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Insider Notes Buffalo Sabres Could Consider Jack Eichel Trade

Last year, the Buffalo Sabres decided not to trade Jack Eichel. Could things be different this year? One insider believes so.

Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman joined The Instigators on WGR550 in Buffalo and when asked if there was any chance Jack Eichel could be moved by the Sabres, he simply stated “yes”. Of course, there were a few reasons he thought so.

Most of the focus this year have been on the struggles of players like Jeff Skinner and Taylor Hall (who has one goal in 11 games). But, it seems like every time the franchise struggles, there is talk that Eichel could be on the move. Previous reports are that the superstar center isn’t keen on continuing to lose (even though he’s publicly said all the right things) and Friedman touched on what scenario might see Eichel shipped elsewhere.

The trusted hockey analyst noted that a trade was discussed last summer and while Friedman isn’t sure a deal was ever close, the Sabres did talk to him about his future, knowing he might be unhappy.

Related: Taylor Hall Says His Time With Sabres Has Been a Struggle

Friedman adds:

They asked Eichel to take a step last year and he really did, we’ve talked about how much of a step Eichel took last year. Still, when it came to team success it just didn’t really go anywhere. Now you look at where it is this year, you know he’s going to be frustrated…

Friedman notes the Sabres just weren’t ready to pull the trigger on a deal last year even though teams made offers. It isn’t known if Eichel asked for a trade, but teams got the impression he was restless. Ultimately, the Sabres discussed the idea of moving him but didn’t feel it was the right time.

Jack Eichel Buffalo Sabres
Jack Eichel Buffalo Sabres

Is Now the Right Time for An Eichel Trade?

With the Sabres struggling again and with it likely that Hall’s struggles could lead to a trade at the deadline, what does Eichel have to look forward to? There will be teams interested and the Sabres will get a nice haul of ready-to-play assets and draft picks in return — at $10MM-per season, teams will have to send back salary to fit Eichel in.

The 24-year-old center is signed through the 2025-26 season and Friedman suggests the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings could both potentially put together packages as both teams have the assets it might take.

One other thing to consider is that Eichel’s no-move clause doesn’t kick in until the 2022-23 season. At that point, he would have a lot more say in where he could get traded to. If a deal were to take place, this season or this offseason might be the best time to do so.

Next: Blues Likely to Sign Binnington for 5-7 Yrs, $6M-$6.5M AAV

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