NHL Rumors: Buffalo Sabres checked back with interested teams on Jack Eichel

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman is reporting that the Sabres met with Jack Eichel’s new representatives led by Pat Brisson. He termed it an “introductory meeting” as both sides try to keep this as quiet as possible.

The last time Eichel met with Sabres was with his previous agents Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli around August 18. The meeting was to plead their case to the NHL and NHLPA.

“The League was there, the Player’s Association, Eichel, and the Sabres,” Friedman said. “I’m not sure if the doctors were there in person or via Zoom, and everyone put their cards on the table…there was no resolution.”

Eichel then switched agents on August 27.

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Sabres reached out to interested teams

After the meeting, the Sabres reached out to teams that had expressed interest over the summer. They are believed to be the Ducks, Kings, Golden Knights, Wild, and Rangers.

“I do believe Buffalo re-engaged with interested teams to see where everyone stands,” Friedman said. “We will see where things go.”

sabres jack eichel
Mar 7, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) controls the puck against the New York Islanders during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Several other teams that may have been interested included the Flames, Hurricanes, and Canadiens but would likely be out of the running now.

The Golden Knights do not have the cap space to make a deal work, and once Kirill Kaprizov signs it should take the Wild out of the running too.

That really leaves the Rangers, Ducks, and to a lesser extent the Kings as possible landing spots.

Eichel deal on hold?

TSN’s Shawn Simpson recently reported that Jack Eichel may have surgery “very soon” and his timetable to return would be December. If that’s indeed what is about to go down, that puts any possible trade for Eichel on hold.

Simpson also stated that the Sabres are still asking for somewhere between 4-6 pieces. They continue to demand mostly futures, including any interested team’s top two prospects which no one has remotely been willing to do.

Will a healthy post-surgery Jack Eichel fetch the return the Sabres are looking for? Only time will tell, but prior to his neck injury coming to light one team executive told me that no one is going to give what would essentially be four first picks for anyone.

A trade is inevitable but at least for now this one has cooled off. It will be red-hot again once we get to Christmas.