Golden Knights acquire Jack Eichel in blockbuster trade with Sabres

Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams discusses why this was the best offer he has had since they started these Jack Eichel trade talks way back when, and why it was so important for the organization to be patient, until the right deal came along.

The Vegas Golden Knights acquired injured star centre Jack Eichel in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

The Sabres get forwards Alex Tuch (who also is injured) and Peyton Krebs and two conditional draft picks for Eichel and a conditional pick.

If the Golden Knights’ first-round pick in 2022 is not in the top 10, the Sabres get that selection and a Vegas second-round pick in 2023 while the Knights get a Buffalo third-round pick in 2023.

If the Golden Knights’ first-round pick in 2022 is in the top 10, the Sabres get a Vegas first-round pick in 2023 and a second-round pick in 2024 while the Knights get Buffalo’s third-round pick in 2024.

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Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freiedman reported on Thursday the Carolina Hurricanes joined the Golden Knights and Calgary Flames in expressing interest for Eichel this week.

ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported on Tuesday that the Golden Knights and Flames appeared to be the last two standing in the deal and both teams would allow Eichel to get his preferred herniated disk surgery, a dispute he and the Sabres could not resolve. Eichel is not expected to be ready to return until after the Olympics.

Eichel favours having artificial disc replacement surgery while the Sabres were against him having the procedure because it has never been performed on an NHL player, and wanted him to have the disc fused.

The American sustained his injury after being checked into the end boards in a game against the New York Islanders in March.

Sportsnet reported earlier this season he was considering filing a grievance through the NHLPA to force a resolution to his stalemate with the Sabres.

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He has not commented on his situation since revealing the rift with the team and questioning his future in Buffalo during a Zoom call shortly after the Sabres’ season ended in May. He switched agents in August, hiring Pat Brisson.

There was little expectation Eichel would pass his physical with Buffalo. The option of surgery became necessary once the injury showed little sign of healing after doctors initially recommended Eichel rest it through the start of June.

After serving as captain since 2018, the Sabres stripped Eichel of his captaincy when training camp opened on Sept. 23.

The 25-year-old has five years left on an eight-year, $80 million contract, which features a no-trade clause that kicks in next summer.

The Sabres finished last in the standings last season while matching an NHL record by missing the playoffs for a 10th consecutive season, but have surprised many by starting this season 5-3-1.

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Eichel, picked second overall out of Boston University in the 2015 NHL Draft, had two goals and 16 assists in 21 games last year.

The six-foot-two centre has 355 points (139 goals, 176 assists) in 375 career NHL games.

Tuch, selected 18th overall by Minnesota in the 2014 Draft, underwent shoulder surgery in the off-season and was originally estimated to be sidelined for six months.

He has 61 goals and 78 assists in 255 career NHL games with the Wild and Golden Knights.

Krebs, picked 17th overall by the Golden Knights in the 2019 Draft, has one assist in 13 career NHL games.

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams said Krebs will be assigned to AHL Rochester after reporting to the Sabres.

— With files from The Associated Press

November 4, 2021 - 7:41 am ET
buf Buffalo Sabres
  • Alex Tuch
  • Peyton Krebs
  • Two conditional draft picks (seasons TBD)
vgk Vegas Golden Knights
  • Jack Eichel
  • Conditional draft pick (season TBD)
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