Alright Red Wings fans, it’d be a long shot. It would probably cost a big name or two. But what if the Buffalo Sabres Jack Eichel really does force his way out? What if Sabres GM Kevyn Adams gives Steve Yzerman a call? Could something be done that would make sense for both teams?
There’s news everywhere, starting with The Athletic’s Craig Custance and Eric Duhatschek who wrote this:
The more interesting speculation surrounds the younger Detroit forwards up the lineup. There’s also a belief that Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman would consider trading one of his younger forwards like Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha in the right deal. “I wouldn’t be shocked if (Yzerman) moved one of his top young forwards,” said one exec. “I think he’s listening on a lot of things.”
Now, all Yzerman trade rumors must come with disclaimers that no one outside of Pat Verbeek and Kris Draper know what he’ll really do. But this is all interesting with the Eichel-wants-out information hitting a fever pitch.
Prying Eichel from Buffalo will cost anyone who gets him. Even though it’s rumored and expected
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that he wants out and will be moved, it’s certainly not a sure thing. But under the impression that he’s forcing the Buffalo front office’s hand, what would it take to land him?
According to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, who sees the Rangers as a front runner for Eichel, he predicts that the Blueshirts would have to include Alexis Lafreniere in any package going to Buffalo.
Meanwhile, back to Custance and Duhatschek, they include Los Angeles as a possible destination after quoting an unknown executive who pegs Eichel as a future Ranger.
“I think at the end of the day, Jack Eichel is going to end up a New York Ranger,” predicted one executive. “I just don’t know when that’s going to be.”
But not everybody is convinced the Rangers should be the front-runner if Eichel hits the market. One source pointed out that they don’t have the high-end center it would take for an Eichel trade to make sense for the Sabres. Instead, he thought the Kings were a better match.
“LA is a team that people should be looking long and hard with (Quinton) Byfield, (Alex) Turcotte and plenty of other pieces,” he said. “And does Buffalo really want to play against this guy a bunch every year or do they want him in the Western Conference?”
So to recap: The top two picks in the 2020 draft would most likely be included in the package back for Eichel. Adding insult to injury, would the Sabres trade to a team that will be back in its division when things return to a more normal state?
What would it take for the Red Wings to get Jack Eichel?
If we go off of what Custance and Duhatschek indicated, the Sabres are looking for a center to swap back and/or a high end, top tier prospect at the very least. So that leaves a few scenarios:
Scenario 1: Dylan Larkin is packaged with a prospect or two and/or a 1st round pick
Scenario 2: Mantha is packaged with several draft picks, which includes a first rounder and several prospects like Joe Veleno
Scenario 3: Something with Lucas Raymond or Moritz Seider, Robby Fabbri, and draft pick(s).
Scenario 4: Bertuzzi with a high end prospect (Veleno again or possibly Jonatan Berggren) and draft pick(s) that include a first.
There are only two scenarios I would consider and that would be two and four. And I find them unlikely. Mantha’s stock isn’t as high as it once was so it would take a heck of a haul of prospects and most likely a first round pick. As for scenario four, if I’m a betting man, I think the Red Wings value Bertuzzi over Mantha at this point in the game and would be reluctant to part with him.
Scenario one, which includes a top line center in Larkin, seems next to impossible since they literally just sewed the C on his sweater. I would immediately laugh at Adams if he asked for scenario three.
I just don’t see how the Red Wings pull this off without giving up significant assets that would hurt more than help. I would love to have Eichel in the Winged Wheel, especially since it would give the Red Wings two top line centers. But for every trade package they could offer, an LA or New York can ante up with a Byfield, Turcotte or Lafrieniere.
Much like the Patrik Laine or Pierre-Luc Dubois situations, I won’t hold my breath.
But if there is anyone who could find a way to make it work, it’s Yzerman.