There is now enough smoke that it would not be a shock to see something happen before his no-movement clause kicks in before the 2022-23 NHL season. The Sabres need another rebuild, Eichel is going to be tired of losing, and it just seems like something that could happen sooner rather than later.
Jack Eichel signed an eight-year deal for $80,000,000 in 2018. He’s rewarded the Sabres with 178 points in 166 games since he inked the contract. For his young career, he has 355 points in 375 games. Unfortunately for him and the Sabres, he’s on six straight seasons with no playoff games. Matter of fact, the only thing Eichel has experienced are three coaching changes already. Not exactly the definition of stability in Buffalo.
It has been reported by Elliotte Friedman that the Buffalo Sabres don’t want to bring captain Jack Eichel back for the 2021-22 season. It looks like a Jack Eichel trade is now inevitable.
So what would such a trade look like?
It is a unique situation because players this good, this young, and signed long-term do not typically get traded. Players like that are franchise building blocks that teams tend to keep at all costs. There are not a lot of comparisons for such a deal. But we still tried to find some to try and guess an approximate value.
Given the speculation every fan and beat writer across the league is already piecing together their hypothetical trade offers — just as Sabres fans put together their wish list — and there is a very good chance that all of them are overstating what this trade might actually look like.
To try and find some comparisons I looked for trades over the past 10 years involving a very specific type of player that had to fit all of the categories Eichel does.
These are the names I found having been traded under those circumstances: Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin, Phil Kessel, Ryan O’Reilly, P.K. Subban, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Rick Nash.
There was a very similar trade structure here.
- One really high-end player or prospect. Usually a recent first-round pick.
- An NHL veteran or two that is a depth player, or mid-roster player.
- Two draft picks including a first-round pick
Where Should The Sabres Trade Eichel?
There are two simple reasons why Eichel should be moved: it appears to be his wish and now, it appears to be the team’s wish as well. Both are ready to say their farewells and move on from one another.
- Elias Lindholm
- Jakob Pelletier
- 2021 1st round pick (12)
- Nico Sturm
- Marco Rossi
- 2 2021 1st round picks (21 and 25)
- Troy Terry
- Isac Lundestrom
- 2022 and 2023 1st round picks
New York Rangers:
- Vitali Kravtsov
- Filio Chytil
- Keith Kinkaid
- 2021 1st round pick (15)
Columbus Blue Jackets:
- Seth Jones
- Daniil Tarasov
- 2021 1st round pick (5)
Los Angeles Kings:
The Kings have reportedly dropped out of the ship due to that and there are probably others who will eventually do the same.
The Sabres have been at the bottom of the NHL standings for the past 10 years. they haven’t even sniffed the playoffs since their last appearance in the 2010-2011 season. The last time the Sabres won a playoff series was the 2006-2007 season. This is not in any way Eichel’s fault, but he has been here for six of those seasons.
I do not believe that the Sabres should trade Eichel he is a top ten player in the league when healthy. The big question mark is his health with possible neck surgery. The Sabres tanked for two years put their fans into a bind where most of the fans agreed with it, but many did not.
What I would do is find a way to mend the gap with him and move forward. If they trade him, they will be a whole rebuild again for the third time in 12 seasons.
The last time Buffalo traded a top-line center (O’Reilly) it was ugly.
How do you feel about the topic? Should the Buffalo Sabres look to trade Eichel and what do you think the return would be? Either comment in the comment section or respond to me on Twitter.
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