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Jack Eichel Rumors: Sabres 'Hopeful' Trade Can Be Worked Out with Interested Teams

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 6, 2021

AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

There reportedly may be some movement on the trade front involving Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the standstill may be "shifting," as teams interested in Eichel have gained additional access to his medical records to "clearly" see what he is dealing with.

Dreger added that Eichel and the Sabres are "hopeful" a trade can be worked out with one of the teams that have expressed interest.

Eichel is on injured reserve after failing his physical because of a neck injury. He and the Sabres are at odds, as he wants to undergo artificial disk replacement surgery, while the Sabres want him to get disk fusion surgery, as no active NHL player has ever had Eichel's desired procedure.

Eichel is one of the most dynamic, young talents in the NHL. However, it can be argued he has been wasted on a Sabres team that has not reached the playoffs since 2011, which was well before he entered the league.

The Sabres made Eichel the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft behind only Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid.

Across six NHL seasons, Eichel has appeared in 375 games and registered 139 goals and 216 assists for 355 points.

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He broke the point-per-game mark for the first time in 2018-19, recording 28 goals and 54 assists for 82 points in 77 games. He was better the following season, with a career-high 36 goals to go with 42 assists for 78 points in 68 games.

Eichel seemed poised to enter the MVP conversation last season, but he never looked quite right and had his campaign cut short by the neck injury suffered on a hit by New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas.

All told, Eichel appeared in 21 games and finished with two goals and 16 assists for 18 points.

Given the manner in which his injury has been handled and the frustrations of playing for a perennial losing team, it is clear Eichel no longer wants to be in Buffalo.

One thing working against the 24-year-old, however, is the fact that he is under contract through the 2025-26 season, meaning the Sabres are under no obligation to trade him.

Still, there is some incentive to move on from Eichel since keeping him could be a disservice to Sabres players and coaches who would likely be forced to answer questions about it throughout the year.

Also, since Eichel is one of the best young players in the game, it stands to reason that the rebuilding Sabres could get a large, useful package of players and draft picks for him.

Finding a trade partner and consummating a deal would be the best resolution for all parties involved.  

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