While Jack Eichel’s potential trade availability has dominated the headlines in recent weeks, there has actually been very little concrete information to come out about his market. The assumption is that every team will at least kick the tires on the superstar forward, but also that the Buffalo Sabres will have a hefty asking price that some may not want to pay and many others simply won’t be able to. The remaining group of possible landing spots could be small. To this point though, there has been little word on which teams fall into which categories – until now.
One team very much in the mix for Eichel is the Minnesota Wild. The Athletic’s Michael Russo has confirmed that Wild GM Bill Guerin has opened trade talks with the Sabres’ Kevyn Adams. Minnesota had a strong, resurgent season but still lacks star power at the center position, so it is no surprise that Guerin is interested. The Wild already have their plate full with extensions for Kirill Kaprizov, Kevin Fiala, and Joel Eriksson Ek, but it stands to reason that a potential Eichel trade would likely see one of the latter two heading to Buffalo. Russo points out that the salary cap would necessitate another roster player likely moving as well, while a top prospect such as Marco Rossi or Matthew Boldy would certainly be part of the package too. It’s a heavy price to pay – and that might not even be the full ask – but Buffalo knows that someone will pay up for Eichel. Russo warns that the Wild are an up-and-coming team and need to be completely sure of Eichel’s health status before making the expensive, long-term commitment and franchise-altering decision to acquire him.
Not everyone is willing to take that risk and the Columbus Blue Jackets are one of them. The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline writes that Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen has been busy working the phones and analyzing the trade market and Eichel has of course earned “due diligence.” However, he indicated that this was the extent of his trade talks with Adams. Portzline reports that a key piece of the Sabres’ asking price is a center with first-line potential and the Blue Jackets do not have anyone who fits that description. To make up for that deficit, Columbus’ would likely have to pay an exorbitant price to acquire Eichel. The likely package would include at least the No. 5 overall pick, if not multiple first-rounders, multiple young roster players, probably including goaltender Elvis Merzlikins, and a top prospect or two. That cost doesn’t make much sense for a team that, at best, is re-tooling but could be considered rebuilding. Portzline suggests that another Sabre, Sam Reinhart, has also been linked to the Blue Jackets and would be a better fit in many ways.
Other suitors are expected to include the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and New York Rangers, but so far those organization have not let any details of their pursuit slip out. There is of course also the chance that Buffalo simply retains Eichel, as a fair return could be very difficult to come by. Until then though, this is a storyline that will continue to dominate the off-season.
Logan Brown, Colin White, and a couple depth prospects for him. Seems like a Buffalo deal.
That sounds like such a Buffalo trade. Add a 2nd or a 3rd and why wouldn’t they say yes
He’ll be traded to the Rangers
It’s a joke trade proposal bud
No, unless the asking drops a lot Eichel will not push them to the next level with what they have to give up for a damaged player who may never achieve his greatness again.
So was the package the Blues gave for O’Reilly.
I’m sure the Habs wouldn’t do it and shouldn’t but I wonder would something like
D Romanov, C Phoeling, G Primeau and a 2nd come close. I don’t think they should because it means Suzuki and KK won’t have money to be resigned on top of same Division
It’s a huge gamble for any team to trade a lot for him without knowing his neck prognosis.
Lol your not getting Eichel UNLESS your giving up a first. No chance Adams would even entertain that.
Adams and the Sabres are gonna have to green light Eichel and his camp to talk to prospective team cause I can’t see anyone of these teams giving up remotely what Adams wants or Eichel is worth without knowing the extent of the neck issue and understanding where Eichel stands on that new surgery that scared Buffalo away
1st, Konecny, Sanheim, Frost.
Think that might be too much
Sabres would jump at that deal I suspect.
Depends if successful surgery…if so 90 point man
I wouldn’t want any team I cared about giving up what they’d have to give up to get Eichel.
I can’t see Eichel being happy on a team that blew up their roster and their future to get him.
Weren’t the Blackhawks rumored to be one of the teams going after Eichel? Maybe Stan was just kicking the tires.
Stan has other issues to worry about…
Doesn’t matter if Eichel is happy about it or not. He has no choice where he goes.
Not officially, no. But c’mon. We all know he’s a discontented dude. If I’m a GM aiming to mortgage my team’s future for the guy, there is no way I do that deal unless I get the Sabres’ permission to (informally) reach out and ask “So, Jackie boy, how do you feel about being a Blue Jacket?”
And if I don’t get a Hell-Yeah-I-Always-Wanted-To-Play-For-Your-Team answer, then I don’t make the trade. Because the quickest way to lose my GM job is to give away the farm for a malcontent star who’ll be growling in press conferences before year’s out. (And not a “superstar” — he’s played six seasons so far, he’s yet to lead his team to anything, he’s won no accolades, and only once has he cracked the top twenty in league scoring. Fine player, sure, but not comparable to a Rantanen or a Matthews or a Barkov or other similar agemates.)
The Hockey News had an interesting fillip on the Eichel thing: that they might get a better deal from a team that has a big exposure risk in the expansion draft — package for Eichel, fewer assets exposed.