Rumour: New frontrunner in Jack Eichel sweepstakes

You read right, the Hockey News believes a trade will happen!


Sure, for now, it does not sound like a Jack Eichel trade will take place. He failed his physical at the Buffalo Sabres’ training camp and was stripped of his captaincy on Thursday. His trade and future remain in an impasse all because the team and its franchise player remain at an impasse over surgery options. It has been mentioned that the forward is willing to go anywhere to facilitate a trade, though Nick Kypreos, who made that information public, maintains that the interested clubs are open to accept a trade if the Sabres add “conditional” clauses around how he performs after surgery. ie .. games played, scoring… 

While insider Elliotte Friedman is afraid that the NHL might have to get involved, Adam Proteau of the Hockey News believes a trade could still happen, but closer to the trade deadline in March. 

That means that several contenders would be out of the running, seeing that very few of them would be willing to take the risk with Eichel, on top of having enough cap space to absorb his $10 million salary. But Proteau believes a have-not team could be in the mix and willing to pull the trigger and he therefore calls out a new frontrunner in the Eichel sweepstakes. 

“A franchise such as the Anaheim Ducks will happily send Buffalo some of its prospects in return for a bona fide No. 1 center.” 

Eichel switched agents last month and is now represented by Brisson, who can make tough moves when necessary.  Eichel is under contract through 2025-26 with a $10-million cap hit and GM Adams is believed to be asking for a hefty return in exchange for his captain: he is reportedly seeking and not budging from his demand of the equivalent of four first-round picks,  which could be anything from young, established roster players, A-level prospects, or actual first-round draft picks in the next two NHL drafts.

GM Kevyn Adams is sticking to his guns, but Proteau wonders how things will change will the 2021-22 season underway. 

“For Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams, this deal has to be a can’t-miss for the future. And if the regular season opens up a couple of Eichel trade possibilities for teams disappointed in their 2021-22 play, Adams should be able to leverage his side into getting what it wants.”

Proteau’s point of view is quite interesting and he believes a trade could also occur when it comes to St. Louis Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko. Fans, we have trades to look forward to it seems. 

“Even if they’re not moved in the next few weeks, don’t take that to mean Eichel and Tarasenko will remain with their longtime employers. The NHL is an elephantine league in that it never forgets. And Eichel and Tarasenko’s displeasure with their current situation hasn’t dissipated. It’ll just take some time for it all to play out.”