NHL Rumors Roundup: Golden Knights, Rangers, Devils, Kraken, and Coyotes

jack eichel
Eichel wearing his new team colors (Zak Krill/Vegas Golden Knights)

The Vegas Golden Knights just hosted the very successful and entertaining NHL All-Star Game. As everyone shakes off the excitement and in head coach Peter DeBoer’s case a hangover, teams will get back to work.

On Monday, the NHL was supposed to be on an Olympic Break. However, due to a COVID-19 outbreak in December that shut down 9 teams and forced an extended holiday break they opted out. Instead, two rescheduled games will be played followed by dozens more for the next two weeks.

These games will also continue to delineate between the playoff contenders and the pretenders as we approach the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21.

NHL Rumors: Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights may soon be forced into figuring out how to fit Jack Eichel under the cap.

“The doctor was adamant that three months from surgery there be absolutely no contact, and I believe that’s this week,” DeBoer said about Eichel. “So I think coming out of this break that’s going to be on the table about starting contact.”

Eichel, 25, makes $10 million against the cap once he comes off LTIR. He’s also not the only one on the list as defenseman Alec Martinez and his $5.25 million will cause issues.

Two names that many are looking at to be traded are Reilly Smith and Evgenii Dadonov. Both make $5 million on the books. Smith is a pending UFA and Dadonov has one year left on his deal.

NHL Rumors: New York Rangers

new york rangers rumors
Nov 26, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Nils Lundkvist (27) gets set to shoot the puck during the second period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last two months, the Blueshirts have been mentioned on TSN’s Insider Trading, Sportsnet’s 32 Thoughts, and The Daily Faceoff numerous times. Everything points GM Chris Drury being really active at the Trade Deadline on March 21.

Sportsnet’s Canucks Central talked about J.T. Miller and a possible trade with the Rangers. Just who would Vancouver be looking to get back for their prized forward.

One obvious player they feel would be part of the package is disgruntled prospect Vitali Kravtsov. However, they started to discuss what the main piece would be and that’s a right shot defenseman.

Talk then quickly turned to Braden Schneider. If the Canucks can’t land him, Nils Lundkvist was considered another right handed option and even Zac Jones despite being a lefty.

Schneider, 20, has three points in 10 games and has become a mainstay on the blue-line so it is unlikely he will be going anywhere.

Lundkvist, 21, who was a first round selection from the 2018 draft (28th overall) is up for grabs in the right deal. He has four points in 25 games this season and is currently with the team’s AHL affiliate the Hartford Wolf Pack.

NHL Rumors: New Jersey Devils

Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald spoke with NHL.com to discuss his approach to the upcoming trade deadline.

“Is there a hockey trade you could make to not only help your team immediately, but the future?” Fitzgerald said. “Somebody in the age demographic of where we’re at with the core of our team. Is there a hockey trade that makes sense for us more long term, but can help jumpstart us now? We’re not settled on ‘we’re too good up the middle’ or ‘we’ve got some quality wingers’ or ‘we’ve got some good defensemen coming.'”

While the Devils are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, they are 20 points behind the Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot in the East.

Fitzgerald also mentioned that he had yet to speak with pending UFA’s PK Subban and Jimmy Vesey. The expectation is that both will be traded by March 21.

NHL Rumors: Seattle Kraken

mark giordano trade destinations
Jan 30, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano (5) plays the puck in front of New York Rangers left wing Dryden Hunt (29) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Kraken are sitting dead last in the Pacific Division at 15-27-4. This has many believing that their first-ever captain Mark Giordano’s stay will be rather brief. Insiders think a move is likely happening by the NHL Trade Deadline.

“At some point, we will have a conversation and see what [Giordano] wants to do,” GM Ron Francis said recently. “He’s our captain, and the conversation will be had face to face with him. We will see where he is at and what he wants to do.”

Giordano, 38, has 18 points in 40 games for the Kraken. He is exactly what contending teams will be looking for and he’s in the final year of a deal that pays $6.75 million.

Three teams to keep an eye out for his services are the Panthers, Rangers, and Flames.

“I certainly think there’s a possibility,” his agent Ritch Winter said on Sportsnet 960 of returning to Calgary. “I think there could be an argument that a guy like Gio, with a little more offence, could really add to the mix… But that’s not something we control.”

NHL Rumors: Arizona Coyotes

The fire sale in Arizona has two major pieces that will be moved by March 21st’s NHL Trade Deadline in Phil Kessel and Jakob Chychrun.

The Coyotes are going to restock with youth and prospects and are willing to take on some bad contracts to help teams with issues. Of course, at a cost.

“The Coyotes have let it be known that they’re willing to take on contracts or money in exchange for future assets. Just as we saw them do with a few transactions over the summer,” Chris Johnston reports. “They want to know how long that contract is if they are bringing on a player… But the Coyotes are certainly eyeing a chance to be an important go-between at this deadline where so many teams are capped out.

You can see the Maple Leafs, Lightning, Golden Knights, and a host of others lining up at the Coyotes door as you read this.