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Is There a Path Forward for Eichel and the Sabres?


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26 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

If he requests a trade you simply tell him, and the entire league, that you're not trading him.    If he holds out, you let him hold out, if he checks out you let him self destruct.   

Think of it as parenting a whiny spoiled kid who refuses to do his chores. 

 

I was watching NHL Hockey pregame of todays Bruins v Rangers game.  The Bruins  have been hit hard by injuries.  Marchand made a statement saying their recent losing is unacceptable and that they will fix the problems.  Earlier this morning I saw highlights of yesterday's Blues v Sharks.  The Blues were on a 3 game losing streak and playing poorly, their play got Binnngton pulled.  Before Binnington left the game he threw shots at 2 Sharks and left the game really upset. The Blues pulled out a 7-6 win. Afterwards they interviewed old friend Marco Scandella who said they weren’t going to let their goalie down.  
 

When do we ever see this from players wearing a Sabres sweater?   We sure haven’t seen it in a long time.  They don’t play for each other.  They don’t seem to care.  

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Eichel is always going to be the Face of the Tank on this franchise, the consolation prize. Now, if we win a Cup in the next 5 years it could vindicated. If we need any reminding as of the latest hockey-reference update: Eichel 370 GP / 351 points, -66. McDavid 374 GP / 509 points, +46 as well as lower percentage of Ozone starts and higher Corsi in his career.

When Eichel is healthy and engaged he's in the Hart conversation -- we saw it last season. And if the Sabres had been near the playoff race in 2019-20, he would have garnered several more votes. We have not seen an engaged or healthy (we think?) Eichel this season and he still has tons of PP assists and is doing well in faceoffs and hitting the goalposts. As a captain, his body language is disheartening as has been noted before, and not in a "this-guy-might-have-anger-issues, but darn it if he doesn't rally the team when he goes on a tirade" way. He doesn't lead by example in terms of exuding more effort (like a Drury) or starting a fight to get the team going (like a Nick Foligno with CMB). He leads by scoring points.

If we want to blow it up -- not tank -- but rebuild quickly on the fly, then Eichel is the key. Somehow, convince Skinner to waive his NMC. Then, it's working with Seattle. We leave Eichel unprotected. Seattle takes Eichel AND they trade for Skinner, and in exchange, Buffalo gets two non-protected Seattle firsts, several other draft choices acquired from other teams in the expansion, and a cluster of players mixed-and-matched as both building blocks and veterans to fill in the current roster and that $19M in cash we just freed up. And Seattle doesn't need to name Eichel as captain as they can go the "we're a team we don't have a captain this first year" thing. They get 2/3 of a proven top line and a Hart candidate right from the first puck drop.

Then, buyout Okposo in June of 2022 (one more season on the roster or in the AHL, but if you buy him out this year the savings just aren't there for next season). You're marching forward with a new core around Cozens and Dahlin and whomever else is brought in.

And get in a bona fide hockey coach ASAP as well.

Edited by DarthEbriate
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47 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

If he requests a trade you simply tell him, and the entire league, that you're not trading him.    If he holds out, you let him hold out, if he checks out you let him self destruct.   

Think of it as parenting a whiny spoiled kid who refuses to do his chores. 

I’m not saying that you are wrong, but can you describe to me how the above scenario would be the best course of action for the Sabres?

Edited by Curt
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3 minutes ago, Curt said:

I’m not saying that you are wrong, but can you describe to me how the above scenario would be the best course of action for the Sabres?

Yeah, letting Eichel die on the vine is not really a great strategy.

The team needs to be able to gauge if and when Eichel is ready to exercise the nuclear option, assuming he has not already done so.

The idea would be to move him *before* the league knows Eichel has demanded a trade, not after.

Any trade package that involves Eichel leaving the team is probably going to be a trade we LOSE.

The issue is by how much.  If we wait until Eichel makes it public he wants out, we are going to lose badly! 

This is a good example of just how much more information those on the inside have relative to someone like me! 

I don't have a long history of discussions with Eichel, Peter Fish, etc., and I can't really gauge how Jack would feel about these things.  I'm just guessing from the outside.

I assume he is close to bursting and wanting out.

 

 

 

 

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I wonder if Jack is a "mood vampire?" He is the captain, by definition he should be leading by example. If he comes into the room pissy every day it would definitely have a negative effect. Watching ROR didn't help Jack learn to lead, and probably is why he is the way he is now. 

Strip Jack of the C.  Give it to Risto!!

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2 hours ago, pi2000 said:

If he requests a trade you simply tell him, and the entire league, that you're not trading him.    If he holds out, you let him hold out, if he checks out you let him self destruct.   

Think of it as parenting a whiny spoiled kid who refuses to do his chores. 

 

While that might be a way to handle Jack what I don't like is it's not fair for the rest of the team and the fans.

You do not have to be a parent of a whiny kid.  Ask Jack truthfully if he wants to remain a Buffalo Sabre.

If he doesn't move on.  

I'd ask the same question to Sam. 

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13 minutes ago, Cheektorado said:

While that might be a way to handle Jack what I don't like is it's not fair for the rest of the team and the fans.

You do not have to be a parent of a whiny kid.  Ask Jack truthfully if he wants to remain a Buffalo Sabre.

If he doesn't move on.  

I'd ask the same question to Sam. 

I was never in the trade Sam category but I think it could be time to listen if teams are calling. 

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3 minutes ago, Norcal said:

I was never in the trade Sam category but I think it could be time to listen if teams are calling. 

If the Sabres want to move on from Jack I for sure would ask Sam if he wants to stay.  If he wants to leave then trade him.

I guess I'm getting to the point and it is understandable from the players point too but if guys want out then do it.

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I think the Jack Eiche experiment is over. He’s a good player but he’s not the generational player we were told he was.

There are so many players out there that could replace Jack and quite literally the team would save money. 
 

When I see AM in Toronto dominate it shows me a far better player than Jack. 
The Oilers have two players better than Jack. The Canucks have two players who will be better than Jack (Pettersson maybe already) and Quinn Hughes (who is going to be better than Dahlin (if he’s not already)

I could go down many teams best players and place them ahead of Jack. And then there are guys who aren’t as good as Jack but are far better leaders, and all round players.

Maybe Jack can be McDavid 2.0 one day, but it won’t happen in Buffalo. He’s already damaged by the experience there, as are many who’ve been there the whole time.

So I would trade him before they can’t move him. Get what you can. Get better team players, in areas where the team needs help. 
 

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38 minutes ago, rickshaw said:

I think the Jack Eiche experiment is over. He’s a good player but he’s not the generational player we were told he was.

There are so many players out there that could replace Jack and quite literally the team would save money. 
 

When I see AM in Toronto dominate it shows me a far better player than Jack. 
The Oilers have two players better than Jack. The Canucks have two players who will be better than Jack (Pettersson maybe already) and Quinn Hughes (who is going to be better than Dahlin (if he’s not already)

I could go down many teams best players and place them ahead of Jack. And then there are guys who aren’t as good as Jack but are far better leaders, and all round players.

Maybe Jack can be McDavid 2.0 one day, but it won’t happen in Buffalo. He’s already damaged by the experience there, as are many who’ve been there the whole time.

So I would trade him before they can’t move him. Get what you can. Get better team players, in areas where the team needs help. 
 

You trade Eichel and this franchise is basically finished.  It'll be another decade before they see the playoffs.

If the current leadership can't build a playoff team around a talent like Jack Eichel, what makes you think they can build a playoff team by trading him? 

Bring in an experienced coach, even for a couple of seasons to build the proper team concepts.  Edmonton and Toronto didn't mess with rookie coaches when they were rebuilding.

 

 

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IMHO, there is enough talent on the roster to make the playoffs.  The long layoff and the two week layoff really hurt.  But they should be far better than this.

There is a part of me that wonders how the veterans feel about Skinner being benched and not tried in other situations to get him going.  Surely today was a prime chance to get him, Hall, and Staal going all at once.

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Ok, I'm ready for the team to blow this up. That means trading anybody and pretty much anyone that you can get anything for.  I know others disagree, but my thinking is this:

-There are 3 things I like when watching/following the NHL:  1.) my team scoring a LOT of goals, 2.) my team with the ability to dominate 'lesser' talented teams on a regular basis, and 3.)my team winning the cup.

After the tank, years and years of not making the playoffs, the realistic goal of your team should not be to hopefully MAKE the playoffs one of these years. It should be to get to the level of a top 5-6 team in the league year after year...a team that other teams circle on their schedule.

I don't see this group of players really doing any of that anytime in the near future.  If you make some good roster moves...and if changing the coaching staff helps can they be better? Sure. Playoff team? probably.  But I honestly don't see the core of this team getting close to the things that I personally want out of the team I follow.

Eichel is not nor should he be untouchable. Since he came into the league he is 24th in points. Not first, 2nd, or even 5th. Last year, his best year EVER, he was 10th in points in the league. He is super talented, he is a star, but he is not at the level of a franchise player to build your team around and carry them.

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6 hours ago, Curt said:

I’m not saying that you are wrong, but can you describe to me how the above scenario would be the best course of action for the Sabres?

Because trading a franchise center with his talent would be a mistake.    He'll eventually snap out of it, and the team will be better off with him on the roster.

I'll predict he has a breakout game here soon and everybody here will be singing a different tune.    Fickle fans.

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18 hours ago, nfreeman said:

But it's not a bigger treasure trove than the tank.  They had a zillion high draft picks from the tank teardown.  That also was a chance to "do it right."  And it bought us 8 years and counting of the worst stretch in the franchise's history.

As @Taro T has astutely noted many times, when you effect a total teardown, too many things have to go right, along a long road, for you to end up as a contender.  It happens once in a great while, but the likelihood is too low. 

You want to trade Hall, Staal, Montour and Eakin at the deadline?  I'm in.  You want to trade Reino for presumably good value instead of committing to him for a long-term contract?  I'm skeptical, but it depends on the price to keep him vs the trade offers, and I'm open to discussing it.  Also very open to discussing a new coach and a senior hockey guy to work with/instead of KA.

You want to pay someone to take KO and Skinner?  I'm all ears, although no one should kid himself.  It's not happening unless you want to part with multiple 1st-rounders.

But trading Eichel would be folly.  He's not as good as Crosby or McD, but he's nevertheless irreplaceable and he will be great again. 

Well, we do have some agreement/overlap but two things.

One, just because we rebuilt after the tank wrong doesn't mean you don't try to rebuild again. You presumably learn from those mistakes and do it right this time.

Second, if Eichel has checked out, and it sure looks like he has, you really have no choice. A team whose captain has checked out and doesn't care or try is never going to win. Trade him while you still can. 

19 hours ago, pi2000 said:

Who gives a ***** if Eichel is frustrated with the losing.... that doesn't mean you trade him.     If he sulks and checks out, then so be it.   Too bad so sad, enjoy your $80 million and you'll go down in history as mentally fragile loser, nobody feels bad for you.    

Look at guys like Yzerman, Sakic, Stamkos, Ovechkin, etc.. who stuck with their team's through thick and thin, and ultimately were rewarded.    They've had storied careers because they never gave up even when things looked hopeless and season after season of losing...  but they stuck with it and ultimately brought home a championship.

Yzerman endured losing years but eventually that team grew and got better. Stamkos ran off to greener pastures. The other two never had to endure this level of losing for as long. 

My feeling is the team asked Eichel to step up last year and he did. He had his best season. But we still lost, and so he said F... it I'm done trying. That's it, he's a quitter. Team is full of quitters. Hence, tear it down.  

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He's done here.  

Like Tom Petty sang, "time to move on."

 

 

NHL Rumors: Jack Eichel wanted out of Buffalo, Sabres reset not working

“Prior to the start of this season – go back into the summer – yeah it’s believed that Eichel had a conversation, and part of that conversation was wanting a change -wanting out of Buffalo,” Dreger said on Overdrive. “Now they found a way to talk him into changing from that mindset. They brought in Taylor Hall at $8 million, and they thought with a real good year maybe things would settle down.”

This is a stunning revelation, because up until this point it sounded like Eichel was just frustrated with losing and wanted to see the team take steps in a positive direction. Dreger also highlighted how Eichel’s body language looks completely off, and that’s only going to raise speculation that he’s looking to leave Buffalo.

“There’s some who wonder if Jack Eichel’s hurt? But his body language and the way he’s playing doesn’t look good at all,” Dreger emphasized. This is going to raise Eichel up the DGH Trade Bait Board now.

 

Now here’s the updated board adjusted to the latest information:

Jeff Skinner, BUF

Brandon Montour, BUF

Sam Bennett, CGY

Bobby Ryan, DET

Jack Eichel, BUF

 

https://www.thedailygoalhorn.com/nhl-trade-bait-board-gets-some-star-power/

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2 hours ago, pi2000 said:

Because trading a franchise center with his talent would be a mistake.    He'll eventually snap out of it, and the team will be better off with him on the roster.

I'll predict he has a breakout game here soon and everybody here will be singing a different tune.    Fickle fans.

Everything Is Fine GIF by memecandy
 

Im sorry.  I just don’t see this situation turning around and everything being fine in a couple weeks.  This is 6 years of disappointment for Eichel.  It’s not just going to blow over in a little while, as the team continues to be awful.  It just isn’t, unless this team turns it around immediately.  I’d like to think that they have next season to show improvement, but I don’t know if they have even that long.

I have been optimistic for years, but I just don’t have any left right now.

 

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4 hours ago, Thorny said:

There may not be a path forward for the franchise as long a TP is calling the shots.

I'm glad to start seeing this more and more.

I've been saying it for a couple of years now.

Eichel is totally mailing it in right now!  He is giving absolutely *nothing* close to his maximum.

He's playing at like 6/10.

 

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1 minute ago, Kruppstahl said:

I'm glad to start seeing this more and more.

I've been saying it for a couple of years now.

Eichel is totally mailing it in right now!  He is giving absolutely *nothing* close to his maximum.

He's playing at like 6/10.

 

6/10? You are giving his game this year way too much credit.

He has 2 goals and 14 points in 17 games.  20 players have double digit goals this year...22 have 20 points or more 

He's tied for 84th in the league in points...and 272nd in the league in goals.

He is the Captain and leader of a team that is tied for last in the league in points, and basically out of the playoff picture 19 games into the (shortened) season.

He is playing LESS than a 6/10 now.  Maybe (probably?) it has to do with an injury, but whatever the reason, this year he is shell of his former self.

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7 minutes ago, mjd1001 said:

6/10? You are giving his game this year way too much credit.

He has 2 goals and 14 points in 17 games.  20 players have double digit goals this year...22 have 20 points or more 

He's tied for 84th in the league in points...and 272nd in the league in goals.

He is the Captain and leader of a team that is tied for last in the league in points, and basically out of the playoff picture 19 games into the (shortened) season.

He is playing LESS than a 6/10 now.  Maybe (probably?) it has to do with an injury, but whatever the reason, this year he is shell of his former self.

Agreed. Absolute crap from Eichel........How is :Pegula not enraged?

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22 minutes ago, mjd1001 said:

6/10? You are giving his game this year way too much credit.

He has 2 goals and 14 points in 17 games.  20 players have double digit goals this year...22 have 20 points or more 

He's tied for 84th in the league in points...and 272nd in the league in goals.

He is the Captain and leader of a team that is tied for last in the league in points, and basically out of the playoff picture 19 games into the (shortened) season.

He is playing LESS than a 6/10 now.  Maybe (probably?) it has to do with an injury, but whatever the reason, this year he is shell of his former self.

His lazy back check on Philly's first goal tonight, and refusal to pick up his man, didn't have anything to do with injury.

He's just mailing it in now.

 

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4 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

 

Yzerman endured losing years but eventually that team grew and got better. Stamkos ran off to greener pastures. The other two never had to endure this level of losing for as long. 

 

Huh?  When?

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