Before we get too deep into this story, let’s first say, this sounds a lot like the rumors that consistently come out of Edmonton when the Oilers aren’t playing all that well. That is, everyone outside of Edmonton tends to suggest that McDavid wants out or that the Oilers are wasting his talent. All the while, McDavid has repeatedly said he won’t abandon the team and wants to finish his career as an Oiler.
So, when we hear something similar coming out of Toronto regarding the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel, it’s hard to not to immediately make that connection.
Here’s the story…
TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger joined the TSN Overdrive panel Wednesday and a discussion broke out about the struggles in Buffalo. Host Bryan Hayes then asked if the optics of the Sabres missing the playoffs for a 10th straight season might trigger Jack Eichel to potentially request a trade in the off-season.
The first reaction by Dreger was ‘C’mon’. When Jeff O’Neil said he thought that it actually could happen, the panel started to discuss the notion of Eichel’s future in Buffalo.
Everyone tended to agree that what was happening Buffalo was baffling. With some decent pieces, why some big contracts had done next-to-nothing production wise and why only Eichel and Sam Reinhart are scoring was unexpected. Still, Hayes called the organization a “poison” and wondered why Eichel would want to stay since the franchise has showed no signs of turning things around?
Dreger then said, if Eichel actually felt this way, he’d have to go public with his unhappiness, noting trade requests happen multiple times each year behind closed doors in the NHL and nothing ever gets done. Eichel would have to basically level the Sabres and say he wants out. O’Neil said Eichel could simply say, ‘Hey, I’m not coming back, trade me.’
Dreger then said, there’s no way the Sabres do this again, having gotten fleeced in the Ryan O’Reilly trade.
This Seems An Unlikely Move For Eichel
It’s certainly fair to suggest Eichel is frustrated. A legit superstar, he’s getting almost no help in Buffalo and hasn’t for years. But, in the second of an eight-year deal, that he would throw the Sabres under the bus doesn’t seem like the course of action he would take, at least not yet.
There could come a time that Eichel tells the Sabres he doesn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and that he’d like to be moved. That said, it would be hard to imagine this happening yet and it would certainly be hard to envision him lambasting the franchise as he does it.
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