Though complete or accurate information is not always available, one of the best things about major trades can be comparing the actual exchange to the alleged offers made by those teams who could not complete the deal. The Jack Eichel trade was one of the more prolonged negotiations in recent memory resulting in a sizeable return for the Buffalo Sabres: Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, a first-round pick, and a second-round pick. While it is safe to assume that nearly every team in the NHL kicked the tires on Eichel at some point in time, the combination of the Sabres’ asking price, Eichel’s contract, and the conversation surrounding his neck injury and preferred treatment thinned the list of suitors considerably toward the end of the saga. However, one of the other teams believed to be in the mix right until the end were the Anaheim Ducks. So why didn’t they best the Vegas Golden Knights’ offer?
On Sportsnet’s “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman spoke about what he heard was the Sabres’ asking price from the Ducks, and it explains why Anaheim didn’t pull the trigger. Friedman reports that Buffalo requested Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, and two first-rounders to part with Eichel. Go back three years and that’s equivalent to asking for four first-round picks, including two top-ten picks. Zegras and Drysdale are already so much more than that, too. The super-skilled center, 20, and slick defenseman, 19, are already key pieces of a resurgent Ducks team, who hope to build around the duo and keep them in Southern California for years to come. Even for a player of Eichel’s caliber, giving up Zegras – who could end up being a younger version of Eichel – and Drysdale, not to mention two more first-round picks, is just too much and not nearly equal to what Buffalo eventually got from Vegas. Friedman also adds that the Ducks’ doctors were never quite comfortable with Eichel’s requested disc replacement surgery, which was of course a lynchpin in any potential trade. It just wasn’t a match for the star center and Anaheim, though they could both be better off for it.
- Jakob Chychrun’s trade availability still exists, for whatever reason, and Friedman reports that a number of teams are interested in the talented, young Coyotes defenseman, as they should be. He notes that teams are starting to get serious as Arizona has not backed off of their willingness to move the 2016 first-round pick. However, one team that has fallen out of the running are the Edmonton Oilers, even though Friedman and colleague Jeff Marek both feel that he would be a great fit. Defense is a long-term need for the Oilers, but Friedman went so far as to say that Chychrun definitively will not end up in Edmonton. It is unclear if the asking price or cap complications forced the team’s hand or if they merely soured on him amidst a down year. Other teams continue to circle as the ’Yotes dismal season wears on and Chychrun, forced into the No. 1 role on a blue line that was completely dismantled in the off-season, unsurprisingly struggles. Yet, the 23-year-old is just one season removed from recording 41 points in 56 games and is averaging almost 25 minutes per night, which are impressive enough to overcome his ugly -29 mark so far this year.
- Dennis Everberg burned bright but fast in the NHL. The Swedish forward was just an undrafted kid when he joined the Colorado Avalanche in 2014-15, quickly earned a roster spot, and recorded 12 points in 55 games as an unheralded rookie. Yet, as loudly as he made his entrance, Everberg quietly made his exit. He was held scoreless in 15 games with the Avs in his sophomore campaign and, though he was stellar in the AHL, opted to return overseas following the season. Everberg made a short-lived comeback attempt in 2018-19 with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, but left the team after just 11 games. Now back in Sweden, the 29-year-old Everberg is one of the more consistent scorers in the SHL. With back-to-back 32-point seasons, Everberg is playing at the same pace this year with 19 points in 26 games. The two-way forward also carries a +36 rating in his SHL career. Rather than try again in North America or elsewhere in Europe, Everberg has realized that he has a good thing going with the league leaders, Rogle BK. The team has announced a five-year extension for Everberg, keeping him under contract through the 2026-27 season and into his mid thirties. This likely means that the capable forward will play out his days at home in Sweden.