NHL Rumor Mill – October 29, 2021

by | Oct 29, 2021 | Rumors | 15 comments

An update on Jack Eichel, the latest on Tomas Hertl’s contract situation and the Kings search for a defenseman in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports trade talks with the Buffalo Sabres regarding a trade of Jack Eichel seemed to heat up earlier this week but they seem to have since cooled down, though Dreger believes that could change with a phone call.

Both sides are hoping to find a trade that works. If not, Eichel could soon file a grievance through the NHL Players’ Association. If a trade does happen, the 24-year-old could undergo disc replacement surgery early next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger could be alluding to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s report earlier this week indicating talks have picked up recently between the Sabres and Vegas Golden Knights. As always, the sticking points are Eichel’s health, his $10 million annual average value through 2025-26 and the Sabres’ expensive asking price.

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (NHL Images).

As for the Golden Knights, Seravalli suggested much could depend upon the status of sidelined winger Mark Stone. If he’s out for most or the remainder of the regular season, the Golden Knights could free up $9.5 million in cap space by placing him on long-term injury reserve.

Failing that, a third team would have to get involved to broker a deal, though they’ll likely have to absorb a healthy chunk of Eichel’s cap hit to make the deal work.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently reported Tomas Hertl remains optimistic about meeting with San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson to talk contract. The 27-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Hertl said he’s said many times San Jose is his home and he loves playing there. He knows he and Wilson have to find a way to discuss a new contract. “When we get time, we will for sure talk and I’ll be looking to be here but I don’t know his ideas and stuff,” said Hertl. For now, he’s keeping his focus on playing hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve noted before, Hertl’s future with the Sharks depends on his performance as well as theirs. If he proves too expensive to re-sign, Wilson could shop him before the March 21 trade deadline. Contract talks might not begin in earnest until the calendar flips to January 2022. Hertl’s status will be worth monitoring in the New Year.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the long-term injuries of Drew Doughty and Sean Walker have pushed the Los Angeles Kings into the trade market in search of a right-side depth defenseman. Doughty’s out six-to-eight weeks while Walker suffered a season-ending knee injury.


  1. If Vegas was really going to trade for Eichel, what would they give up for him if Buffalo’s demand remains 4 first round picks/players?
    It seems Vegas is already struggling a bit offensively right now with Patches and Stone out long term. And even if they get Eichel he isn’t suiting up to play for 2-3 months. So how do they trade away assets and field a competitive team until Eichel is able to return? By the time he comes back, Vegas could be out of the playoff picture.
    I just don’t see how a playoff contender can trade away 4 top end assets to acquire Eichel and then put him on IR for 2-3 months hoping he comes back “as good a new”.
    Buffalo screwed this up by not letting Eichel get the surgery before the season started.

    • Some will be conditional and some will be futures, to me the problem is that you dont know which Eichel you are getting. Lets say he becomes a not as good as before and manages on average 50-60 points. That is one hell of a price tag for 50 points in assets and dollars. I just wouldnt do it

  2. I’m confused why this year’s cap situation plays into the Eichel trade. He’s asking to get the surgery done, so I would assume as soon as a trade happens he shakes some hands and heads to a hospital to get his surgery, probably out the rest of the year for rehab or only able to comeback late in the year. The new GM just has to worry about cap space for end of year ($1-2m) or more focused the following year’s cap (free agents leave, plenty of time for other moves to get compliant). What am I missing that a GM needs to clear the full $10M day of the trade?

  3. Reilly signs team friendly 7.5 aav
    I guess management will figure the cap out next year

    • Well why not? The cap will rise, how much, no one knows how much right now but it’s not staying flat. Then the truly crippling dead cap space retained from the Kessels trade comes off the books freeing up another $1.2 there. Not that hard to figure out. When the wild bought out those contracts, I can’t help but think they must have some knowledge that is privy to league execs regarding the what the cap is projected to be in year x of the CBA. That’s a scary amount of dead cap and they aren’t too the only team.
      Congrats to Mo and the Leafs…not a bad contract to boot!

    • If they don’t trade Reilly at the trade deadline they will regret it later. He is a terrible at defence. Leafs need a few defence-man that are not scared to hit someone and clear the front of the net.
      The chance of leafs winning a cup with this group of players is zero.

  4. I think either way if leafs are successful or make an early exit from the playoffs this year they will have to trade one of the big 4 forwards in the summer to accommodate Reilly’s new contracts and address other weaknesses. Unfortunately it will probably be marner or nylander. Not sure you can trade taveres unless the leafs retain salary and you are definitely not trading Matthews..

    • I’m maintaining that the Leafs aren’t doing anything until they know what Matthews’ plans are.
      They don’t want to be in a situation where they trade Marner, a trade they will most certainly lose, and then the year after Matthews wants to walk.

      We need to stop calling it the big 4, Nylander isn’t the guy they need to trade. They can’t replace his productivity at that price.

      Its one of the big three, if it has to be Matthews then it has to be him – if the price is right of course.

  5. Re Reilly new contract…. for a second let’s just set aside value to contract; and look only at the team and Cap

    This year, up against the Cap…. and as at now, unless something dramatically changes (and it would have to be very big)…. Leafs are not getting near the SCF in June.

    They are, as at now, likely heading towards at best , finishing 3rd ATL (4th ATL IMHO does not beat 5th Metro for last WC spot); and would play in round 1: Bolts likely ; outside chance Panthers …. not looking promising at all; ;then if magic happens they get Panthers (more likely) or Bolts second round.

    They are at the ceiling now…. MR raise is $2.5M; Cap expected to go up $1M, and Kessel’s hit of $1.2 M drops…. so basically freeing up a measly $300 K over this year and they have NOT improved

    Now just add the layer of Sandin and Campbell definitely needing raises

    …. and whether or not Leafs re-up them…. Mckeyev, Kase, Engval, Liljegren…. this year total Cap $5M…. replacing them will cost the same or more and that is without improving the team

    There is only 1 super underpaid Leaf right now…. and his former Head Coach didn’t think he warranted an opening night gig when he signed on very cheaply to play for his “hometown”

    How many more like Spezz are there in the NHL that are just antsy to get league minimum and play for the Leafs?

    So how are Leafs going to get anywhere near a sniff of deep playoff run next year w/o a change at one of the top Cap hits?

    something HAS to give

    • Pengy, the most recent comment on next year’s cap came from Daley who foresees an increase of just $1 mil. With the Rielly signing they now have $76,114,783 committed to 15 players. Making the “core 4” a “core 5” – which accounts for 63% of that commitment – and, based on Daly’s total cap of $82.5 mil, a full 58% of the cap. So now they have $6,385, 217 with which to sign 8 0 including UFA goalie Cambell and UFA F Mikheyev, not to mention RFAs Kase, Engvall, Sandin and Liljegren currently accounting for just under $5 mil cumulatively.

      Either the cap rises around $8 mil or something’s gotta give from within that core 5.

      • Oh noooooo!

      • Instead of reacting with your dripping sarcasm, why not enlighten us with YOUR opinion as to what moves they might make. The difference between us, Ron, is that I feel free to comment on any team when it’s they’re part of the subject matter – Leafs included – whereas you seem to writhe in indignant fury whenever anyone offers opinions on your heroes.

  6. Morgan Rielly contract is NMC
    Tavares is the only forward with a NMC.

    TML have a world of possibilities

    • Sure they do – keep looking for allies

  7. LA KINGS,what would you offer for Brandon Carlo.One of your prized young centers.Bruins in desperate need for a young top 6 center.