The NHL rumor mill is in full swing. At this point, it is just a bunch of hearsay but the rumor mill is always fun to keep an eye on. With many teams needing to make moves due to the expansion draft, flat cap, and just outright poor performances by teams the 2021 offseason could have some fireworks and big-name superstars or future superstars could be on the move, but who?
Trade talks have been swirling around Eichel all year and the Eichel storm is nowhere near an end. Eichel’s time in Buffalo should and likely will come to end during the 2021 offseason, that is if the Sabres stop asking for an arm and a leg. Many people around the hockey world have said that the asking price is way too high. The Sabres are reportedly asking for a top-six forward under 25, a top-four defenseman under 25, a first-round draft pick, and prospects. Eichel is good, but is he that good?
Whether the Sabres bring the price down or stick to their guns, where is Eichel likely to land? The Calgary Flames seem to be a likely destination, after not living up to expectations this past season they may be ready for a shake-up. The Flames have just over $13 million in cap space as well as the pieces to potentially make an Eichel trade happen.
Although it does not seem logical for the Calgary Flames to trade one of their young budding superstars in Matthew Tkachuk, it could be best for both the Flames and Tkachuk respectfully. Tkachuk brings grit and skill to the Flames lineup, but with his grit and skill the Flames could move on from him and bring in pieces to help them make a run in the future. One team comes to mind from a logical and nostalgic standpoint.
The St. Louis Blues and Matthew Tkachuk just make sense. Just two seasons removed from their first Stanly Cup Championship Blues fans are itching to get back, Tkachuk could be the guy to help them get there. He could also reel in another star to help the Flames in Vladimir Tarasenko, who also has found himself in the rumor mill. a Tkachuk for Tarasenko swap would need more coming from St. Louis, which could help the Blues prepare for the NHL expansion draft. If that is the case, both teams need to step it up and start the 2021 off-season with a bang.
Let’s beat a dead horse again. Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson is back in the rumor mill. Mainly because the Coyotes are ready to rebuild, again, and Ekman-Larsson is not in the long-term plan. Holding a massive cap hit of $8.25 million for the next six seasons has seemed to scare off most teams, except the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Both of which are rumored to be interested in the Coyotes captain once again.
Both the Canucks and Bruins make sense for Ekman-Larrson, but both of them cannot afford his contract safely. The Bruins year and a year out contenders could use the extra help on their back end but seemingly would like to bring back Taylor Hall and Tuukka Rask. While on the other hand the Canucks and their fans are patiently waiting to get back to contentions. The Canucks seem to have a pressing need on the blueline and could use Ekman-Larsson but would be the Coyotes to retain salary and maybe take back some salary in the doing. If Ekman-Larsson finds himself on the move expect Jim Benning and the Canucks to be his destination.
2021 will see some big names on the move whether it be in free agency, by trade, or if all else fails the NHL expansion draft. The most likely superstar on the move is Jack Eichel, Buffalo and Eichel need the change. Hopefully, fans are in for an exciting offseason, and just maybe UFA Alex Ovechkin will make a lot of fans angry and some fans ecstatic. Time will tell and the rumor will be a buzz for the next few months.
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