Ever wonder what some agents think about players and who is the most likely to be traded? The Athletic’s Craig Custance sent out a survey to 21 player agents to ask a variety of questions. He did so on the condition of anonymity in order to elicit unfiltered responses.
Here’s what some had to say about the top players they think could be traded next season.
Patrik Laine and Jack Eichel top the list, Mitch Marner third
Two players each tied for first with four votes. The oft-rumored Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets and Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres. There really should be no shock over Laine who has been well documented as a top trade bait candidate.
Surprisingly coming in at three is Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner with three votes. Right after him is fellow Leaf, William Nylander with two votes.
From there you get a bunch of players with a single vote. Those are your usual suspects like Marc-Andre Fleury, James Van Riemsdyk, Jonathan Toews, and others. All of which we’ve mentioned here at The Daily Goal Horn.
Jack Eichel will tire of losing
“Jack Eichel,” one anonymous agent said. “He’s an interesting one. At some point, he’s just going to say, enough. Buffalo and losing is not fun.”
“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.
So could the 24 year-old pivot get dealt this upcoming season? New Sabres GM, Kevyn Adams said 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 eye 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.
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Mitch Marner is an interesting trade choice
Leafs winger, Mitch Marner is not a name I expected any agent to mention, let alone three. He scored 67 points in 59 games last year, but his salary and Leafs cap issues could be the reason why.
“I’d say Mitch Marner. They shouldn’t have signed John Tavares. His skating is declining every year. They should have just focused on the two younger kids and used the money elsewhere. I know it’s great to have the two centers … but you can’t have three players making over $10 million.”Anonymous Agent
So would the Leafs trade him? It sure sounds like if they have another disappointing playoff run either he or William Nylander could be gone. There simply would be no takers for John Tavares and Auston Matthews is untouchable.