NHL Rumors: Golden Knights, Canadiens, Islanders, Pastrnak, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, could the Vegas Golden Knights be big spenders again this offseason and go after one of the most high-profile trade pieces on the NHL market? Joel Armia is en route to the game between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. Will he play? A couple of pending UFAs out of the New York Islanders organization have spoken about their respective futures. Finally, David Pastrnak passes along some incredibly heartbreaking news.

Could Golden Knights Pursue Eichel?

During his recent appearance on WGR 550 “The Instigators,” TSN’s Darren Dreger discussed the likelihood the Vegas Golden Knights kick tires on Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel. The NHL insider noted he’d be surprised if a discussion with the Sabres hasn’t already happened.

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

A number of other scribes and insiders have noted that Eichel could be a target, including Vegas Hockey Now’s Tom Callahan who believes the Golden Knights need a first-line center. He also thinks the team has the assets to pull off an Eichel trade, including their first-round pick plus the New Jersey Devils’ second-rounder (36th overall), plus they can dangle pieces like Alex Tuch, Reilly Smith and Chandler Stephenson, and Cody Glass.

Obviously, cap space is a big issue, but the Golden Knights seem to be a team that can find ways to move money, and have proven effective at doing so in the past. One of the challenges will come when the Golden Knights realize who they might have to walk away from. The Athletic’s Jesse Granger believes the Golden Knights want to keep defenseman Alec Martinez. This could be extremely difficult to do if Eichel is on the menu.

Granger writes:

It’s obvious the Golden Knights want Martinez back. He’s been a perfect fit from the day they traded two second-round picks to Los Angeles for him at last year’s trade deadline. But finding cap space for him won’t be easy. Martinez carried a $4 million cap hit this season, but after his impressive season, he could be looking at a raise.

source – ‘What I’m hearing about the Golden Knights’ offseason — pending UFAs, goalies and more’ – Jesse Granger – The Athletic – 06/26/2021

Other teams will offer Martinez decent money and at least three years on an extension.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Now What? Getting More from Marner

Armia Set to Join Canadiens for Game 1

According to a few insiders, including Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston, Canadiens interim head coach, Luke Richardson says Joel Armia is en route to Tampa Bay in a private jet, out of COVID protocol and a game-time decision for tonight. Armia may not be one of the big names in the series, he’s a a big part of the Canadiens depth and has been having a solid playoffs. His addition, if he’s able to play, will be a nice plus.

The news means Armia has tested negative and has been cleared from Covid-protocol. If Armia doesn’t make it, Jake Evans was a full participant at practice and would play on the Canadiens fourth line.

Islanders’ Cizikas and Palmieri Talk Future

According to New York-based scribe Mollie Walker, both pending unrestricted free agent forwards Casey Cizikas and Kyle Palmieri have addressed what’s next for them. Cizikas said: “I haven’t thought about it too much personally, that’s a conversation for another day. Right now, I’m just focused on being with the guys, spend these last few days, before everyone kind of heads their own way, together.”

Kyle Palmieri New York Islanders
Kyle Palmieri, New York Islanders (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Walker also quotes Palmieri: “It was an incredible opportunity for me and I would love to keep that going. There is the business side of it… If it was just for that short bit, I’ll remember it forever.”

Pastrnak Loses Son

Updates like these are difficult and emotional, but I want to close this post by sending our thoughts and best wishes to David Pastrnak and Rebecca Rohlsson on the loss of their newborn son, Viggo. Pastrnak posted an update on his Instagram page announcing his son’s passing on June 23rd.

He wrote, “June 17th 2021 – June 23rd 2021 🕊 We have an Angel watching over us and we call him SON. You will be loved FOREVER🤍. Please respect our privacy as we are going through these heartbreaking times.”

This is absolutely crushing news and all of the contributors here, including myself, extend our deepest condolences. No parent should have to go through this.