping NHL players on waivers.

    There are so many players, not prospects, at league minimum who will be victims of the numbers game and could be bargains for teams with space .

    The lack of taxi squads put these players at risk.

    • So we’ll put you down as “undecided”, habfan30? 😉

    • Oh come on have a bit of fun from time to time. To many times here people chest pump about being right or others being wrong. It’s speculation. Be reasonable, have fun and just discuss eichels value in trade by using examples from other teams. You don’t have to be right.

      • If Ottawa were to make this trade I suspect Buffalo would ask for stutzle right off the bat. That won’t happen. I was then thinking something like this

        Norris, Sanderson, a 1rst and Batherson.

        But that isn’t happening as Ottawa isn’t likely to tear down what they are building.

        (Sanderson or Chabot) and a 1rst, Pinto and Crieg?

        With Brady’s contract unresolved perhaps Brady in some kind of deal for Eichel.

      • Come on people – the very ones who think that all the Eichel injury speculation will just blow away and he’ll magically return to his former dominant self once he’s dealt to THEIR team will be the very same ones posting how stupid that GM was in giving up anything substantial for a huge ?

        Forget the Eichel crap, he’s not going anywhere – let alone Boston – until and unless he plays some meaningful games for the team he owes for that fat, bloated salary and demonstrates that he’s capable of playing. Either that, or he has the necessary surgery and comes out of it with a clean bill of health – and again PROVES it in meaningful games.

    • Lyle,
      My comment is out of line for trade possibilities and you can delete it, in fact please do.

  4. Boston to get Eichel : De Brusk
    Conditional 2nd

    • Agree, maybe a conditional first instead would get it done, Beecher or Lohrei could be subbed

    • Agree, maybe have to make it a conditional first, and Lohrei or Beecher may come into the conversation. I don’t agree with others who say the Bruins don’t have the assets to compete!

  5. Jack Eichel traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for:
    (D) Cam York
    (C) Morgan Frost
    (G) Felix Sandstrom
    2022 1st round pick

    • umm, no

  6. Canucks are all in this year to save Benning’s job. If they weren’t how about Horvat, Myers and Rathbone. Horvat gives the Sabres a low first line center, Myers to make the contract fit in Van’s salary cap hell, and Rathbone as the grade A play now prospect. Benning would probably throw in the 2022 First rounder as well and ask for a 7th round pick back.

  7. Based on Buffalo’s asking price and if Eichel were healthy…

    For Vancouver it would take:

    1. either Brock Boeser or Bo Horvat

    2. Olli Juolevi

    3. a prospect like Jonah Gadjovich or William Lockwood

    4. 2022 1st round pick

    • If he was healthy, it would take EP one for one.

  8. As a Sabres fan here’s my thoughts…I think we can all agree no matter what surgery he has he’s not going to be a Sabre past the trade dead line so for the life of me why stop him from getting the surgery he wants. Let him recover and get him in the lineup as to show he is healed and ready to go.

    I’m sure he will come out flying so to get his a$$ as far away from this organization as possible.

    As for trades who knows but if I’m Adams there is no way I trade him to Boston for 2 reasons, division rival and Boston is so long in the tooth at center that there is no way I’m helping them out at such a key position. I also don’t see Boston willing to part with either Pastrnak or McAvoy. JMO

    Still think out west is the way to go.

  9. Moore, Debrusk, Wagner and Lazar Buffalo retain 2 million for the money to work.
    The prospects it will cost Probably one of Swayman or Lysell
    Plus Studnicka and a high defensive prospect like Lohrei plus a first.

    • Too much I’d say, but the Sabres wouldn’t want Wagner or Lazar either. DeBrusk, Studnicka and a first would be plenty, maybe Vaakanainen, and take Moore’s contract, and sub Coyle for Studs

  10. i don’t think the Eichel situation will be resolved this season at all. The team and fight won’t agree on the surgery until after the deadline, and it’ll get resolved around the 2022 draft.

    Adams will probably lose his job over it, when the Pegulas realize how much management has screwed over their team with their franchise player

    • @MikeP Do you not think the Pegulas are not calling the shots on the Eichel situation…Adams is just their mouthpiece. I honestly think this whole situation centers on the way Eichel and his former agents went about getting him traded. Eichel pearl harbored the Sabres in his end of year zoom call and his agents went public afterwards so I think Eichel saw the mistakes made and went to Brisson as his agent.

      I think Adams is actually doing good job with the teardown and rebuild. Time will tell but I think they are doing a pretty good job with the talent they have drafted and it may take at least a couple more years but I think in the end Adams will build a contender.

    • Maybe getting rid of Adams will be the only way the Sabers get a deal done to save face. This is a problem that is just not going to go away and Adams has been too headstrong or stupid or both to get out of the situation and keep his job. A new GM comes in, accepts something reasonable and away we go, move on to the next problem for us armchair GMs to solve.

  11. Flames would trade Lindholm for Eichel straight up.
    There would be some protection for both clubs. If Eichel can play and his health is no longer a concern after 2 years the Flames would add 2 first rounders.
    If It turns out Eichel cannot play and has to retire the Sabres would owe the Flames a first.
    All picks would not be lottery protected.

    • Flamefan, I think, unless the Sabres permit Eichel to get the surgery he wants, something creative like you suggest is probably the only way a trade can happen.

    • Flamesfan, I agree conditions are the only way it would work. Lindholm might not work due to the cap.

      I propose Matthew Tkachuk 1 fo1 for Eichel with Buffalo holding 3 million of Eichel’s contract in the 1st year. A conditional 1st comes to the Flames if Eichel can’t play at least 50 games by the end of the second regular season. A conditional 2nd and 3rd round pick go to Buffalo if Tkachuk is not willing to sign with the Sabres once he is a ufa.

      An additional condition may need to be worked out in the event Tkachuk is traded before he reaches ufa.

  12. Geno magically waives nmc for buffaler, plus po Joseph poulin 2022 1st

    Sabers eat half geno salary and send to Florida for 2022 1st.

  13. Ok Lyle I’ll will do my best. Debrusk, Lysell,Studnicka, and a 1st with Moore’s contract. As a Bs fan I would not make the trade. Bergeron is considered elite, but he was not deemed so until he was in his late 20s even then there was doubt with his concussions. Buffalo should ask the Kings and take two good prospects and a 1st rounder. Buffalo needs to move soon.

  14. I have to wonder if Buffalo PREFERS to have Eichel and not playing; if he’s out indefinitely, insurance pays the salary and the have no trouble reaching the cap floor without spending the $10 million. A bonus is that makes them the favorite to get the 1st overall draft choice next summer. Cynical? Maybe, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Hi Kevin, I would think the Sabres would want to have a trade completed before his nmc kicks in. That would no doubt make the return considerably less.

  15. From Anaheim,

    Henrique(for money)
    1ST 22 (lot protected)
    1ST 23 (dependent on games played)

    • Way to much for a guy that is one hit away from a career ending injury

      • Every player is one hit away from a career ending injury

      • But with very specific variations in such a chance. Don’t try and fluff that off with that sort of bland comment.

  16. A 1st 2022 and 2nd 2022 …If Jack plays 20 or more games before Feb 2022 turns to unprotected, a first round prospect. Sabres get a list of 3 players off the trade partners list( for cap purposes)..2024 2nd.

  17. As a Canucks fan I would not want pull this trade, but I will give you two options:

    Captain Bo, Olli Juolevi, Mikey DiPietro and conditional 3rd pick. If we make the playoffs it becomes a 2nd and if we make the finals it becomes a 1st

    Trade 2

    Brock, Rathborne, 1st 2022 and 2nd and 4th 2023

    • Similar to my proposal. Also similar is the sentiment that I would not want to make those trades either:)

      That’s just what it would take.

  18. From Montreal

    Dvorek, Armia, Kulak, a first

    From Buffalo

    Eichel, a second and retain 3M

  19. I have a different take on how to move Eichel. I don’t blame him for insisting on the surgery he believes in, as he bears the most risk, hockey and post hockey.

    He has made an estimated 32 million so far. If he truly believes in the surgery he wants, then he can warn the Sabres they have 10 days to trade him to a team that will let him have it, or he will go ahead and have it anyway. And then follow through.

    The Sabres can then let him have the surgery, or void his contract. If they void his contract Eichel can then sign with the highest bidder post surgery for a short term deal. If the surgery is as successful as he thinks it will be, he will recoup any loss for this year over the rest of his career. At the least, he will get a short term, let’s see if it works contract for millions. If surgery is not successful, then he has enough money to live comfortably the rest of his life.

    Would the Sabres void his contract and get nothing in return? Surely the better play is to let him go ahead with his plan as they will get something for him.

    • Hi LJ

      You hit things logically and quite well but it still comes down to risk

      First, It is possible (likely?) that Ins. Company has a codicil that precludes this surgery; then letting all risk lie with Sabres for the $50 M left; if surgery is done…. Hence Sabres not willing to allow it

      Nullifying Eichel’s (HJ’s) contract ; assuming they can (Probably can) for him doing surgery w/o their consent… HJ out $50 M ; and won’t get an offer of a new contract; until at least a few weeks after surgery when prognosis can be given; even if Dr’s all say “recovery expected to be 100%”…. Jack getting at least $10 M * 5 is a very slim chance; and he’s out Sal for most of this tear anyway

      HJ risks losing $50 M with surgery (w/o permission); and Sabres risk return assets if they keep him LTIR (not allowing surgery HJ wants); but zero cash risk (ins covers him on LTIR)

      Better move…. Lower ask; move on from HJ; move risk to another team; gain some assets (some better than nothing)

      The whole situation has s a nightmare for the NHL’s bottom ranked team

      • There is nothing logical in the scenario at all.
        Eichel is bound by a contract, one which the team has final say on treatment.

        Eichel cannot warn the Sabres of anything or make a demand that they are obliged to act on.

        Eichel having unauthorized surgery is under his own expense without any insurance coverage or team obligation during and post-op.

        Eichel’s contract isn’t voided, in fact he’s in breach of contract and the Sabres can sue demanding payment of compensatory and punitive damages.

        This suggestion is suicidal for Eichel, his team and everybody who would be involved in the breach.

  20. Eichel will become a bruin. I feel Sweeney is in a similar situation as in the episode “Burns Verkaufen Dee Kratwerk,” When The Germans faltered after grabbing Burns Power Plant, “Advantage Burns,” especially after they took the c away from Eichel. Finally when the dust has settled the asking price will be 2 1sts & a prospect. After months of this nonsense they (Sabres) are no longer dealing from a position of strength. Don’t worry about Pasta and Chuck they are safe.

    • Regardless of his injury…Kevin Adams will never trade him to the Bruins. Period. Jack has burned thru coaches,GM’s, giving him a C when he isn’t captain material. That’s where he dreams of playing. Sabres won’t kiss his butt again.

      • Sure, Dubya, keep posting your asinine thought on Eichel to the Bruins. It will just double the delight when you’re proven wrong. Again.

  21. I agree with LEN. Adams has done a decent job and is from the Buffalo area and understands the situation . The way Eichel acted and comes off I think the Pegulas may just let him sit. Insurance is gonna pay salary. Everyone thinks Adams is asking to much and then will say he didn’t get enough. He loses no matter what Eichel can sit miss Olympics never play again ,Pegulas can bury him that way. Sounds really spiteful but I wouldn’t be surprised if that the case

  22. Late to the Rumours section today….

    Not a Kypreos fan but Dreger (who I trust and favour much more than Kypper) augmented that statement…

    “Dreger agreed it’ll take more than a generic trade package to sway the Sabres into trading him.”

    Risky risky risky for team acquiring…. Buffer the risk with conditions

    You (acquiring team ) take the risk that if he returns ; he just doesn’t perform at a level expected performance/production that you’d like…. so offer based on condition of number of points etc , shouldn’t fly; games played more appropriate

    So escalating return with escalating number of games played condition

    Also; Sabres in rebuild; so cash/cap is nothing for next 3 years and prob 4 or 5….. retention of 20% should be something Adams will accept. Maybe 30% (or more)… to ncrease return

    Picks v players and considering Cap…. Top teams at/near Cap are going to have to have a player (or 2) with preferably short term left; and of fair cap hit; coming over to Sabres

    Rebuilding teams at lower Cap levels (loads of space) don’t need to necessarily unload heavy Cap

    A rebuilding team ….

    Eichel (HJ) 30% retained for

    “A” level prospect (equivalent to last two drafts top 10 pic) ; PLUS

    and 1st (‘22— lotto protected);PLUS

    (*Conditional) 2nd (‘22); PLUS

    (**Conditional) 4th (‘22);PLUS

    (***Conditional) 4th (‘23)

    *Becomes 1st (‘23 OR ‘24) if HJ plays at least 20 games in 21/22

    **Becomes a 2nd (‘23 OR ‘24) if HJ plays at least 40 games in 21/22

    ***Becomes a 1st (‘24 or ‘25) if HJ plays at least 50 games in 21/22

    So successful surgery and miss less than 32 games this year … Sabres get equivalent of 4 1sts and a 2nd (Note, retain 30%); acquiring team (with 50 + games played … highly likely he us performing well) get a difference making 1C for the next 5 years at only $7M Cap hit

    Arz; Clb; Ana; LA as possibilities. I don’t think Sens would move on HJ

    More likely it is a competing (for Cup) team , or on the verge (starting in ‘22 or ‘23) of competing; that needs to move at least 1 relatively large (cap wise) player off of roster

    Depending on level of player; age; remaining term; and value (performance to cap)…. The extra pics and conditions that were n the above trade; come down

    This is difficult for team making the trade…. Already competitive; but losing at least 1 player in trade to take on the risky HJ!!!

    HJ at 30% retained for

    $5-$7M (Cap) ; top 6 winger; with 2 (or more years left on contract); 26 years old or younger; PLUS

    1st (‘22, lotto protected); plus

    (*Conditional)4th (‘22); PLUS

    (**Conditional) 5th (‘22);PLUS

    *Becomes 1st (‘23 OR ‘24) if HJ plays at least 30 games in 21/22

    **Becomes a 1st (‘24 OR ‘25) if HJ plays at least 50 games in 21/22

    Teams for that…. Maybe Col, Bruins, Panthers, Habs

    I don’t think Leafs can swing a workable trade

    Pens…. Forgedabowdit

    However, to me , a final deal may either be a to-through ; where Sabres retain 30% ; and middle team also retains a portion (of remaining 70%, but receives a pick) ; or a 3 way like what I posted a few times before….

    Sabres retain 30% on HJ and 50% of Zib on to-through (that’s one year)

    Rangers get HJ at $7M

    Knights get Zib at 50% ($2.7 M) …. And net gain of $2.3 M in Cap (see below)

    Sabres get


    -1st (‘22 , lottery protected) Rangers

    -1st (‘22 , lottery protected) Knights

    -Skinner (Rangers)

    -Lesyshyn OR Dugan (Knights)

    -4th (* conditional ‘22) Knights

    -3rd (** conditional ‘22) Rangers

    *Becomes 1st (‘23 or ‘24) if Zib re-ups with Knights

    *Becomes 1st (‘23 or ‘24) if HJ plays 50+ games in ‘21/‘22; but a 2nd (‘22 or ‘23 ) if HJ plays 30-50 games in ‘21/‘22

    With a healthy HJ (50 plus games) and Zib re-upping; Sabres get Smith plus 4 1sts and 2 prospects; NOTE: Sabres retaining $18 M total

    The worst Sabres get; Smith; 2 1sts; 3rd, 4th, 2 prospects, NOTE: still retain $18M

    Risks spread/mitigated through 3 teams

    Knights jump to top cup fav

    Rangers ; if HJ healthy and productive (big IF) ; have a younger and higher producing 1C (HJ over Zib) for 4 prime years (starting 22/23) and only at $7M (Zib will cost $9M’ish range)

    After all above considered… nothing happens unless Adams lowers price and/or accepts conditions and/or retains (min 20%)

    Adams, under no circumstances; should let this get into June next year; full NMC for HJ on 1/7/22

    • Buffalo would be stupid to base it on games played. What if he breaks his leg? It would have to be tied in to re-injuring the neck. Then, both team doctors and a third party would have to assess the injury to be sure it is the same one.

  23. Sharks to Buff:

    1. Ryan Merkley
    2. Tomas Hertl (trade bait at TDL)
    3. William Eklund
    4. 2023 1st

    Buff to Sharks:

    1. Eichel ($2M retained)
    2. 2022 4th

  24. If that is what the Sabres want; as much as I would like to see Jack with the Bruins, there just simply isn’t enough without gutting the entire roster. Plus, factor in McAvoy needing a new contract after this season; and the dollars simply won’t be there for Eichel, McAvoy, Bergy, and a competitive roster.

    However, just for kicks; I think it would take:
    – DeBrusk
    – Carlo
    – 2022 1st
    – Beecher
    – Studnicka or a 2024 1st (conditional on games played)

    • It won’t take that much two number one’s and a prospect. No gm is willing to give up that much now.

  25. Ullmark, Lazar and Hall for Eichel

    • Cappeeeeeeeeeeeee Cahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhpeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! You’re only afunnin!

  26. Washington can’t off offer kuznetsov and something for jack. Frees cap space for Washington Keep Eichel in IR tl playoffs like tampa did with kuch.

    THEY use cap space to sign players till th end of the season. LOL

    • *can offer

  27. An offer from the Blues camp—

    Tarasenko, Thomas, Kostin, Walman and conditional 1st in 2022 (if Eichel plays 20 games)

    • That’s a lot. Too much perhaps.
      What do you think of the Sandford for Brown deal?

  28. Eichel’s stock is downward trending without a doubt..That being said, I’ve heard many times this summer that the Kings were linked to trade talks about him…If I was able to play Kings GM for a minute, given the (Kings ransom of prospects we have accumulated) I certainly would roll the dice and offer the Sabres a couple of prospects (like Cale Klague (D) and Akil Thomas (C) an established player like Lias Anderson (C) plus a conditional 1st round pick in 2023 based on his point production in the 2022-23 season!