NHL Rumors: Jack Eichel all but gone from Sabres and the top trade destinations for his services

sabres take captain from eichel
Oct 6, 2018; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) reacts before a game against the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Rumors and Jack Eichel are now officially joined at the hip from here on out. After openly voicing his frustration with the Buffalo Sabres organization and stopping just short of public trade request, it’s trade season for Eichel.

NHL Rumors and Jack Eichel reach fever pitch

To try and make light of what Jack Eichel said would be a disservice to our readers. You can’t say things like, “trying to get healthy and figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year wherever that might be,” and not raise eyebrows. You can’t start talking about what you need to consider in the offseason, and doing what’s best for yourself first and not have everyone reading into it.

Bottom line, Jack Eichel wanted out before this season. The New York Rangers actually made an offer that the Sabres considered but opted against. This situation has reached its boiling point and the two sides can’t continue.

Top destinations for Jack Eichel

There are only a handful of teams that are known to be contenders for Jack Eichel at this point. They are the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, and Los Angeles Kings. Of the three the Blueshirts are the clear front-runners to land him in a trade. New York has the cap space, the assets, and most importantly the desire to make a trade for him.

nhl rumors jack eichel
Jan 26, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) is stopped at the goal by New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) and defenseman Adam Fox (23) in the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Boston is unlikely to part with the prospects they need to in order to make a deal. They also have Taylor Hall in the fold now. The Kings, contrary to what some write, don’t have enough high end prospects to move the needle in Buffalo. Unless they include Quinton Byfield (which they won’t), there’s no deal there.

The wild card here are the Columbus Blue Jackets. GM Jarmo Kekalainen made it publicly known that they are going to go after a top center this summer. A pairing of Eichel and Patrik Laine will see tickets. They have three first round picks in the upcoming draft and are likely to do whatever it takes to get fans in the seats.

There is a risk.

Jack Eichel’s no trade clause kicks in next season, and he may use that to his advantage to demand a trade to a bigger market or a Cup contender. If Columbus is a middle of the pack team flirting with a playoff spot, it could just be a headache for Kekalainen he’d soon avoid.