For the past month, Jack Eichel has been the front runner on the trade rumor talks. Let’s spread some pearls of wisdom. This trade should not happen and it won’t be happening. The Buffalo Sabres organization has been this route before. The Sabres have not made the playoffs since the 2010-2011 season. Making big trades at the wrong time or not getting enough value for trade has happened before and they paid the price. Why is it so wrong to trade generational center, Eichel?
The Sabres have failed before
In the 2018 offseason, the Buffalo Sabres wanted to trade away Ryan O’Reilly. The trade was made with the St. Louis Blues. The Sabres wanted to shed some salary cap space and get a monster return on their investment. The Sabres received a decent amount of players that did not pan out for the franchise.
The Sabres received a good amount of players in this trade. The Sabres got Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund, Tage Thompson plus first- and second-round draft picks in return. Vladimir Sobotka was past his prime. Patrik Berglund left for personal reasons. Tage Thompson had injury issues. To make matters worse their draft picks never panned out.
The St. Louis Blues made out like bandits. O’Reilly helped lead the Blues to their first-ever Stanley Cup championship. He led the team in scoring with a career-high 77 points.
Will it be Possible to trade Jack Eichel?
The thing that will make this difficult is that Jack Eichel has an injury. This will make it difficult to get the trade value he is worth. The fact is no one will know if he can return to his true form. The surgery he needs is tough to come back from since it barely has been done. He is suffering from a herniated disk in his neck and missed the last 33 games of this season.
The next offseason would be easier to get his true worth if he comes back successfully. By then he should be worth keeping but Eichel doesn’t want to play on the Sabres any longer. His no-move clause kicks in next season, which he already wants to remove the clause from his contract.
Another aspect that will keep him from an even trade is that there is no telling what he will do on a better team. Eichel’s statistics are solid but he has played with no one around him for most of his career. Eichel could perform better with a more talented roster around him, but he could also perform worse on a new team.
Don’t forget these pearls of wisdom. He holds a $10 million salary-cap hit for the duration of his contract. Teams that are in the hunt for Eichel either have problems trying to support the $10 million salary cap hit or don’t have enough to give. They might also not have enough salary-cap space to put players around Eichel to make the team successful.
What do the Sabres have in Jack Eichel?
To know what the organization is dealing with, they need to know what Jack Eichel brings to the table. In his whole career, the Sabres never finished higher than 23rd and went as low as 31st. His numbers are solid for an injury-prone player. He only had an injury-free season twice.
In Jack Eichel’s rookie season (2015-2016), he had 56 points in 81 games with eight powerplay goals. He was on the all-rookie team and was fourth in the Calder Trophy voting.
In the next two seasons, Eichel missed a significant amount of games due to injury. He scored a point per game on average and had 10 powerplay goals in the second season. In the third season, he had an average of a point a game and only three powerplay goals. 61 games both seasons were accomplished due to injury.
In the 2018-2019 season, Jack Eichel played in 77 games with 82 points, which arguably was his best season. He had eight powerplay goals, so his powerplays came back to life. Eichel finished five in shots taken with 303 shots. This season proved that he is a very good first-line center. The scary thing is he is not even close to his ceiling yet. A lot more potential is there to be gained.
This past season was a mess. Jack Eichel played 21 games with only two goals and 18 points. At the start of the year, he was playing poorly and found he was playing with a lagging injury that forced him off the ice. Past the middle of the season, they finally figured out he was done for the season.
What should the Sabres do instead of Trading Jack Eichel?
The Buffalo Sabres should keep Jack Eichel. They need to trade Sam Reinhart for some young proven talent. This will lead to rebuilding good talent around Eichel without holding on to a steep contract that Reinhart possesses. Jack Eichel is too good to let go. He will be locked into $10 million a year for the next five seasons. If done right, he could be playing in the playoffs before his contract is up with the Buffalo Sabres.
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