Los Angeles Kings started Jack Eichel talks at the NHL Trade Deadline

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Jan 25, 2020; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Atlantic Division forward Jack Eichel (9) of the Buffalo Sabres battles for the puck with Pacific Division forward Anze Kopitar (11) of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2020 NHL All Star Game at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings are looking to trade for Jack Eichel. Not a surprise, but a report has come out that talks already started. Regardless, you need to prepare for Eichel trade talk to dominate the offseason.

Thanks to stopping just short of demanding a trade publicly, Eichel has put the rumor mill into overdrive. That will happen when you openly state you are not happy with how the Sabres handled your injury and then say, “trying to get healthy and figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year wherever that might be.”

Los Angeles Kings started talks for Jack Eichel at trade deadline

Prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, Elliotte Friedman wrote, “The person to watch is Kevyn Adams. He’s the juggler, going through multiple scenarios both big and small. There’s a big difference between “considering” and “doing,” but I think he’s considering almost everything.” The most important note was this tidbit, “I do believe he’s listening to Jack Eichel pitches. At the very least, Adams is getting the lay of the land.”

You can follow that up with this info a month later. “Don’t sleep on two California teams,” Frank Seravalli said on Insider Trading. “The Anaheim Ducks and their GM, Bob Murray want to make a splash and the Los Angeles Kings.”

The Ducks certainly have the pieces but cap issues seem to cloud the situation a bit. Meanwhile, L.A. has been considered a top destination for months.

“They have the goods to bring in a guy like Jack Eichel and more importantly they’ve had interest,” Seravalli continued. “I can tell you that the Kings had a cursory conversation at the deadline about acquiring Jack Eichel and I expect that to pick up this summer.”

Top Jack Eichel trade destinations

jack Eichel trade
Mar 6, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) reacts during the third period against the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Pierre LeBrun led of the segment with the New York Rangers. They are the only team to have actually make an offer that we know of. He also mentioned, the Minnesota Wild. Yesterday, I wrote about trade destinations and indicated that the Blue Jackets could be a dark horse to land him.

Keep in mind, Eichel’s no trade clause kicks in next summer. The Sabres can send him anywhere this offseason, but if they wait too long they can only hurt the return.

As for the Kings, yes they do have the pieces to land him. I’m not sure how much things have changed, but in my digging one league source told me that L.A. wasn’t interested in adding another $10 million dollar player to the lineup. Also, they would be unwilling to part with Quinton Byfield.

Just speculating, but what if L.A. would be willing to do so if the Sabres ate maybe $1-2 million of Eichel’s contract?

The Rangers are still widely considered the front-runners to land Eichel. This could also be some posturing in the media by Buffalo to raise the price on a disgruntled, expensive, and injured player.

Let’s not forget, the Sabres actually considered a Rangers trade offer last offseason but opted to hold off. The potential package was something along the lines of a roster player like Ryan Strome or Pavel Buchnevich, Vitali Kravtsov, Zac Jones, and their second 1st round pick in the 2020 draft. Buffalo obviously wanted the first overall selection which the Blueshirts refused.

Will the Sabres still get that much from the Rangers? Would they get anything like that from another team? Or have they now waited one offseason too many. Those are the questions that will be answered this summer.