If you ask Pierre LeBrun, arguably the top insider across the National Hockey League, he’ll tell you that the Jack Eichel trade rumors have become more than just fun banter. They are getting real.
LeBrun used the words “intense” and “serious” to describe the Eichel trade rumors in a new column for The Athletic Wednesday morning, which led with what he believes are growing trade talks between the Buffalo Sabres and potential suitors. The 24-year-old center hasn’t even entered his prime, and his displeasure with how things have gone in Buffalo are an open secret at this point.
So you can expect pretty much every GM in the NHL to at least make the phone call to Sabres GM Kevyn Adams. And the Bruins’ Don Sweeney would be committing gross negligence not to make some kind of push for the North Chelmsford, Mass. native.
Unfortunately, LeBrun doesn’t list the Bruins among his teams that “make sense” for an Eichel trade. He names the Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers, and New York Rangers – but also hits us with an “among others.” So perhaps the B’s are one of the others.
It does make sense that Boston, despite being Eichel’s de facto hometown and site of his college career at Boston University, wouldn’t be at the top of the list. They have just the 20th pick in the 2021 NHL Draft – while the Ducks (3), Jackets (5), Kings (8), Flyers (13), and Rangers (15) can all beat that. The Wild select 21st, but have a more attractive cache of young players/prospects that they might be willing to give up for Eichel.
If the Sabres wanted Charlie McAvoy or David Pastrnak in a deal for Eichel, that could (should) be a total non-starter for the Bruins. And after the B’s snagged Taylor Hall from them for Anders Bjork and a second-round pick, it wouldn’t be surprising if Adams had pause in dealing with Sweeney when other teams can offer more valuable packages.
Eichel seems like a long-shot to go to Boston at this point, but that could change if he decides he wants to be a Bruin above all else. And even if he ends up traded elsewhere, it would be a seismic move with a ripple effect across the league. So regardless of where he is traded, it’ll be worth monitoring and discussing.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.