Detroit Red Wings: Jack Eichel trade rumors continue to emerge

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

Once again the Jack Eichel sweepstakes are ramping up.  Understanding that anything is possible, but don’t expect to see the franchise center in a Detroit Red Wings uniform next year. Still, general manager Steve Yzerman needs to consider making an offer for his services.

Eichel isn’t just a tremendous talent; he is exactly what the Detroit Red Wings are missing, a true number one center.

With all due respect to Dylan Larkin, he’s proved to be a worker bee, a do-it-all type of center that fits on any team, but he’s proven repeatedly that he is not an NHL top center.  Here is the thing; that is ok.  It’s ok that Larkin is not elite.  He brings plenty to the table, but his inability to score consistently prevents him from taking the next step.

The Detroit Red Wings are extremely thin down the middle of their lineup.  It isn’t very likely, but IF Yzerman could swing a deal for Eichel, Larkin would be slotted as the teams’ second center, which better fits his overall abilities.

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If the Red Wings happened to be deep down the middle, I’d hope head coach Jeff Blashill would experiment a little and slide Larkin over to the wing.  Imagine a top line of Tyler Bertuzzi and Larkin flanking Eichel.

It’s a bit of a quirky scenario understanding Jack Eichel to the Detroit Red Wings is extremely unlikely.

When it comes to the Red Wings prospects, both Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are completely off-limits.

Unfortunately, that’s precisely when the Sabres hang up the phone.  Not only will an Eastern Conference team need to overpay for Eichel, but they will basically need to sell the farm to acquire him.  Then the biggest question becomes, is it worth mortgaging the majority of your future for one player?

When push comes to shove, the Buffalo Sabres will be reluctant to trade Eichel to a team in the Eastern Conference, let alone a team in their division.  The Sabres franchise won’t put themselves into a position where they’d be burnt numerous times a year by a superstar they had previously selected second overall.

It’s a bit unfortunate because Eichel does fit a clear need for the Red Wings, and the organization currently has an abundance of salary cap space to add a player that carries a $10 million salary.  I expect the star forward to be headed to the Western Conference and likely the West Coast.

Recently news broke suggesting that the Anaheim Ducks are emerging as a potential front-runner to strike a deal with Buffalo for Eichel.  The Ducks similar to the Red Wings need a plethora of help.

Another team that keeps coming up in the conversation is the Los Angeles Kings.  The Kings are re-tooling their roster and pairing Eichel with maybe the most underrated two-way center in the game, Anze Kopitar would be something special.

One more team to keep an eye on is the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks are currently in cap hell and would need to move multiple high-priced pieces to get Eichel under the cap.  No one will want to touch that lucrative Erik Karlsson deal, especially since his production has drastically declined since leaving Ottawa.

Brent Burns is currently 36-years old, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic is 34. Burns earns $8 million for four more seasons.  Vlasic’s number sits at $7 million per season for five more years.  Yikes.

That means the Sharks would need to include players like Timo Meier, Thomas Hertl, Kevin Lebanc, along with an abundance of draft capital plus a couple of high-end prospects from the farm to persuade the Sabres into making the deal.

This whole Eichel storyline will be an interesting one to follow in the days/weeks to come.

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Eichel has recorded 139 goals and 355 points throughout his first 375 career NHL games.