NHL Rumor Mill – October 30, 2021

by | Oct 30, 2021 | Rumors | 48 comments

The Sabres could finally be close to trading Jack Eichel. Find out the potential trade partners in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports trade discussions between the Buffalo Sabres and Vegas Golden Knights regarding Jack Eichel have been heating up over the last couple of days. Appearing on the Jeff Marek show on Friday, Friedman said he believes the Golden Knights have done their due diligence regarding Eichel’s medical status and would allow him to undergo the disc replacement procedure he seeks.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

THE ATHLETIC’s Jesse Granger took to Twitter Thursday speculating Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore would be an attractive piece for the Sabres in a hypothetical Eichel trade. He suggested that could be why the Golden Knights re-signed blueliner Zach Whitecloud earlier this week to a six-year contract extension.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Ed Graney took note of recent speculation linking the Golden Knights and Anaheim Ducks to Eichel. He wondered how the Knights can make it work financially or whether a third team might need to get involved.

Eichel carries a $10 million annual salary-cap hit through 2025-26, meaning Vegas will have to move some heavy salary to take him on. Once he comes off long-term injury reserve later in the season following his surgery, Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch will also have come off LTIR by then.

Graney added the Sabres are reportedly asking for something along the lines of multiple draft picks and a top prospect and a defenseman and a forward. Nevertheless, he feels Eichel could be worth it to address Vegas’ need for a first-line center.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens doesn’t see the Anaheim Ducks parting with promising center Trevor Zegras or defenseman Jamie Drysdale for Eichel. He points out they have the cap space to take on Eichel’s contract. He doesn’t dismiss the possibility of someone like Mason McTavish, Maxime Comtois or Troy Terry being part of the return for the Sabres but isn’t sure the Ducks would part with their 2022 first-round pick.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports the Golden Knights could have competition for Eichel. “Don’t sleep on Calgary or Colorado,” said one source.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be very interesting to see how the Golden Knights fit Eichel’s annual average value within their cap payroll for this season and the long term. Cap Friendly shows them sitting above the $81.5 million by over $5.8 million with Pacioretty and Tuch on LTIR. Eichel would obviously go on LTIR during his surgery and recovery but they still have to sort out the dollars when he’s ready to return to action.

Perhaps that involves moving out someone like Theodore ($5.2 million AAV), though that move could weaken their blueline depth. Do they try to move Reilly Smith and his $5 million for this season? His UFA status next summer won’t be enticing for the rebuilding Sabres. Convince Jonathan Marchessault to accept a trade to Buffalo if they’re on his no-trade list? Swing a deal with another team as a third-party broker willing to absorb a big chunk of Eichel’s cap hit?

The Ducks seem like the better destination. They have the cap space, the depth in draft picks and prospects, and their status as a rebuilding club means Eichel’s absence from the lineup during his recovery won’t adversely affect them this season. However, they might not be as keen to chase the high-salaried Eichel as the Golden Knights.

As for the Flames and Avalanche, I wouldn’t rule anything out but they seem to have a weaker hand than the Golden Knights and Ducks. I would be more surprised if Eichel landed with one of them.

Whatever the outcome, here’s hoping there’s a resolution coming soon. Eichel needs surgery to resume his playing career. It should be with a team willing to let him have the procedure he deems best.


  1. I just want it to end…..

    • You’re not the only one…

      • Come on, Lyle! I’m sure you’re gonna miss the daily Rick W Murray “Eichel-to-Boston” chatter once this is all over.

      • So Vegas has 13 players under contract for next year and 6 mil in cap space. Eichel puts them at 24 and 4mil over cap. Buffalo has no need for LD. So how many salaried players do they need to trade, plus replace? Tell me again how there’s no way NYR can do it with 20 mil in cap space but it’s ok to keep talking Cegas?

      • 14. Not 24. My fingers bigger than Pengy’s.

  2. They are dragging this thing, I believe in order for the acquiring team to activate around the time of playoffs, aka Kucherov.
    Vegas should include Tuch Krebs
    Calgary should include Monahan Pelletier although Treliving might be gun shy after seeing Bennett flourish for only 2 seconds and by the looks of it that pick might be the beginning of the third

    • Buffalo does not want anything Calgary has to offer. They are a long shot. Eichel is staying south of the border.

      • Tell me FD, what exactly has Jack Eichel done in his career to justify such a big return? Much less a seriously injured Eichel.

        I agree with Flamesfan, I hope he goes elsewhere unless it is a steal.

  3. It’s like The Curse Of Oak Island … the only “curse” is it has become fodder for an endless series of TV shows “will they find the treasure in the next dig?” – here it’s “who will get Eichel and what will it cost?”

    • Ha! George, I too have said the Curse of Oak Island is the show. At least Eichel is real.

      • I don’t think there’s any place left to DIG. It ain’t that big an island.

  4. As I was walking down the street one day
    A man came up to me and asked me what the deal for Eichel would be
    And I said
    Does anybody really know what the deal is (I don’t)
    Does anybody really care (care about the deal)
    If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
    We’ve all got time enough to cry

  5. It’s been noted that Treliving talks to all 31 GM’s constantly and is in on a lot of deals that don’t come to fruition. I know he has been talking to Adams a lot, but this is one trade I hope he gets outbid by Vegas.
    I have posted before my thoughts about Eichel with regards to his ability to lower his teamates compete level. Most of the top players in the league make their line mates better. I think Jack does the opposite.
    If Vegas can swing a deal for him I will say with confidence it will be the beginning of a rapid decline to their team.
    This whole transaction will have the unintended concequence of making the Flames better.

    • Flamefan:

      What do you base your opinion on? Eichel has had consistently good stats on a series of terrible Sabres teams.

      I have read the odd comment by some posters here saying he is selfish or bad in the room, but only by posters here. Eichel was until this year the team captain. Were he a bad influence would the Sabres have made him captain?

      • LJ,
        I base that opinion on the last 5 years of team performance. Everyone talks about Buffalo being a bad team, but why are they a bad team when they have some good players?
        This year without Eichel and a few others they are playing pretty good.
        It seems like Eichel is a bad influence in the dressing room.
        The catalyst that really turned my opinion was Ryan O’Rielly. I have always thought he was a really good player. At the time Buffalo got him I was certain they would have a good team and do well in the standings. After one year in that toxic environment he just wanted out. After getting out he was instrumental in St Louis cup run.
        The common denominator has always been Eichel

      • LJ,
        You’ve got to remember that the Sabres tanked an entire season to get McDavid. When it didn’t happen their PR spin was to say that Eichel was just as good as McDavid and they were just as happy to have him. Since that time they’ve tried to show how equal they are by bestowing the captaincy along with comparable long-term contracts. In terms of captaincy it was not earned or deserved, just a by-product of the charade to “keep up with the McDavids”. Bottom line is Eichel has been handled with kid-gloves by the Sabres since day-one and it continues as they try to extract “McDavid value” in their various trade scenarios.

      • By that rationale flamesfan crosby and Malkin are bad locker room influences.

      • Good points HarryO

      • Well, FF, that is your view, and of course fair enough.

        You might want to consider that several players have recently wanted out of Buffalo, Reilly and Ristolainen amongst them. The articles I have read in the Buffalo newspapers, who have quoted employees of the Sabres, are all critical of the Pegulas. Recently Robin Lehner came out with a story about how the Sabres fired their medical staff and brought in newbies who mistreated his injury.

        HarryO, same comment to you: ok, that’s your view. But in arriving at it the both of you are stepping over comments from players and employees about where the problem lies.

        But as we haven’t been in the dressing room fair to say we are all left with conjecture.

      • @HarryO … The way I remember it is that Eichel, after being drafted second, told the media that he was going to prove he was better than McDavid and that Edmonton made a mistake.

        I can’t point you to a clip or an article about that, I just remember not being impressed with his attitude at that draft. It wasn’t even a boast, but pure snark. At least it seemed so to me.

        So that’s pure speculation on my part, but that’s all we really have unless a guy is in the room.

        Eichel has skills, no doubt, but both he and McDavid were put in relatively the same position and …

        I’d take Draisaitl over him and wouldn’t give up Drysdale for him. In fact, health issues aside, I can fill two or three teams of forwards before I would consider him. (Yeah, Drysdale is D. I am all over the place and trying to condense months of ideas and comments into a reply.)

        Not saying Buffalo handled him or anything correctly, just that beyond skill he doesn’t impress me. I would feel bad if he was acting a great guy and fielding a raw deal but I suspect he’s contributed to the way things are — though undoubtedly the genesis of his health issue is not his fault.

      • Cheers George, as I said, it’s just the feeling I got and it was from a live interview. Maybe I read the whole thing, @nd the human being wrong, but if I had to judge now, with nothing else to go on, I would pass.

    • Vegas outbidding other teams for Eichel sounds good to me, too. I think the league has made things too easy for that team, even up to allowing it to escape the last expansion draft. I don’t wish Eichel any bad fortune, but he is a big uncertainty in many ways. Maybe it’s time for the Knights to call the wrong side of the coin.

      • LJ,
        It was not my intention to absolve the Pegulas from blame in this situation. Being from Buffalo I guess I assumed this was a given – my bad. They came in as novice sports owners and after 11 years, 7 coaches and 5 GM’s they still haven’t learned how to build a successful organization. So they are also responsible for the failings of their minions.
        As far as your comment that “you are stepping over comments from players and employees about where the problem lies”,
        I can’t recall any employee or player (other than Robin Lehner) going on record to criticize the Pegulas. Employees/players tend to tread lightly on this subject.
        That criticism has come from the newspapers, radio & TV commentators.

  6. Eichel’s not going to Vegas

    • Nor Boston

  7. You know Eichel can go have his surgery anytime he wants. He just doesn’t want to take the risk of having it done and losing the $50m. If he won’t take the risk why should the Sabres. When this was negotiated by the nhlpa. Eichel should sssume done of the risk.

    • I’m going to pitch a 1 in a million armchair trade proposal:

      To Toronto: Jack Eichel and his herniated disc

      To Buffalo:
      John Tavares (if would accept trade)

      Timothy Lilgegren
      Ilya Mikheyev
      Semyon Der-Arguchinstev
      Rodion Amirov


      • “If he would accept the trade….” You could have stopped right there.

      • And Mikheyev is a UFA at season’s end … why trade for him now when he’s ostensibly out long-term when they can see what he costs as a UFA next spring?

    • RH: The contract was negotiated between Eichel’s agent and the Sabres, and approved as meeting league requirements by the NHL.

      A small point, which doesn’t negate your question about why the Sabres should take the risk when Eichel won’t. One of the better points in this situation, IMO.

  8. Thank you for noting salary cap implications down the road, Lyle. A lot of pundits ignore that. Take my Blue Jackets, for example. Sure, they have cap space, now. But Sillinger and Chinakov will be coming off their ELC in 3 years. What kind of contract will they be able to ask for, then? I could go on, but you get the point.

  9. I know I’ve said this many times , but I’ll repeat

    For a current contender (which will be at/near Cap)…. They not only need to be Cap compliant when Eichel returns; but will lose roster player(s) in the deal (for Cap reasons) as well as picks/prospects; and therefore for a good 3 months or more; be without those/that current roster player(s) AND Eichel; and still trying to stay in a playoff spot. Add to that the uncertainty of the surgery success !!!!!

    What also should not be lost in this whole thing…. Regardless of surgery choice eventually taken…. and even if the actual surgery taken is 100% successful…. what will his (Eichel’s ) production level be at (after being off then for many many months ….

    Even with a quick trade , immediate surgery, and an expedited and miraculous recovery time-frame… his lay-off [last game played until first game back] is about 10 months…. and with a new org, new system to learn, new team-mates…. the likelihood that he returns in 21/22 with his same production level is extremely low

    So if I’m McCrimmon…. I should not be making that trade;

    If I’m Sackic, Army, Holland , etc etc…. I’d embrace McCrimmon acquiring Eichel

    Ducks make mores sense, even Kings make more sense. Rangers make more sense

    As long as Eichel does not end up a Leaf or a Pen…. I’m good

    Now… value… Adam’s still sticking with 4 1sts …. for an uncertain future?????

    Does that mean Mathews is worth 6 1sts and McD 7 + ???

    With that in mind … I say (very very tongue ‘n cheek )….. to Murray….

    AM and Holl for….

    Manson, Drysdale, Comtois, Steel, McT , Henrique, 1st ‘22

    Leafs will likely not change at all their current path for 21/22 (BEST case scenario IMVHO as at now [things could change…. would need to change dramatically] … losing game 7 in 2nd round vs either Bolts or Panthers…. But….

    Out-year Cap issues way better; and cup probability in next 3-4 years, increases IMHO

    …. But that trade ain’t happenin’

    • I’d take him on pens. There is little to no chance the pens get a star like that in the near future

      • Hi Chrisms

        He was a star…. Future as at now is TBD

        Gamble (surgery; and even if successful; odds he returns to pre-injury production) ) balanced with what has to be given up in trade (per Adams)…. HexBurkie needs to steer waaaay clear of that trade

        If there was much more certainty …. that is completely different story…. and I realize you are thinking next year of 26 year old Eichel over 36 year old Gino

        Too much risk and future assets IMVHO

        on another topic…. Hoping Sid does NOT play tonight…. This one game is not the be all and end all… “Game time Decision”…. means almost healed but not 100%…..to me… better to give him the 5 extra days and be that much stronger (and with less pain) to be ready for Flyers next Thursday

        Playing today (in what I believe to be a low significance [for season ] game) … Sid could hamper some of his hard earned current recovery with just a little tweak hit or tough face-off


      • I think the pens would benefit from pushing the chips to the center of the table and take that shot of eichel coming back strong.

        And sids been through injuries enough that I feel he knows what’s good for himself

      • Hi Chrisms

        No challenge from mr re Sid… I’m sure he is chompin’ at the bit to join…. Final call is Sully’s…. I’m hoping he keeps him out tonight

        Re Eichel…. although I like your metaphor of “pushing the chips to the centre” I disagree with its sentiment

        All good …. Two differing opinions on same topic…. Exactly why this site is about and why it is refreshing

        BTW …. did you notice yesterday my comment re Ruhweedel? Did you think I’d ever state that?

      • What’s next? Being back Jack chants?

      • The Horror

        Never ever will u see me post that

        I’m still reeling that Sackic had a meltdown and signed him

  10. Someone else on here had posted last week (?) Kane to Sabres with Eichel going the other way…. That day’s Spector’s had both Kanes (different paragraphs different nuances) being discussed and I had mistakenly took the trade inference to be Evander and not Patrick

    Thinking back to that and with all the media attention on both clubs (different reasons)….. the following trade just might be the right uptick for 4 players and may benefit both clubs …

    Patrick Kane (assumes [big assumption] he waves to go to his hometown) and DeBrincat and Strome for

    Eichel and Okposo (Hawks buy him out next summer)

    • Pengy, you have to think that any player who may have some say in where he’s dealt is going to be very leery about agreeing to go to Chicago until that cesspool has been COMPLETELY cleared up and all those still with the team who were shown to be fully aware of the situation have paid the price.

      The uneasiness is showing in their games as I bet a lot on that roster wish they were somewhere else right now.

      • By the way, I hadn’t realized that Carolina had not only signed Derek Stepan as a UFA, coming off a serious season-ending injury with Ottawa, but gave him 1 year at $1.35 million. Sheesh! And Spezza and Chiasson work their butts off for $750,000 each!

      • Hi George

        I did know Okposo has a partial NTC; but was just throwing him in to balance the deal…. Ur right he may not want to go; but Chi may be on his 15 team list that he would have provided in early summer. He can’t change his list mic season without Sabres allowing it

        Eichel has zero authority over being moved to BlackHawks…. NMC doesn’t kick in until 1/7/22

      • Players might not have any choice … and some perhaps can’t change their list … but that won’t make them any less reluctant to report … and since teams like Buffalo know of the growing disgust with what has transpired there, they might prefer to simply shy away from conducting any transactions with that franchise until the mess is totally cleared up to everyone’s satisfaction.

        In other words, why get involved with the negative publicity and microscopic media analysis sure to follow any dealings with that can of worms when there are surely options among the 30 other teams with which to deal? (e.g. Patrick Kane had to know of the issue just as much as Toes or anyone else in that dressing room, and that would almost surely follow him to Buffalo).

      • I’m absolutely loving Chiasson, George!

    • /yeah and I think this deal makes sense for Patty Kane even more….he goes home and turns his hometown team from bottom dweller to competitor AND Buffalo does not lose a single Roster player.

      Why would Kane want to stick around in Chicago now….. Man I wish I didnt draft MAF in fantasy

  11. Between the Buffalo and Chicago situations, and a lot of teams with cap issues, and the uncertainty and risk of all the leagues stars going on an olympic adventure before the stretch run, this feels to me like a game of musical chairs where there will be more than one player without a seat; I’ve noticed several contenders rotating their young players through early, possibly against the olympic risk. Where’s the room for a deal, when depth is probably more valuable than ever?

  12. I’d pay 2 or 3, 1st round picks. Two prospects and whatever players it takes cap wise to secure young, Jack Eichel.
    Then, buy out Moore and Wags to become cap compliant.