NHL Rumors: Casey Cizikas signed; Kirill Kaprizov deal close; and is the Jack Eichel trade off for now?

The latest NHL rumors updates some free agents.

nhl rumors cizikas
Mar 4, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Jonas Johansson (34) makes a save against New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) in front of center Jack Eichel (9) during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders have been fairly quiet this offseason. That doesn’t mean Lou Lamoriello hasn’t been busy.

It’s been long speculated that Isles free agents’ Casey Cizikas and Kyle Palmieri have deals in place to stay in Nassau County, NY. To be honest, it’s one of the worst kept secrets in hockey because other teams would have signed them when free agency opened on July 28.

NHL Rumors: Casey Cizikas contract details

The Islanders “Identity Line” center was one of the more sought after free agents heading into this offseason. Cizikas isn’t physically imposing at 5-11 and 195 lbs but he plays so much bigger than his size. The 30 year-old scored 14 points in 56 games last season.

Two reputable sources are confirming that Cizikas has a possible 6-year deal in place with the Islanders at around $2.5 million. If it this is true, that would be substantially less that his deal with an AAV of $3.35 million.

It’s a smart move by Lamoriello to keep one of his best lines intact while keeping valuable cap space. For Cizikas, he sacrifices some money for security in term.

Kirill Kaprizov deal close

Kirill Kaprizov led all rookies in goals (27), points (51) and power-play goals (eight) in 55 games this past season. His totals in goals, assists (24) and points served as records by a rookie in franchise history.

kirill kaprizov contract
May 7, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) looks on during the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The two sides have been at a standstill since April when Kaprizov rejected an 8 year-deal. Kaprizov, 24, is only interested in a short term deal. The Wild wanted to lock him up at for longer but it appears the two-sides may be close to a new contract with the term being 5 years in length.

Michael Russo who covers the Wild for The Atlethic wrote; “it does sound like there have been compromises from both sides of late.” According to Russo Kaprizov became willing to go beyond his initial two year deal which would have made him a UFA when done. He also believes that the money will still be significant, in the $9 million dollar range.

All that seems to remain is structuring the deal which could take some time.

Jack Eichel trade off for now?

jack Eichel trade
Feb 15, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) waits for a face-off ]during the third period against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, TSN’s Shawn Simpson reported that Eichel may have surgery “very soon” and his timetable to return would be December.

So what surgery is Eichel having? A fusion’s recovery time is no less than 12 weeks. Meanwhile, the disc replacement is a window of 8-10 weeks. Based on Simpson’s December return, it sounds like it may be the fusion option, but it’s NOT confirmed.

One thing appears to be likely is that a trade for Eichel is off the table until he recovers.

Additionally, Simpson states that the Sabres are still asking for somewhere between 4-6 pieces. They continue to demand mostly futures, including any interested team’s top two prospects which no one has remotely been willing to do.

Will a healthy Jack Eichel fetch the return the Sabres are looking for? Only time will tell, but prior to his neck injury coming to light one team executive told me that no one is going to give what would essentially be four first picks for anyone.