NHL Rumors: Habs to work on Suzuki extension; Kessel on the block; and is an Eichel trade imminent?

There could be some movement on the Jack Eichel trade front and it sounds like he finally has some hope he will be moved.

This morning, TSN Insider Darren Dreger updated the Jack Eichel situation. “Sources say the Eichel saga may be shifting,” he tweeted. “Ongoing discussions and additional access to Jack Eichel’s medical file has helped teams with trade interest clearly see his situation. Both sides are hopeful something can be worked out soon with one of the clubs in the mix.”

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NHL Rumors: Jack Eichel trade imminent?

Eichel, 24, is one of the game’s elite young talents. In his young career, all with the Sabres, he has scored 355 points in 375 games. What’s clear is that whichever team makes this trade, they are likely on board with his desire for an artificial disc replacement surgery.

In his latest 32 Thoughts Blog, Elliotte Friedman states: “No one will go on record, but there is a growing belief there are teams willing to accept Eichel’s preferred disc replacement.”

Following up on Dreger’s tweet, I reached out to a source familiar with the Rangers pursuit of Eichel who states that their interest dates back way before a trade request was ever made.

For more on the this story, check out my report at Forever Blueshirts.

Habs want to avoid offer sheet madness with Nick Suzuki

Nick Suzuki extension
May 27, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki (14) scores the game winning goal past Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell (36) in overtime in game five of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal was burned this summer by the Carolina Hurricanes when they gave Jesperi Kotkaniemi an offer sheet. The Habs opted not to match it and subsequently went out and acquired Christian Dvorak from the Coyotes.

According to Elliotte Friedman, the Canadiens won’t take any chances and are expected to get out in front of an extension for Suzuki this season.

Suzuki, 22, recorded 41 points in 56 games last season for the Habs. In two NHL seasons, all with Montreal, he has 82 points in 127 contests.

Phil Kessel officially on the block

On the latest TSN Insider Trading, Darren Dreger provided the following update on Phil Kessel.

“I think we can be firm that Phil Kessel’s name will be on that Trade Bait Board. Kessel is in the final year of his contract, and we know that Bill Armstrong and the Coyotes have defined the direction that they’re going in and that will not include Kessel,” he said. “He wants a fresh start, and he wants to earn a new contract somewhere in the National Hockey League. He’s got some no-trade protection and he wants to go to a competitive, if not a contending team. He’s got the big cap-hit, but the salary is only one million dollars. So, if you have an injury or a team that is struggling offensively, he could be a fit later in the season.”

The 33 year-old forward can still produce and would give any offensively challenged team a boost. Last season, he scored 20 goals and 43 points in 56 games for the Yotes.