NHL Rumors: Blues may keep Vladimir Tarasenko; Draft day trades looming; Habs to replace Shea Weber

The NHL Draft is tonight and there is a heightened sense that we could see some trades take place. Big names are available from Jack Eichel to Seth Jones, and Dougie Hamilton to Vladimir Tarasenko. It remains to be seen what will happen, but the anticipation alone should have hockey fans tuning in to ESPN2.

NHL Rumors: Blues may keep Vladimir Tarasenko

Vladimir Tarasenko wants out of St. Louis and the Blues are trying to accommodate his request. The 29 year-old has two years left on a deal that comes with a $7.5 million AAV and the ability to control his fate. Thanks to his contract which includes a 10 team trade list protection.

Heading into the expansion draft, it was reported up to 4 teams were in on him but the Blues could not get a deal done. Is there a chance for a trade to get completed tonight?

The Flyers actually were one of the teams checking in and reviewed his medical records per Elliotte Friedman. Another team that could be a destination are the Islanders. However, GM Doug Armstrong has a message for his unhappy star.

“Vladi has to prepare like he’s coming back to St. Louis,” Armstrong said via The Athletic. “He has to get ready to play. He is a 30-year-old. I’m sure he wants to play for a number of years in the NHL, and he has to come back and have a great season.”

Draft Day Trades?

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Mar 6, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) reacts during the third period against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot of expectations for trades to take place at the draft. Usually, when there is this much anticipation for excitement we seem to be let down.

The Sabres have said for months they want another top 10 pick for Jack Eichel. One team rumored to be in on the disgruntled superstar are the Rangers. They have been reported to be looking to move up in the draft by Frank Seravalli. He added that he thinks they are the frontrunner and that a move into the top 10 would be a clear indication of an Eichel trade.

Anaheim holds pick three. Will they trade it with Trevor Zegras to land Eichel? Or what about Minnesota who are reportedly making an offer? For all we know, Eichel may still be a Sabre after this draft.

And what about the Blue Jackets? Are they going to trade Seth Jones tonight even though they indicated no urgency to do so?

One move to look for are the Oilers finalizing a sign and trade with the Maple Leafs for Zach Hyman. “We know that Zach Hyman spent at least a good part of Wednesday in Edmonton meeting with the brass and touring the city,” Darren Dreger said. “So you might want to put a little bit of money on the Oilers.”

Canadiens looking to replace Shea Weber

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Jun 28, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber (6) in action against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second period of game one of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Shea Weber has played 1038 regular season games. He’s registered 589 points and 714 PIM in those contests. The hard hitting defenseman has also picked up 42 points in 97 playoff games. That may all be coming to an end as Canadiens GM, Marc Bergevin told the media Weber’s career is likely over.

Bergevin spoke with the media yesterday to provide updates on his team, when asked about the health of Shea Weber the answer was bleak. Speaking in French he detailed how injuries to his knees, ankle, and thumb made it difficult just to dress for a morning skate.

“So, coming back next season is really not a possibility,” he said, “probably not again in his career.”

The Habs will likely place Weber on LTIR and gain his full $7.8 million cap hit. This will place them in the market for a replacement on defense.

“Going out and getting a D is the top priority for the Montreal Canadiens,” Pierre LeBrun said on Insider Trading. “We know they’ve talked to Buffalo about Rasmus Ristolainen, but there are other irons in the fire including pending UFA David Savard.”