As the Buffalo Sabres reset again with a new general manager, these five teams should make a trade offer for Jack Eichel.
The Buffalo Sabres fell short of the playoffs again this year, and after a vote of confidence general manager Jason Botteril was fired this week. Kevyn Adams has been named as the replacement, with scouts and AHL coaching staffs also let go. As a natural follow up, it’s easy to speculate about the future of star center Jack Eichel.
Buffalo has missed the playoffs in nine straight years now, including all five seasons of Eichel’s career. In May, he expressed his frustration with the situation.
“Listen, I’m fed up with the losing and I’m fed up and I’m frustrated. You know, it’s definitely not an easy pill to swallow right now. It’s been a tough couple of months. It’s been a tough five years with where things have [gone],”
The Sabres smartly locked Eichel up long-term, with an eight-year, $80 million contract in October of 2017. He has six years left on that deal, with a $10 million cap hit each year. He seems to be unmovable, for reasons besides his contract, and the Sabres surely aren’t inclined to trade him. Eichel has not gone public with a trade demand, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t asked to be moved behind the scenes or won’t make a trade demand in some fashion at some point.
Sabres’ fans would not love the idea of trading Eichel, and sending him elsewhere would signal a full rebuild in Buffalo. Even if it’s not necessarily likely to happen, as the Sabres cling tightly to their best player, these five teams should consider making a trade offer for Eichel.
Potential Jack Eichel suitor: Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes were the little engine that could in last year’s playoffs, as the No. 7 seed in East. They beat the defending champion Washington Capitals in seven games in the first round, then swept the New York Islanders before petering out in a Conference Finals sweep by the Boston Bruins. In this year’s format, they are the No. 6 seed and won’t catch anyone off guard.
Regardless of this year’s playoff result, the Hurricanes have the ammo to make a big move this offseason. Six picks in the first three rounds of the draft is a good start for GM Don Waddell. Here’s a deal that works, and might get Buffalo’s antenna up.
Trocheck was just acquired at this year’s trade deadline from the Florida Panthers. But he’s also got two years left on his contract, is still young (27 on July 11) and Eichel is an upgrade that can’t be turned down. Maybe adding another draft pick pushes Carolina over the top, and it would be a worthy price to pay.