With September approaching there's still no end in sight in the standoff between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel over treatment to repair a herniated disc in his neck. That hasn't kept the 24-year-old center's name out of the rumor mill.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the two sides met with the NHL and NHLPA on Aug. 18 to find a way to end the impasse. However, the meeting ended without a resolution.
The Athletic's John Vogl believes Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams knows he can't bring back Eichel this season despite his comments to the contrary. He could be forced to lower his asking price as no one has met his current one over the past four months.
Eichel's decision to hire agent Pat Brisson prompted Boston Hockey Now's Jimmy Murphy to suggest the Montreal Canadiens could become a trade partner, citing Brisson's close relationship with Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin. He also indicated the Boston Bruins were among several teams keeping tabs on Eichel's situation.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now's Dan Kingerski pointed out the Canadiens would get the Carolina Hurricanes' first- and third-round picks in next year's draft if they don't match Jesperi Kotkaniemi's offer sheet. He wondered if offering up two first-round picks and a prospect would bring Eichel to Montreal. Meanwhile, Sportnet's Eric Engels suggested bundling those compensatory picks with some high-end prospects for the Sabres' captain.
Despite the recent conjecture, an Eichel trade doesn't seem imminent. His health remains a significant issue for clubs interested in acquiring him. So does his $10 million annual cap hit through 2025-26 and the Sabres' rumored asking price of four assets comparable to four first-round draft picks.