The Jack Eichel era with the Buffalo Sabres is over after completing a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights as they look to move forward.
After months of waiting, the standstill between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel is over as the team finally completed the long-awaited trade with the Vegas Golden Knights.
There was never any doubt that Eichel was going to be traded but there was always going to be doubt of where he was going to end up. Many had Vegas as the destination for the former Sabres captain but teams like the Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks and apparently the Colorado Avalanche were in the mix too.
In the end, it was the Golden Knights who ended up having the best offer on the table. Here is what the Sabres will get in return from Vegas.
The Golden Knight assume risk with Eichel’s health as the forward is set to have artificial disk replacement in his neck. Buffalo is hoping they got enough in return that they can add to the building blocks that they currently have.
The person who wins, in the end, is Eichel as the 25-year-old gets to have the surgery he’s been fighting for and the fresh start that seemed to be inevitable.
"“It was never personal,” general manager Kevyn Adams told reporters on a Zoom call about Eichel’s situation. “We got to a point where this was the offer that we felt was the strongest we had to this date and we felt very good about it. We were not going to compromise on what we felt we needed as a return.”"
Speaking to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Eichel couldn’t hold back his excitement towards getting his life and hockey career on track.
"“I just can’t wait to be a hockey player again,” Eichel told Friedman. “It’s an amazing, amazing fan base there. It’s an incredible atmosphere. Everyone in the world talks about it. I’m just really looking forward to being a part of that organization and just getting to play hockey again and doing what I love. I’m really excited for that moment.”"
Depending on how Eichel’s recovery goes, one date Sabres fans should circle on their calendar is March 10, 2022 which is when Buffalo hosts Vegas. It might be an ambitious timeline but something to keep an eye on.
What are the Buffalo Sabres getting in return for Eichel?
Let’s start with the players Buffalo is getting in Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch.
Krebs is no stranger to players on the team right now including Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn who were teammates on Team Canada during the World Juniors. He’s a dynamic player with high-end vision and takes pride in his two-way game.
Tuch is a player the Sabres are also excited to get as he can produce at the NHL level and is excited about being able to play in Buffalo.
"“He was unbelievable in my conversation with him, and how excited he is to be a Buffalo Sabre,” Adams told reporters via NHL.com. “He told me this is a dream come true for him. That’s exactly the type of person and talent on the ice we need. And exactly the type of personality we need off the ice as we drive our culture forward.“And in terms of Peyton Krebs, it’s really important that we targeted young players that are going to fit us moving forward. And he has a lot of what we were looking for in terms of the way he plays the game, his approach, his on-ice approach, his off-ice approach, his character, his leadership qualities.“That all played a part in it. We’re thrilled. We’re thrilled about both of them.”"
On top of that, the Sabres got to add to their draft pick capital that they can either use to acquire players or improve their prospect depth. Getting Eichel’s salary off the books also provides some flexibility for what the Sabres can do going forward as well.
Sure, they lose a top-end player like Eichel but one lesson the Sabres should have learned is that they can’t put all their hopes in one player to turn the fortunes of the franchise around. It seems like they are going in the right direction as long as their young players get the support and development they need.
Did the Sabres get enough in return for Eichel? Are you glad the team got the deal done? Let us know in the comments below.