NHL Rumors Roundup: Golden Knights finalizing Eichel trade; Tarasenko still wants out of St. Louis; Panthers; and Blackhawks

The Vegas Golden Knights are apparently finalizing a deal for Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel. Things heated up late Friday evening and multiple reports indicate that particulars are being worked out.

It’s been a whirlwind of activity surround Eichel, who has been looking to get out of Buffalo since last season. After his injury and the Sabres reluctance to let him have an artificial disc replacement he went public with his demands.

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NHL Rumors: Golden Knights finalizing Eichel trade

Is this really happening? Are we finally going to see a Jack Eichel trade? Over the last 24 hours, the trade rumor buzz surrounding the Sabres injured and disgruntled center appears to be heading that way.

According to Kevin Weekes, the top two destinations for Eichel are the Flames and Golden Knights. He states that the situation is fluid and as of Sunday has yet to be completed.

David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period also provided an update this evening. “Vegas remains very much engaged in talks with Buffalo,” he said. “There’s been a lot of traction towards a deal. One area still to be figured out, the dollars matching up (and how does that look if Eichel can’t play post-surgery).”

As for the Flames, some wonder if they have the goods to get a deal done. Would they be willing to include Connor Zary in a deal, and is Buffalo interested in him? That obviously won’t be enough, but it would have to be a starting point. Then Calgary has to clear cap space to fit Eichel in eventually, which spells the end of Johnny Gaudreau as a Flame and likely Sean Monahan.

So while the Flames remain a possibility, it looks like Vegas will be close to landing Eichel.

Tarasenko still seeking a trade

vladimir tarasenko rumors
Mar 28, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) stands up after colliding with Anaheim Ducks goaltender Anthony Stolarz (41) during the third period at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Tarasenko, 29, scored twice on Monday and was shown an outpouring of love from the fans in St. Louis during the Blues 3-0 win over the L.A. Kings.

“That was a special moment,” Tarasenko said via The Athletic. “It was very emotional. We always have support from the real fans. I always said it in the interviews: Our family got so much help from people from St. Louis. The support through this 10 years was very awesome.”

So could he be having a change of heart about his trade request?

According to the latest reports, he still wants out.

“Yes to my knowledge talking to people close to the situation for the past several months and even as recent as yesterday, Vladimir Tarasenko still requests a trade from the Blues,” Jeremy Rutherford, The Athletic’s St. Louis reporter told Jeff Marek earlier this week. “He realizes that may not happen soon, it may not happen this year, it could happen next off-season, or maybe Doug Armstrong never finds the right deal for Vladimir Tarasenko and he plays out the last two years of his contract.


Panthers coaching change

Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned after he met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman over his handling of Kyle Beach’s sexual assault on Thursday.

According to analyst Kevin Weekes, he’s hearing a coaching change is coming in Florida. “Keep an eye on my ESPN colleague John Tortorella as one of the top potential candidates,” he tweeted.

The 63 year-old Torts is 12th all-time on the NHL’s win list. In 1383 games he has a record of 673-541-37-132. His postseason record is 56-64 winning a Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Blackhawks GM search

In the wake of the report, Stan Bowman “stepped aside” as Blackhawks President and GM. Chicago will be looking for his replacement and one name climbing the top of the list is recently dismissed Rangers GM Jeff Gorton.

Gorton took over as the Rangers full time GM in July of 2015. He ushered in the biggest change in franchise history when they finally did the unthinkable in New York – announced a rebuild.

Aside from key moves like acquiring Mika Zibanejad and Adam Fox for basically songs, he took a barren prospect pipeline and stocked it with some high-end talent. Getting lucky by winning the lottery aside, Gorton is considered one of the best executives in the game today.

Two other former Rangers are also being discussed for the job. Eddie Olcyck of the 1994 Champion Rangers and former goalie Kevin Weekes.