NHL Rumors: Vegas circling back on Eichel; Isles re-sign Ross Johnston; and Tarasenko staying with Blues?

Latest NHL rumors

jack Eichel golden knights
Feb 15, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) waits for a face-off ]during the third period against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The main news around Jack Eichel has to do with his upcoming grievance filing. As the 24 year-old center continues to gather medical evidence in support of his artificial disc replacement, the hope is the grievance will force the Sabres into action.

Whether that be in the form of a trade or to let Eichel get his preferred procedure, it would be progress either way. However, if it is for a move, talk is circling back to the Vegas Golden Knights.

NHL Rumors: Knights and Eichel talk increasing

Frank Seravalli of The Daily Face Off is pointing to the uncertainty around Mark Stone’s injury as a major factor why he’s hearing more chatter surrounding Vegas and Eichel.

“Everyone’s been holding their breath to this point, but I can tell you there’s been increased chatter between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Sabres about Jack Eichel over the last three to five days.” Seravalli wrote. “I think there’s been some talk about a third-party broker that could potentially be involved to make this work from a financial standpoint. But I think the Golden Knights are a team to watch on the Jack Eichel front.”

The Golden Knights have been one of the most talked about teams in a potential Eichel trade. The Rangers were at the top, but once they extended Mika Zibanejad they were no longer considered a player. Anaheim is another team that makes sense, but a team to watch are the Colorado Avalanche.

Elliotte Friedman revealed recently that the Avs actually called Buffalo to see if they would be willing to retain salary in order to make a deal work. The Sabres are not interested in doing that, but maybe if a third party is, Colorado could be the stealth team to land Eichel.

Islanders sign Ross Johnston

Johnston, 27, signed a 4 year extension with the NY Islanders. The deal comes with a cap hit of $1.1M AAV for the rugged forward.

The move likely is to solidify the bottom six over the next few years. Cal Clutterbuck will be a UFA at the end of the season, and with limited cap space Lou Lamoriello could be looking ahead.

Tarasenko staying with the Blues?

Vladimir Tarasenko trade request
May 17, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) and defenseman Torey Krug (47) talks during warmups in game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Could Vladimir Tarasenko be having a change of heart?

The 29 year-old forward, 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.”

Tarasenko scored a career high 40 goals back in 2015-16 and has 448 points in 536 career contests. Coming off the heels of a trade demand in the summer, Vladimir showed up to camp a true professional. This season, he has notched 6 points (3 G – 3A) in 5 games. He has one year remaining on his $7.5 million AAV deal and a 10 team no trade clause.

The thought is that he still wants a trade, but if the Blues keep winning and the fans keep showing love, maybe things can change.