NHL Rumors Roundup: Golden Knights and Rangers in on Jack Eichel; plus latest on Vladimir Tarasenko; and Marc-Andre Fleury
NHL Rumors Roundup is our weekly Sunday feature at The Daily Goal Horn. Bringing you the top rumors of the week and the latest buzz of the day. Our goal is to have the most comprehensive update available.
In this edition, we continue with the latest on Jack Eichel.
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NHL Rumors Roundup: Never-ending Jack Eichel trade talks
Let’s first bring you up to speed on what’s taken place over the last week:
- 7-24 NHL Draft passes with no trade made
- 7-28 NHL Free Agency opens; reportedly interested teams drop out
- 7-29 Sabres GM Kevyn Adams says they are in “control of the process”
- 7-30 Jack Eichel’s agents issue response statement saying “process is not working”
- 7-31 Eichel’s doctor speaks on Friedman’s podcast explains that Artificial Disc Replacement is better than a fusion
Since free agency, Bob McKenzie classified Jack Eichel trade talks as “dead quiet”. The only reports on the topic has come from NY Post’s Larry Brooks. He’s written two articles in recent days regarding the Rangers package to land Eichel.
In his Sunday Slap Shots column he speculates if the Sabres were willing to eat some of Eichel’s salary, Kaapo Kakko could be added to the deal. The reason being, it would allow the Rangers to easily extend Mika Zibanejad.
And if general manager Chris Drury is confident he will be able to reach such an agreement with Zibanejad, that’s when he and the Rangers would have license to include Kaapo Kakko as the blue-chip centerpiece of an offer for Eichel, which might include either Filip Chytil or Vitaly Kravtsov, as well as Zac Jones or Matt Robertson or a first-rounder.NY Post
Brooks’ then noted that he learned the Vegas Golden Knights are still seriously considering an Eichel trade although cap strapped. As of this moment, the Golden Knights have no cap space and only 20 roster spots filled out of 22 or 23.
Unless the Sabres changed their tune on only wanting futures, I can’t see a deal here. There would need to be in excess of Eichel’s $10 million cap hit sent the other way. Are the Knights going to trade Reilly Smith ($5M), Shea Theodore ($5.2M), and more to accommodate this move? Those are two big pieces that would hurt Vegas in the long-run.
I think this could be Buffalo manufactured interest to drive up the cost on the Rangers.
Teams interested in Vladimir Tarasenko
In a report from Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, he listed nine of the teams that the unhappy Tarasenko will accept a trade to go play. They included the Lightning, Capitals, Islanders, Rangers, Flyers, Golden Knights, Panthers, and Bruins. At this time, the tenth team is unknown.
New reports indicate that prior to Brandon Saad signing with the Blues, both the Devils and Hurricanes were interested in his services. Now that they missed out, they could be teams in for Vladimir Tarasenko.
New Jersey and Carolina are two of the teams The Athletic reported Wednesday as having interest in Vladimir Tarasenko, perhaps this will spur trade talks between general manager Doug Armstrong and those clubs. There were signs Thursday that the New York Islanders could be back in the mix again, as well.The Athletic
Of the teams mentioned, I believe the NJ Devils would absolutely love to add Tarasenko to play with Jack Hughes. To date, the Devils are not on his 10 team trade list. The question is, would Tarasenko waive his no-move clause to play in Jersey? After acquiring Dougie Hamilton in free-agency he may change his mind.
Will Marc-Andre Fleury go the Blackhawks?
Fleury, 36, is coming off one of the finest seasons of his career which led to his first ever Vezina Trophy win. He was 26-10-0 with six shutouts, a .928 save percentage and a 1.98 goals-against average for the Vegas Golden Knights in the regular season.
Things were looking good despite having only one year remaining on his contract. Then he was traded to the Blackhawks. Multiple reports surfaced he may not report or retire. His agent issued the following statement.
“While Marc-Andre Fleury still hasn’t heard from anybody with the Vegas Golden Knights, he has apparently been traded to Chicago,” agent Allan Walsh tweeted. “Marc-Andre will be taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future at this time.”
The latest news has the Blackhawks in constant contact with Fleury as he works to make a decision. It is no secret he and his family did not want to leave Vegas. Per The Athletic, Fleury is also seeking assurances from Chicago that they will not trade him again this season.
Fleury is rightfully taking time to decide what is best for his family.
UPDATE: Fleury will report to Chicago.