It’s time to start your work week with another edition of NHL Rumours. Maybe not too much of a working day since it’s Memorial Day in the United States. However, there’s plenty of NHL rumours as we enter the month of June. We continue our look at the ongoing sagas between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Seth Jones and the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel. There’s also rumours on the Vancouver Canucks.
All NHL Rumours come from the original source and are subject to the change.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Rumour: More news is developing on Jones’ future with the club. The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports that he expects the American to be traded in the summer.
The Athletic: The possibility of the Blue Jackets keeping Seth Jones into next season without a contract extension in place went out the window when John Davidson returned to #CBJ.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) May 30, 2021
Analysis: Jones looks to be the latest star to want out of Ohio. Some Blue Jackets fans were hoping that John Tortorella leaving the club would mean some of their stars would stay. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Jones.
Sunday’s rumours covered that Jones wants to explore the free agent market when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the next season. Returning team president John Davidson said that the team’s top priority is to keep Jones. However, they don’t want to have a repeat of what happened with Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. Columbus lost out of both players in free agency without getting anything in return.
Jones would fetch a hefty return if he did get traded and he’s got no shortage of suitors. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen will have a bunch of offers to sift through for a player that some thought would be the team’s next captain. The Jackets may have to accelerate their rebuild now that Jones likely won’t re-sign. Picks, players and prospects are all on the table in a potential Jones deal.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said during Saturday’s Headlines segment the Sabres and Eichel are going to meet later in the week to discuss the future.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 30, 2021
Analysis: Eichel is clearly frustrated by the Sabres lengthy rebuild, as he’s never been to the post-season. His no-movement clause kicks in at the end of the season and general manager Kevyn Adams needs to decide a course of action. Eichel would likely get an even bigger haul than the aforementioned Jones deal.
The Buffalo captain missed a good chunk of the season due to a neck injury. However, Eichel admitted there was a disconnect between him and the organization. The issues stemmed from how the injury was handled and there needs to be some work done to repair in the relationship.
Eichel signed an extension with the club that runs until 2026. A team will have to pony up a major package and make the money work as well if they want Eichel.
Rumour: Athletic writers Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal looked into the Canucks depth chart and who may get moved this off-season.
#Canucks depth chart heading into the offseason.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) May 30, 2021
Analysis: One name that jumps out at the end of the article is Braden Holtby. His contract runs until the end of next season and carries an $8.6 million price tag. He was picked up as an insurance policy in case Thatcher Demko got injured or faltered. However, it seems Demko is the likely goalie of the future.
Holtby would be an ideal player to move to clear out some salary cap space to a team desperate enough to fill a need in net. It would be a big savings, but it depends on how Michael DiPietro develops or get a cheaper replacements.
There were also a few names that were tossed around about possible trades or leaving via free agency. Jimmy Vesey and Sven Baertschi are two names that are likely gone at the start of free agency. Jake Virtanen‘s legal situation also makes him likely to be gone.