Much like we are experiencing with the Blackhawks being connected on the Dougie Hamilton and Seth Jones markets, there is a thought process along the lines of just because they could, doesn’t mean they should that comes to mind.
Well, that thought process can now be applied to disgruntled Buffalo Sabres captain and star forward Jack Eichel. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports the Blackhawks have interest in making a deal for the former second-overall pick:
Slap Shots has learned the Blackhawks have taken a ticket at the deli counter in communicating their interest in the 24-year-old center, who is in the midst of divorce proceedings with the Sabres while possibly facing a tricky surgery to repair a herniated disk.
Well, that’s certainly one way of relaying a team’s rumored interest.
Eichel, 24, has skated in 375 games and amassed 139 goals and 355 points in his NHL career. But Eichel had his 2021 season cut-short due to neck issues, limiting to 2 goals and 18 points in 21 games. Those injury issues are part of the many reasons that he reportedly wants out of Buffalo. The second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft will be coming off rehabbing his neck injury and a shortened season being shortened even more. Additionally, he is entering Year 4 of an eight-year, $80 million deal with the Sabres that comes with a $10M AAV cap hit.
As for the cost of doing business, any deal involving getting Eichel out of Buffalo is going to be a hefty price to pay and will likely including multiple first-round picks and top-tier prospects. More on that later.
Much like the scenarios with signing Dougie Hamilton or trading for Seth Jones, the Blackhawks could do an Eichel trade. The Blackhawks have the room and assets to make something work, but there would be a lot of moving pieces in the process. But there are a slew of challenges in making any of those deals happen. Nevertheless, we’ll keep our eyes on it.