Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 31, 2021

by | Oct 31, 2021 | Rumors | 33 comments

Check out the latest on Vladimir Tarasenko and Jack Eichel plus some recent Senators speculation in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

SPORTSNET: On Friday, Rory Boylen reported Vladimir Tarasenko still wants a trade despite a hot start to this season by himself and the club. He cited The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford telling Jeff Marek that the 29-year-old winger’s desire remains the same, though he understands it could take time for a deal to take place.

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

He realizes this may not happen soon,” Rutherford told Marek. “It may not happen this year, it could happen next offseason, or maybe (Blues general manager) Doug Armstrong never finds the right deal for Vladimir Tarasenko and he plays out the last two years of his contract.”

Boylen observes that the contract is a sticking point. Tarasenko carries an annual average value of $7.5 million, which would be difficult to move right now. There’s also concern over Tarasenko’s recent shoulder surgeries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There were teams linked to Tarasenko during the offseason that could be monitoring his performance this season. Whether they’ll revisit their rumored interest remains to be seen.

The better Tarasenko plays the more his value in the trade market rises. However, Armstrong won’t trade him if the Blues are in playoff contention this season unless he gets an offer too good to refuse. He’ll entertain offers if his club is out of the postseason chase by the March 21 trade deadline.

Tarasenko’s contract remains a significant issue. His annual cap hit is $7.5 million but he’s earning $9.5 million this season in actual salary. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tarasenko traded next summer when his actual salary for 2022-23 drops to $5.5 million.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve Macfarlane cast doubt on recent speculation linking the Flames to Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel. He points out the club’s addition last season of head coach Darryl Sutter indicates rebuilding is not their plan. That suggests they’re not about to give up players in a trade that would significantly hurt their chances of competing this season while they await Eichel’s recovery from disc replacement surgery.

Macfarlane also points to the Flames’ salary-cap constraints plus the Sabres’ high asking price as other key stumbling blocks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Flames GM Brad Treliving looked into acquiring Eichel. Perhaps he still has a serious interest in the Sabres center.

As Macfarlane noted, however, they’re not going to gut the team if they still hope to be a playoff contender this season. They’re off to a good start thus far (6-1-1) which takes the pressure off Treliving to shake things up. Making the cap dollars fit would also be difficult.

Recent rumors have the Golden Knights and Sabres trying to work out a deal. I don’t think the Flames are in the running here.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch recently reported Senators GM Pierre Dorion is still looking around for help at forward. He has assets with 11 picks in next year’s draft if he wants to do something. Last Sunday, Dorion acquired center Dylan Gambrell from the San Jose Sharks.


  1. “He realizes this may not happen soon,” Rutherford told Marek. “It may not happen this year, it could happen next offseason, or maybe (Blues general manager) Doug Armstrong never finds the right deal for Vladimir Tarasenko and he plays out the last two years of his contract.”
    That about covers it. Great reporting.

  2. I would add to what MacFarlane said by saying Sutter has the flames playing a very good cohesive game and one thing I really like is they move the puck forward. In the past it used to bug me because they would always want to pass the puck back. The Flames played like that under 3 different coaches, It looks like Sutter finally has broken that poor habit.

    Again I just cannot see Eichel fitting into this team. The Flames are actually playing very well and have a chance to go far this year because they are a big team and teams like this generally do well in playoff hockey.

    • Flames forecheck looks great and they are rolling lines. With Vegas’ issues the Flames can give themselves a head start in the wide open Pacific division where I thought the only player locks were Edmonton+Vegas.

      • ds

        yes I agree on both points

  3. Sure sounds like Buffalo GM Adams is just leaking other teams names out to try and get more outta Vegas

  4. One thing Dorion can afford to be is patient. There are no far-out expectations for the club other than the continued improvement of the kids, so he’s under no pressure to make any deal that may cut deep into his pool of prospects – or picks.

    Capfriendly still shows 15 teams with $0 cap projected cap space, 4 with less than $500,000 and 2 with less than $2 mil and, of those 21, there are probably several currently getting by using LTIR who may be faced at some point in the first quarter or half with a need to clear space.

    There could be a deal there later.

  5. Dorion can afford to be patient if he isn’t bothered by having the second lowest attendance at the games.
    10954- 57.2% capacity

    Chicago meanwhile continues to have the highest attendance in the league.
    19606- 99.4% capacity.

    • The capacity issue is the main reason why I continue to believe the franchise will be on the move – Melnyk has been patient but it seems they could bring in Sid Crosby and the attendance will still be below 12,000 – especially when the opposition is represented by teams like San Jose, Dallas, Arizona, Minnesota etc. It seems the only teams to draw close to capacity are the Habs and Leafs, while teams like Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg draw somewhere between 12,000 and capacity (18,500).

      If the fair-weather fans can’t see that this current group contains a solid young core, that Melnyk is keeping to his word to make sure they’re signed, and that the waiting pool of prospects contains a few more solid players, then they don’t deserve to have an NHL franchise.

      And if and when they are moved, that type will be screaming the loudest.

      Making a trade now isn’t going to suddenly see the crowds jump by any significant number.

      • Hi George, I have never been to Ottawa, but I have heard part of the problem with attendance is that the arena is a fair ways outside of the city.

        Do you think a new arena in the heart of Ottawa would make a big difference?

      • Sparky, THE biggest mistake was in not putting up an arena in the downtown core of the city in the old Flats Area – 90% of which still sits vacant because its fate lies in the hands of federal bureaucrats who can’t make up their bloody minds what to put there – in spite of the stated interest (at one time) of Le Cirque de Soleil to turn a new complex into, not only an arena but a training site for their acts.

        Add to that a mayor who wants to spend more billions on boondoggle programs like a downtown library and an opera house – yeah, that’ll really draw the crowds – and who’s lasting legacy will be that ongoing joke called the light rail system – which still can’t stay on the tracks in winter weather – and it’s hardly a secret that Ottawa has wild winters.

        If Melnyk wants out I wouldn’t blame him one iota.

        Now, having said all that, I will say that another local boondoggle – the so-called Phoenix Pay System run by the federal bureaucracy, STILL hasn’t been fully resolved after what, 4 years and there are still thousands whose pay cheques remain in a state of flux.

        But, hey, we’re going green to fix that 2% we’re responsible for in global pollution while countries like India and China are still burning coal.

    • Hab fan, your making the assumption that Ottawa’s attendance is tied to performance, which is unfair imo. Being in Canada is much different than the USA in how covid is being treated. Im sure the lower attendance can be attributed, at least to some degree, to covid and people’s comfort level in going to games.

      • Canadian King,

        You’re assuming Covid and comfort level, the charts include all teams and in Canada all teams have much higher attendance and % than Ottawa, it isn’t even close.

      • Nice chart, still doesnt prove that people in Ottawa aren’t going to games due to performance, still very well COULD be tied to Covid to some degree as I stated above.

        A better chart to find would be what Ottawas attendance levels were pre covid compared to now.

    • habsfan30–Do you think that demographics could have something to do with attendance at Senators games?

      Wikipedia says that “Foreign immigration plays a significant role in Ottawa’s population growth. Foreign born residents make up 23.4 percent of Ottawa’s population, in which many come from the United Kingdom, China, India, the United States, Lebanon, Pakistan, Somalia, Iran, the Philippines, Vietnam, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Haiti.

      Those figures are from 2016, and Ottawa’s population continues to grow. Being as Coyotes poor attendance has been said here to be caused by their fanbase being drawn from an area that has never seen ice, perhaps empty seats at Sens games can be explained by a signifcant portion of the population having come from countries whete hockey is of no interest, and into a city where tickets are unaffordable to them, even if they are interested.

      • Francis S

        The numbers for immigration and population growth don’t in any way imply decrease in existing population numbers and the “pool” of fans in hard numbers.

        The actual population (Ottawa-Gatineau) in hard numbers from 1992-2021 has gone from 954,000 to 1,408,000, the years pointed out in the attendance chart above.

  6. Monahan is currently the 3C. At least he was when I watched NY game the other night. Where would Eichel fit when healthy? Do you put Lindholm back to wing? Who’s going to Buffalo? Just don’t see it. As far as Vegas. I understand Buffalo prefers to move Eichel west but, who is 3rd team willing to help Vegas with cap? They gave away Schmidt to fit Petro… how much they willing to give up to make this happen? And after watching Tampa win 2 cups while being in “cap hell”, if Vegas makes this work I don’t want to hear about the cap anymore.

  7. The capacity issue might have less to do with fairweather fans and more to do with things in Dorion’s and Melnyk’s control.

    Capacity usually has to do with perceived performance and looking at the charts in the link provided shows it to be the case in Ottawa as elsewhere.

    The Ottawa Senators are not the only team with a solid young core, in fact the frozen cap has forced teams to bring young players throughout the league.

  8. In claiming Amadio, Vegas has added $750,000/yr to its payroll for a journeyman that they can’t trade without getting him through waivers. With rumors of Vegas’s interest in Eichel persisting, one has to wonder how this claim might affect Vegas’s purported endeavors to trade for Eichel. It could mean that the team has given up on the idea: it could mean that their return to the Sabres would so deplete their roster that they’re searching for cheap bodies.

  9. Arena location is just an excuse used by folks who want a “downtown” location, usually built with opm (tax dollars)

    I’v gone through this in Montreal, the Big O the reason for the Expos leaving and the Als leaving for Baltimore, but it’s all BS.

    The Als were drawing 60,000 and the Expos were drawing 20,000 80 times a year. to the Big O.

    Poor management who were no longer vested in winning, no longer spent the money, in the Expos case kept developing young players then sent them packing for money.
    Fans will travel and pay to watch a winning contending team wherever the Arena is.

    • All that corporate sponsorship moved to Toronto. Southern Ontario Expos fan’s switched once the TV rights were lost.

  10. Instead Spectorstraderumours this site should be called George O’s point of view. Anyone who disagrees with him is immediately branded a troll and all the of the rest his fellow lambs chime in.

    • That doesn’t make sense…. If George was the head honcho wouldn’t it make him the shepherd? Or even the GOAT?

      • Baaaaaaaaaaa

    • I’d read that column. I’d even be tempted to comment on things I agree or disagree with.
      I’d also be open, and welcoming to exchanges with other posters with the same, or varying points of view.
      Now, seriously. What would you trade for Eichel? How would you Shore up the left side on D and remain cap compliant at the same time?

      • I don’t know what management would give up for Eichel, but I would not give up four number picks for him. Any team that does that has butchered their franchise for years to come and the gm should be fired. I don’t think Buff. Is dealing from a position of strength anymore, clearly the pressure is on Buff now and Jackie boy. This is what I would offer, maybe Boston has other ideas I would throw in two #1’s, Studnicka, and a guy who could be one of the best two way d in the nhl in a couple of years Mason Lohrei playing for Ohio. If they want more than that they won’t get it, a healthy Eichel yes, the way the situation is right now no. Oh ooh CAN YOU HEAR IT? here come the sheep bah bah. Shhhhhhhh ….( Whispering) if you listen very closely put your on the ground you can hear the distinct sound of bleeding in the background. Waaaaaaaaaaait For Iiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

      • That’s a very good package. Very good indeed. We’d still have to dump about 10 million in salary somewhere though.

      • Put what exactly on the ground?

      • Aww, cut him some slack … poor Dubya’s feelings have been hurt

    • Eichel to the Bruins.


  11. I think, if Vegas trades for Eichel, they’ll basically be planning for next year with the expectation that they won’t make the playoffs this year. Depends on who goes the other way, of course, but they’d need to clear a lot of cap space for a player who might not play for them until next October. Pretty big gamble.

  12. Sportsnet pregame, between periods and post game shows have now reached the unviewable status.

    If I wanted to be preached too Id go to church and have a professional do it.

    That hypocrite MaClean makes me sick. Sits there nodding in complete agreement with Cherry then at the first hint of complaint throws him under the bus.

    Fortunately with the NHL package Im freed from listening to his woke drivel.

    • If you have to resort to flavor of the month slang like woke you know you are drowning in the shallow end.