On Monday, there was apparent buzz that Jack Eichel might have asked for a trade from the Buffalo Sabres. TSN’s NHL insider Bob McKenzie said while making his morning calls, whispers of Eichel wanting out were making the rounds and he noted he was shocked to hear of such rumors because nothing had been on his radar — beyond, of course, any news in the past that Eichel could, at some point, get tired of losing.
Wanting to ensure he had all the information available, McKenzie began a deeper dive into the trade talk and reported his findings on Twitter thread Monday afternoon.
The Continued Eichel Buzz
This wouldn’t be the first time Eichel’s name has come up in trade speculation out of Buffalo. A team that has struggled as mightily as the Sabres have, and for so long, there’s only so much patience a star player might be willing to have if the organization is constantly spinning its wheels. Therefore, any new information leading to a potential trade wasn’t something McKenize could simply ignore.
Up to this point, most of that trade buzz has been nothing more than speculation and most of it was immediately shot down by the Sabres. They’ve maintained they have no desire to move their top line center. Still, McKenzie felt this was worth looking into, especially since he’d heard the following:
Imagine my surprise when I started making calls today and heard Jack Eichel trade rumours, including unverified chatter he may have at some point recently requested a trade out of BUF and that NYR were amongst interested teams. This, of course, required further investigation.
After Digging Further For Confirmation
McKenize noted that he reached out to Eichel’s agent Peter Fish, who said, “I hear that (trade talk) a lot.” Fish added, “Jack wants to win, he’s frustrated (not winning) but, no, he doesn’t want out.”
Fish went on to say that Eichel would be heading to Buffalo soon to prepare for the season and that being as ready as he can be is the only thing he can control when it comes to his future. If the Sabres choose to listen to offers or ultimately make a deal, that’s not up to him. Very true considering Eichel has no trade control in his contract.
McKenzie then reached out to sources from the Sabres end of things and learned that Buffalo isn’t shopping Eichel. They don’t have a deal on the table to move him and the New York Rangers are believed to be among many teams to have called and asked about Eichel’s availability. All have been told the same thing — the Sabres will listen to offers but aren’t looking to move him.
Again, standard operating procedure.
The End Result of McKenzie’s Search
What McKenzie said he was able to uncover is that the talk he heard when making calls earlier in the day is nothing more than unsubstantiated talk. He didn’t seem too sure where it would have come from or what that talk is out there.
It doesn’t sound like there have been any developments on the Eichel front and the Sabres are no closer to trading him now than they were a few weeks ago or a few weeks before that.
Eichel doesn’t want out of BUF; BUF doesn’t want to trade Eichel; move along, nothing to see here. Fair enough. But some rumours are worth checking out/mentioning. Which I’ve now done. Now back to draft prep.
Does this mean that Eichel won’t be traded? No. He certainly could be. Does it mean that a trade is imminent? Definitely not. Like a game of telephone tag, something must have gotten lost in the passing of any messaging related to the Sabres No. 1 center.
For now, Eichel is staying put. But, this is probably worth keeping an eye on.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”