NHL Rumors: Sabres, Blue Jackets, Senators, Flames, Maple Leafs

Following the Jack Eichel trade, the center spoke with a number of media outlets and insiders and discussed how everything fell apart in Buffalo and what he told the team as they were going through this complicated and often ugly process. News about Patrik Laine’s injury is not good as the forward will be out 4-6 weeks. Push back to the rumors about Matthew Tkachuk are everywhere and the forward spoke about his name being included in Eichel talks. Meanwhile, his brother, Brady Tkachuk is the new captain of the Ottawa Senators. Finally, are the Toronto Maple Leafs and Jack Campbell currently talking extension?

Eichel Speaks Following Trade

Speaking with Elliotte Friedman, Eichel said it was a change in management and a shift towards not being competitive in 2020 that first made him realize he was interested in a move out of Buffalo. He said he went to the team after it was clear they weren’t putting the pieces in place to win and he’d heard they were going to do a rebuild said if they could use him to get the young prospects and picks they needed, he would be open to being moved. He noted that “didn’t go over well.”

Eichel gave the Sabres credit for going out and signing Taylor Hall and trying to add pieces that would make the team competitive. He said things didn’t go well and the year wasn’t at all what anyone expected. He noted that when the idea came around to trading him again he’s confident that the first conversation about offering to be traded contributed to this process being so difficult.

Eichel also spoke with Spittinchiclets and said, “A lot of people don’t know this, but I told Buffalo if they let me get the surgery, I’ll come back and play there. I hope the fans in Buffalo understand; I was adamant about getting the surgery before anything else.”

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He noted that he wants to play for Team USA and said, “It’s obviously a goal of mine and I’d love to be there. Vegas just made an enormous commitment to me and I want to make that same commitment back, so I’m not going to rush anything. I know you’ve got to look big picture here.”

Laine to Miss 4-6 Weeks with Oblique Tear

Towards the end of Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, Patrik Laine was noticeably absent and there was talk he’d suffered an injury, but the severity of that injury was unknown. On Friday, the team revealed that the star winger suffered an oblique strain and will miss four to six weeks. He has been placed on injured reserve.

Patrik Laine Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine, Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Yegor Chinakhov is likely to get the first look to replace Laine in the lineup. Team reporter Jeff Svoboda tweeted the that Chinakhov was with Cole Sillinger and Jakub Voracek at Friday’s practice. It will be a jump in ice time for Chinakhov who played just 9:15 in the team’s last game.

This is unfortunate news for the Blue Jackets as Laine was playing quite well with three goals and ten points in nine games.

Pushback to Matthew Tkachuk Being Offered by Flames

Multiple sources are now reporting that Matthew Tkachuk was never offered by the Calgary Flames to the Buffalo Sabres as part of a package for Jack Eichel. It was noted in yesterday’s rumors report that it seemed odd the Sabres wouldn’t heavily consider that deal if it were true and we noted, “It could have been because the deal wasn’t as real as Weekes reported. It also could have been because trading for Thackuk could have posed contract issues for the Sabres that they didn’t want.”

Related: 3 Teams That Should Pursue Trading for Blue Jackets’ Korpisalo

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams said the reports of Tkachuk being involved were “not accurate.” He added, “That was not correct, in terms of players that were being tossed around.” Tkachuk did say that Flames GM Brad Treliving did reach out to him but declined to comment on the context of that conversation. “He talked to me about it, but we’ll just keep that between us.” He added, “All good.”

It is believed that Treliving spoke with Tkachuk to simply let him know that Calgary had no intentions of moving him and not to believe any rumors he might have heard.

Senators Name Brady Tkachuk Team Captain

In one of the poorer kept secrets this season, the Ottawa Senators have officially named Brady Tkachuk the next captain of the franchise. GM Pierre Dorion released this statement:

Brady’s ingrained understanding of what it means to be a pro has made him the right choice for the team’s captaincy. He holds a unique skill set and places team success above all else. Admired by teammates and coaches, and respected by opponents, he’s certain to serve as a great ambassador for both our team and for the city of Ottawa.

Tkachuk is the tenth captain in franchise history. This news comes after Tkachuk signed a long-term deal with the club over the offseason. He is central to the core of the new-look Senators and will hopefully help lead this team to better results over the next few seasons.

Campbell Says He’d Love to Stay in Toronto

According to Luke Fox, Jack Campbell says he’s focused on hockey but confirmed the report by @RealKyper that contract extension negotiations are underway with the Maple Leafs: “There’s nothing more I’d love than to stay here,” he said.

The Leafs absolutely need to work on getting Campbell signed as each day that passes where he shows he’s a more-than-capable starter his extension gets potentially more expensive. The talk is that an extension could get done rather quickly and the Leafs are hoping to get him locked in at around $5 million per season.