NHL Rumors Roundup: Jack Eichel, Zdeno Chara, Oilers, Blues and Islanders trade talk

Catch up on the top rumors from the last week.

nhl rumors roundup
Dec 29, 2019; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) checks Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) during the second period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

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.

We are back after a brief hiatus. In this edition, we start with the latest on Jack Eichel.

NHL Rumors: Jack Eichel

Sportsnet’s Mike Futa was a recent guest on Tim and Friends in Toronto and weighed in on the Jack Eichel situation. He was asked if he felt when this saga finally ends, will Eichel be on the Rangers.

“When (Sabres GM) Kevyn Adams talks about it, I don’t get for one second that he’s comfortable with the situation, but I do believe he holds all the cards,” Futa answered. “Probably because that’s where Eichel has made it quite clear it’s where he wants to be, that’s the last place the place in the world where Buffalo wants to trade him.”

After Futa’s appearance which was also shared on Sportsnet’s website, Jack Eichel posted a cryptic tweet with an unamused emoji.

Futa isn’t just a regular sports analyst, he was Assistant GM to the L.A. Kings and was their Director of Scouting for many years. L.A., along with Anaheim, Minnesota and Vegas are preferred destinations since they are in the Western Conference.

Eric Stephens who covers the Ducks for the Athletic said this in a recent mailbag post:

The Ducks, while not publicly talking about their interest in him, haven’t put the kibosh on the persistent rumors that they’re among the teams closely monitoring the situation between Eichel and Buffalo. While Adams is under pressure to get a massive trade return for his star, he does have some leverage in that Eichel is signed long-term and his full no-move clause doesn’t kick in until next summer.

Despite Anaheim’s interest, it appears this will drag on into the season.

Oilers still looking to make additions

Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk was rumored to be on the block for a majority of last season but no deal ever came to fruition. One team that was interested were the Oilers and according to Fluto Shinzawa, they may still be looking at the 24 year-old.

I have heard Edmonton remains interested in DeBrusk. Calgary to a lesser degree. Combine that with the cluster of left-shot forwards and the shortness of cap space, and trading DeBrusk remains a possibility. A No. 2 center would be the ideal return. But they are not in a great spot to trade picks. It would have to be someone of DeBrusk’s profile: an underperforming player with potential to play better elsewhere.

The Athletic

It isn’t surprising that the Oilers would still like to acquire Jake. His dad Louie played for them and still has connections with Edmonton.

That isn’t the only player GM Ken Holland is eyeing. Sami Vatanen could be a player to add on defense. According to Kurt Leavins in Edmonton, he thinks Vatanen on a professional tryout makes a lot of sense.

I expect the Oilers to wait on any PTO’s until closer to TC. One need is a veteran #4 RHS D-man, at a league minimum. A guy who can play in the AHL but be capable of NHL TOI. Names to perhaps keep in mind: Michael Stone, 6’3 210 LBS and from Winnipeg. 30-year old Sami Vatanen might not come for $750k, but has come up in the past. As its been pointed out to me, what’s left in the UFA market for RHD is slim pickin’s.

Edmonton Journal

I doubt the Oilers will make a deal for DeBrusk before the season starts, but a Vatanen PTO seems very likely.

Zdeno Chara only interested to play on East Coast

nhl rumors chara
May 21, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) knocks down Boston Bruins right wing Craig Smith (12) during the first period in game four of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

In a recent eport by Jeremy Rutherford, he notes that the Blues had interest in adding the Zdeno Chara.

With Suter off the board, the Blues apparently haven’t given up on the idea of adding a veteran defenseman — someone in the mold perhaps of retired Blues Jay Bouwmeester and Carl Gunnarsson. For the second straight summer, they’ve expressed interest in Zdeno Chara, according to a league source.

The Athletic

Andy Strickland who has close ties with the Blues followed up on Rutherford’s news.

“Told the Blues are not an option for future Hall of Fame Dman Zdeno Chara,” he tweeted. “His focus, if he plays, will be to stay in the East to remain close to his family.”

After the Caps were eliminated, Chara was pressed about his future. “I think it’s not always a decision I can make myself,” he explained. “Sometimes there are things in life you have to realize, and I have to have a conversation with my wife and children and see where we want to be in the next few days or weeks. After those conversations, I’m going to probably let the emotions settle in and see where I’m at.”

The odds of Chara playing this season are 50/50 at best. One team that I would keep an eye on are the Islanders. Ending his career where it began would be some bookend.

Blues looking at possible trade with Isles

The St. Louis Blues are still in the market to add a veteran defender to their lineup.

The New York Islanders are one of the rumored teams that could be in on Vladimir Tarasenko. While it is believed that GM Lou Lamoriello has deals in place for Casey Cizikas, Kyle Palmieri, and Zach Parise he hasn’t announced them. Why? Maybe he does not want his exact cap situation known? Regardless, a deal for Tarasenko may have defenseman Scott Mayfield going back the other way.

Per Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, he says the Blues are targeting Mayfield, a St. Louis native.

The speculation surrounding any Blues’ trade targets on defense this summer has been limited, but one name that has surfaced is the New York Islanders’ Scott Mayfield, a St. Louis native. The 28-year-old is a right-shot defenseman who has played 285 regular-season games in the NHL and another 51 in the playoffs for the Isles, who advanced to the Eastern Conference finals in 2019-20 and the Stanley Cup semifinals in 2020-21, losing to the eventual champion Lightning both seasons.

The Athletic

If Tarasenko gets traded, I could totally see the Islanders being the team that gets it done. Sending over Mayfield in the package makes too much sense.