It was clear that teams are calling the Buffalo Sabres about captain Jack Eichel, but Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic writes that conversations are getting “more intense and serious” even though the playoffs are still going on. LeBrun lists the Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers as teams that make sense, though doesn’t suggest who has reached out at this point.
In return, the Sabres appear to be focused on receiving a top draft pick in this year’s class. LeBrun mentions that a 2021 first-round pick will be in any package, while Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet wrote that if Eichel or teammate Sam Reinhart are to be traded, “do not be surprised if the Sabres end up with a second high first-round selection.” The team already has first overall, but could be walking to the (virtual) podium twice if they get their way.
- One other player who may surprisingly be on the market is Zach Hyman, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward that has long been expected to re-sign with his hometown team. Not so fast, as James Mirtle of The Athletic writes that no progress has been made to this point and that it “feels downright unlikely” that an extension will be signed. Hyman very well could have played too well for the Maple Leafs, making his value more than the team will be able to afford in a flat cap world. The 29-year-old winger scored 15 goals and 33 points in 43 regular season games this year, but did suffer another knee injury and looked less than full-strength in the playoffs. Hyman’s gritty play style is one that almost every team in the league would covet, especially if he can continue to produce 20-goal seasons moving forward.
- Jordan Schmaltz is on his way to Europe, signing a one-year deal with HIFK in Finland. The 25th overall pick in 2012, Schmaltz has only played 42 NHL games to this point and is now 27. After bouncing around in the minor leagues the last few seasons, it appears as though he’ll try his hand at a new brand of hockey overseas.