“Our Sources Tell Us” is an occasional series wherein we look at possible trade targets for the Carolina Hurricanes
The hockey world went into total freakout mode late Wednesday morning when reports started breaking that Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres might skip town when he gets the opportunity to.
There had been reports all season that he wasn’t happy about the coaching staff and his current situation, but now news reports suggest that he won’t sign a long-term extension with the Sabres if Dan Bylsma is still coaching there.
Since then, his agent has come out and said that the reports are “1000% false”, but pssshh all agents say that.
So, let’s just go ahead and entertain this for a second. What if Jack Eichel was on the market? Should the Carolina Hurricanes pursue him? How much would it cost?
The 2015 second overall draft pick, Eichel would have an enormous price tag in a trade.
Like humongous big.
You can go ahead and start with Noah Hanifin, who was selected three picks later in that draft and start adding and adding. You can throw in a first and second round draft pick in this year’s draft, and it probably still won’t be enough to pry him out of Buffalo, because, at the end of the day, Buffalo has the power here.
They have full control of Eichel and his rights for the next several years. Unless the player just doesn’t play, which would essentially be career suicide, the Sabres have the power.
So, the massive price tag would be an issue, but there is another issue, and it’s character.
This isn't the first time we have seen Eichel make headlines because of this kind of stuff. He’s been a ghost on the ice at times and his demeanor off the ice has been talked about several times since he entered the league.
But I tend to scoff a little bit at those issues with young players. Jonathan Drouin also had a big character concern and he’s coming off of a career season in Tampa and appears to have an incredibly bright future ahead of him, especially if Steven Stamkos can remain consistently healthy.
Of course, all situations are different, but it seems like more often than not, the character stuff boils down to reports, when in the reality of it all there isn’t a real issue inside the locker room, but his reported willingness to see Bylsma walk certainly isn’t a good look for Eichel.
Will it scare teams away? In a word (or two), hell no. I guess that was two words, but you get the point. This is a world class talent who has endless potential as a goal scorer in the NHL. He’d surely be a wonderful addition for the Hurricanes.
However, there’s no way this should happen. Ron Francis would have to pull a full 180 on his entire philosophy in order to acquire Eichel. He has made it clear that he will be busy trying to make this team a playoff team this offseason and that he will be more aggressive, but this is more than just getting more aggressive. With trading for a guy like Jack Eichel, you’re entering “mortgaging your future" territory.
Next offseason, you’re also looking at new contracts for all of Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, and Elias Lindholm. So, on top of moving Hanifin, you’re running into money trouble fast and you might have to say adios to one of those other players. You could easily be trading away an elite defensive core for the next decade for one player.
I’m pretty firmly planted in the “don’t even think about it” territory here. There would be a lot of teams that would give up a lot of assets for Eichel, and Carolina would be wise not to get in that huge bidding war.
Besides, none of this will matter if it’s true. You can bet your bottom dollar that Sabres GM Tim Murray will kick Dan Bylsma to the curb faster than you can say “Jack Eichel” if it means the young superstar will stick around long-term with the organization.
You make the call: is Jack Eichel worth pursuing for the Hurricanes?
Should the Hurricanes try to trade for Jack Eichel?
This poll is closed
Yes, anytime you can add that kind of skill you do it
No, it isn’t worth the cost or the deviation in philosophy
Other (indicate in comments)