The Jack Eichel saga continues, though things are coming to a head according to several NHL insiders. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff tweets that the Vegas Golden Knights are “well down the track” in Eichel talks with the Buffalo Sabres, but notes that there are still plenty of moving parts. Kevin Weekes of ESPN adds that the Calgary Flames are with the Golden Knights as potential destinations still, though he too notes that things remain “fluid and complex.”
It is important to remember that there are many factors involved here, including the Sabres’ own cap situation. Eichel is not on long-term injured reserve for Buffalo, and moving him off the cap would put them well below the lower limit. Any potential deal will likely have multiple players coming back, in addition to whatever draft picks are involved.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs locked up Morgan Rielly yesterday, signing him before he got anywhere close to unrestricted free agency next summer. Another one of their pending UFAs, Jack Campbell, is playing very well for the club in the early going and setting himself up for a big payday. According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, there have only been preliminary talks between the Maple Leafs front office and Campbell’s representatives, and that happened before the start of the season. The Maple Leafs of course signed Petr Mrazek to a three-year deal this summer, which carries a $3.8MM cap hit. Mrazek is playing tonight for the club as he returns from injury.
- Cole Sillinger has been great for the Columbus Blue Jackets in the early going, stepping directly into the NHL after being selected 12th overall in this year’s draft. The question now is whether the Blue Jackets will keep him through the ten-game threshold, which would start the clock on his entry-level contract and burn its first year, or send him back to junior where he could dominate for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. Notably, as Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch points out though, Sillinger is also actually eligible to play in the AHL this season because he spent last year with the USHL instead of playing in the COVID-shortened WHL campaign. Minor league games do not count toward that ten-game threshold, meaning the young forward could spend the year in professional hockey but not burn the first year of his ELC. With seven games played already, the Blue Jackets will have to make a decision on that front soon. One other thing to note for Sillinger is that sometimes, teams focus more on the 40-game threshold instead of ten. At that point, the season not only would burn the first year of his ELC, but it would also count toward Sillinger’s future UFA status.