NHL Rumors: Golden Knights, Ducks, Oilers, Sharks, Blues, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, how many teams are realistically still in the running for Jack Eichel? Could the Edmonton Oilers be thinking about going with another older netminder and adding someone like Anton Khudobin? There are rumors about a Timo Meier trade but how realistic are they? Finally, is there movement on a Vladimir Tarasenko trade?

Teams Potentially Still in on Jack Eichel

As per Adam Gretz of NBC Sports a handful of teams could still afford to trade for Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel. When it comes to the Vegas Golden Knights, the Buffalo Sabres rumored ask was winger Reilly Smith, prospect center Peyton Krebs, defenseman Nicolas Hague and a first-round pick. He suggests not to rule them out because they’re ruthless, but any possible deal would have been the Sabres retaining up to half of Eichel’s cap hit.

Jack Eichel Buffalo Sabres
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Gretz also lists the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings as favorites, acknowledging that each team does have their own internal contracts to worry about.

The Anaheim Ducks “are desperate for a star and have a nearly clean slate to work with next season” says, Gretz. Noting the team only has eight players under contract for the 2022-23 season and all making $6.5 million per season or less, they are the one team that could easily afford Eichel. They also have some promising young players that might intrigue Buffalo, including Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, and Max Comtois.

Oilers Interested in Khudobin?

David Staples of the Edmonton Journal writes that the Edmonton Oilers might be interested in 35 year-old goaltender Anton Khudobin from the Dallas Stars. The Stars surprisingly signed Braden Holtby and that could mean moving out a netminder.

Anton Khudobin Dallas Stars
Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Staples writes that because the Stars have potentially too many goalies and the Oilers are looking to upgrade, it’s little wonder then that the Khudobin-to-Edmonton rumour mill is heating up. He notes that Khudobin has two years left on a deal that pays him $3.3 million per year. Staples adds:

In the last two seasons, for NHL goalies who have played more than 2000 minutes, Khudobin has the 12th best save percentage, .918. That’s ahead of Mike Smith, .912 for a 23rd overall ranking, and Alex Stalock and Mikko Koskinen,  at.910 tied for 29st overall. It’s almost exactly the same as Connor Hellebuyck, Philipp Grubauer and Darcy Kuemper.

source – ‘Could Edmonton Oilers get even older (but better) in goal?’ – David Staples – 08/03/2021

Staples isn’t the only one who has made the connection. Jeff Marek said during the 31 Thoughts Podcast: “I would not be surprised at all if come opening night it’s Anton Khudobin, starting netminder, Edmonton Oilers.”

Sharks Timo Meier Rumor Denied

San Jose Hockey Now’s Sheng Peng cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman squashing a rumor that the Sharks were potentially thinking about trading Timo Meier to the New Jersey Devils. “Those were flatly denied to me,” said Friedman. The NHL insider added, “Someone said you’re way off, don’t go down that road.”

Timo Meier San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier, San Jose Sharks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Peng says that the two years remaining on Meier’s deal with an annual average value of $6 million has got teams not seriously considering him, but the Devils are one of the few teams who could fit in his contract.

Friedman did suggest the Sharks were interested in Christian Dvorak, as are some other teams — among them, the Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers. Dvorak, 25, has four years left on his contract worth $4.45 million annually. Friedman doesn’t thinks the Sharks have actually discussed a trade with the Coyotes about the player.

Three Teams Working on a Tarasenko Trade?

Kyle Cannillo notes that David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period said during an interview on the NHL Network that the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and New York Islanders are “in a battle” for St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko. While other reports suggest there hasn’t been a lot happening on the Tarasenko front, Pagnotta notes there “has been progress” on a potential trade.

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