NHL Rumors: Wild and Habs in on Jack Eichel; Kraken considering taking Carey Price and Vladimir Tarasenko

Oct 9, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) takes a shot on goal as Montreal Canadiens goaltender Keith Kinkaid (37) looks to make a save during the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The clock is ticking on a Jack Eichel trade. While the trade free will not be lifted until July 22nd, it is expected that the Sabres injured superstar will be on the move. Buffalo wants another first round pick in this draft, so all signs point to a deal later this week or at the NHL draft on Friday, July 23rd.

NHL Rumors: Wild and Habs in on Eichel

For many fans, they just want Eichel traded so they can be done with hearing about rumors involving him. There’s a whole different outlook if you are a fan of the Sabres, who are hoping their favorite team will get a boatload of new players for him.

I am on the record and will continue to insist that much of the noise around Eichel is media generated in terms of who is interested. The two teams that have the assets and cap space to make a deal are the Ducks and Rangers. When the trade is done, I believe one of them gets him.

Still, despite already having the Kings, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, and Golden Knights quickly removed from potential landing spots we are now hearing the Wild and Canadiens.

Minnesota is being mentioned after buying out Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. They have over $26 million in cap space. Just remember they have to sign Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala to big deals. Then for the next three years they have to deal with dead cap space of $12M, $14M, and $14M respectively. I just don’t see how they can take on Eichel’s $10 million AAV for five seasons.

The Habs are a late entry based on the idea that if Shea Weber is out for the season and placed on LTIR, they can use that money to acquire Eichel. Again, this seems like more media speculation trying to connect dots.

Enter the Kraken

nhl rumors seattle kraken
Kraken GM Ron Francis (CP)

I have to admit, covering the Seattle Kraken has become one of the more fun things to do in the NHL these days. Currently, they are mulling over the list of unprotected players and deciding who they will take in the expansion draft on Wednesday.

They also have a brief window of exclusivity to speak with pending unprotected RFAs and UFAs on new deals. The trade freeze also does not apply to them, so they could make a few side deals with other teams as well. The embargo is lifted on 7/22.

Two names left unprotected are drawing some interest. There’s some rumbling that Seattle may actually select Carey Price. I discussed earlier that this move comes with too much risk both financially and physically, so I just don’t see it.

On the other hand, Vladimir Tarasenko seems like an interesting selection. Yesterday, it was reported up to 4 teams were in on him but the Blues could not get a deal done. Maybe, Francis select Tarasenko and flips him for picks and prospects? Seems like a possible option for the new franchise.