NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Reports on Nick Leddy, Jack Eichel and More

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 14, 2021

NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Reports on Nick Leddy, Jack Eichel and More

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    With the 2020-21 NHL season complete and the offseason here, teams are trying to decide what changes they'll be making to their rosters before the start of the 2021-22 campaign. And there's plenty of time for them to make moves before that time arrives in October.

    While free agency will play a big role in teams' decisions, there will also be plenty of trade discussions taking place. Which stars could be dealt? Whose names will be featured in rumors, even if they don't end up getting moved? There will be plenty of speculation in the weeks to come.

    Here's some of the latest trade buzz from around the NHL with the offseason now underway.

Islanders Shopping Leddy in Trade Discussions

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Nick Leddy has spent the past seven seasons with the New York Islanders, after joining the team in a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks in October 2014. However, the defenseman could soon be starting a new chapter of his NHL career.

    According to Arthur Stapleย of The Athletic, the Islanders are potentially looking to trade the 30-year-old, who is coming off a 2020-21 season in which he received some votes for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. The reason for these discussions has to do with the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, which is set for July 21.

    "Two league sources indicated that the Islanders are shopping the 30-year-old defenseman this week so they would not have to leave him unprotected and potentially lose Leddy to Seattle for nothing," Staple wrote.

    Staple also noted New York is looking to clear cap space. By getting rid of Leddy (a $5.5 million cap hit in 2021-22) now, it could clear not only his contract but also another player's when Seattle takes somebody from its roster in the expansion draft.

    This past season, Leddy had two goals and 29 assists in 56 games while also showing that his defense is still worthy of him being put on one of a team's top lines.

Wild Showing Interest in Eichel, Others in Trade Talks

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    The Minnesota Wild have reached the playoffs five of the past six seasons, but they haven't won a postseason series during that time. Now, it appears they may be seeking players who could help them take the next step.

    Michael Russoย of The Athletic reported that the Wild "continue to talk" with the Buffalo Sabres about centers Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, and they have also had discussions with the Arizona Coyotes regarding center Christian Dvorak.

    Any of these players would give Minnesota another top scoring threat up the middle, providing a boost to one of its top lines. Of the three, Eichel has most frequently been featured in trade rumors after the 24-year-old was limited to 21 games this past season due to a herniated disk in his neck that required surgery.

    Reinhart and Dvorak are both 25 and have proved to be consistently strong players, so either could also be a strong acquisition for the Wild.

    Even if Minnesota doesn't land any of the three, it appears this is a position it will want to upgrade at some point this offseason.

Sharks 'Ramping Up' Possible Trade Discussions with Teams

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    Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

    After missing the playoffs each of the past two seasons, the San Jose Sharks could be busy this offseason. And it appears things could be picking up sooner rather than later.

    Perย Kevin Kurzย of The Athletic, the Sharks are "ramping up trade discussions with teams, according to multiple sources." So it's possible San Jose's roster could look a bit different when the 2021-22 season arrives, especially considering the players who may be moved.

    "Names that have been dangled as potential bait include Kevin Labanc, Radim Simek and Dylan Gambrell," Kurz wrote. "The club would prefer to make a so-called 'hockey deal,' a trade that involves established NHL players on both sides, but is also hoping to gain more picks in the upcoming draft."

    Labanc (five-year veteran), Gambrell (four) and Simek (three) have each spent their entire career in San Jose. But if the Sharks get some strong offers, perhaps they could all be joining new teams for the first time later this offseason.