NHL Rumor Mill – October 11, 2021

by | Oct 11, 2021 | Rumors | 52 comments

The fallout from the Rangers re-signing Mika Zibanejad plus the latest on the Senators and Blackhawks in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien considers the New York Rangers out of the Jack Eichel trade market with their signing of Mika Zibanejad yesterday to an eight-year extension worth $8.5 million per season.

New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (NHL Images).

O’Brien suggests the Rangers do have some salary-cap challenges ahead. 2021 Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox becomes a restricted free agent next summer. In addition to Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba, Chris Kreider, Igor Shesterkin and Barclay Goodrow take up a considerable chunk of their salary-cap payroll for 2022-23.

Fox could be eyeing a deal comparable to the $9 million AAV Cale Makar signed this summer with the Colorado Avalanche. Promising winger Kaapo Kakko is also slated for RFA status next summer.

NEW YORK POST: Before the Zibanejad signing, Larry Brooks was skeptical of the Rangers acquiring Eichel. On Oct. 9, he suggested the only way the Blueshirts could afford Eichel and Zibanejad was if the Buffalo Sabres absorbed 40 to 50 percent of the 24-year-old center’s $10 million annual cap hit.

Brooks dismissed the likelihood of Sabres owner Terry Pegula agreeing to that. He believed Pegula would prefer shipping Eichel anywhere else but the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers aren’t acquiring Jack Eichel unless Zibanejad’s new contract is part of some elaborate “sign-and-trade” deal by general manager Chris Drury. Otherwise, they’ll have to shed $10 million in cap space to fit Eichel’s cap hit within their payroll. Doing that would weaken their depth.

Cap Friendly shows the Rangers with over $62 million invested in 16 players for 2022-23 with Fox, Kakko, Alexandar Georgiev and Ryan Strome among their notable free agents. Fox and Kakko are coming off their entry-level contracts and lack arbitration rights. Georgiev has arbitration rights while Strome is a UFA.

I don’t see the Rangers taking the hard-line with Fox. He’ll get at least $9 million, maybe more after winning the Norris Trophy last season. That will push the Rangers’ cap payroll to over $71 million with $11 million remaining for the others. They can likely afford most of them but it could be expensive to find a suitable replacement for Strome if he hits the open market.

OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren believes Senators GM Pierre Dorion will take a close look at the waiver wire to see if he can add another center with Colin White on injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He could also go the trade route for help, perhaps by targeting a cap-strapped club.

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks don’t have to worry about losing Alex Nylander through waivers. He’d been previously designated as waiver-eligible but Cap Friendly now indicates he’s exempt because he was sidelined throughout last season. He still needs another pro season or 53 NHL games to be waiver-eligible.


  1. Wonder if these reputable media folks have checked with Slick62 before reporting?
    I thought Eichel to the Rags was locked in.

    • Nah! They’ve all checked with Rick, so they know he’s going to the Bruins.

      • Makes sense! Ol’ Rick has his ear to the ground.

      • Hardly after the fact. I’ve been disagreeing with you since last spring.
        All it was going to take was Strome, DeAngelo and some 3rd rate prospects according to you.

      • ShoreOrr. Has Eichel been traded yet? Save your baseless victory lap. It’ll give you something to look forward to. We all have opinions here. It’s what a rumor mill is for. Why some folks need to always take unprovoked shots at others is beyond me.

      • Lol. No victory lap needed. Just funny listening to you sing the same song for a few months, that’s all.

      • ShoreOrr. Hasnt NYR been mentioned in every Eichel story? What’s so funny about me commenting?

      • No. No they weren’t.

        I was simply amused by your insistent pushing of Strome and DeAngelo. Later I was amused by your flip flopping. Later still I was amused by you stating that Eichel would be a Rag and a Rag only. Salary cap be damned. Now I’m amused by your thoughts that Fox will sign a bridge deal cause he loves NY so much. Kinda like that other defenseman on your team…….Trouba.

    • Shoreorrpark. Love the after the fact comments, but I still think Rangers could be in on Eichel. What Buffalo wants and gets are different issues. The market for Eichel is slim. 1st off, there has to be multiple teams willing to let him have his preferred surgery. AND have assets plus cap space. IAs far as Fox getting 9m? I also recall everyone saying Zib was getting 10m. Fox will get paid, just maybe not next year. I don’t see NY getting Eichel without retention. It won’t be 40-50% like Brooksie suggests, but maybe 15%? Rangers have their #1 goalie locked up for next 4 years at a pretty reasonable cap hit. That’s a huge advantage. Gorgiev is backup and I doubt he’s still in NY next year. Same for Strome. If Rangers are ok with surgery and Buffalo agreed to some salary retention…. Plus Fox agrees to a 1 year bridge at about 6-7m, then yeah, I can still see a deal. A lot of ifs, but not out of question.

      • Zib likely would have got 10. The only reason he got less is because of the longer contract in order to help out with the cap hit now.

        I am also pretty sure Fox will get his 9+ and not a bridge deal.

      • Flying V. There’s no argument in what Zib “might’ve” got. Many have said it would take 10m per for NY to keep him and they did what I thought they might. I’m not saying Fox won’t get 9m, it just might not be next year. Those other teams had the space. If Rangers don’t trade for Eichel, then I can see him getting long term extension soon. But, he’s still an rfa next off season.

      • There are stories of players out there doing cap favors but that is a heck of a risk for Fox. He doesnt need to prove he’s a 9 mil player. So if he doesn’t insist on it and signs for a 1-2 year and gets hurt…. I don’t see him being that magnanimous. Plus… would he be offersheetable? A Norris winning young player is actually one that could get targeted.

      • Chrisms. Agree it would be risky, but as I said, he’s a rfa. If Rangers where to get Eichel, they’d have no choice but to kick can another year. Fox only recourse is to sit out. I don’t think he does that. Again, if Rangers don’t get Eichel, I’d lock Fox up now. Question though, why would Rangers go 8 years for Zib just to lower AAV a mil or 2 of cap space that they wouldn’t really need if they don’t aquire Eichel?

      • So the rangers would go all out to get a number 1-2 center combo then force their top d man to sit? You get an eichel to be a cup contender. Cup contender don’t sit their top d man. What you are saying slick doesn’t make a slick of sense!

        That being said I think they could do both personally.

        The return for eichel likely takes Kakko off the rangers worries as he would be part of it. Kreider and or trouba would have to be moved out separately to get cap dollars.

        Not impossible

      • Chrisms. I’m saying they can do both and it’s not unrealistic to put Fox big contract off a year or 2. Nobody is saying they force him to sit. Its perfectly normal to wait before committing that much money for 8 years. Look at Pettersson. Who knows what kind of year Fox has this season. He’s still under contract. Before last season nobody had Fox as Rangers top D. And last off season fans were discussing DeAngelo getting paid.

      • It’s not normal to not pay a Norris winner. And again, if fox wants that money I believe he’ll get it. If not from the rangers from another competitor. That’s a player you give up offer sheet assets to get.

      • I recall telling you fellas about Fox before he even played an NHL game.

      • So if Fox hadn’t won Norris? He’s under team control. He’s not going to sign an offer sheet. Rangers have been linked to Eichel due to their cap space, lack of young C prospects and abundance of prospects at other positions. I don’t know if they’re ok with the surgery he wants. I don’t know what offers Buffalo might be entertaining or if they might retain salary. I’m just saying it won’t be future cap space that’ll stop Rangers from making trade. Let’s remember, unless Buffalo takes back significant salary they might need to retain just to get to cap floor.

      • He won’t? So ny lowballs him and another team offers him big bucks he doesn’t sign it? Even to force the rangers to match a la aho?

        Well. I admire your fandom at least.

        Salary wise who would buff take back?

      • I think the Rags will want to sign Fox long term to ensure they have him for the majority of his prime playing years.
        Unless they think this past season was an outlier.
        If they play hardball with him they run the risk of him hitting the market sooner. Which is why, IMO, you are seeing the long term deals being handed out to high end players coming out of ELC’s.
        Depends what they think of the player I suppose and if he likes playing there.

      • Chrisms. There’s no comparing Fox and Aho situations. Fox wanted to be a Ranger. He could’ve stayed at Harvard and eventually become a FA. I don’t see your lie all comments being relevant. Even if someone came along and presented him with a 9m offer, it would be for 7 years at most. Rangers can give him 1 year at reasonable hit, and promise if 8 year deal the year after. That’s 9 years total with the team he wants to be with.

      • And aho wanted to be with Carolina. He just used Montreal to get his money. Again, Fox gets a career ending injury during that one year deal and loses out on millions? That’s some serious loyalty!

    • Shoreorr park–Couldn’t find an answer to your question in the media, but In today’s Morning Coffee Headlines, you will find a clue to the answer to your question of yesterday; Pengy’s dog is still chasing its tail, and barking at Jack Johnson chasing a Cup. The cause was first thought to be fleas, but was found to be flattery, the highest form of which is imitation.

      Good doggy!

      • Lol. Thanks, Francis. We can always count on you for some excellent commentary.

  2. Dorion could also claim Kyle Turris off waivers .. snicker.

    Re his ongoing stalemate with Tkachuk, the thing is (aside from the fact that a lot of people are fed up with the so-called “Tkachuk Way” of negotiation – me included) is that, if Dorion has to go to a shorter term bridge deal (3 or 4 years) – not ideal from a team perspective if it puts him in the same spot as Treveling faces at the end of this season with Matthew – one salient fact we do know is that Brady won’t dog it/go through the motions for however long he plays here.

    Then, with a year to go before it ends, Dorion can look at his total offensive production over 5 or 6 years in total and, if it has shown no appreciable improvement over the current 3-year 52 pt average, he then will hold the upper hand on how much to offer in extension. If indications are that Tkachuk and his camp (read “daddy”) are going to make it a tough negotiation again regardless, then he gets moved for the best deal possible at that season’s trade deadline and the team moves on.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, if he’s increased his point production significantly and has continued with his robust play while at it, and at the same time the team has become a valid contender with the core intact, and the cap is no longer relatively stagnant, then a longer term at the going rate comes into play.

    • It’s starting to be a distraction

      Have Dorion make a call to the west

      Comtois&Steele or

      Byfield & Clarke

      That doesn’t work…. Circle back to Army for Parayko

      • Enough Pengy. LA isnt trading 2nd overall draft pick in Byfield, who plays C and 8th overall in Clarke, who plays RD, for 4th overall who plays wing and is a huge pain in the ass.

        Even George is snickering at that trade proposal cause its so lopsided in Ottawa’s favour.

      • Yeah, Dorion would make THAT move so fast your head would spin. Hell, I’d be happy with Hertl out of SJ and maybe a 3rd round pick just to get rid of that distraction.

        But not even Wilson is dumb enough to put himself in that negotiation pickle.

  3. Is there a difference with Nick Ritchie being a Leaf vs being a Bruin
    Is there any upside with prospect , as I would imagine the Leafs will be starting him in the top line with Matthews and Marner
    Why did the Bruins unload him and sign Foligno
    I am boggled with this scenario

    • Apparently, Ritchie has 3 speeds – slow, slower and stop. Foligno can at least keep up.

      • He couldn’t do much last playoffs except be a waste of draft picks. Ritchie might not be fast but he can’t do any worse and he cost less.

      • I think Ritchie will have a career season in Toronto. Kase too.

  4. How in Hell can I be posting “too quickly” when it’s the first one I’ve made in over an hour and it took me about 2 or 3 minutes to change what I was submitting?

    • Same thing happened to me a few days ago. Just the one time, though.

    • George O, as you know it happens a lot and as Lyle explained it; its more to do with multiples submitting around the same time.

      I think that what he said; but just like a lot of my opinions, i could be wrong.

  5. I never saw NYR in the Eichel sweepstakes. Not only would they have to give up too much, they’d have to gut their core to afford his salary. Why do that when their rebuild is about to pay off?

  6. Who is signing Alex Barre-Boulet and Adam Brooks Montreal or Ottawa?

    • I wonder if Detroit is in on Barre-Boulet ?

      • Especially now that they have released Bobby Ryan from his PTO. I’m kind of sad to hear that. Ryan seems like a great guy who can still play a bit. Apparently, the youth movement in Detroit got him.

      • Both Cs at 5′ 10″ and 185 lbs soaking wet? Montreal and Detroit are welcome to either.

      • Brayden Point is 5’10 185 soaking wet, some teams might like to have him. 🙂

      • Yeah George, habsfan is right….Point, Caulfield, Marchand…..all pretty decent players, eh ? So you need everyone on your team to be at least 6’2″ and 220 ?

      • Habs picked up Brooks, Seattle took Barre-Boulet.

        Two good young centres that both TBL and TML would like to have kept.

      • Except I haven’t heard anyone compare either to Point, Marchand or Caulfield iun terms of their demeanor/play on ice ….

      • lol, nobody claimed the kid is going to be a star just that his height and weight aren’t factors in his ability.

        Tyler Ennis, 5’9 161 was a giant of a signing eh

      • No, he wasn’t. Can’t figure out why they didn’t give that spot to Sokolov.

      • George O,

        Then there are the twin towers Ottawa has on defence, Mete and Brannstrom, both 5’9 180? 185?

        they ok?
        I think they are 🙂

      • Brannstrom won’t be here long. Mete reminds me of Pierre Pilote – a definite exception to the rule.

  7. Ya afford Eichel by trading Strome, Kreider and a 1st and something good to balance salary/cap
    but BUFF won’t even look at that package proposal.

    • And I doubt Kreider has interest in waiving his nmc for another rebuilding team.

  8. Good day everyone, going a bit off topic, sorry, but I was thinking last night about John Gibson and concluded that New Jersey would be the best fit for him, considering both the cap and that New Jersey might be closer to contention than one thinks (maybe cup contender in 3 years, playoff contender this year with Gibson?)

    No knock on Blackwood, but I feel like Gibson goalkeeping for the Devils would make them an instant playoff threat, and at 28, the 6 years left on his deal is perfect for the team…

    Maybe Blackwood is the better option going forward anyway for NJ, at 24 years of age, and growing right along with Hughes, Hischier and company… but, just spitballing here.

    Would Blackwood and NJ’s 1st rounder be fair for Gibson? Too much (maybe), too little? Their 1st round pick might be too much to give up in addition to Blackwood, especially if NJ ends up middle of the pack or so and picks between 8 and 15..

    • Hey Augustus, I do not see the Devs doing that right now. They don’t know if Blackwood is a clear #1 or not and will want this year, with a better D, to evaluate him. The Devs are more likely to have the 10th OA this year than playoff bound. But progress is being made.