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Top-5 Players Who Were Supposed to Get Traded



It’s that time of the offseason for the ANTI-trade rumor.

We’re in the dog days of August — who was supposed to be traded but hasn’t moved?

The number-one name on this chart is obviously Jack Eichel.

While Eichel is still attempting to force a trade out of Buffalo and get his back surgery, the Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams is still holding up the show. The last major NHL trade was more than three weeks ago when the Vegas Golden Knights sent Ryan Reaves to the New York Rangers so that Tom Wilson wouldn’t “ragdoll” the Rangers this season.

Full pun intended.

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The NHL trade market has grown cold, even the Eichel chase. Between the exorbitant cost for Eichel, New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello’s underhanded tactic of agreeing but not finalizing free agent contracts so he can negotiate harder on the trade front, or the unresolved Evander Kane situation, it’s a logjam.

Jack Eichel

Will somebody get the kid a Happy Meal?? Eichel’s agents firmly chided the Sabres for the process. Buffalo won’t let Eichel have the specific back procedure he thinks is necessary. And, as National Hockey Now’s Off the Record column was the first to report, Buffalo wants at least four assets in return.

The Eichel grab was one of our best gets this summer.

The Minnesota Wild also kicked tires, but like others, pulled out of the running.

It’s a good old-fashioned stalemate. The Player wants out. The team can’t get enough for the player. The player needs surgery. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl, country song is made. Eichel may have the Anchor Bar Blues soon.

Everybody’s so impatient for Eichel to get dealt, a tweet like this from the man himself gets over 2,000 retweets:

Odds Eichel plays for Sabres this season: Still hovering at 5% but might climb to 10% next week.

Evander Kane

It’s obvious why the San Jose Sharks haven’t been able to move Evander Kane, despite another 20-goal season, his sixth straight.

He’s currently under investigation by the league for gambling on NHL games.

And yes — I get the irony of Kane’s inclusion in an article sponsored by a sports betting platform.

He’s got four years left on his contract at a $7 million dollar AAV.

Reportedly, a number of his teammates don’t want him back.

He’s got a limited no-trade clause — he can only be moved to three teams of his choice.

San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson may not be able to live with Kane and it might actually cost the Sharks to live without him.

Sources have suggested to San Jose Hockey Now that teams would consider taking the 30-year-old winger on, pending the results of the NHL investigation, if San Jose were willing to add incentives.

Obviously, the Sharks are trying to avoid that. Time is running out if they want him out of the room by training camp.

50% odds that Kane remains with the San Jose Sharks.

Evgeny Kuznetsov

It was a poorly kept secret the Washington Capitals were getting irritated with Evgeny Kuznetsov’s immaturity. There was the infamous Las Vegas hotel photo with either a lot of Columbian bam-bam, or the boys bought a few dozen powdered sugar donuts but didn’t clean up the mess. There have been lackadaisical play and internal attitude issues, being late for meetings, and two–yes two–suspensions for violating COVID protocol.

We won’t even get into the rumors surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins rival.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Capitals were out of patience. However, a few weeks ago, Washington Capitals GM Brian McClellan walked that back, perhaps after the trade market was 10-ply soft.

“He’s a good player. We like the player,” MacLellan said regarding Kuznetsov. “We’ve never said we’re trading Kuznetsov. I said we’re open to discussions on most of our players for the (NHL trade market). If it comes up, it comes up, and if it doesn’t make sense, same as always. It’s never been ‘we’re moving Kuznetsov’ as it’s been portrayed in a few places.”

It’s tough to move such a talented young player. Of course, it’s not tough to lose an irresponsible guy who thinks the NHL is party time. Which one is Kuznetsov? The dirty bird remains in DC. Teams don’t want the distraction, nor are they willing to pay the price for his talent yet. If Kuznetsov spends a little while on the straight and narrow, suitors will be lined up around the block.

Odds Kuznetsov remains in DC: 75%.

Vladimir Tarasenko

Another case of player wants out. The team wants the player out. No other team wants the player at his current salary. Tarasenko has a thrice rebuilt shoulder, and at 29-years-old, he is a question mark. At $7.5 million AAV for the next two seasons, he’s a question to which other teams don’t want the answer.

The New York Islanders and GM Lou Lamoriello are or were rumored to be interested, but the Sith lord of the NHL GMs has remained in the shadows. The secretive org may have the money. They may not. That’s the point of their game.

But Tarasenko is still in St. Louis, and neither side is entirely pleased.

Odds Tarasenko remains in St. Louis: 20%. The Blues will crack, and Lou has his napkin tucked into his shirt, ready to feast.

Matthew Tkachuk

Everyone’s ears perked up when the young, gritty forward with a nose for the net popped up in the NHL trade rumors. However, it was perhaps a false alarm.

The immediate rumor was Tkachuk wanted to play for the St. Louis Blues, where his father, Keith Tkachuk, starred. And St. Louis would send Tarasenko to Calgary. Easy! However, it wasn’t long before Toronto wanted in on the fun.

Alas, it was not to be. Calgary GM Brad Treveling publicly quelled the trade chatter with an appropriately firm statement on SiriusXM radio.

We should’ve known: Why would Calgary take on a 29-year-old sniper with a bum shoulder for the much younger and healthier Tkachuk? That sounds like a St. Louis ask that was laughed out of the room.

99.99% chance Tkachuk is in Calgary.

Just remember, trade talks are just that: Two sides talking. It’s not a trade report and certainly doesn’t mean anything is imminent. There are a dozen more conversations that no one knows or doesn’t go anywhere for every bit of chatter we get. Everything can change in one phone call, for good or bad, and sometimes both.

San Jose Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief Sheng Peng contributed to this story.

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