Jack Eichel is undoubtedly a superstar in the NHL these days. Any team would want him, including the Rangers. Eichel’s name regularly tossed around with other elite NHL stars like Mark Scheifele, Tyler Seguin, and Ryan O’Reilly. One big difference is the players listed before are associated with winning and Eichel is not. In the last year or so, Eichel has made his feelings known towards the management of the Sabers franchise.
How We Got Here
In a stacked 2015 NHL draft, Eichel was taken with the 2nd pick in the 1st round behind the best NHL player today Connor McDavid. Since his debut, Eichel has lived up to, or even exceeded expectations in his time in the NHL. The Sabers have been one of the worst franchises in the NHL for all of Eichel’s tenure and he is loosing his patience rather quickly. Buffalo on paper has at the least a playoff team with superstar Jack Eichel, elite winger Taylor Hall, 1st line wingers Victor Olofsson, Sam Reinhart and Jeff Skinner, a really solid 2nd line center in Eric Staal, the 2018, and 1st overall pick Rasmus Dahlin.
Who Is To Blame
Who is to blame? We have to look deeper into their roster and management. Jeff Skinner was traded to play alongside Eichel. Up to that point, Skinner put up 25-35 in his 8 seasons with the Hurricanes. In his first season as a Saber, he put up a personal record of 40 goals and tied his season high in points with 63. Skinner also has a cap hit of 9,000,000 and is currently being a healthy scratch. The Sabers franchise is plagued with players underperforming and mediocre management. So in a nutshell, bad management, low expectations, and a ”just ok” culture is to blame.
The Trade Talks
After the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, talks of a Eichel name got thrown around trade talks but two teams became front runners since then. The New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, became the two teams that seemed most probable. Both teams have the assets and could work out cap space. The Rangers were heaviest in talks and had the best assets to trade with, but no moves were made by seasons start.
The Rangers have great non roster assets and picks to get Eichel, but the cap space is where it’s tough. The first trade we’ll see is 2 Firsts, Kakko, Deangelo, Smith, and a second for Eichel. In this trade you have to move the two blue liners for cap reasons and it’s centered around Kakko and picks. The second trade is Strome, Deangelo, 3 first, Vitaly Kravtsov, Nils Lundkvist and Howden for Eichel. This trade isn’t really centered around anyone but more a move for the future and a better balanced roster. The third and final trade will consist of, Deangelo, Buchnevich, Chytil, 2 firsts, and Georgiev for Eichel. This trade makes the cap space work, and gives Buffalo good assets and a reliable goalie. We need to keep in mind that for any trade for Eichel the Rangers need to move Smith, Deangelo, or Buchnevich due to cap reasons.
Would the Sabers say yes to any of these deals, maybe? Who knows? That’s for us to speculate and the pros to handle. The Sabers are in no rush to move him (but that won’t last long) and we’ll just have to wait and see.