In Friday’s edition of “31 Thoughts,” Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman speculated the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, and Vegas Golden Knights are all involved in discussions with the Buffalo Sabres regarding potential deals for star centre Jack Eichel.
Friedman mentioned the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers as teams “on the periphery” of the Eichel sweepstakes, with the Los Angeles Kings also being involved.
There were rumours Jack Eichel backed away from the disc replacement surgery and would consider a fusion instead, but several sources refuted that. Not true. There was a time I thought a trade might happen sooner rather than later, but after the expansion draft looks more likely. Who’s in there? My guess is Anaheim, Calgary, Minnesota and Vegas, with Boston, the Rangers and possibly Los Angeles on the periphery.
The Seattle Kraken expansion draft is scheduled to take place on July 21, with teams submitting their protection lists on July 17.
Advertisement
Ad
Eichel missed the majority of the 2020–21 season while dealing with a neck injury. He played just 21 games, scoring two goals and chipping in 16 helpers.
Friedman added the Sabres have been relatively stingy about allowing Eichel’s pursuers to access the star forward’s medical records.
Tough to read the Kings on this one. The Sabres are looking for youth. High-level prospects and picks. The complicating part is Buffalo’s been very careful with Eichel’s medical records. They want to make sure trading partners are serious before allowing access. That’s a little different than St. Louis, which has indicated it will make Vladimir Tarasenko’s available.
This news comes on the heels of an immensely difficult year for both the Sabres and their highest-paid player. Buffalo finished dead-last in the NHL with just 37 points in 56 games; in addition to his two-goal output, Eichel sparred with team doctors and management over the proper course of rehabilitation for his neck and publicly expressed his dismay with the situation in Buffalo at his “garbage bag day” press conference in May.
Advertisement
Ad
Eichel, 24, has five years remaining on a deal paying him an average of $10 million per season. While he currently has no control over his destination in a potential move, Eichel’s contract will adopt a full no-movement clause beginning in the 2022–23 season.