The Sabres Suck, Free Jack Eichel
The Sabres suck, free Jack Eichel. Do I have to type the rest of the blog; because it sort of speaks for itself. Okay, fine… I’ll explain myself.
We are in the 6th year of the Jack Eichel era in Buffalo. We will never know the butterfly of what would have happened if the Sabres landed Connor McDavid in the 2015 NHL Draft. Sure, McDavid is an alien but I’m not sure Buffalo is much better. McDavid, Jesus, God, Zeus, etc wouldn’t be able to save this franchise in its current state.
The last time Buffalo made the playoffs was the 2010-2011 season. They have not finished with a points percentage above .500 in seven years. The Sabres haven’t won a playoff series since 2007. The point being, this is not a one man fix.
The Sabres really only have themselves to blame. It wasn’t too long ago that Ryan O’Reilly, Evander Kane, and Robin Lehner were on the roster. Now all three are gone with nothing really to show for them. The Taylor Hall and Eric Staal additions this offseason haven’t made an impact. The goal-tending situation of Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark couldn’t stop a nose bleed. The Kyle Okposo and Jeff Skinner contracts are an eyesore. Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Dahlin are also scheduled to hit restricted free agency.
With or without Eichel, this Sabres team is not close. Buffalo is dead last in the East division. This is one of the worst teams in Hockey and miles away from even a playoff birth. If the Hall and Staal additions didn’t move the needle, then what’s the plan here?
Sure, maybe trading Eichel is suicide. Eichel, 24, is in the midst of his prime and has 5 years remaining on his contract that will pay him $50 million. Furthermore, Eichel’s contract does not contain any trade protection until 2022-23 when a movement clause starts to kick in. At that point, the Sabres would theoretically lose leverage because Eichel could begin to pick his landing spot for a potential trade.
Previously, I mentioned how Boston could be a potential landing spot for Eichel. One thing is certain, it would allow Eichel to return to his home city of Boston. It doesn’t have to be the Bruins. Any contender would love to have Eichel and could automatically change the temperature in the room.
Eichel presents the rare opportunity for the Sabres to turn things around. Imagine the type of package that Eichel could command? We’re talking about a guy who notched 36 goals and 42 assists a year ago with nothing around him. Especially given the age and contract security.
I’m not going to try to guess what a trade package would look like. It’s hard to project but a team should be willing to give up the farm. Players like this don’t just grow on trees. It’s the only chance for Buffalo to really get multiple picks and young players to turn the corner.
The Sabres suck, free Jack Eichel. Something has to give. A trade feels inevitable because Buffalo is going nowhere.