The Calgary Flames (and Vegas Golden Knights) are reportedly very shut on understanding a commerce with the Buffalo Sabres for franchise centerman Jack Eichel. With ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reporting final evening that the commerce was shut (“on the one-yard line”) it as soon as once more despatched Flames twitter right into a frenzy concerning the professionals and cons of buying the celebrity ahead.
Right here’s the most recent on Jack Eichel.
A number of sources inform ESPN it’s right down to Calgary and Vegas. Sabres GM Kevyn Adams is working exhausting to get it achieved, however neither group has met his asks but.
Sources say each groups are OK with Eichel getting his most well-liked surgical procedure. pic.twitter.com/uiJsGFeDmE
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) November 3, 2021
At this time we noticed Kevin Weekes toss out a proposed package deal from the Flames with Matthew Tkachuk because the centrepiece onto his Twitter. There are questions round whether or not that is the package deal, or if it was craftily leaked by Buffalo to maybe entice Vegas or different groups to get again into the hunt, however however it as soon as once more has generated intense hypothesis and conversations amongst Flames followers.
For the sake of this text, let’s function on the sense that Tkachuk is the primary NHL piece returning to Buffalo for now.
With that in thoughts, a commerce of this magnitude would definitely have ripple results throughout Calgary and the league because the NHL hasn’t seen a celebrity of this magnitude traded in a while. Let’s take a look at a few of these ripple results.
1. The Path of the Flames will Change
It’s not that singularly buying Eichel will change issues, however it will likely be a real indication that this administration group is lastly pushing their chips all-in. If this blows up of their faces, they are going to lose their jobs, there may be actually now approach round it. If it really works out, they could possibly be right here one other decade. This season had seemed to be the unstated final yr for this core with guys like Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Andrew Mangiapane all in line for raises after this yr. As an alternative by buying Eichel, Calgary would actually prolong their aggressive window and sign a shift extra in direction of long run guys like Elias Lindholm, Rasmus Andersson, and Eichel.
2. The Battle of Alberta will probably be Should-Watch Hockey
If it wasn’t already the league’s finest rivalry after 2019-20, including Jack Eichel to it will make it could actually’t-miss viewing for any hockey followers. Positive if Tkachuk is the rumored piece again going the opposite approach, Calgary would lose a few of their edge, however including Jack Eichel (drafted one spot after Connor McDavid) would give the matchup two of the highest 5 facilities within the league on groups which might be already doing very nicely this yr. It could be nice for the game and draw a ton of consideration to those two groups that haven’t achieved a lot of something within the final 15 years, particularly the Flames.
3. Calgary must keep aggressive whereas ready for Eichel
That is kind of a double-sided consequence. On one hand, it will have been loads simpler for the Flames to justify a franchise-changing commerce like this one if that they had began as their typical mediocre October selves. As an alternative, sitting with a 6-1-2 file by 9 video games has lots of people very pleased with the place issues presently stand.
By buying and selling for Eichel and eradicating at the least one or perhaps two items of your present roster, you threat jeopardizing what appears to be an already higher season for the group. On the flip facet, the recent begin has given them a little bit of cushion to work with whereas additionally being within the comparatively poor Pacific Division. With Eichel’s return rumored to be after the Olympic break, Calgary must survive about 40 video games with out him and whoever they commerce, however would get him again for the ultimate 30 video games of the season.
4. Two Tkachuk’s within the Atlantic Division
I imply it will go a great distance in producing curiosity for 2 groups which have been mired in unhealthy hockey for a very long time now. Matthew Tkachuk is little question a participant that loads of groups across the league would like to have, and including double the Tkachuk to the Atlantic Division would even be nice advertising for the league for 2 much less in style groups. That’s in fact if the NHL did an excellent job advertising their product, however that’s one other subject completely.
5. Calgary would have an Elite Centre Core
If this commerce is made and Tkachuk is the one NHL ahead leaving Calgary, then the Flames would find yourself possessing arguably the perfect middle group within the league or on the very least within the High 3 for my part. With Eichel, Elias Lindholm, and Mikael Backlund on the primary three traces, Calgary would undoubtedly be the higher group down the center and actually counter the Oilers McDavid-Draisiatl punch nicely. Whenever you additionally think about gamers like Dillon Dube and Sean Monahan who’ve expertise down the center, then you definitely’re taking a look at a particularly deep lineup. You want nice centres to win the Stanley Cup. It’s that straightforward.
6. Eichel can be the culminating piece of all the rebuild
If there’s one factor that the Flames rebuild actually missed out on, it was that tremendous excessive decide to draft a celebrity participant. Positive they obtained Tkachuk, Monahan, and Sam Bennett (ugh) at #4, however they by no means obtained that likelihood to draft first or second total to nab an elite of the elite participant. As an alternative they constructed the group slowly through the years, including items by drafting and trades, adopted by bringing in Jacob Markstrom and head coach Darryl Sutter.
The Flames have additionally achieved an excellent job of filling their prospect cabinets as nicely to both embody as items on this commerce, or to fill in roster holes transferring ahead on the NHL stage. A mix of A stage prospects (Coronato, Pelletier, Zary, Wolf) and B stage prospects (Francis, Ruzicka, Heineman, and many others.) will give the Flames choices for buying and selling, but in addition enable them to be assured in what’s leftover. All the pieces is in place proper now for the group to go for it, and Eichel can be the end result of the entire efforts.
7. Does buying Eichel do sufficient to entice Gaudreau to re-sign?
That is extra speculative, and is extra simply my opinion, however I’m not making this commerce because the Flames should you aren’t very comfy in believing that Johnny Gaudreau will re-sign after you make the deal. There actually isn’t a approach that the Flames can financially add Eichel whereas re-signing Gaudreau, Tkachuk, and Mangiapane, however by dealing Tkachuk they need to have the ability to make all of it match. Nonetheless including Eichel to play with Gaudreau for ~30 video games and one playoff crack simply doesn’t appear to be price it for me.
There isn’t any doubt that the Eichel commerce discuss will solely get louder as issues appear to maneuver in direction of a conclusion heading into this weekend. It’s thrilling that the Flames are proper in the course of issues however on the similar time, a giant change like this may widen the potential outcomes (each constructive and adverse) for the group. Change might be scary, however change is what followers of this group have been wanting for years.
It could be romanticizing issues however you may like this to the Derozan-Leonard commerce with the Toronto Raptors a number of years again. It’ll harm to lose a fan favorite in Tkachuk, however the final objective is to win a Stanley Cup and the Flames can be loads nearer to that objective if Jack Eichel joined the group. We will see.
Ought to the Flames commerce Tkachuk, a former 1st spherical decide, a 1st, and prospects for Eichel?
Sure, you may’t move up Eichel
No, you may’t lose Tkachuk
351 votes whole