NHL Rumors: Teams willing to trade for Jack Eichel with conditions; still can’t rule out the Rangers

The clock is ticking on the Buffalo Sabres even though they pretend that it isn’t. GM Kevyn Adams has been downright obstinate in his course of action regarding Jack Eichel.

He absolutely refuses to lower his asking price, despite the realities that he has a player who wants out, makes $10M in a flat-cap world, AND IS INJURED.

To add to it, Adams just stripped Eichel of the “C”

“I spoke to Jack two days ago, I spoke to the team yesterday and addressed this, Jack Eichel is no longer the captain of the Buffalo Sabres,” GM Kevyn Adams said. “From our perspective, the captain is your heartbeat of your team, and we are in a situation where we felt we needed to make that decision.”

Sabres refuse to change their stance on Jack Eichel

This soap opera has been going on for almost a year now. It’s become a joke with many team executives. Many are going off record laughing at what the Sabres are asking for the 24 year-old disgruntled center.

“We’re open to [a trade],” Adams said at the opening of camp. “We are going to stick to our plan. If there was a solution over the summer and we thought it made sense, we would have done it.”

It’s not like he hasn’t had opportunities to make a move, Adams just won’t budge. Buffalo could’ve moved him at the draft and didn’t. They could’ve done it before free agency started and didn’t. That was the last good chance to do maximize return. Now, that teams have spent their cap space he could be looking at the trade deadline. All the while, the clock keeps ticking to zero.

When that buzzer sounds next summer, Eichel’s full no-move clause kicks in shifting control in his favor. However, it doesn’t sound like Adams cares.

“Jack is one of the best players in the world,” he continued. “This is an elite franchise player, in his prime, under contract. We need to move forward, and we can’t compromise in what we believe.”

Teams are willing to trade for Jack Eichel but with conditions

jack eichel rangers
Jan 26, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) is stopped at the goal by New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) and defenseman Adam Fox (23) in the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

What Adams believes Eichel is worth, regardless of his health, is a monster package. Which is rumored to include at least a team’s top two prospects and a first round pick.

“We were hoping to avoid surgery, but it is needed,” Adams said. “At this point, Jack is not willing to move forward with what our doctors are suggesting, the fusion surgery, so we’re going to continue to work toward solutions.”

No team is going to give up that package for a player that needs surgery. We also aren’t talking about some torn muscle or a bone fracture. This is a herniated disc in his neck that has been bothering Eichel for some time.

The biggest issue for Eichel is about getting the procedure he wants to fix the herniated disc in his neck. He’s looking to do an artificial disc replacement and the Sabres are against it. They prefer the traditional fusion procedure.

So how does Eichel get traded without surgery because the new team is likely going to have to agree to the artificial disc replacement?

NHL Insider, Nick Kypreos recently put out a compelling tweet.

“Eichel has made it clear he’s willing to go anywhere to facilitate a trade,” he wrote. “One of 1/2 doz teams involved tell me a trade is doable as long as the Sabres are willing to add “conditional” clauses around how he performs after surgery. ie .. games played, scoring etc.”

This makes a whole lot of sense, but means the Sabres will have to do what they’ve been unwilling to do since this started. That is take a lesser package than they feel Eichel is worth.

What kind of conditions are we talking about here? Instead of a first round pick in 2022, maybe it’s a third round pick if Eichel is unable to play 50 games?

Could this be done with future considerations? Possibly player A if he returns and scores a point per game in X number played, or player B if it’s .75 per game, all the way down to player C if it’s less than .50? All seem like possibilities.

Can’t rule out the Rangers

Yes, there’s been reports that Chris Drury told agents over the summer he doesn’t understand where this interest in Eichel came about.

That’s amusing because Bob McKenzie confirmed a phone call before the start of last season by the Rangers asking about Eichel. Later, we learned through Elliotte Friedman that an offer was actually made.

Forever Blueshirts also spoke with a team source last season that indicated the package was something along the lines of Buchnevich, Kravtsov, Jones, and a first round pick. We also learned that once more details on the neck injury emerged the Rangers backed off.

If the Rangers could get favorable conditions, they may very well may be one of these six teams Nick Kypreos talked about. No one I’ve spoken with refuses to rule them out.

Of course, it’s a matter of timing and getting some questions answered.

  • What will it take to re-sign Mika Zibanejad
  • What will it take to extend Adam Fox
  • How much and many years to keep Ryan Strome

Once Drury knows where he stands, he can reengage with the Sabres on Eichel.

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