Welcome to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! The Seattle expansion draft is right around the corner now and they’re a lot of big names being left unprotected. It will be interesting to see which direction the Kraken goes in to put this team together. Not to mention all the rumours regarding top players moving at the NHL Draft and signing in free agency. As things continue to heat up on the rumour front, keep it locked on the Last Word on Hockey for the latest. Today’s NHL Rumours include the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Seattle Kraken.
Rumour: According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Sabres asking price for Jack Eichel is still high and possibly remains a Sabre at the end of the month.
The Sabres continue to navigate the Jack Eichel trade waters. Told the price hasn’t changed: 2 NHL players, 2 top prospects and/or a 1st round pick(s) – minimum 4 assets.
BUF also hasn’t made a decision on his surgery yet, likely will be end of month if he’s still on the team.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 20, 2021
Analysis: From the beginning, it appeared that Eichel and the Sabres were heading their separate ways. But the Sabres were not going to let him go for anything. General manager Kevyn Adams knew for a player like Eichel they needed to get a solid return back. And it appears the ask remains the same. The Sabres want four assets in return including two players that can play at the NHL level now to replace the talent they are losing. This makes sense after all. You are not going to give away your franchise player for free. So until the asking price comes down, Eichel still remains on the Sabres.
What complicates things, even more, is Eichel’s injury. No decision yet has been made on whether or not he needs neck surgery or not. And if he does, he will be out of action for most if not all of next season. So teams may not be willing to pay for a player they may or may not have in their lineup next season. Eichel is seeing the same doctor as Sidney Crosby, who had neck issues early in his career. But there are some trust issues between Eichel and the Sabres over how they handled the initial diagnosis. Unless a team or two comes to the plate ready to make a deal, Eichel could remain on the Sabres past the NHL Draft and into the start of NHL Free Agency.
Rumour: Ryan Rishaug of TSN tweeted that Adam Larsson has not decided on whether he wants to return to the Oilers or not.
On Adam Larsson, the simple fact is, the player hasn’t decided what he wants to do yet, and it could go either way. He is considering a few offers they feel are fair from the Oilers on different lengths, but he is taking his time, wanting to make a good decision for his future../
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) July 19, 2021
Analysis: The Oilers would like Larsson re-signed to a new deal. Ever since coming over as part of the Taylor Hall trade all those years ago, he has fit in nicely with the Oilers on defence. Though Larsson is not a flashy player offensively, he has turned into a really good defensive defenceman for the Oilers. And even though they brought in Ducan Keith and are getting Oscar Klefbom back in the lineup, Larsson would be a huge loss for them on the backend. Now again this is all part of the process and negotiations take time. This has led to speculation to the player is leaving. And he in fact could leave, but he has not indicated one way or the other at this point.
Larsson has every right to test the market of free agency. That is what being a free agent is all about. And according to Rishaug, the Oilers have offers on the table for him when he is ready to re-sign with them. This could be all part of the plan between the player and the organization. Go see what is out there and if the offers are not out there what the player is looking for, come back and sign a new contract with the team. However, the longer this process goes on there is a good possibility the player could go to another team.
Rumour: According to Andy Strickland of Bally Sports if Seattle drafts Vladimir Tarasenko, this will not be Tarasenko’s final destination.
Told “if” Seattle drafts Vladimir Tarasenko it will not be his final destination. #stlblues
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) July 19, 2021
Analysis: The St. Louis Blues exposed Tarasenko as part of the upcoming expansion draft. We know the history between Tarasenko and the Blues. Tarasenko has requested a trade of St. Louis as he feels the team did not do right by him with all his shoulder injuries. And there is a good chance the Kraken take him on Wednesday as part of the expansion draft. Why not Tarasenko still has some mileage left in the tank and having a goal scorer on a team that is going to compete in the Pacific Division will definitely help. But there is a load of talent out there and the Kraken will be set offensively.
However, the Kraken may not be Tarasenko’s final destination. It appears according to Strickland that Tarasenko could be on the move if the Kraken take him. If Tarasenko wants to go to another team, then maybe the Kraken may want to avoid taking him, but if they do take, they could reap the benefits of trade from another team for such a high-quality player. There are teams interested in Tarasenko as they are looking to add a goal scorer for the upcoming season. However, like with Eichel, the injuries could play a factor in whether a not a) the Kraken take him and b) either the Blues or Kraken get the return they are looking for. This is a situation worth watching.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours. Stay tuned for another edition tomorrow.
Embed from Getty Images