NHL Rumors: Korpisalo on the block; Maple Leafs; and is Eichel finally getting traded?

The buildup around a Jack Eichel trade is growing based on the buzz that began yesterday. Apparently, the Sabres are looking to avoid having to deal with a grievance pertaining to his neck surgery.

That has reportedly cranked up the rumor mill to the loudest it’s been regarding Eichel in a long while.

“There’s real work being done to facilitate a trade,” Elliotte Friedman reported on The Jeff Marek Show Friday. “I do think Buffalo and Vegas are talking very seriously. I think they are trying to find ways to see if they can get something done and avoid the possibility of a grievance.”

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NHL Rumors: Eichel trade finally coming?

The Golden Knights have been one of the most talked about teams in a potential Eichel trade. The Rangers were at the top, but once they extended Mika Zibanejad they were no longer considered a player. Anaheim is another team that makes sense, but a team to watch are the Colorado Avalanche. Others believe the Flames could also make a big offer for the 24 year-old pivot.

We’ve been down this road with Eichel trade talks before. A team executive I spoke with last night said that there’s no trade imminent and that the Sabres are claiming no deal has been reached.

Despite that, there’s been no limit to the amount of speculation going around. Vegas is a cap strapped team with injuries. They may need a third party to help facilitate a trade, plus some salary going the other way. Jesse Granger of The Athletic pondered if the recent signing of Zach Whitecloud was an indication that Shea Theodore could head to Buffalo.

Originally, the Sabres wanted only futures but may have changed their stance on that. One thing seems likely, Peyton Krebs would need to be part of any deal between Vegas and Buffalo.

Eichel was the #2 pick in the 2015 Draft and has 355 points in 375 games.

Joonas Korpisalo is trade bait

The Blue Jackets made a decision about who their number one goalie is when they signed Elvis Merzlikins to a 5 year extension before the season started.

So what about Joonas Korpisalo? Is he destined for a new home?

The 27 year-old netminder was 9-13-7 last season for Columbus. It really was a struggle for the entire team and he suffered for it posting a 3.30 GAA and .894 SV%. Although for his career, he boasts a 2.91 GAA and .905 SV%. He is 0-2-0 to start this season.

According to David Pagnotta of TFP, Korpisalo will be a wanted man and the Jackets are ready to listen to offers.

“If this team is in their rebuild process, he’s going to be a guy that clubs are going to be looking at,” Pagnotta said. “Teams that are looking to bolster themselves between the pipes will be calling Columbus to see what it’s going to take to get this guy.”

Leafs have not talked with Jack Campbell about an extension

jack campbell extension
Oct 13, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) and goalie Jack Campbell (36) celebrate a win over Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

A look at the Maple Leafs salary cap situation for the 2022-23 season indicates that they will have around 58% of their salary cap dedicated to five players after extending Morgan Rielly.

John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Rielly will account for $48 million in cap space next season. The Leafs will need to start considering making trades in preparation for next season.

It’s no wonder why they haven’t even started talking contract with goalie Jack Campbell.

“I can tell you, they had very, very loose preliminary discussions right before the start of the season – between the Leafs and Campbell’s agent – and there hasn’t been much since; there’s been really no discussions to this point,” Pagnotta said on a recent spot on NHL Network.

Campbell, 29, is 3-2-1 on the season with a GAA of 2.31 and SV% of .918. Toronto also acquired Petr Mrazek in the offseason after letting Frederik Andersen walk.

It will be hard for the Leafs to acquire or pay a top flight goalie with their cap situation.