Could the Carolina Hurricanes make a blockbuster trade for Jack Eichel?
The Carolina Hurricanes needs scoring help, and could there be a better target than the former 2nd overall pick currently in Buffalo? Why should Carolina pursue him?
On May 28th, Jack Eichel said to reporters “I’m tired of losing” and he has a point. Buffalo currently has the longest active playoff drought in the NHL. Buffalo missed the playoffs in a format where 75% of the league made it. So, would a chance of scenery help the American superstar?
Carolina has a dire need for scoring, and oh boy can Jack Eichel do that. He had 337 points in 354 games with Buffalo, including 200 assists and 137 goals. Eichel is also the Sabres captain and is a great player in the face-off dot. Defensively Eichel sometimes leaves a little to be desired, but there’s hardly a flaw in the game of Jack Eichel.
What could he do with capable linemates and a good team? In Buffalo, we may never find out. With all due respect to the Buffalo Sabres, they actively pay a combined 15 million dollars annually for two players who scored 23 combined goals this year. Eichel with linemates the caliber of what Carolina can put with him would make any team scary.
Not only would Carolina be slotting a player who had 78 points and 36 goals in 68 games into their lineup, but it would also push someone who was on pace for 45 goals this year down to the 2nd line in the form of Sebastian Aho, or you put a point per game player on the second line. Either way, four players who can score within a point per game range is scary.
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“So, how would Carolina make it work? A player of Eichel’s caliber has to be making a pretty penny” I’ve been asked. It’s true Eichel makes 10,000,000 a year until 2025-26. This may seem steep until you realize Eichel may become one of the best players in the league with some linemates of his own quality.
Acquiring Eichel would be a bit more difficult. Please do not take any of this for a solid fact, this is all theoretical. Eichel is a point per game player, and those don’t grow on trees. Buffalo already drastically need a 2nd line center, so someone like Suzuki or Necas would have to be included. Buffalo has a shortage of right-handed defenders too. Someone like Joey Keane may fix that.
On top of that, it would take probably two first-round picks. From there it’s a salary balance beam I think. Someone like Nino Niederreiter maybe to help the cap hits. Again, this is all just my ideas. None of this has been states publicly outside of Eichel complaining about losing.
This may seem like a steep price to pay, and it is. However, how many players are in the NHL that can score a point a game? Having four of them, with the elite defensive core Carolina already boasts would make them strong contenders for the Stanley Cup annually. Any form of decent goaltending should see Carolina into the Eastern Conference Finals at a minimum.