NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Jack Eichel, Vladimir Tarasenko and More
NHL free agency opened at noon on Wednesday, and a flurry of activity ensued. As is usually the case this time in the offseason, trades were a big part of the equation.
The Vegas Golden Knights pulled off a shocker before the market opened, sending goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Arizona Coyotes traded goalie Darcy Kuemper to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, while goalie Vitek Vanecek was sent back to the Washington Capitals from the Seattle Kraken after being picked in the expansion draft.
More trades are likely in the works, as teams are quickly emptying the free-agent pool of top-tier talent. We'll dive into the latest NHL trade buzz here.
Sabres in Talks with 'Multiple Teams' About Jack Eichel
Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel is probably the biggest name still available on the trade market. A three-time All-Star and still only 24 years old, Eichel could be a building block for a franchise.
The Sabres have yet to pull the trigger on a deal but have reportedly engaged with multiple teams in trade talks.
"My sense from talking to a few people around the league is that Buffalo is in serious talks with multiple teams, the process hasn't zeroed in on just one team yet," TSN's Pierre LeBrun tweeted.
This approach makes sense for the Sabres, who can likely drive up their asking price by maintaining multiple suitors. According to LeBrun, Buffalo isn't in a rush to get a trade done. We may not see Eichel moved in the immediate future.
While multiple teams are interested in Eichel, the Minnesota Wild are no longer one of them. According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, the Wild are "backing out" of talks with the Sabres.
Blues Asking Too Much for Vladimir Tarasenko
While the Sabres won't rush to move Eichel, the St. Louis Blues seemingly don't even have the option with Vladimir Tarasenko. The 29-year-old winger is available, but St. Louis may have unrealistic expectations about his value.
According to Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, general manager Doug Armstrong has set his asking price too high—and Tarasenko's value is only declining.
"The Blues are only further diminishing his value by hanging on to him this long," Rutherford wrote. "...The source said Armstrong has miscalculated the situation, asking for 'too much' in return. There were once four teams interested in Tarasenko, and there are still at least two, but the options are dwindling after Wednesday's signings around the league."
Rutherford and the Blues may not want to accept a low offer for Tarasenko, but at some point, they're going to have to take whatever is reasonable. Four interested teams have become two, and two can turn into one in a hurry.
At that point, St. Louis would have little leverage with which to work.
Bruins in 'Constant' Trade Talks with Seattle Kraken
The Kraken were early players on the trade market, dealing both Vanecek and defenseman Kurtis MacDermid. Other trades could be on the docket, and the Boston Bruins are prepared to take advantage of Seattle's sale.
"A source has confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that the Boston Bruins have, as general manager Don Sweeney promised, been in constant NHL trade talks with the Kraken and GM Ron Francis," Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now wrote.
According to Murphy, Boston has shown interest in defenseman Vince Dunn, who was selected by Seattle in the expansion draft. Per Murphy, the Bruins also like Carson Soucy "a ton."
Like Dunn, Soucy was acquired by Seattle in the expansion draft, and the move is just beginning to sink in.
"It's going to be hard to leave [Minnesota]," Soucy said, per Sarah McLellan of the Star Tribune. "But it's still exciting to start somewhere new and start with a new team."
If the Bruins are able to make a deal, Soucy could quickly be on the move again.