NHL Rumors: Hurricanes, Lightning, Oilers, Sabres and Eichel

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, one has to wonder if there will be a development in the Jack Eichel situation as it appears the player has fired his current agent and gone a different direction. Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes might not be done adding after locking up Andrei Svechnikov to a long-term contract extension. Could the Tampa Bay Lightning be looking for some inexpensive depth? Finally, will the Edmonton Oilers keep Duncan Keith in the second pair all season?

Hurricanes Could Add Another Piece

Svechnikov called choosing to sign with the Hurricanes an easy decision. He noted that he wanted to stay in Carolina because they have a great team, great coaches and he believes the team is close to winning. Some are surprised he was willing to sign for what appears to be under market value, but perhaps it wasn’t all about money and he’ll still be at an age when this contract is over to sign another big-money deal.

After signing Svechnikov to a long-term extension that will likely wind up being a team-friendly deal, the Hurricanes are still open to adding another piece. According to GM Don Waddell: “If something comes up that makes sense between now and when we start we’ll take a look at it.” He added, “If not, it gives us a lot of flexibility during the year.”

Luke Decock of The News & Observer adds:

They’re set at center with Aho, Vincent Trocheck and Jordan Staal down the middle, so it’s really just a winger — and preferably on the left, although that’s required — on the shopping list. With Svechnikov’s deal done, the Hurricanes can now pursue that help in earnest and there ought to be options in that $4 million window.

source – ‘With Svechnikov re-signed, Hurricanes only have one piece of unfinished summer business’ – Luke Decock – The News & Observer – 08/26/2021

Lightning Looking to Add Veteran Depth?

After losing a number of pieces via trade, the expansion draft and free agency, the Tampa Bay Lightning have the unenviable job of trying to add more depth pieces to their roster with very little money. NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti believes they are on the lookout for more forward depth to play this upcoming season.

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While the club has added Corey Perry, there are still holes left from the departures of Yanni Gourde, Blake Coleman, Barclay Goodrow and Tyler Johnson. Gulitti believes they might need to acquire another veteran if their younger players fail to adequately address that loss of production.

Oilers Might Shift Keith Around the Lineup

Allan Mitchell of The Athletic took a look at Keith’s numbers, including time played in certain positions for the Chicago Blackhawks in an attempt to see where he’d be most useful for the Oilers. Noting that there is no danger of the veteran defenseman jumping up to assume first-pair minutes, keeping Keith on the second pair most of the season might actually pose problematic.

Duncan Keith
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith – Photo Credit: Andy Martin Jr

Mitchell writes:

What can Oilers fans expect from Keith? It depends entirely on how he is deployed. A season of struggle is indicated if he’s used on the second pairing, and even though some players overcome the odds (Mike Smith a year ago) and perform at unusual levels, the smart play with Keith is third pair minutes at even strength, no time on the power play but significant time penalty killing.

source – ‘Lowetide: What should Oilers expect from Duncan Keith in his first season?’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 08/27/2021

Mitchell also suggests the Oilers could be active at the trade deadline in an attempt to shelter Keith a little, especially if a young prospect like Dmitri Samorukov or Philip Broberg doesn’t step up this season.

Eichel Hires New Agent

As per Elliotte Friedman: “A development in the Jack Eichel situation: hearing he is now going to be represented by Pat Brisson.” This is potentially big news as it suggests Eichel wasn’t happy with his old agent (Peter Fish) and hopes a new agent will get things moving in his quest to get moved by the Sabres and GM Kevyn Adams.

Jack Eichel Buffalo Sabres
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

For Eichel, it doesn’t hurt to try something different and considering his old agent probably didn’t do him any favors by publicly slamming the Sabres for having not traded the player yet. The consensus was that he wasn’t helping his client making statements about how disappointed Eichel was that he was still there and openly talking about negotiations that probably should have been held behind closed doors.