If the Buffalo Sabres are going to trade Jack Eichel, they’ve now come to realize that they’ll have to agree to a certain condition. For teams interested in possibly acquiring Eichel, they know they’ll be asking for this condition or there’s no trade. In other words, it’s a deal-breaker.
Related: Jack Eichel Trade Situation Finally Changing, Teams Feel More Informed
That condition is a games-played condition, according to Pierre LeBrun, who offered an update on the renewed Eichel trade talks this week. LeBrun writes:
What I’ve heard from some teams around the league is that if this deal gets done, it’s going to have to have a conditional aspect to the trade, Eichel’s recovery and health very much affecting the final payout to the Sabres. And according to sources, Adams has acknowledged in trade talks that there may have to be a conditional aspect to the deal (likely games played, etc.)
LeBrun said he started working the phones after his colleague Darren Dreger reported that the talks were shifting in a positive direction and as teams started to get a closer look at Eichel’s medical situation. Hinting that some teams were starting to become more comfortable with the idea of letting Eichel get the surgery he wants, LeBrun added that some teams are still hesitant while other teams are “warming up to the idea.”
If Eichel gets the disc-replacement surgery he wants, there’s no guarantee he’ll be healthy enough to continue his NHL career. At the very least, there’s real concern he’ll never be the same player he once was. As such, teams that are thinking about trading for him want some form of guarantee that if he does get the surgery and never return — or play fewer games than the trade condition would specify — that they aren’t left holding the bag.
It was believed the Sabres weren’t willing to go there in conversations. That may have changed in recent days.
“If Eichel is suddenly available for 60 cents on the dollar and a reasonable, conditional asset in play aside from the players being dealt immediately, it could be very much worth the gamble for a team looking at the bigger picture and a 24-year-old player who can absolutely once again become a top-10 player in the world.”
Interested teams know he won’t be an impact player this year. They’ll be planning ahead for next season and seasons beyond that.
Which Teams are Interested in Eichel?
LeBrun thinks the Minnesota Wild are out based on their current salary cap situation. He notes the Philadelphia Flyers had been keeping tabs on the situation but adds with all their offseason moves, adding Eichel probably no longer makes sense. The Los Angeles Kings gave it some thought and it’s not clear how an injury to Quinton Byfield changes their outlook on the 2021-22 season.
LeBrun thinks the two favorites might be Anaheim and Calgary, noting that both teams did their due diligence on the player and his injury situation.
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