NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Jack Eichel, Josh Manson and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Jack Eichel, Josh Manson and More

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    Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    As NHL free agency marches on, few of the top players remain unsigned. Players like Tuukka Rask and Tomas Tatar are still available, but guys like Dougie Hamilton, Tyson Barrie and Blake Coleman have long been off the board.

    This will inevitably lead some teams to look to the trade market to improve their rosters. Other teams are actively looking to sell players, either to acquire additional talent or to clear cap space. While the free-agent activity may be slowing down, the trade market, theoretically, could pick up in the coming days.

    Here, we'll dive into the latest NHL trade buzz heading into the first weekend of free agency.

Jack Eichel

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    Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    The Buffalo Sabres are looking to move center Jack Eichel, though general manager Kevyn Adams has said that Buffalo doesn't need to get a deal done.

    "We don't feel any pressure," Adams said, per The Athletic's John Vogl. "If there's a deal out there that we feel is the right thing for the Buffalo Sabres, that's going to help us improve—whether that's improve right away or improve down the road, those are all the things [we] weigh—we'd be open to it."

    According to Vogl, however, the Sabres might be wise to get a deal done while the market remains strong.

    "Eichel wants out," Vogl wrote. "His agents' only conversations with Adams center around trade requests. Eichel can't show up at training camp in September as the captain. It would obliterate the fresh start with a young core that the GM wants."

    The Sabres should be able to find a trade partner now, and they have been in active discussions.

    "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.

    However, the longer Buffalo waits on a deal, the fewer trade options it is likely to have.

Josh Manson

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    Joe Puetz/Associated Press

    The Anaheim Ducks are looking to move defenseman Josh Manson, though they may not find as robust a trade market as the Sabres have with Eichel.

    "The Ducks are certainly listening to offers on Manson, one of the top right-shooting defensemen available this summer, either via trade or free agency," Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff wrote. "He will be due a new contract. Some teams wonder about Manson’s game since sustaining concussions, noticing a pretty significant drop off since then."

    Manson was limited to only 23 games this past season because of an oblique muscle injury, so teams probably do have some health concerns about the 29-year-old. The prospect of signing Manson to a new long-term deal could also be a sticking point for some clubs.

    Manson is entering the final year of his contract.

    Still, Manson can be a top-tier defender when healthy, and some team will likely take a flier on him if the price is right.

Vladimir Tarasenko

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The St. Louis Blues—who signed free agent Brandon Saad on Thursday—are expected to move winger Vladimir Tarasenko at some point. However, waiting on a deal appears to be hurting Tarasenko's trade value.

    According to Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, general manager Doug Armstrong is asking too much in return, and the market for Tarasenko is dwindling as a result.

    "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."

    While it's unclear exactly what Tarasenko's market currently looks like, the New York Islanders could be  interested.

    "It's likely [general manager Lou] Lamoriello is still investigating the cost of acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko if the Blues opt to grant the disgruntled sharpshooter's wish to be traded," Andrew Gross of Newsday wrote.

    If St. Louis is going to deal Tarasenko to a team like New York, it may be forced to drop the asking price.