Another Buffalo Sabres season ended with the same question and concern regarding Jack Eichel’s future and at some point, it feels like the relationship is getting to the point of no repair.
The longer Buffalo tries to make things work with Eichel, they run into the risk of damaging the potential return they can get for their franchise player. There is no doubting the talent that Eichel is and he will command a massive return in a trade.
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However, this is a Sabres team that has been the model of what no to do in the NHL given how they have mismanaged past deals. Look no further than what they got in return for Ryan O’Reilly from the St. Louis Blues and how it set the Sabres back even further.
The first obvious rule should be to avoid a deal within the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference if possible. The New York Rangers remain a rumoured destination and they would have pieces the Sabres would covet and should ask for like Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, K’Andre Miller but will also need a collection of draft picks and potentially a goaltender too.
However, to ease the sting of trading Eichel, Buffalo should be moving him our west and there will surely be teams that will jump at the chance.
Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel shouldn’t be the only one on the move
Don’t think that by trading Eichel, the Sabres will be able to move forward as a franchise. The issues with this team go beyond one player (Eichel definitely isn’t the problem) and that there should be others on the trade block along with him.
In an ideal world, the team finds a way to get Jeff Skinner off the roster considering his cap hit feels like a $9 million boat anchor right now. Then there are players like Kyle Okposo, Sam Reinhart, and Rasmus Ristolainen who are getting a pretty penny and haven’t exactly lived up to what they’re being paid.
Can the Sabres find a way for the Seattle Kraken to take on one of these contracts? It might seem like a tough task but if Buffalo wants to move forward, the best way might be addition by subtraction.
What do you think the Sabres should be looking to do this offseason? Should Eichel be on the block? Who else should the Sabres look to trade? Let us know in the comments below.