In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on Jeff Carter out of the Los Angeles Kings organization, plus news the Ottawa Senators may be a cap floor team again next season. Meanwhile, as most insiders believe Jack Eichel isn’t leaving Buffalo, some are asking what would it cost for a team to acquire him? And, are the other six non-playoff teams kicking tires?
Carter’s Future in Los Angeles
Forwarwd Jeff Carter underwent surgery on June 4 to repair a core muscle injury. Since the Los Angeles Kings are not part of the play-in rounds or playoffs this season, this was the best time to get that surgery done and Carter should be fully recovered by next season. But, whether or not he plays in LA is still a question.
Almost 36, Carter has a front-loaded contract which means he’s not owed very much on the tail end of his current deal. This could be attractive for teams trying to hit the cap floor but not spend much money. The Los Angeles Kings may try to move him in order to free up playing time for younger players and with no trade protection, all Carter has for leverage is to simply retire.
Senators To Keep Spending as Little as Possible
The Hockey News’ Matt Larkin is reporting that the Ottawa Senators are likely to be a salary-floor cap team next season. He believes they’ll pursue some free agents and perhaps packages one or two of their 13 draft picks this offseason to acquire a player of substance but this next season will not be the year they spend a lot in pursuit of more wins.
Nevertheless, he anticipates they’ll likely pursue a couple of UFA veterans on one-year contracts with an eye on flipping them at next season’s trade deadline for draft picks.
Ilya Sorokin Changes Reps
Darren Dreger of TSN reports that Ilya Sorokin has changed his North American representation, hiring Dan Milstein of Gold Star Hockey as his new agent. Some are wondering if this could change the likelihood of Sorokin signing in the KHL this coming season.
Related: 7 Cool Things About Auston Matthews
Trade Value of Jack Eichel?
Jack Eichel made the rumors report a few days ago as the discussion about the Buffalo Sabres was front-and-center in the trade market. Eichel noted he was getting frustrated with losing but the belief is that the Sabres would be crazy to move him.
As Eichel’s voice his frustrations, insiders started looking at what it might cost to acquire him. Dan Rosen’s latest column for NHL.com suggests the assets would be costly for any team kicking tires.
Rosen writes about Eichel’s value:
It’s hard to quantify Eichel’s worth when I don’t feel he’s on the trading block. It would take a lot to get the 23-year-old center, as in high draft picks, top prospects and at least one key NHL player.
Asking why the Sabres would even contemplate moving Eichel was the question Rosen was more interesting in answering, especially now when there are only six other teams the Sabres can actively trade with.
If they even want to think about moving Eichel, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, behind Connor McDavid to the Edmonton Oilers, they need to open the bidding to all 30 teams that could inquire.
Still, Rosen said it was smart of those six non-playoff teams to at least reach out to the Sabres and for the Sabres to welcome offers. He explains:
It also makes zero sense for the Sabres to tell teams, “Forget about it.” I know they feel Eichel is a huge part of the solution, but it doesn’t cost anything to hear what other teams feel he’s worth to them. In the end, I fully expect Eichel to be back with the Sabres. He’s frustrated and voiced that last week, but the Sabres have to work with him and build around him.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”