The Vegas Golden Knights have asked the Buffalo Sabres about star center Jack Eichel, who has been dangled on the NHL trade market for weeks. And he wants to be traded immediately. Despite Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon downplaying deficiencies down the middle, the Golden Knights trade hopes included the top center available.
According to Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News, Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams asked for a goldmine. Kennedy tweeted his report.
The NHL trade ask for Eichel was Reilly Smith, Peyton Krebs, Nic Hague, and a first-round pick.
The ask is in line with the scoop Vegas Hockey Now reported weeks ago in the weekly Off the Record column by Jimmy Murphy when we reported fellow GMs said the price was four to six pieces.
On Tuesday, McCrimmon downplayed the need for additional centers, citing the recent acquisitions of Nolan Patrick, Nick Howden, and the performances of Chandler Stephenson and William Karlsson.
“I like our centers. We’ve added two centers (Patrick, Howden) in the last week who will firm up the bottom half of our lineup. Both guys have a chance of growing and improving and developing,” McCrimmon said. “Chandler Stephenson did the job extremely well…(the lack of a top center) seemed to concern people outside the organization more than it concerned people inside the organization.”
Eichel will begin his fourth year of an eight-year contract with a $10 million AAV. There is currently a dispute between Buffalo and Eichel regarding Eichel’s back treatment. Eichel wants a unique surgery, while Buffalo team doctors have prescribed rest.
On Tuesday, the Golden Knights shocked everyone by trading Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks for a low-level minor leaguer. Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh, tweeted that no one from the organization called Fleury before the trade, and even after the deal was public, Walsh made a big deal that no one had yet contacted him.
Walsh also indicated Fleury would take his time to decide what comes next in his career. Walsh further indicated Fleury might reconsider reporting to Chicago and opt for retirement.
The NHL free agent frenzy begins on Wednesday at 9 a.m. PST.