NHL Rumors: Jack Eichel trade to L.A. Kings gets big boost after Drew Doughty comments

jack Eichel training camp
Jan 28, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) warms up before a game against the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot of refocused buzz in the NHL Rumors mill on a potential Jack Eichel trade to L.A. in the wake of Drew Doughty’s comments. “There’s no point just waiting for these prospects to develop when you’ve got guys in their prime,” the Kings defenseman said. “Guys that are hungry to win and guys that are sick of losing so, yeah, we’ve got to bring guys in.”

Jack Eichel trade talk to L.A. Kings

Trade talk about the Sabres disgruntled center went into overdrive when he stopped just short of demanding a trade publicly. That will happen when you openly state you are not happy with how the Sabres handled your injury and then state, “trying to get healthy and figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year wherever that might be.”

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.”

“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.”

Jack Eichel Kings trade
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

Drew Doughty wants Kings to make trades

Drew Doughty was open and honest with the press on breakup day. For about nine minutes he discussed the season and desire for Rob Blake to go out and bring in some veteran help.

“Me and ‘Kopi,’ ‘Quickie,’ ‘Brownie,’ we’re all getting older,” Doughty said. “We all had, I thought, phenomenal seasons, but we’re running out of time. You’ve got two of the best players at their position (Kopitar and Doughty), both ways, two of the most complete players at the position. And with all this [NHL salary] cap room, yeah, we’ve got to bring guys in.”

NHL.com

When asked directly if he would be fine if the Kings did not bring in anyone and stayed the course, his response was a quick “No.” This has all led to a lot of talk around the league that Doughty’s public comments are a call to action that GM Blake must heed.

The biggest question facing the Kings is if they are willing to part with Quinton Byfield in a trade for Eichel. Most do not believe that is an option, and some are not sure that Alex Turcotte will move the needle enough to beat out the Rangers who are still considered the frontrunners to land Eichel.