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Abel to Yzerman

Do You Want Jack Eichel?

So to start to evaluate where Eichel could be traded, we asked The Athletic’s NHL staff to evaluate their team’s level of interest in Eichel and what they could offer in a package.

Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings have the cap space, draft capital and farm system to put together a highly competitive offer for Eichel, who is a high-end No. 1 NHL center with elite scoring. That’s the kind of piece the Red Wings sorely need, and he fits their age range. But the cost to acquire him would be high, perhaps prohibitively so. The Sabres could reasonably ask for top defense prospect Moritz Seider, plus a high-lineup current NHLer and Detroit’s top 10 pick, at which point the Red Wings wouldn’t be much closer to contending than they are today. And Eichel wouldn’t likely be any happier, either. Yzerman should do his due diligence, but it’s not a great fit between two rebuilding teams. -Max Bultman

more (paid) teams...

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MurrayChadwick's avatar

I have a lot of respect for the Athletic, but this is a joke right?  The Sabres could reasonably ask for top defense prospect Moritz Seider, plus a high-lineup current NHLer and Detroit’s top 10 pick,
They could, and Yzerman could realistically laugh so hard he falls off his chair.

This is the same Jack Eichel who may need freaking neck surgery? Same Eichel who just torched his GM and team, almost necessitating a trade?  Same Jack who is being paid $10MM a year in a severely punishing cap environment this season?  And the suggestion is that Yzerman would need to pay a hefty premium for him?

No thanks, Yzerman should “pay” Tampa for Janni Gorde by being willing take Kilhorn off their hands to solve their cap problem, I’d rather have those two plus Seider our top 6 forward, and our pick.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/11/21 at 09:34 AM ET


Right on, Murray. I can’t help but think that in the end, the return on Eichel won’t be as high as people expect. Maybe it’ll end up being a PLD/Laine kind of deal.

Posted by RyanVM on 05/11/21 at 09:54 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

No way, absolutely no way would I want him.  He’s been a diva since he joined the league - those players don’t fit the Detroit mold, and certainly are not Stevie’s type.

They could, and Yzerman could realistically laugh so hard he falls off his chair.

My thoughts as well.  A team is going to be doing Buffalo a FAVOR to take Eichel off their hands.  $10 mil for 5 more years, for a princess who routinely scores in the 20’s?  Nope.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/11/21 at 10:22 AM ET


Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerHolland2.0’s pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 05/11/21 at 09:34 AM ET

Max is usually pretty good but this definitely looks like a miss. No way Eichel’s value is that high after the news and events of the last couple of days. As for would we want him in Detroit? IF the disc isn’t a long term deal, IF he can act right, IF the price is right and not prohibitive on building the future….

IF the stars aligned, but based on the current conversation I’d say no thanks.

Posted by MZ2215 on 05/11/21 at 10:32 AM ET


We can debate if we want him, due to his attitude, but talent wise, I am shocked at some of these comments.  Many thought going into this season, with Hall on the team, he’d be top 5 in the league in points.  He’s a legitimate #1 center in talent, and in the top half of the league at that.  Now, is he a cancer? maybe.  But how much of that is frustration of being in a poorly run team vs his natural character? 

That is the question to me.  I think the return will be high, and assuming Yzerman could find out more about his character… Id take him in a second because he is what that this team needs so desperately. 

The return will be absolutely a top prospect, a first round pick and a younger player I would say for sure… maybe Im wrong, but as I 100% agree on this article, as much as we need it, we wouldn’t be able to surround him quickly enough, if for example…. it cost Raymond or Seider and our first pick

Posted by DieByTheWing on 05/11/21 at 11:01 AM ET


Talent always trumps character most of the time.  Not always, but I wouldn’t say this type of thing devalues him more than his potential as a dominant C on a good team over rides.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 05/11/21 at 11:02 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

The Sabres could reasonably ask for top defense prospect Moritz Seider, plus a high-lineup current NHLer and Detroit’s top 10 pick…

If Bultman thinks that’s a “reasonable” ask, then he needs to get some serious counseling.

How about something that would be just as “reasonable” from Detroit’s perspective? How about if Yzerman agrees to take on Eichel’s $10M/year contract and the Sabres throw in their 2022 first-round pick? In exchange the Wings will graciously offer the Caps’ first-round pick, Evgeny Svechnikov and Frans Neilsen. That seems “reasonable” to me.  LOL

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/11/21 at 11:19 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

I canvassed some NHL front office executives to get their feel on the Eichel situation and what the Sabres could expect to get for him this offseason.

Team exec No. 1: Tough spot for Buffalo. Your team is somewhat in disarray and your marquee player, who has had a short, substandard, injury-riddled year and NOW wants out? They’re not dealing from a position of strength. It’s somewhat similar to the situation they were in with Ryan O’Reilly.

If they’re resigned to move him, they’d be well served to put it out there and attempt to make it an auction. That’s probably how they best maximize their return.

Team exec No. 2: I would say the return for him should be massive.  I think Buffalo would need to get players that can help them now along with futures. Given where Buffalo has finished in the standings recently they don’t have a ton of prospect depth so they need to build that back up but you can’t trade Jack for futures only as those are just bets based on a projection. The Sabres need to get a couple of established, quality players in return as well. I could see this being a 5-7 piece deal depending on what is coming back in return.

Team exec No. 3: Obviously an elite talent. I don’t know if there are character issues or if those rumours are a by-product of the situation in Buffalo.  Not many teams can take on a $10M cap hit but maybe if Buffalo is willing to take a few million back on a contract, they could get a decent haul.  Probably a first and then another mid-round pick plus a good young roster player, with some bad money going the other way.

more ($$$)

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/11/21 at 11:32 AM ET


The 10 million cap hit is a crusher for the Wings too. Right now Larkin sets the bar with his skill/work ethic at 6 mil. What kind of of money do our future stars ask for when the bar is 10 million, especially if Eichel isn’t playing at 10 mil level?

I’d rather award a 10 mil contract to someone developed within our own system.

At the very least, I think Frans Nielsen would be going back the other way.

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 05/11/21 at 11:57 AM ET


We don’t have anyone projected to be worthy of a 10 mil contract.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 05/11/21 at 12:10 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

We don’t have anyone projected to be worthy of a 10 mil contract.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 05/11/21 at 12:10 PM ET

I would also argue Eichel is not worthy of a 10 mil contract.

Posted by TreKronor on 05/11/21 at 02:17 PM ET



Posted by lefty.30 on 05/11/21 at 03:05 PM ET


In fairness to Max maybe his answer was meant to encapsulate
the kind of inflated ask and supposed value still associated with perhaps the Eichel of a couple years ago.

I wouldn’t trade Seider for Eichel straight up.
I’d try to think it through carefully. But in the end I don’t
think it would even be close.

His answer sort of circles back to the reality that this trade
(any return Buffalo would remotely accept anyway) makes no sense
for Detroit in terms of cap, culture, giving away better long-term pieces,
injury risk, timing of rebuild, etc.

And if you look at the shorter list of supposed contenders (including the Rangers)
I’m not sure Eichel makes too much sense for most of them. Maybe Arizona?

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/11/21 at 03:11 PM ET


Team exec #3 above, per LeBrun, sounds the closest to reality.

I’m not sure how big the actual market is to return more.
Maybe a team really really loves Eichel. Does due diligence on
the injury. And still sees this as buying low on a rare talent.
If they have the culture to support Eichel (while also I guess
not making him feel like he’s second banana) I could see a team
taking on that massive cap hit and figuring it out later. Maybe with the new
TV deal some teams will feel like they’ll have more breathing room in a couple years.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/11/21 at 03:19 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar


This was a Joke on a Slow Day, Right??

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 05/11/21 at 04:26 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

What’s best for Eichel probably is a trade, though the Sabres’ front office may not agree. His health obviously will be a prohibitive factor in any such scenario as well. But if there’s a deal to be made, teams should be lining up with offers. The New York Rangers seem like an obvious suitor. The Bruins, Flyers and Kings, too.

An imperfect match
And the Wings? Well, no team has more salary-cap space heading into the summer than Detroit, and Yzerman does have the kind of prospects and future assets to make a viable offer for Eichel, an elite No. 1 pivot who’s only 24 and under contract for five more seasons at $10 million per year.

I’m not sure there’s a great match here on either side, really. If the Sabres are ultimately forced to deal their captain, they’d undoubtedly look to move him out of their division, if not the conference. And while Eichel’s no-movement clause doesn’t kick in until next summer, it seems unlikely he’d be keen on jumping from one rebuild to another, anyway.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/11/21 at 08:39 PM ET

d ca's avatar

If the medical cleared I would inquire and talk up the Washington 1st rounder, a second rounder, plus a 2022 2nd and then see what else they wanted from that. If it included Larkin, Raymond, Seider, Zadina, or Vrana the conversation would end quickly. If Bert the question becomes what his long term outlook (both health and contract wise), but it’s not the instant no it is with the rest. If it is Ras or Veleno then you start negotiating.

But I think it would be wasting your time as Columbus is the team with 3x 1st rounders plus a young capable NHL goalie that must be moved (either Merzlikins or Korpisalo) and even a fill in piece of Max Domi.

Posted by d ca on 05/11/21 at 10:38 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Good thing Cindy Rosby never did, or said, anything stupid while still a kid. There’s a reason that dumbass was living in Mario’s basement. Whatever happened to him?

Does WhyzerMans house have a basement?

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, sing along The YzerMan Can!...... on 05/11/21 at 10:53 PM ET


Good call on Columbus.

Don’t know how Kevyn Adams feels about Russian forward
prospects but Columbus has three pretty good ones.
If Ullmark is too tough to re-sign they can include a legit starting goalie,
plus the picks. Or maybe Buffalo sees upside in Texier or Foudy?

Jarmo needs a top center so badly and he’s not shy re: big trades.
Hey how does Buffalo feel about Max Domi?

Five years of team control is big for Columbus and it might help
convince Jones and Werenski the “reload” is legit.

Posted by lefty.30 on 05/11/21 at 11:50 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Nope. Not worth the cost. Draft our people. I wouldn’t trade Veleno as I think he is very promising.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 05/12/21 at 01:15 PM ET


I am in the minority here, but IF Eichel is healthy he is 24 year old borderline superstar. As we don’t have any dmen in the system, Seider value is really inflated on our team as he is the only one with potential to be a top pair guy. And it’s potential, we really don’t know. Plus a sentimental value as he is SY first draft pick and we all love Seider now. But for a team like Dallas that is already packed with dmen, the suggested package is fine for Eichel.
What I am saying is that we can replace Seider for let’s say Raymond (just position based), add our 2021 first rounder (at #7 we will probably get a top 6 winger in about 5 years) and add another top 6 like Fabbri, I don’t think it’s an overpayment for Eichel, considering, of course he is checked for health and there are no attitude issues. I am not saying I would do this deal (just because we are not becoming a contender with Eichel anyway and I want to see what we have in Raymond), but I don’t think it’s a crazy prize to pay.

Posted by VPalmer on 05/12/21 at 02:04 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com