The Buffalo Sabres purge continues.
So far two of three major pieces have been moved with Jack Eichel remaining. It began yesterday when Rasmus Ristolainen was dealt to the Flyers and it carried on late into the night. Multiple reports indicated Sam Reinhart had been traded to the Panthers.
This generated a buzz into the early hours of the morning, but the paperwork and trade call was not yet complete. Earlier today, the deal was finalized.
Sabres trade Sam Reinhart
The Florida Panthers acquired forward Sam Reinhart from the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday in exchange for goaltender Devon Levi and a first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
A pending restricted free agent, Reinhart is coming off a season in which he led the Sabres in goals (25) and points (40). The 25-year-old’s goal total matched a career high, initially set during the 2017-18 season.
“Sam has established himself as one of the best playmaking scorers in the league, and we are thrilled to be able to add him to our Panthers lineup,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said. “His competitiveness and hunger to succeed will fit seamlessly with the culture we are building here in South Florida.”
Reinhart has recorded 295 points (134 goals, 161 assists) in 454 career games since being selected by the Sabres with the second overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft.
Three of the top four picks of that draft are now with the Panthers (No. 1 pick Aaron Ekblad, No. 4 selection Sam Bennett). Former Hart Trophy recipient Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers was taken with the third overall pick.
Levi, 19, was selected by the Panthers in the seventh round of the 2020 NHL Draft. He helped Canada to a silver medal at the 2021 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, posting a 6-1-0 record with three shutouts, a 0.75 goals-against average and .964 save percentage.
What will happen with Jack Eichel?
After the draft, TSN’s Darren Dreger was asked about the Jack Eichel situation in Buffalo. He seemed fairly shocked that a trade did not take place last night. He also noted that there’s a possibility, if healthy, that Eichel would report to Sabres camp next season.
Dreger admitted that he really does not see that happening.
“There were a number of inquiries, there were offers made on Jack Eichel, but obviously not suitable for the Buffalo Sabres,” he said. “For me what’s most interesting now is what’s next? Adams has made it clear that if he doesn’t get the rate of return he needs, Eichel could return next training camp.”
“I don’t feel that’s the case,” he continued. “I feel like Jack Eichel is going to turn up the heat moving forward, possibly this weekend.”
Today, Elliotte Friedman said there is no update on the Eichel trade front but said the Canadiens had talks with Buffalo last night.
“I’ve said from Day 1 that we have to look at every possible scenario and be willing to see, ‘Does this makes sense for us and why?’ And ask those hard questions,” GM Kevyn Adams said. “We’re having a lot of conversations but if we’re in a position where we feel that there’s value and we feel it’s going to help our franchise, then we’ll make certain decisions.”
–Field Level Media contributed to this article