One of the hottest trade rumors on the ice today has been talk of Buffalo Sabres center heading over to Columbus. While this might be a dream scenario for Blue Jackets fans, it’s looking less and less likely to happen. Unfortunately, Eichel has had to miss the end of the 2020-21 season as he’s currently recovering from spinal disc herniation surgery. He’s looking forward to starting the next season healthy, though it seems like he’s expressed some frustration with the team.
Eichel announced in an interview that he had a lot of thinking to do in the offseason and had quite a bit to consider, which many fans interpreted to mean that he was commenting on the situation in Buffalo. Sam Reinhart, a 2014 NHL Entry draft pick by the Sabres, apparently has made similar comments that seemed to suggest that all was not well in the organization. However, the loudest voices are now denying that Eichel is going anywhere, including Columbus.
Recent Comments from the Front Office
In his six seasons spent in Buffalo, the 24-year-old Eichel has scored 139 goals with 216 assists for 355 points overall, which would indicate that he’s at least a key piece in their offense. However, the Blue Jackets are in need of a solid center and if Eichel is starting to chafe under the existing management in Buffalo, it’s highly likely that they go after him. That’s what prompted the initial trade rumors, which spread like wildfire over social media. Now, however, new reports from Columbus’ own front office suggest that they weren’t ever in hot pursuit of Eichel’s contract to begin with.
Reports from Aaron Portzline indicate that Jarmo Kekalainen, the general manager of the Blue Jackets, has had at least some conversations with Buffalo’s GM Kevyn Adams. However, these were written off merely as on-ice due diligence. Kekalainen himself claims that he spoke with six or seven GMs of other teams in a single day.
While this might be an uncommon practice in other leagues where rules regarding the lines of communication are much more strict, it’s relatively common in the NHL. Feelers were likely put out regarding Mikko Rantanen’s future, though he was still on the Avalanche as of the time of this writing. Just like with Eichel, Rantanen stayed put and continued to perform at a very high level. He’s had 30 goals and 36 assists for 66 points with Colorado this season, and it’s likely that he’ll continue to stay a major part of said team.
Likewise, there was at least some talk about the Arizona Coyotes making the salary cap, but things now look like they should be relatively stable for the immediate future. Nevertheless, this news certainly shook up the fan base and created plenty of buzz surrounding the team.
For that matter, it quickly became something of importance for those who were following their own fantasy rosters.
News for Bettors as Well as Fans
Scores of fans were actually building fantasy teams around Jack Eichel before his unfortunate season-ending injury, and even more are hopeful that he’s going to be back next season putting up even bigger numbers. As a result, the idea that he could have been traded to Columbus would have upset the apple cart, so to speak, as bettors debated back and forth as to whether or not he could ever make up the same number of points with the lines that the Blue Jackets have.
According to the Best Pay Per Head Reviews Site, many online bookmakers don’t set a proper schedule. Those who work from home are especially bad off because they have a tendency to associate their surroundings with rest and relaxation, which can become a serious problem when you’re dealing with a news cycle that jumps all over the place at all hours of the day. When the Jack Eichel trade rumors hit, those who were attentive and paid attention to both coasts were in a much better position to adapt. This is especially true of those who pay close attention to Columbus’ lines as well.
For the Blue Jackets, Cam Atkinson and Jack Roslovic both had 34 points this season and Oliver Bjorkstrand edged them both out with 44. That might suggest that they don’t even need to add Eichel to their roster, though the rumors keep coming. At least one report reposted by FantasySP claimed that the Anaheim Ducks should acquire Eichel’s contract, though this is a relatively unlikely scenario as well.
Chances are that he’s going to stay right where he is, which is going to be good news for the Sabres next year because there’s a high probability that he’s going to really tear up the ice the moment that he’s cleared to return to action after his injury.