NHL Rumor Mill – November 1, 2021

by | Nov 1, 2021 | Rumors | 50 comments

A look at the potential cost for the Golden Knights to acquire Jack Eichel, plus the latest Oilers speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Owen Krepps cites recent rumors claiming the Vegas Golden Knights are closing in on acquiring Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres. Noting the Golden Knights have some salary-cap relief due to several long-term injury reserve designations, Krepps speculates general manager Kelly McCrimmon could spend it on the 25-year-old Sabres center.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

It’s believed the Sabres’ asking price is “at least four pieces, including a first-round pick, top prospect, top-six forward, and NHL defenseman under 25-year-old old.”

Krepps suggested it could cost the Golden Knights one, maybe two first-round picks, with their 2022 first-rounder certain to go to the Sabres. Shea Theodore or Nic Hague could fit the bill as the under-25 defenseman. He took note of the Golden Knights’ recent addition of blueliner Ben Hutton and their re-signing Zach Whitecloud to a long-term extension.

Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch make sense one of the forwards, with Tuch best fitting the description for a top-six forward in the right age group. The Sabres have the cap space to afford Tuch’s $4.75 million annual average value. Smith’s status as an unrestricted free agent next summer is a detractor. The Sabres could also be eyeing promising center Peyton Krebs.

Krepps noted rumors suggesting the Golden Knights are getting competition for Eichel from the Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An Eichel trade seemed imminent entering the weekend as reports of trade discussions between the Golden Knights and Sabres heated up. A deal has yet to materialize but perhaps that will take place at some point this week.

The Golden Knights must be careful not to give up too much roster depth lest it jeopardize their playoff hopes for next spring. Max Pacioretty (LTIR) and Mark Stone (currently on injured reserve) will return to the lineup at some point this season. They’ll also have to ensure they move sufficient cap room in the deal to absorb Eichel’s $10 million annual cap hit and still have enough for when Pacioretty and Tuch (assuming he’s not part of the trade) return to action.

I’ve noted the Flames’ rumored interest in Eichel but I don’t think they have the depth in tradeable assets to acquire him.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Daniel Nugent-Bowman was asked if the Edmonton Oilers will stick with their goaltending tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen for the playoffs or if general manager Ken Holland will seek a netminder before the trade deadline.

Holland says he believes in his goaltending. However, Nugent-Bowman pointed out the Oilers GM attempted to sign Jacob Markstrom in 2020 and tried to acquire Darcy Kuemper from the Arizona Coyotes before the Colorado Avalanche got him. He thinks Holland could consider an upgrade.

Nugent-Bowman noted two readers mentioned the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury and the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson as trade options. Fleury’s in the final year of his contract with a 10-team no-trade list. It wouldn’t be surprising if he wanted to finish the season elsewhere given the mess the Blackhawks are in. Gibson is younger than Fleury, has five more seasons remaining on his contract at an annual average value of $6.4 million, plus a 10-team no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nugent-Bowman speculated it shouldn’t cost the Oilers much to acquire Fleury given his age (37 this month) and contract status. Gibson, on the other hand, could cost as much as four assets. The Oilers would have to move out pending UFA Koskinen to make this work. Much will depend, of course, on the performance of the current tandem, where the Oilers sit in the standings and whether they’re on the no-trade lists of Fleury and Gibson.


  1. So Vegas will trade for Eichel and then immediately put him on LTIR so when Pacioretty and Stone come back they will be compliant … I don’t see Eichel playing any pro hockey this season …

    • Why not? He’ll get the surgery he wants and the recovery time is even less than the fusion surgery. He’ll play this season.

      To say Vegas will get him and he will not play this season is a very uninformed comment.

      • I’ll take the over on Eichel’s return. Name a date.

    • Ed,

      and even if he does at what level?

      • Ron,

        at the NHL level.

    • Ed-If we premise that Eichel will not play this season, maybe your Pens joining the ranks of the Eichel bidders is plausible?.Malkin’s $9.5 million comes off their books after this season, he’s on injured reserve now, and the Pens may miss the playoffs without him. Their other key centers are an aging Crosby and an already aged Carter, so their need at center will be dire. The Pens’ first-round draft position could be higher than Vegas’s, and they could certainly meet the other asset requirements Spector states here.

      • What other assets would Pittsburgh be sending? I don’t see a fit there.

      • Captain–

        Captain Obvious–I was looing at an Eichel deal as something the Pens might try to swing to fill an urgent imminent need. I haven’t given much thought about the components. Spector says the asking price is “at least four pieces, including a first-round pick, top prospect, top-six forward, and NHL defenseman under 25-years-old old.” A top prospect might be Sam Poulin, their first-rounder in 2019, Rust might be the forward, and Marino the defenseman.

        Note that Spector is speculating about the Sabres’ asking price, and Im just inserting players that match his speculated requirements. The fantasy deal could vary immensely even if it happens. I think the Pens do have the opportunity to make an offer, though.

      • He is speculating, but that offer gets blown away by a lot of other teams.

        Rust is 29 and will be a UFA, Marino isn’t a chip, and Poulin is a start. But again, I don’t see a fit here on Buffalos side

      • Rust definitely ain’t a chip due to status. Marino is a chip but not a blue one.

        Poulin po Joseph 2022 1st is a good start though. Petterson? Has started to show last year was a down year.

        Hell. If pens falter this year I’d include guentzel but only if the 2022 1st is top 1 protected 😎

  2. Lyle Calgary and Vegas have equal depth

    An offer would be

    1st in 22 or 23
    Top 6 young forward that is making enough to balance the cap


    A Dman ( Pysyk, Miller 50%)
    A forward ( Cagguila or Bjork)

    Other prospect and picks coukd be involved

    Both Calgary and Vegas VP of pro scouting were at Buffalos 2 SoCal games.

    • @Dan you think the prospects you just listed between Vegas and Calgary are even close lol. Shea Theodore alone is better than all of the players you listed from Calgary. Krebs would be the second best prospect listed. I personally would not even trade Shea Theodore. He’s already a true #1 defensemen.

      • Calgary fan and I have to agree with WTH. If Vegas is throwing in Theodore, I don’t think the Flames can touch the offer unless Vegas really shorts the other pieces. Or maybe it comes to conditions as well…if Calgary is willing not to put conditions on their pick(s).

        I also don’t think Calgary puts Andersson in the mix as their defenseman; likely preferring to offer Valimaki given Andersson’s spot next to Hanifin this year and Kylington’s play. Or Zadorov (a guy can hope).

        One thing the Flames can likely offer over the Knights is a centre. Monahan (would have to waive) would be the obvious choice for the Flames given his hit and current place in the lineup, but if they ask him for a list, you’d have to think he would know why and list the Sabres. Only caveat to that is maybe he is looking for more minutes on a higher line which Buffalo would offer.

        For Calgary, you’re likely looking at:
        1st 2022
        (Could go Dube instead of Monahan, but then you would need Zadorov to go for $$$)

        Does this beat Vegas if they offer
        1st 2022
        Hague (assume Theodore is not on the table)

        Probably not.

      • Buffalois not taking back a LD in a trade unless it’s a pure prospect

        On LD Buffalo has
        The first two were 1OA the other two were late 1st rounders

        Other than a power forward like Tuch , Buffalo does not need wingers.

        They have drafted 4 in rounds 1 and 2 the last two drafts.

        Like I said…difference you might see in the D or prospects would be made up in other pieces.

        Buffalos needs sre

        1 RD
        2. Power forward
        3. Young center

        They pieces would come with 2+ yrs of team control.

      • @Dan Buffalo isn’t going to take way worse players just because of position. You take the best package available and figure everything else out later. Theodore would get you a monster haul if retraced for example. The players comparisons you listed between Calgary and Vagas aren’t even close. Buffalo would laugh and hang up the phone if that’s what Calgary is offering. Just because they need players in those positions doesn’t mean they’ll take garbage back for a true number 1 center regardless of injury. If the players you listed from Calgary are all Buffalo would take there would be a line up of teams trying to make that trade work. Buffalo wants the equivalent of 4 1st round picks sure but I’m sure they’d like some quality there. Theodore could have been selected in the 6th round for all Buffalo would care. If he’s the starting point in the discussions Buffalo and every other GM would be interested. Throw in Krebs and he can have my wife for the night as part of the package.

      • Dan. Those ld men for the most part are prospects. Sabres are fairly competitive now. A player or two who can jump on now and a future piece or two is a good way to go for Sabres

  3. Theodore is 26 and a solid dman but, Buffalo doesn’t really have a need for Lefty D.
    Tuch is a no brainer. Under contract. He’s also injured right now. And lacks nt protection. Smith makes no sense as he’s ufa. Maybe as a piece to flip at trade deadline. Seems like Buffalo will take less of a package just to keep him out of NY. Reminder: Wichel was never considered a replacement for Zib. It was to upgrade from Strome. Fact NY gave Zib 8 years was to bring down AAV
    Tired of hearing how NY is only team that needs to save for future signings while other teams that don’t have the space will somehow manage? Not sure what injury situation is in Vegas, but I won’t be shocked if after an Eichel trade that someone miraculously is ready to play when Eichel is placed on ltir.

    • I don’t think anyone is saying ONLY the Rangers need to worry about future signings. However, they are loaded with young talent and some of which (Fox for sure) will be coming soon.

      I know you’ve been saying a bridge deal (and most including myself disagree there) is possible , however initial talks have started and his asking number begins with a 9.

      So even if he were to take a bridge deal, he won’t be taking one for the team here. He is asking a fair price at 9+ and I don’t believe he’ll be backing off that number.he certainly ain’t going down to 6-7 as you’ve suggested.

      So what pieces go that can accommodate Eichels 10 per hit? I doubt Buffalo wants Kreider or Trouba in return, don’t think Strome is on their wishlist. I doubt NY has any desire to move Sheterkin. Panarin isn’t going. So it leaves a bunch of players on Elc’s that won’t make room for Eichel.

      If Fox get 9.5 for any term, where does the cap relief come from?

      • Well, there goes the bridge deal. Fox 7 years 9.5 million.

        While he loves NY, he also isn’t crazy.

      • Scratch that bridge deal. 7 years 9.5. He may love NY, but he isn’t insane.

  4. Krebs 8 GP zero points minus 4 not much of a start looks to me the longer this goes the more hosed Buffalo gets.

    • @Obe so you base everything on a rookie after only 8 games played. Makes sense. Pleas don’t be the GM of my team. He’s considered a top level PROSPECT by people who actually know the game so Krebs is probably the sticking point in that trade as rumor was Vegas didn’t want to include him.

      • Pretty much all I can base it on I guess total he played 12 with 1 assist weighs a buck 80 and isn’t 6 ft tall not my idea of a replacement down the road for Jack but carry on.

      • Here’s a link from elite prospects for you Obe so you can actually base things on more then just height and 12 games. You obviously love a completely different style of hockey that is no longer relevant in 2021. A style that they are trying everything they can to get rid of.


      • I haven’t paid too much attention to Krebs, but he would be by far from the first prospect to get a glowing scouting report only to falter in the NHL.
        Looking at his 5on5 advanced stats all of them are below the teams advanced stats. Which means IMO he is bringing the teams numbers down.
        I’m not a big fan of +/- as there are a lot of circumstances that are involved in it that are uncontrollable by the player. However Krebs is 17th on the team amongst forwards in average ice time per game and has the teams 3rd worse +/- with -4.
        After looking at all of this, the next Knights game I watch I will be paying more attention to Krebs when he is on the ice, if he isn’t put down to the AHL first.

      • @kevjam he hasn’t played enough games at the NHL level to even come close to making that assessment. You can only use what he’s done in the other leagues and use projections. His projections are high, we’ll see what that means after a couple nhl seasons. If you base it on only 12 games then that’s on you.

      • All I know is the best 18-19 year olds always produce early in their careers and the ones that don’t very seldom are super stars but hey each to their own opinion. NHL is still a mans game and some small players produce example Point and Marchand but most disappear in my opinion Krebs is an average at best prospect.

  5. not a fan of Theodore to Buffalo. I’d like to see:
    Krebs, Brisson, conditional pick & some cap.

    • @Mark I don’t understand your logic. If Buffalo doesn’t want Theodore they can simply flip him and get another top prospect and 1st round pick making the haul for Eichel even bigger. Theodore would be the best player in that trade. An argument can even be made that he’s better than Eichel. He was 6th in the Norris trophy voting last year. Higher than Pietrangelo.

      • You’re really loud, but you’re not very knowledgeable.
        I couldn’t be bothered to break it down for you, because you wouldn’t understand no matter how slow I type.
        I’m just glad you’re not Buffaloes GM.

      • The usual insightful comments from Shorepark

    • What team wouldn’t want Theodore? One of the best D-men in the game.

  6. Is there deal from Ottawa that (pretend the owner isn’t mortgaged to the teets) would meet Buffalo’s needs.

    1st rnd pick
    2 second round picks.
    Colin White, Shane Pinto

    • Eric Brannstrom I meant.
      Not sure why I had a Washington capital on the brain there.

      • Dark G, while I think there’s a deal on the slow burner involving Brannstrom, possibly Colin White and someone like Lassi Thompson or Bernard-Docker and certainly some picks for either a C or RW with goal-scoring talent, I doubt Pinto would be part of it and I am positive in my thinking that neither Dorion nor Melnyk would want a major medical ? like Eichel.

        Let someone else take that gamble. Just my opinion, mind you.

    • Hey Dark G, while I’m not writing off Brannstrom & White, some of the shine might be off as far as being star players.
      Both should be longer term NHL’ers but I’m thinking BUF wants a higher end prospect from OTT.

      Either of Sanderson, Stutzle, would be the ask IMO. Not sure OTT wants to go there, plus as some have noted LD and wingers are in good supply already in BUF. Great assets none the less.

  7. Leafs fans, and Leafs haters, I’m curious as to your humble opinions on a fantasy Eichel trade.
    I have not worked out any cap details since this clearly will not happen, but off the top off my head I think this would be about 1.5-2M over the cap which may be workable through retention.

    To Toronto:
    Jack Eichel

    To Buffalo:
    First round pick in 2022
    Rodion Amirov
    Travis Dermott
    Mitch Marner

    This is an over-payment, but it meets the suggested required pieces. Likely, the 1st or Amirov could be taken off the table.

    Assume this trade is made after successful recovery from surgery.

    Bunting – Matthews – Nylander
    Kerfoot – Eichel – Simmonds (Mikheyev)
    Engvall – Travares – Kase
    Ritchie – Spezza – Kampf

    Reilly – Holl
    Muzzin – Brodie
    Liljegren – Sandin

    Campbell – Mrazek

    Leafs haters will NEVER see them as a contender, even if they dressed Team Canada, so it’s hard to take their criticism seriously, but let’s hear it anyway. Are they a contender if this trade were to be made?

    • Simmonds in a top 6 role and Tavares playing 3rd line center at 11 million?

      Any way you slice it, you’re paying a 3rd line center that kind of money?

      • “Leaf haters” translation – anyone who looks at their situation from a purely pragmatic viewpoint based on limitations dictated by the cap

    • Marner, Amirov and 1st round pick would interest Buffalo, not Dermott.

      Kerfoot would be an interesting piece, an immediate starting Centre and a cap saving for TML.

  8. George O, that might be your definition but it’s not mine. There are haters for every team. Your comment leads me to believe you are a Leafs Hater.
    That’s your prerogative, and I have no problem with it, but I felt the need to remove your words from my mouth.

    • Well you’d be wrong Me – unless it’s your opinion that anyone who is NOT a Leafs fan is automatically a “hater.”

      I don’t now, never have and probably never will “hate” them. But at the same time I am not now – have never been – or likely ever will be a fan pulling for them in any “emotional” way – same way as I feel about 30 of the other teams. Does that make me a “hater” as defined in today’s juvenile jargon?

      With the way our so-called “national” TV outlets are structured, I do get to see a lot of their games on TV or in person if and when they’re in Ottawa, and they have players I like and would love to see Ottawa acquire. And some of them are players who have been under fire in the Toronto media and in sites like this such as Holl, Dermott and Ritchie which, as an observer of many years, I put down to simply wilting under the intense scrutiny that comes with playing in a city starving for the ultimate success.

      Also, since this site often includes them as part of the daily topics – or even when they’re not and someone – such as yourself – throws them into the conversation, I’ll toss in my two cents worth.

      Now, this time I didn’t focus on your suggestion (I agree with that proposed by habfan30) but rather on that idiotic term “hater” which I have yet to see anyone define. Can you enlighten me?

      • As a P.S., I’ll say my interpretation of a “hater” is someone who is a member of a neo-Nazi/white supremacist group, or someone who is belligerent towards a Chinese person (or any oriental), blaming them for the current pandemic, or who targets anyone in the LGBTQ community – as examples. But not someone who isn’t a fan of a bleeding hockey team.

      • You realize George that oriental is such a racist term my iPhone wouldn’t even spell check it?

        I say this knowing you ain’t racist but pointing out it completely buried the point of your post

      • The term that gets over used and often incorrectly is “racist”.
        Here is the pasted definition of what it means:

        having, reflecting, or fostering the belief that race (see RACE entry 1 sense 1a) is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

        Using the term oriental (I know you are not calling George one) hardly qualifies. Either does using almost any term, with a few exceptions.

        I may sound like a stickler for proper use on language, that is because I am, because I think it matters.

        Very few people are actually racist, which is why folks get ornery when called it. Again, I know that is not what you’re saying.

        I didn’t know it was “insensitive” to use the term George did either.

      • Oh boy, every rug in my house is racist?

        I’m not sure if this is in jest or not, but I’m hoping it is!

      • Chrisms, then somebody ought to inform the owners of these establishments


  9. Goalies don’t generally get returns in trade equal to their worth. Perhaps better phrased as they get their worth. It is just often less than the opinion of the masses. Edmonton would be wise to try and get Gibson or Fleury. Just don’t try to hard.

    • Agree Jeff, likely why Holland keeps getting out bid on tenders. He has been around long enough to see how performance fluctuates at that position. Plus he was one wasn’t he?

      Koskinen Vallankumous

  10. Sick of hearing about jack speculation, to be honest any deal for him should include clauses that the team that trades for him gets their assets back if eichel never plays again, and done back if he is damaged goods. Sabres should be assuming some to most of the risk. As it stands now they have nada.