Months of speculation over potential trade destinations for Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel could soon reach its climax. During a Friday appearance on Sportnet's The Jeff Marek Show, Elliotte Friedman reported discussions between the Sabres and the Vegas Golden Knights had recently heated up.
Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli made a similar report earlier in the week. He indicated Sabres management and the Eichel camp hope to find a suitable trade deal to avoid the 25-year-old center filing a grievance through the NHLPA.
Eichel and the Sabres have been locked in a well-documented standoff over which medical procedure he'll undergo for the herniated disc in his neck. The Golden Knights are believed among several teams that would allow him to undergo the disc replacement surgery he prefers if a trade can be worked out.
As we observed during the summer, the Golden Knights have a glaring need for an established first-line center. Bringing in Eichel would address that issue once he's fully recovered and returns to action.
Sorting out the Sabres' asking price remains a sticking point. Vegas Hockey Now's Dan Kingerski reported sources indicated the cost could be a first-round pick plus “a combination of top prospects, a young NHL defenseman, and a top-six forward under control.” The latter refers to a forward under contract beyond this season.
Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wondered how the cap-strapped Golden Knights can take on Eichel's $10-million annual cap hit, speculating perhaps a third team might have to get involved to broker a deal.
A deal hadn't materialized entering this week. We'll find out soon enough if the Eichel saga is finally drawing to a close.