Jack Eichel won’t hit the NHL trade market. …or will he?
The Boston Bruins played their first February home game on Thursday night but we can get to that disaster later because the NHL trade chatter is continuing to get louder.
In the last two days, the Bruins have been linked to Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm and once again to St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn and Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen. Oh and two non-hockey Boston sports radio goofballs decided to start a David Pastrnak for Sidney Crosby NHL trade rumor on Thursday afternoon. As my partner-in-crime Joe Haggerty pointed out though, Crosby to the Bruins is a pipe dream at best and makes no sense at this point.
What about Eichel though? Could the former Boston University star actually be traded if the Buffalo Sabres decide on yet another rebuild or re-tool?
The disgruntled Sabres captain expressed his frustration with the direction of the team back in July and sparked a firestorm of NHL trade rumors until Eichel and the team had to douse the NHL trade flames again. The Sabres then went out and signed the most coveted unrestricted free agent, Taylor Hall, to a one-year, $8 million contract and all seemed calm as far as Eichel NHL trade rumors. Well, with the April 8 NHL trade deadline less than two months away, the always calculated and well-informed Elliotte Friedman may have just lit a raging bonfire in Buffalo and on the NHL trade rumor circuit:
“Look, we know that this was something that came up last summer. I don’t know that it was ever close,” Friedman said on WGR 550 in Buffalo Thursday. “The feeling that I’ve always had is that Buffalo knew Eichel was unhappy. They asked Eichel to take a step last year and he really did, we’ve talked about how much of a step Eichel took last year. Still, when it came to team success it just didn’t really go anywhere.
Now you look at where it is this year, you know he’s going to be frustrated, and there were conversations last year. But what I was told was, the Sabres just said ’we are not ready to do this. We are not ready.’ Teams made offers, it was communicated that he was restless. I don’t think he ever asked for a trade, I don’t think it got that far. But he was restless and teams knew it. The Sabres took some offers and said ’no we’re not ready to do this.’
If the Sabres decide they’re ready, forget the crazy Crosby NHL trade rumors, Eichel would instantly become the biggest name on the NHL trade rumor circuit and that and only that should be the Bruins trade target!
The Chelmsford, MA native grew up as a Bruins fan and while he’s been rumored to be interested in playing for his former Boston University head coach and New York Rangers bench boss David Quinn, he surely wouldn’t rule out a return home. The Bruins have had interest before and you can bet they will again!
Now onto the rest of the BHN Daily links:
Oh, yeah. …the Bruins had a game Thursday night. Here’s my take on what seemed more like therapy for those, like me, that suffer from insomnia. (Boston Hockey Now)
On top of the forgettable performance by the Bruins Thursday, they lost their second line center in David Krejci to a lower-body injury, and his status for the NHL Lake Tahoe game Sunday is in doubt. (Boston Hockey Now)
Speaking of the game against the Philadelphia Flyers Sunday at Lake Tahoe, NHL Network Analyst takes a peek at what it may look like for Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and Flyers goalie Carter Hart on the scenic outdoor rink.
Back to the NHL trade rumors and specifically the Buffalo Sabres. Will they now trade Hall, who can become a UFA at the end of the season? (TSN)
The Sabres have been ravaged by COVID this season and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen wants people to know that even if you’re in great shape like an NHLer is, COVID is no simple flu! (Buffalo News)
National Hockey Now
The Pittsburgh Penguins dipped into the NHL trade waters this past offseason and may have found a keeper in former Boston College defenseman Mike Matheson. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Who are the San Jose Sharks? FOBHN Sheng Peng takes a look at the struggling Sharks through the analytics lens. (San Jose Hockey Now)
Are the Florida Panthers as good as their record? FOBHN George Richards hands out his quarter-point grades for the first place Cats. (Florida Hockey Now)