NHL Rumors Roundup: Latest on Tarasenko, Eichel, Flames, Senators, and Canucks

All signs are pointing to Vladimir Tarasenko starting this season with the St. Louis Blues. So far we’ve heard from the coach, captain, and GM on the matter, but Tarasenko remains quiet on the subject.

“There’s a good likelihood that he’ll be there,” GM Doug Armstrong told the Post-Dispatch. “Vladi and I have talked about that. He understands. I understand his desire (to be traded).”

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NHL Rumors: Tarasenko to start season in St. Louis

Tarasenko, 29, has two years left on a deal that comes with a $7.5 million AAV and a 10 team no trade clause. He’s been very limited the last few seasons due to chronic shoulder issues, which is a big reason for his trade request.

“Vladi hasn’t played a lot of hockey in the last couple years,” Armstrong added. “He knows he’s gonna have to go out there and play very well.”

As far as his coach Craig Berube is concerned, he will treat him like any other player.

“I expect Vladi to play for us. I’m going to treat him like every other player. And yeah, he asked to be traded, and things happen, but again, you know, we want Vladi to play good hockey for us,” Berube said. “He’s going to have a role on the team like he always has, we’ll deal with it internally and we’ll go from there. That’s what it boils down to.”

There’s been some talk about how Tarasenko may be received in the locker room but Ryan O’Reilly put that to bed this past week.

“We’ve had a brief talk, ‘Vladi’ and I. He’s here and I think he wants to be here,” the captain said. “Yeah, that happened, the trade request happened, and it is what it is. I think we’re a better team with him here and we have such good depth. But there’s no hard feelings.”

Jack Eichel reportedly headed to training camp

jack eichel trade
Nov 16, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) celebrates his third goal of the game during the third period against the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Sabres will be opening training camp and Jack Eichel will be there. A report from the Associated Press spoke with a person who asked for anonymity that confirmed the 24 year-old center will be there for a pre-camp physical.

Expectations are that he will fail his physical and be sent back home to continue his rehab. The question remains, will Eichel have surgery?

Elliotte Friedman provided an update this week we may be getting an answer on the medical front. “I had heard Wednesday that there was hope that we might have an answer on the medical path by Friday,” he said. “The last I heard, the Sabres have gone back to the position that he doesn’t need surgery.”

That deadline has passed and there’s been no new update on the situation. It is possible that the determination will come during the week after his physical? We will find out soon.

Flames low-key offseason

There was a lot of talk that the Calgary Flames were going to shake things up this summer. Two players many thought were going to be used to make it happen remain. Both Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau are still with the team and it’s possible the latter may be extended.

“I can’t click my heels and make things happen. You have to have a trade partner,” GM Brad Treliving said via Sportsnet. “It doesn’t make any sense for us to give a player away for 50 cents on the dollar. It’s great to say, ‘go get this guy.’ Problem is, this isn’t fantasy hockey. The idea that you can go pick ‘this player’ off the player tree.”

It looks like the Flames are happy heading into the season with the moves they’ve made, highlighted by the signing of Blake Coleman. That doesn’t mean anyone should feel too secure.

Treliving noted that he isn’t done trying to improve the roster, so a deal could come whenever it presents itself to him.

Brady Tkachuk holdout?

Matthew Tkachuk Brady Tkachuk
Mar 7, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) and Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) battle for the puck during the overtime period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Everything seemed like the Senators and RFA, Brady Tkachuk would work something out before the start of camp. If a long-term deal could not be reached, a bridge deal seemed like a plausible plan B.

Then Brady’s brother Matthew came in and threw cold water over that dream.

“He might be pulling a classic Tkachuk right now. Dad held out, Matthew held out, and Brady looks like he’s on his way right now,” he told Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek this week. “So hopefully it can get figured out here.”

Matthew basically refuted reports that things were coming together. “It’s just a lot of fake stuff out there regarding this,” he revealed. “They’re not too close. So hopefully it gets figured out, but who knows?”

In three seasons with the team, Brady has 125 points in 198 games, but his fourth may have to wait if he’s a holdout.

Talks ongoing with Pettersson and Hughes

The Vancouver Canucks are still trying to figure out how to get both RFA’s Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes signed.

Per CapFriendly, they have $10.6M in space with 24 players signed. That puts them one over the 23 man limit, so if they move three players off to make room for Pettersson and Hughes, that numbers is around $12.5M.

That’s still likely not enough to get them both signed long-term.

Hughes, 21, scored 41 points in 56 games last season. Pettersson, 22, registered 21 points in 26 games after an early slump where he scored only 2 points in his first 8 contests. Both players are the cornerstone pieces to the Canucks future but at this rate, could at least miss the start of camp.

However, when it comes to the negotiations, GM Jim Benning says things are cordial and moving forward.

“We have a good relationship. There’s no angry sides. We’re just trying to work through it to figure out how to make everybody happy,” Benning told Sportsnet. “We’re in constant communication with Pat Brisson and his group. The communication’s good and we’re just trying to figure out how to get to some common ground from their perspective and our perspective.”

Apparently, the two sides talk frequently and their goal is to get a deal done before camp starts next week. Could we see two bridge deals? Or will Vancouver make a trade to free up cap space for longer term contracts? We will find out soon.