NHL Rumors: Rangers, Dubas and Maple Leafs, Eichel Grievance

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Jack Eichel is reportedly considering filing a grievance against the Buffalo Sabres if the team doesn’t trade him in the next 1-2 weeks. Meanwhile, the ask for Vitali Kravtsov is out there and the New York Rangers are not budging. Finally, how much of the blame is being placed on the shoulders of GM Kyle Dubas after an extremely poor start to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ season, capped off by an atrocious 7-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Eichel Considering a Grievance

As per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, he reports that if in the next 1-2 weeks Eichel is not traded, he believes the player may decide to file a grievance and force a decision or a trade. During the 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, Friedman explained, “I’m not saying it’s going to be as quick as the next 24 to 48 hours, but I think we are getting to the point where the grievance could come down to force a kind of move.”

Buffalo Sabres Jack Eichel
Buffalo Sabres Jack Eichel (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Eichel has been collecting medical opinions on the disc replacement surgery in an effort to both convince the Sabres they are wrong about forcing him to get fusion surgery but also to build a case in the event he needs to take this to an outside party.

Rangers Want Top Prospect For Kravtsov

During the same segment, Jeff Marek reported that he dug into what the New York Rangers were asking for if they were willing to trade Kravtsov. He said that general manager Chris Drury seeks a top prospect in exchange and he noted that Drury isn’t budging from that asking price right now.

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There’s some belief that Drury set a high price knowing no team will be willing to pay it. The Rangers have already asked Kravtsov to return to the team and he’s refused. The hope is that making him aware that a trade isn’t likely means he’ll grow impatient and come back to be a part of the roster.

The Rangers aren’t in a rush here to make a move, especially since both Kaapo Kakko and Ryan Strome were back on the ice at practice Sunday.

Hayton Has Not Asked for a Trade

There have been rumors that Arizona Coyotes forward Barrett Hayton has asked for a trade. Pat Morris, Hayton’s agent, shot the rumors down. The Coyotes have not brought up his name in trade discussions, but teams have apparently asked and his name is coming up more and more.

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Craig Morgan also reports that he doesn’t believe the Coyotes are looking to trade that player as he is a big part of their plans.

Dubas on the Hot Seat With the Maple Leafs?

There’s a lot of online chatter about where Kyle Dubas sits with the Maple Leafs organization after Saturday’s embarrassing 7-1 loss versus the short-handed and injury-riddled Pittsburgh Penguins. A number of insiders are being quite honest about their assessment of this team and how the window to win may have already passed this franchise by.

Jason Gregor of TSN writes:

I know this might sound crazy, but maybe, just maybe, all those applauding Dubas in how he built the Leafs were a tad premature. They are a decent team. But way too many went overboard in their praise of being “ahead of the curve” and “smarter” than other organizations.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov)

He’s not alone in his thinking here. Fans are looking at his backup goalie situation, how little Nick Ritchie is producing and how much Zach Hyman is producing in Edmonton, among other things.

Things have gotten so bad in Toronto, the head coach is being forced to answer questions about their dress code, as if it somehow is related to their lack of success. Sheldon Keefe says dress code change came via talks between players and Dubas. He added, “I don’t believe there’s much correlation in how they dress with how they perform, but there’s bigger picture stuff they believe in.”

James Mirtle of The Athletic writes:

No matter how prolonged this mess gets, I don’t think you fire the coach. It’ll finally be time to trade someone significant. (I know some will argue that’s overdue — and they’ll be right if the Leafs continue to struggle.) If you don’t make a move, you risk frittering this season away, doubling (tripling?) down on a bet that has yet to pay off.

source – ‘Mirtle: The Maple Leafs look broken again. And if this continues, the solutions aren’t simple’ – James Mirtle – The Athletic – 10/24/2021