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NHL Rumours: Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders

NHL Rumours

Welcome to the Friday edition of NHL Rumours! The action is heating off the ice as the season is only a week old. There are several teams are dealing with early-season injuries and looking to add pieces to replace those players. Not to mention the never-ending story that is Jack Eichel. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, and New York Islanders

All NHL Rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Buffalo Sabres

Rumour: Darren Dreger of TSN on Insider Trading said that Jack Eichel trade talks were heating up earlier in the week and while things have cooled down that could all change quickly.

Analysis: It is the never-ending saga that is Jack Eichel. Yesterday we reported that the Vegas Golden Knights and Sabres were engaged in trade talks and things were close to possibility getting done. However, there is so much unknown surrounding Eichel, especially his injury. And Sabres remained steadfast on holding their ground when it comes to their asking price of multiple first-round picks and prospects plus a player that can play now. It is a lot to ask for a player who potentially could miss the entire season with a neck injury. In addition, this is the story every week when it comes to Eichel, teams engage, make progress and all of a sudden they cool once again.

However, as Dreger points out this time it could be different. Because with one phone call of that could change as it appears as both parties are moving closer to a trade that works. Considering that Eichel is going to file a grievance with the NHLPA about how everything has been handled by the team in regards to his injury, the 11th hour is nearing. A deal needs to get done or it could get real ugly. Because once this trade is done, Eichel is going under the knife to have surgery as early as next week so he can begin the process to start playing again.

Los Angeles Kings

Rumour: Pierre LeBrun on Insider Trading stated with the long-term injuries to the Los Angeles Kings defence, they are in the market a depth defenceman on the right side. 

Analysis: The Kings were dealt some devasting news this past week. Drew Doughty will be lost six to eight weeks while Sean Walker is lost for the year. That is a huge loss to the Kings, who had hopes of competing in a weaker Pacific Division. Doughty especially had hopes of maybe being in the conversation for Team Canada at the Olympics. All of that is gone for him. Unfortunately for the Kings, they cannot replace his $11 million cap hit because he will not be going on LTIR. However, once Walker goes on LTIR, that will open up space necessary for them to make a trade. And maybe not the trade they wanted to make, but a necessary one.

It will be interesting to see who the Kings go after to fill the void of Walker and/or Doughty. Both guys can move the puck so well as they were driving the offence this season. Unfortunately, right now there are not many options. The best option the Kings can do is maybe see if they can replace one of those players from within. However, look for the Kings to be active to add to their depth.  However, teams knowing their need will try to get the most out of the Kings in terms of picks. Do the Kings look up the road at Anaheim and see if they can pluck one of their defencemen away?

New York Islanders

Rumour: According to Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the New York Islanders will be looking to add to their defence later in the season.

Analysis: The Islanders added to their defence this off-season by signing Zdeno Chara. However, things have not worked out as planned for the Islanders. While it is still early in the season, general manager Lou Lamoriello is always looking towards the future. Everyone expects the Islanders to make the playoffs and so does Lamoriello. But defence is an important aspect of head coach Barry Trotz’s system. Chara is good for the room, but his play is declining and they need to have options for later in the season. However, it is good to have options, especially on the left side. Something the Islanders needed to replace ever since they traded Nick Leddy.

The Islanders have $2.26 million in salary cap overage space due to Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million sitting on LTIR. However, it is still too early to determine who the Islanders go after. As Last Word on Hockey reported last week, the Anaheim Ducks could potentially be moving defenceman Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson. Manson has a modified no-trade clause, but Lindholm who is a left-handed defenceman does not. As the season moves on and his cap hit becomes lower, look for the Islanders to have interest in him. Again it’s Lamoriello and the trade deadline is still four months away, but expect him to keep an eye on the defensive market.

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