NHL Rumors Roundup: Top 5 trade candidates; Predators; Sabres; Rangers; and Flames

NHL RUMORS
Feb 27, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich (33) watches as Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) is unable to get a shot off as he is defended by Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Hello October! As preseason hockey winds down and training camps prepare to make their final cuts, the NHL Rumor Mill has started to churn a little faster.

We kick off the latest edition of NHL Rumors Roundup with a quick video on the top 5 trade candidates.

NHL Rumors: Top 5 Trade Candidates

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It should not surprise anyone that Jack Eichel would top the list followed by Vladimir Tarasenko. Phil Kessel is most likely to soon be traded within the group. Both Johnny Gaudreau and Tomas Hertl are pending UFA’s and likely to be dealt by the trade deadline if contract extensions can’t be reached.

Johnny Gaudreau no longer talking about contract

Johnny Hockey, as he’s known, openly stated he loves playing in Calgary and wants to stay. He scored 19 goals and 49 points in 56 contests for the Flames last season. Gaudreau, 28, earns $6.75 million against the cap and is in the final year of his contract.

One thing is clear, now that the offseason is done Gaudreau doesn’t want to discuss it.

“It’s between my agent and [GM BradTreliving],” he said at the start of camp. “I probably won’t answer many questions about that this season.”

If the two sides can’t work out an extension by the trade deadline, it will be Gaudreau whose in control of his destination. That’s because his 5 team no move clause kicked in this past July.

Predators and Filip Forsberg

nhl rumors roundup
May 27, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators left wing Filip Forsberg (9) plays the puck into the offensive zone past Carolina Hurricanes right wing Jesper Fast (71) during the first period in game six of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Forsberg, 27, scored 32 points in 39 games last season. He’s coming off a deal with an AAV of $6M. The pending UFA doesn’t seemed too concerned about his contract status.

“To be honest, I have barely thought about it,” Forsberg said via TFP. “The only thing that’s been on my mind has been this ice testing that we just did. Thankfully that’s over, so now we can go to work for real.”

In a recent article by Gentry Estes in the Nashville Tennessean, he suggest that if the Predators opt to trade a player like Forsberg at the deadline for futures, then they will have finally committed to a full rebuild.

In my opinion, the Predators have bigger issues regarding the contracts of Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansson. It would likely make more sense to find ways to move them before Forsberg in an effort to reset the franchise.

The Sabres, Eichel, and the Rangers

Reports have surfaced that the Buffalo Sabres have finally agreed to share Jack Eichel’s medicals with interested teams. This ongoing saga still has a long way to go, but for the first time, teams now have more information in order to make what the feel is a fair offer.

Regardless, the dispute as to what surgery will be performed is at a stalemate between the two parties. What most likely will happen is the acquiring team will approve the artificial disc replacement Eichel wants. He may have to sign a waiver taking the team off the hook if the procedure leads to him not playing again. All that is still very much up in the air.

As for what team still makes the most sense, I asked around and those in the know still see the New York Rangers as the most logical destination.