NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2021

by | Oct 26, 2021 | Rumors | 37 comments

The latest Jack Eichel speculation and more on John Klingberg’s contract negotiations in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman once again discussed Jack Eichel’s ongoing standoff with the Buffalo Sabres. Friedman talked about the possibility of Eichel perhaps filing a grievance through the NHL Players Association if there’s not a resolution to this impasse soon. Talk of a grievance suggests the possibility of a trade or a decision on his medical situation isn’t as close as they hoped it would be.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Friedman mentioned several teams are continuing to engage at times. Marek brought up the Vegas Golden Knights but Friedman pointed out Eichel won’t be able to help them right now though he thinks they’ve been in and out on this for a while.

Marek also talked about the Seattle Kraken, pointing out they’re not in win-now mode like the Golden Knights. However, Friedman said he hasn’t heard much about the Kraken having an interest in the Sabres captain.

Friedman said the teams he’s wondered about regarding Eichel are the Golden Knights, Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins. Right now, he doesn’t get the sense that anyone’s close.

He hasn’t heard as much about the Ducks as he had in the past. He doesn’t see the Rangers doing it now that they’ve signed Mika Zibanejad unless somebody retains part of Eichel’s salary. The same goes for the Minnesota Wild. The Avalanche has been around in a minor way. He looks at the Bruins’ situation and the Sabres’ expensive asking price and wonders if they can do it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only teams I believe can acquire Eichel at this time are those with plenty of salary-cap space and tradeable assets who can afford to wait for him to return from the disc replacement surgery he seeks.

Only the rebuilding Ducks fit that description right now. The Blues Jackets are another possibility but that could depend upon their performance as this seasons rolls along.

The Sabres aren’t budging from their asking price, which is reportedly a return equal to four first-round draft picks. They’re also refusing to retain any of Eichel’s salary. They can afford to wait for an interested team to meet their asking price.

A trade could be made involving a third team that agrees to retain part of Eichel’s salary. However, they’ll want a significant return from the club they ship him to in order to make carrying that dead cap space worthwhile for the next four seasons.

THE ATHLETIC: Saad Yousef recently followed up on Jeff Marek’s report indicating Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg’s camp is seeking an eight-year deal worth between $62 million and $68 million. That would put his annual average value between $7.75 million and $8.25 million.

Yousef, however, cites sources confirming that’s just the starting point for Klingberg’s contract. The belief is the defenseman is a $9 million to $9.5 million player. Yousef speculates Klingberg might have to accept less than $9 million if he wants the full eight-year deal or a shorter-term if he seeks over $9 million.

Klingberg’s camp hasn’t taken a hard line in these negotiations. The defenseman has made it known he wants to stay in Dallas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have $58.3 million invested in 14 players for 2022-23. With Joe Pavelski and Alexander Radulov coming off their books, they’ll have enough room to re-sign Klingberg.


  1. Eichel’s going to the Bruins

    • Please, oh, please let the Bruins mortgage their future and screw up their salary cap ability to obtain an injured $10MM/year guy who may never play hockey, again.
      (Yes, I hate the Bruins and will until they get rid of Marchand.)

      • I agree Paul! But honestly I also agree that Eichel is going to the Bruins. Only it will be in 5 seasons (after this contract expires) if he can still play hockey by then. No way the Bruins can provide the value that Buffalo seeks without giving up McAvoy or Pasternak. I have yet to hear another legitimate poster say otherwise. Studnicka and Coyle aren’t going to do it. If anything, Buffalo taking Coyle in the trade to make salary work would mean Boston would have to give up MORE.

    • Eichel’s going to Thornhill

    • More likely to Vegas.

  2. Eichel’s playing with RWM’s grandmother’s bridge club.

  3. something around Eichel for Marner. Don’t know who adds.

    • Apparently leafs would have to add three more 1st rounders…

  4. “Yousef, however, cites sources confirming that’s just the starting point for Klingberg’s contract.”

    I don’t understand this. If he’s asking for $68 as a starting point, asks don’t usually go UP, they go down.

    He’s not going to say “give me 8 years, 68 million” and when they say yes he turns around and says “Nope, not enough”.

  5. I’m not sure where Friedman gets his information but why on earth would the Carolina Hurricanes be interested in Eichel. Why does he keep coming up ad nauseam. Eichel is not going anywhere….no one wants him under these conditions and as long as there is 50 million plus on the table why would he take the risk of moving forward on his own. It kind of sucks that the team has this much leverage over a players’ medical decisions. But like “they” say BS walks money talks.

    • They aren’t, Snuffy.

      Not sure where this comes from – other than completely fabricated.

      The Hurricanes are set at C and are up against the Cap. They also have very few ‘unloadable’ contracts that BUF might be remotely interested in.

      Maybe…and I say this only to be thorough…Trocheck is UFA after this year, so maybe Eichel would be a replacement there? But Vinny’s ~$5M, I don’t know where the rest of the $10M would come from.

      I still maintain that nobody will take Eichel for ‘free’ at his current salary, let alone adding in any sort of return (picks/players).

    • Snuffy : No one is in on Eichel ! Friedman likes clicks and to hear himself talk.

      He is a year from playing probably, two years until he is himself

      It’s way to risky and the Sabres aren’t willing to eat salary

      What team is thinking two years from now and has cap room

      It’s all fake news

      Only thing that makes sense is Eichel filing a grievance

  6. I’d wonder at the pens as a long shot eichel candidate but some serious barriers. Not enough tradable assets. And cap space. Now if something happens where Malkin can’t return till playoffs then maybe?

    Asset wise… poulin po Joseph and 2022 1st are three of the four 1st round assets required… not sure where number 4 comes from.

    • Just out of curiosity, what makes you assume that Eichel would be available for the playoffs … if then? They could wind up with nothing more than almost $20 mil on LTIR for the bulk of the season – minus whatever assets they relinquished to get him.

      • Could be and my post was mostly for 💩 and giggles but I was thinking more along the lines of replacing malkin with a younger star center in the coming years.

      • I recall reading the recovery period for the operation Eichel wants is 6 weeks. If correct, then he would be available for the playoffs.

      • I can see why the Pens made the phone call, same reason the Bruins likely did.
        Their top 2C’s are old, and or gone (Krecji).

        Not that they have what BUF wants, or they wouldn’t give up what BUF wants for currently damaged goods.

        IMO he has some type of surgery and is either healthy by the draft or isn’t if there is an issue. More teams with the space then.

        Take the best deal, move on.

      • LJ, that was the initial indication … but recently the same sources have added one word to that “6 weeks” and that word is “perhaps” – simply because there haven’t been a whole lot of pro athletes getting that surgery – and no hockey players – and they now acknowledge that not everyone reacts the same.

      • George O
        That 6 weeks is only half the story according to his own doctor, the recovery from both types of surgery are similar, with the caveat, if everything goes well..

        “When asked how long Jack would miss time for each option, the answers varied. If Eichel were to get the fusion surgery, Prusmack said “In my practice, three months. That varies across the nation.”

        If he opts for a replacement surgery, then he could be back on the ice much sooner. Prusmack said, “Everything goes well, implant in place on flexion extension x-rays, asymptomatic and he is in shape, six weeks.”

        Basically he would be able to get back on the ice in six weeks, and would be able to go full contact on the ice around eight to 12 weeks after the surgery.”

        This quote is from a July 31 article.

        3 months for the one he doesn’t like and 8-12 weeks or the one he proposes.

  7. Eichel’s injury is now 7 plus months old. Treatment or not, it has changed. The body is not static, but constantly trying to heal itself. By this time the possible solution should be more evident, shouldn’t it?

    • True enough but the surgery will be a replacement undoubtedly. As a Bruins fan, I highly doubt they trade for his services even with the surgery. One reason, he may not be ready for the playoffs. Secondly, the loss of 1st rounders for a player who may recover during a period of possible rebuild is just not smaht. Buffalo is not going to trade with Boston either, period.

  8. The reason the bruins are going to get Eichel is quite simple. Patrice will most likely play another season Krecji’s gone. They need a bona fid no. 1 centre Eichel is it. Nuff said. They are gonna find out soon enough Studnicka and Coyle are not 2nd line centres. Right now chugging Down a large cup of the best coffee in the world Tim’s followed by a BLT. Late lunch

    • Rick, Eichel wants to play in Boston. That’s the exact reason why the Sabres won’t let it happen. They would rather let him rot on IR than appease him or trade him to a division rival (especially Boston).

    • That’s the reason why the Bruins want him, Rick. Not the reason why they’ll get him.

  9. Monahan & Pelletier & two conditional firsts (23’ & 24’) for Eichel and a conditional first & second. The condition is if Eichel plays or not a specified quantity of games this year. Otherwise Flames are out.

    I am thinking the Leafs are missing and will continue to miss Hyman and Andersson. Nick Ritchie does not fit with his foot speed. A 4 th line role at best. I wonder his score on a beep test

  10. Seattle wasn’t willing to take on Carey Price’s contract – viewing Cale Fleury as better value than arguably the best goaltender in the league (I’d take Andrei Vasilevskiy, but arguably…) than Carey Price attached to a $10 million + contract. Eichel situation is different, but the contract and injury situation clearly impact his trade value.

    The Tavares contract is another example of a situation where a big contract ties your hands. Not sure I’d want Eichel on my team for free right now.

  11. For S&G
    Could a team up against the cap trade for Eichel, refuse his choice of surgery and use him as LTIR cap relief?

  12. I think that if there are two more Eichel days here, Eichel will top Mike Hoffman’s record for consecutive days posting his picture.

    Looking forward to Thursday for the celebration!!!

  13. At end of day, I don’t see how Buffalo trades Eichel without some retention.
    Final offer
    To NYR.: Eichel (10% retained)
    To Buffalo: (4 former 1st round picks) Chytil,Kravtsov, Lundkvist, Othmann. Throw in Gorgiev.
    To Seattle: Hajek and a 3rd round pick and Krakken retain 10% of Eichels salary.

    • I hope that this, or something like this, never happens. The Rangers don’t need damaged goods at the cost of good young players.

  14. Bowman gone

    “oh Stanny Boy,
    the Press the Press are calling… from sea to sea…”

    Per TSN

    “”I promptly reported the matter to the then-President and CEO who committed to handling the matter. I learned this year that the inappropriate behavior involved a serious allegation of sexual assault. I relied on the direction of my superior that he would take appropriate action. ”

    …. but he never checked back on the issue?

    • ya disappointing the out was MY BOSS….

      Should have called legal immediately and paired with local PD and his boss.

      Cue the Jeff Gorton to CHI??

    • Bowman let the offender continue to be around the victim.
      Not sure how you can let that guy run your team and trust his judgement on anything.

      • Put simply, you can’t.

        The fact that this needs to be drawn out through an investigation means that for damn sure whomever is involved knew this was wrong and hoped it would stay buried.

        Doesn’t strike me as someone I would trust at all.

    • …and all of this like an hour after they qualified for the Stanley Cup Final.

      You can be sure that only the top two bag holders wanted anything to do with this – at that time. And those 2 didn’t either. Every body else just went back to work. But for Q, this guy was on his staff. He had to go back to work and look him in the face.

      • Does Q . get suspended and fined?I hope so.Would Bowman have ever got a job if he wasn t Scotty s son?The old boy network taken care of each other.

  15. I wondered when P Kane got his 1000 game stick and Toews was pretty close I thought of Covid. Now he is out among others in Chicago .

    You can make a mistake . A bigger mistake is not correcting your first one.
    The Hawks are a dumpster fire right now .