After heating up and then cooling down, the NHL trade chatter surrounding disgruntled Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel picked up again Wednesday. In fact, Wednesday afternoon, one source close to Eichel went as far as saying, the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft was ‘more confident than he’s been since this all started’ that a trade was close and that Eichel would be a member of a new team by next Monday at the latest.
As it has been since Vegas Hockey Now, Calgary Hockey Now, and numerous outlets confirmed this past weekend, the NHL trade chatter late Wednesday afternoon and early evening on the East coast had that team being one of the Vegas Golden Knights or the Calgary Flames. Following Flames practice in Calgary, head coach Daryl Sutter tried to downplay the NHL trade buzz engulfing his club.
“I wasn’t aware of [those reports],” Sutter told reporters. “To be honest, I think it’s a bit of a media thing.”
A Flames source though indicated to National Hockey now that Sutter was likely trying to misdirect the scent of the trade from eager reporters trying to break a story and confirmed that the Flames were as close as has been reported. Almost immediately after that tip, ESPN NHL analyst Kevin Weekes tweeted this bombshell:
For all asking, my understanding is the @NHLFlames have Tkachuk ( who is a future potential captain) an upcoming 1 Rd pick, a former 1st Rd pick, and 2 prospects in the Eichel sweepstakes with the @BuffaloSabres . @espn @NHLNetwork #HockeyTwitter .
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) November 3, 2021
While NHN sources had indicated Flames center Sean Monahan, and not winger Matthew Tkachuk as the center of the return from the Flames to the Sabres, another source has since confirmed that Weekes was correct that Tkachuk was on the table too. So what does this all mean?
Based on all we’re hearing right now, it means that Flames GM Brad Treliving isn’t about to go quietly into the night and let the Vegas Golden Knights win the Eichel sweepstakes. Now the question from here has to be, will Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon finally budge on his refusal to include top prospect Peyton Krebbs, whom the Knights drafted 17th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft?
“Can’t answer that right now but man Brad’s forcing Kelly’s hand right now eh?” a neutral NHL executive source opined to NHN. “I wonder if Kelly offers up a more established vet. I think Alex Tuch is there, but what about Shea Theodore? That frees up $5.2 mill for the rest of this year and three more.”
Stay tuned as CHN, VHN, BHN, and the entire NHN network have you covered.
PS: Sorry Boston Bruins fans; it appears the North Chelmsford, MA native isn’t coming home to play for the Black and Gold.