NHL Rumor Mill – October 15, 2021

by | Oct 15, 2021 | Rumors | 16 comments

The latest on Jack Eichel, the Islanders could be in the market for a defenseman this season, the Blackhawks could try to shed salary and an update on Vitali Kravtsov in today’s NHL rumor mill.

ESPN: Emily Kaplan last night reported there was “serious optimism” last Thursday that a Jack Eichel trade was imminent but things fell quiet. She said there are five teams still interested in the Buffalo Sabres center that can fit his $10 million annual average value within their salary-cap payrolls.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Maybe that means moving some contracts or whatever,” said Kaplan. She also said those teams have agreed to allow Eichel to have the disc replacement surgery he seeks.

The preferred option is he’s traded, gets the procedure done and returns to action in three-to-four months. The other, which nobody wants, is he files a grievance but he might not have a case because of the CBA.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication from Kaplan as to who those five clubs might be. As per Cap Friendly, teams with lots of cap space and sufficient assets in prospects and promising young talent to acquire Eichel could include the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators. The Arizona Coyotes could also be a fit if they shed a bit of salary. Those clubs could use an established first-line center but that doesn’t mean they’re all in the hunt for Eichel.

TSN:  Pierre LeBrun believes the Ducks could be one of the destinations for Eichel, as they could make do with his absence from the lineup during his recovery. He also thinks the St. Louis Blues could be lurking though they want to be a contender this year.

The Calgary Flames did their due diligence on Eichel this summer. LeBrun also suggested the San Jose Sharks as he wondered what could happen with winger Evander Kane. If Kane ends up coming off their books they would suddenly have $7 million in cap space.

LeBrun points out pulling off an Eichel trade remains tricky based on the conditions that would be tied to his health following his surgery. His long recovery would also be another complicating factor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $12.9 million in cap space, the Ducks are best-suited of the clubs mentioned by LeBrun to absorb his full contract. They also have depth in promising young players and prospects to draw upon for trade bait though I doubt they’ll want to part with Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale and Mason McTavish.

The Blues are already in LTIR country and aren’t a fit unless they can move Vladimir Tarasenko and his $7.5 million cap hit. The Flames are pressed against the $81.5 million cap so it’ll have to be dollar-in, dollar-out to pull that off. That might mean moving Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan or Matthew Tkachuk to the Sabres or another club in a separate deal to make the dollars fit.

If Kane ends up suspended by the league as a result of one or both investigations he’s currently under it might be grounds for the Sharks to terminate his contract. I don’t see how they can trade him given his off-ice issues. Otherwise, they’re also not a fit for Eichel.

THE ATHLETIC: Earlier this week, Arthur Staple speculated the New York Islanders’ decision not to sign Erik Gustafsson suggests general manager Lou Lamoriello could prefer waiting until later in the season to invest assets in acquiring a defenseman. He believed Lamoriello looked into the status of Anaheim Ducks blueliner Hampus Lindholm, who’s an unrestricted free agent next summer. He might’ve also inquired about Nashville Predators rearguard Mattias Ekholm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staple published this before Ekholm signed his contract extension with the Predators, taking him out of this season’s trade market. He also noted the Isles have their first-round pick in next year’s draft and not much else to offer up as trade bait. However, he felt Lamoriello’s “willing to throw in for help” while the Isles might be best positioned to win the Stanley Cup this season.

DAILY FACEOFF’s Frank Seravalli took to Twitter yesterday reporting the Chicago Blackhawks are trying to move Andrew Shaw’s contract. He’s on permanent LTIR with an annual average value of $3.9 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: PuckPedia explained trading Shaw’s contract would allow the Blackhawks to become salary-cap compliant once sidelined Caleb Jones returns to action. It would also allow them to accrue cap space later in the season plus save some cash.



  1. I don’t understand Kravstovs position. He’s willing to play in the AHL for another team but not NY?

    NY can Ill afford to screw this one up. I’ve been reading NY is willing to take a 2nd round pick?

    Two top 10 picks since this rebuild started for 2nd round returns? Awful!

    Make nice with this guy now, I believe he thrives in the NHL. At this point, it looks like he’ll do so elsewhere. At least showcase him and get something better.

    • So simple, He doesn’t see future in Rangers org because of Gallan team structure, he doesn’t want to wait 2-3 years while something sort out. Very legitimate reason for Krav and very incompetent from Rangers management decision.

  2. I’m not saying Rangers are getting Eichel, but I don’t believe if they where in on him that anything changes just because of Zib contract. IMO, it was always looking to upgrade at center position. Never made sense to give up assets for him and get rid of Zib.

    • Slick62 – and other NYR fans closer to the scene than I – assuming they do acquire Eichel and, for argument sake, he comes back fully healthy for the start of next season at a cap hit of $10 mil, right when Zibanejad’s cap hit becomes $8.5 mil. With Panarin costing $11,642,857. Kreider $6.5 mil and Trouba $8 mil, and if the cap rises to $83 mil, they’re in the position of forking over 54% of their cap to their top 5 players.

      At the same time they have to settle with RFAs Blais, Kakko, Gauthier, Fox, Hajek, Georgiev.

      I would assume UFAs Strome and Rooney are gone then, but that only clears $5,250,000. One of 3 of those RFAs could eat that up himself.

      So, how do you guys see an Eichel acquisition unfolding? I know something of consequence has to go to Buffalo, but maybe the names you have in mind the Sabres are not at all interested in.

      • It’s based on the assumption of Fox taking bridge deal. Which I believe Jack Johnson has a better chance of winning the Norris this year as Fox taking a bridge deal.

        Fox is getting 9-10 on a 8 year deal.

        I believe the Eichel thing is dead. Other fans do not. In order for that to happen, Trouba and someone like Kreider need to go, and I don’t mean in the Eichel trade.

        Love NY or not, I’d lose respect for either side on a bridge deal for Fox.

      • As an Islander fan I have to agree with Capt Obvious here. The Ranger don’t need Eichel.
        The idea of collecting the 1990 All Star Team in 2000, died with Glen Sather.

        I do think that that Rangers are well equipped on their own to move forward.
        Capt Obvious how do you feel about Drury?

        My own opinion is that Gorton was doing just fine. He had a plan and it seemed to me to be working. Just because the Isles gave the Rangers two beat downs at the end of the season was no reason to throw it all away.

        Big deal,. You lost to a better team, which was proven when the Isles went to the Conf Finals.
        Nothing to be ashamed of.
        But Dolan panicked and I don’t think Drury is up to the job. The Buch trade was a disaster.
        Now VK wants out. Another high pick bolted (Petersson?) after feeling “mistreated”.
        What’s with the top picks that want out?

        GM Double L locks up Pelech and Pulock for 8 years, at less than Erik Karlsson is making alone.

        That alone, should win him his 3 rd GM of the Year Award. Getting rid of Andrew Ladd was another feather in his cap.

      • The jury’s out on Drury. Not trying to be a poet. But it’s just too early to tell.

        Gorton was a disaster. I’d take Sather over Gorton any day. I’ve posted a few times here about some Gorton blunders vs. the good. The good is a short list. Fox trade, The Spooner for Strome trade. Zibanejad trade. The Nash trade.

        The bad:

        The Girardi buyout / Shatenkirk signing / Shatenkirk buyout.

        The Miller / Mcdonagh trade was a total disaster. If Nils Lunqvist doesn’t pan out, even worse than I’m saying.

        Graves for Bigras? Yuck!

        Lias Anderson pick, really bad.

        Stepan for now basically nothing (Deangelo and a 1st (Lias Anderson.)

        Trouba was a gross overpay in trade considering he was an unhappy rfa (Pionk and Winnipeg’s own 1st from the Kevin Hayes trade)

        The a Kravstov pick looks to be a disaster. They knew when they passed on Walhstrom he was a bit of a hard guy to deal with.

        Miller looks like a good pick.

        Jury’s out on Chytil.

        He doesn’t get credit for Kakko or Laffrienere.

        They were getting picked exactly where the fell no matter who was picking them.

        Firing Gorton was 100% about the Washington game. Not on losses to the Islanders at all. Right move, wrong reasons.

        Trading Buchnevich 100% right move. I saw that coming a year ago. Blais looks like a solid guy. Not as productive as Buchnevich by any stretch But having Panarin, Kreider , Laffrienere, Kakko and Kravstov meant a logjam on wing keeping Laffrienere and Kakko down below top 6 players. Not signing Buchnevich to a 6 million per deal was a win win. Cap space and added time for the younger players.

        While I’m in favor of adding size and grit this off-season, I think Drury went a little overboard. Goodrow (contract way too long) and Blais were good additions. Even Reaves understandable after the Wilson incident last year.

        Tinordi / Nemeth a bit overkill and further complicating an already overloaded logjam on d with a few more up and coming.

        After that Washington opener, it’s grossly apparent all 5 should NEVER be in the same lineup again. Unless the goal is to win fights and lose games.

        Scratching a guy considered to be an early on candidate for the Calder for Tinordi? Probably not in their best interest.

  3. I think Ducks make most sense. But, yes I can see Fox doing a 1 year deal. I’ve said many times I can’t see any deal without at least 10% retained on Eichel. And who knows what players would be traded?

    • I must say. These Eichel reports are like one big game of telephone. Every reporter is repeating something they’ve read or heard from other reports. Lyle does a fantastic job of relating these stories everyday. But like the game of telephone, something gets lost or changed along the way. I asked the other day, how did the neurosurgeon’s comments from a couple months back… where he states Eichel could be on ice 6 weeks after surgery, become “join his teammates in 3-4 months?”

    • Vitali Kravtsov to Isles for bellows and a 3rd and 4th

  4. If the Islanders are serious about acquiring another Defenseman and Chicago is looking to shed salary I wonder if the Isles would consider reacquiring Calvin De Haan. I would not mind seeing him back on the Island.

  5. McAvoy way too much money not worth it.

    • That’s the going rate for a 1A defenseman. The kid can do it all. I think it’s reasonable, given the fact that his all around game is superior to his peers, with the exception of Hedman of course.

      • I haven’t seen it

    • You are so far off on this one! That contract will be a steal in two or three years. Sweeney would have had to pay 2 mil + a year more if he waited until the end of the season. Charlie came out from under Chara’s shadow last year to be the leader of the defense and with Krejci gone he will be played on the first PP unit all year. He is easily top 5 in the league and only getting better.

  6. I’ll guess that tomorrow there will be something about……………………………….. Jack (bad neck) Eichel.
    Just a guess but why not it’s always nice to know that nothing is happening on the Eichel front