Buffalo Sabres Rumors: Jack Eichel is not getting traded, but check back at the deadline

Eichel rumors (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

When you play word association with a knowledgeable hockey fan and ask for a word to describe Jack Eichel, they’ll reply with accolades like “superstar”, “phenom”, or “goal-scorer”.

Now ask that same person to do that for the Buffalo Sabres and you will get words like “dysfunctional”, “abysmal”, and just plain “bad”. At some point, Eichel is going to need that to change or he may quietly asked to be traded.

Eichel’s frustrated comments led to Rangers and other teams to check his availability

“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,” Eichel said after the NHL Pause. “It’s been a tough couple of months. It’s been a tough five years with where things have gone,” Eichel continued. “I’m a competitor. I want to win every time I’m on the ice. I want to win a Stanley Cup every time I start a season.”

Those comments led to speculation around the hockey community and it was confirmed yesterday by Bob McKenzie. Teams, including the Rangers did call Buffalo to check in on his availability.

Jack Eichel not getting traded…yet

Jack Eichel signed an 8 year deal for $80,000,000 in 2018. He’s rewarded the Sabres with 160 points in 145 games since he inked the contract. For his young career, he has 337 points in 354 games. Unfortunately for him the Sabres haven’t made the playoffs the last five seasons. Matter of fact, the only thing Eichel has experienced are 2 coaching changes already. Not exactly the definition of stability in Buffalo.

Jack Eichel trade rumors
Jack Eichel trade rumors again (NHLI/Getty Images)

New Sabres GM, Kevyn Adams says he’s listening but has no intention of trading Eichel. Here’s the rub, it’s not solely because they don’t want to, it’s also because they paid him to play next year already.

Eichel makes $10 million per season. However, the way they structured the deal he was due $7.5 million in a signing bonus this season which they already paid. His base salary is just $2.5 million, so the Sabres aren’t trading him now. They may not even trade him next season, but keep your on the summer of 2022.

That’s because he will be due another $7.5 million bonus and his no trade kicks in. If Eichel is going to be deal. it would make more sense at the 2021-22 trade deadline or offseason.

Speculating on Broadway Jack

So let’s look into that magical crystal ball and look through the mist. There! I see it. Bob McKenzie tweets out Jack Eichel has demanded a trade. Wait! I see Jeff Gorton picking up the phone. He’s making an offer. What will it take? You don’t need a crystal ball for that…a damn boatload.

In order to get a player of Jack’s pedigree you will need to give up roster players and salary. Remember, you need to fit his $10M AAV in your cap and that won’t be easy.

The first thing to do is list what players are untouchable and that’s easy. Panarin, Zibanejad, Kreider, Kakko, Fox, Trouba, Lundkvist, Miller, Shesterkin are the untouchables. It will take several players to get Eichel and it would be combinations like:

DeAngelo, Kravtsov, Chytil, and Georgiev
or
Buchnevich, Kravtsov, Lindgren and Georgiev

That may sound like too much for some, but is likely not enough in reality. Of course, that is the keyword to this entire article…reality. Right now there is no real world scenario that makes this a viable conversation. Still, the whole reason for this article is that we don’t know what the future holds for Jack Eichel and the Sabres.

At least not yet.

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