NHL Rumors: Jack Eichel expected to “turn up the heat” on Sabres, Blues working on Pavel Buchnevich extension and more

Day One of the NHL Draft was a doozy! Teams began their maneuvering to shed salary and acquire additional first round picks in a flurry of activity. Before a single selection was made there were four big trades, the buyout of Tony DeAngelo, and the signing of Taylor Hall.

When it was all said and done, Seth Jones was a member of the Blackhawks and Oliver Ekman-Larsson joined the Canucks. Also, the Sabres shipped Rasmus Ristolainen to the Flyers, and Pavel Buchnevich was traded to the Blues.

We begin this edition of NHL Rumors in St. Louis.

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NHL Rumors: Blues working on Buchnevich extension

The Rangers Chris Drury made a decision to trade the team’s 4th leading scorer Pavel Buchnevich to the Blues in a cap savings move. One of the most popular guys in the locker room is an RFA with arbitration rights and due for a new long-term deal.

Early projections have his new contract anywhere between $5 to $6 million depending on the number of years. Per a report in The Athletic, the two sides have already begun contract negotiations and will meet again over the next few days.

One thing seems clear, the Blues have acquired Vladimir Tarasenko’s replacement since Doug Armstrong views Buchnevich as a top 6 winger. At this time, Tarasenko has not waived his no move clause but still has a 10 team trade list.

Now that Buchnevich is in the fold, the Blues can comfortably move Tarasenko.

Top destinations remain the Golden Knights, Islanders, and Capitals.

Insider expects Jack Eichel to turn up the heat

jack eichel trade
Jan 28, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) is congratulated by teammates for scoring a goal against the New York Rangers in the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

After the draft, TSN’s Darren Dreger was asked about the Jack Eichel situation in Buffalo. He seemed fairly shocked that a trade did not take place last night. He also noted that there’s a possibility, if healthy, that Eichel would report to Sabres camp next season.

Dreger admitted that he really does not see that happening.

“There were a number of inquiries, there were offers made on Jack Eichel, but obviously not suitable for the Buffalo Sabres,” he said. “For me what’s most interesting now is what’s next? Adams has made it clear that if he doesn’t get the rate of return he needs, Eichel could return next training camp.”

“I don’t feel that’s the case,” he continued. “I feel like Jack Eichel is going to turn up the heat moving forward, possibly this weekend.”

There is still a severe disconnect and it makes you wonder just how much the two sides are talking. When a reporter asked about Eichel’s agent saying his client was skating, Adams was basically unaware.

“That’s great if he’s skating,” Adams said almost dismissively. The GM noted that players skate in their hometowns all the time but he has not seen him skate in Buffalo.

“I’ve said from Day 1 that we have to look at every possible scenario and be willing to see, ‘Does this makes sense for us and why?’ And ask those hard questions,” Adams made clear. “We’re having a lot of conversations but if we’re in a position where we feel that there’s value and we feel it’s going to help our franchise, then we’ll make certain decisions.”