In the past days we’ve heard that five teams were linked to Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres in trade talks and while the clubs were not named by Emily Kaplan, who reported the chatter, she said that the clubs can fit his $10 million annual average value within their salary-cap payrolls, though some might have to make some moves before pulling the trigger. If we focus on the five teams Kaplan speaks of, Cap Friendly helps us realize that clubs with lots of cap space and sufficient assets in prospects and promising young talent to acquire Eichel could include the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes. All of them need an established first-line center, though we don’t have specific reports that they’re all in the hunt for Eichel.
On top of that TSN’s Pierre LeBrun mentioned that the St. Louis Blues could be that other contenders seeing that they have been said to be lurking around the Sabres to talk Eichel, and wondered if the San Jose Sharks could be in the mix. As for Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, he believes the Golden Knights might want back into the Eichel sweepstakes. Vegas was an early frontrunner this summer, especially when they started making bold moves with the Marc-Andre Fleury trade to the Chicago Blackhawks. Earlier this season, it was rumoured that the Sabres had asked Vegas for Krebs, winger Reilly Smith, defenseman Nicolas Hague and a first-round pick.
And now: another candidate appears to be looking to re-enter the Eichel sweepstakes. Friedman’s colleague Jeff Marek believes the Montreal Canadiens could be back in talks, especially after their 0-3-0 start this season. He explained on the air of their 32 Thoughts podcast that Eichel could be the boost needed once he undergoes surgery and gets well, however Friedman wondered if GM Marc Bergevin likes Eichel enough to part with a high demanding price.
“I will tell you this, I think Montreal has been a team that has at times been involved in this, the one question I kind of been asked is does Bergevin really like him that much to pay what it’s going to cost to do it?”
We all know that Bergevin could be let go at the end of his contract this summer and owner Geoff Molson could be the one making the call here to acquire Eichel.
This will be very Interesting to watch unfold.