NHL Rumors: Devils interested in Rasmus Ristolainen, Sabres to trade Jack Eichel; Sam Reinhart, and more

Dec 12, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) celebrates his goal with center Sam Reinhart (23) during the second period against the Nashville Predators at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Another batch of rumors are out this evening and they are centered around the Buffalo Sabres. General Manager Kevyn Adams is looking to change the culture in Buffalo and he doesn’t want people who don’t want to be there any longer. That means Rasmus Ristolainen, Jack Eichel, and Sam Reinhart could be all on the move.

NHL Rumors: Devils interested in Rasmus Ristolainen

Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News is reporting that multiple sources indicate the New Jersey Devils are interested in Rasmus Ristolainen.

During his exit interview on breakup day, it was noted that the 26 year-old defender would be open to a trade. He has one more year left on his contract which comes with an AAV of $5.4 million. It’s likely that Adams is aware that Ristolainen may be looking to hit free agency in 2022 so it would be best to get assets for him now.

Sabres could trade Jack Eichel or Sam Reinhart

The Jack Eichel saga rages on, with his neck injury being a major roadblock. One team that was attached to Eichel’s hip were the Rangers. After speaking with a knowledgeable source on May 21st, I was informed that the Rangers interest had cooled. This fact seems to be gaining more traction after a report in The Athletic today.

In terms of rebuilding the roster, the biggest potential step has had water thrown on it recently. I’m also hearing the Rangers are not likely, or much less likely now, to be taking a big leap into the injured and expensive Jack Eichel pool.

Rick Carpiniello

Another team’s interest in Eichel that may have been misread were the Kings. As I noted recently (and confirmed by Elliotte Friedman today), it may be Reinhart they wanted all along. On his most recent podcast, he said that the Kings may be looking to trade for Reinhart and use their first round pick to get him.

Jack Eichel trade rumors
Jack Eichel (NHLI/Getty Images)

He followed that up with his new blog suggesting that a source informed him that come the draft the Sabres would have two high first round picks. Whether that comes from dealing Eichel or Reinhart we will soon find out.

I did ask around to see if the Sabres gave anyone permission to talk to Jack Eichel, but don’t believe that’s the case. Everyone’s gone into the cone of silence. From what I can tell, the team and its captain are negotiating the next steps of his recovery. Multiple sources indicate that if there’s any deal involving either Eichel or Sam Reinhart, do not be surprised if the Sabres end up with a second high first-round selection in July’s draft.

31 Thoughts

Dougie Hamilton a Kraken?

Following up on our early NHL Rumors article, several teams have called Dougie Hamilton to gauge his interest. According to Friedman, Seattle and the Flyers were two teams that did.

dougie hamilton
Oct 26, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton (19) reacts against the Chicago Blackhawks at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

I thought Philadelphia might be among the more aggressive pursuers, but the Flyers’ defensive targets seem to be elsewhere…the key to all of this could be the Kraken. The surest predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, and when Ron Francis was GM of the Hurricanes he was a compulsive hoarder of defencemen. Seattle will have an exclusive negotiating window with free agents prior to the expansion draft. That window (or the draft itself) is an excellent opportunity for Francis to build his own unit, or do what Vegas did — acquire assets to be flipped elsewhere.

31 Thoughts

I believe Hamilton will either re-up with the Hurricanes or hit the open market this summer. However, the Seattle Kraken could be laying the ground work for signing Hamilton before that. Seattle will have a small exclusive window to negotiate with free agents before the opening bell on July 28th.