NHL Rumors Roundup: Jack Eichel, Kirill Kaprizov, Oliver-Ekman Larsson, Kraken coach, and more

jack eichel rumors
Mar 2, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) stretches in warm-ups prior to a game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett-POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Rumors Roundup is our newest feature at The Daily Goal Horn. Every Sunday we bring you the most comprehensive rumors update in the game today. Updating the top rumors of the week and the latest buzz of the morning.

In this edition, we kick off with the latest on the Jack Eichel trade sweepstakes.

Jack Eichel trade talks gets more interesting

Add another team to the Jack Eichel sweepstakes. Although they’ve been mentioned in rumors before, this is the first “official report” that the Chicago Blackhawks are indeed involved.

In a NY Post exclusive, Larry Brooks is reporting that the Blackhawks have entered trade talks for the Sabres 24 year-old injured center.

For Slapshots has learned that the Blackhawks have taken a ticket at the deli counter in communicating their interest in the 24-year-old center, who is in the midst of divorce proceedings with the Sabres while possibly facing a tricky surgery to repair a herniated disk. In order to succeed in the quest, Chicago’s offer would have to feature Kirby Dach — the 20-year-old center who was drafted third overall in 2019, recorded 23 points (8-15) in his rookie season and then played only 18 games last year after he suffered a wrist injury in a pre-World Juniors tournament game.

NY Post

The article mentions the Ducks as we have noted for a few days, as well as the Blue Jackets, Wild, Flyers, Kings, and possibly still the Rangers. What makes the Hawks intriguing is what is the status of Jonathan Toews who missed all last season with a health issue? If he’s unable to continue his career, then Chicago could fit in Eichel’s $10 million cap hit.

Kirill Kaprizov leaving for Russia?

nhl rumors kirill kaprizov
May 8, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) tosses a puck to a fan after a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

There is some trouble brewing in Minnesota as Wild rookie superstar, Kirill Kaprizov is talking with a KHL team to stay in Russia. NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes broke the story this week. He states Kaprizov is in Russia and negotiating with CSKA for a return that would also include the Olympics.

The fact that these rumors are coming to light in conjunction with Kaprizov in Moscow for a friend’s wedding could just be circumstantial. However, as Michael Russo of The Athletic points out, Weekes’ agent during his playing days is also Kaprizov’s.

Currently, like most young players on an entry-level-contract, Kaprizov has no leverage. The one chip he can play in negotiations is the threat of going back to Russia. And it appears it isn’t an idle one. Russo details the main issue in his most recent article.

The Wild want to sign the soon-to-be rookie of the year to a seven- or eight-year contract that would assuredly make him the highest-paid player in franchise history. It would also buy out four or five years of Kaprizov’s unrestricted free agency rights. Kaprizov’s camp, on the other hand, is looking for not just shorter term, but it sure sounds like they’re looking for a two- or three-year bridge deal.

The Athletic

It is odd that a player would look to make less in both money and term. So why is Kaprizov only looking for a bridge deal? Does he have he have his sights on free agency so he can pick exactly where he wants to play out his NHL career at 27 or 28 years of age? These are the questions that need to be answered, and Bill Guerin will be pressed on the topic soon.

Seattle Kraken narrow list of coaching candidates

“Rick Tocchet had a third conversation scheduled with the Kraken to become their first head coach,” Elliotte Friedman said on Saturday Headlines. “It sounds like the Kraken brought a couple of individuals into the city this week for in-person interviews. Tocchet was one and thanks to the super-secretive Ron Francis it’s tough to pin down the other one. We believe David Quinn had a couple of interviews but I don’t think it’s him.”

Friedman also went on to mention Joe Sacco and Tony Granato as two possible names that could be candidates. Larry Brooks of the NY Post is reporting that Seattle has indeed hired Tocchet with Quinn having been seriously considered.

We were told toward the end of the week that Seattle general manager Ron Francis had decided to hire Rick Tocchet as coach, after going far down the line with David Quinn, but there is nothing official at the moment.

NY Post

Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade talks resurface

oliver ekman larsson
Aug 17, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin (13) and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) go for the puck during the first period in game four of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Gerry Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Last offseason a big name hit the trade market in Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. New Arizona GM Bill Armstrong was looking to make changes and asked OEL to waive his clause, which he did for only Vancouver or Boston.

In the end, Ekman-Larsson handcuffed a trade and then killed it when he gave the Yotes a deadline they couldn’t meet. So now he’s where he wants to be and says both he and Armstrong have no hard feelings. According to Elliotte Friedman, they may try another trade this summer.

“Last time he gave the Coyotes two teams to deal with – Boston and Vancouver,” he explained. “This time around they are going to approach it differently. What Larsson told the Coyotes and what they’ve agreed to do is go out there, check the market, and they will bring a deal to him and he can decide if he’s comfortable going to that team”

Blackhawks after Seth Jones

In late May, Seth Jones informed the Columbus Blue Jackets he will be testing the Free Agent Market next summer. “In the last week or so, Seth Jones informed the Columbus Blue Jackets that he will not be re-signing,” Elliotte Friedman said on Saturday Headlines. “I am saying for now because I don’t like to deal in absolutes, but it does appear as if he is prepared to test free agency and we’ll see how Columbus decides to handle this over the next little while.”

A new report out is indicating that the Blackhawks are going to make a run for him too. Chicago certainly has the assets to get a deal done. One thing is certain, Jones will be wearing a new uniform come next season.

According to a source, the Blackhawks are going to explore adding Hamilton or Jones this offseason. “We like them both,” a source said. “Hamilton is more of an offensive defenseman. Jones is probably more of a two-way defenseman.” One league source thought it would take at least a first-round draft pick, a second-round draft pick and a high-end prospect.

The Athletic