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 execs and cons of buying the famous person ahead.
Right here’s the newest on Jack Eichel.
A number of sources inform ESPN it’s all the way down to Calgary and Vegas. Sabres GM Kevyn Adams is working onerous to get it carried out, however neither staff has met his asks but.
Sources say each groups are OK with Eichel getting his most popular surgical procedure. pic.twitter.com/uiJsGFeDmE
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) November 3, 2021
In the present day we noticed Kevin Weekes toss out a proposed bundle from the Flames with Matthew Tkachuk because the centrepiece onto his Twitter. There are questions round whether or not that is the bundle, 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 principle NHL piece returning to Buffalo for now.
With that in thoughts, a commerce of this magnitude will surely have ripple results throughout Calgary and the league because the NHL hasn’t seen a famous person of this magnitude traded in a while. Let’s have 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 will probably be a real indication that this administration group is lastly pushing their chips all-in. If this blows up of their faces, they may lose their jobs, there may be actually now approach round it. If it really works out, they may very well be right here one other decade. This season had appeared 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 term guys like Elias Lindholm, Rasmus Andersson, and Eichel.
2. The Battle of Alberta will likely be Should-Watch Hockey
If it wasn’t already the league’s greatest rivalry after 2019-20, including Jack Eichel to it could make it might probably’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 can be already doing very properly this yr. It will be nice for the game and draw a ton of consideration to those two groups that haven’t completed 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 end result. On one hand, it could have been rather a lot simpler for the Flames to justify a franchise-changing commerce like this one if they’d began as their typical mediocre October selves. As an alternative, sitting with a 6-1-2 document by 9 video games has lots of people very pleased with the place issues at present stand.
By buying and selling for Eichel and eradicating a minimum of one or possibly two items of your present roster, you threat jeopardizing what appears to be an already higher season for the staff. 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 could go a great distance in producing curiosity for 2 groups which were mired in dangerous hockey for a very long time now. Matthew Tkachuk is little doubt a participant that quite a lot of groups across the league would like to have, and including double the Tkachuk to the Atlantic Division would even be nice advertising and marketing for the league for 2 much less standard groups. That’s in fact if the NHL did an excellent job advertising and marketing their product, however that’s one other challenge fully.
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 Prime 3 in my view. With Eichel, Elias Lindholm, and Mikael Backlund on the primary three traces, Calgary would undoubtedly be the higher staff down the center and actually counter the Oilers McDavid-Draisiatl punch properly. If you additionally think about gamers like Dillon Dube and Sean Monahan who’ve expertise down the center, then you definately’re taking a look at a particularly deep lineup. You want nice centres to win the Stanley Cup. It’s that easy.
6. Eichel could be the culminating piece of your complete rebuild
If there’s one factor that the Flames rebuild actually missed out on, it was that tremendous excessive choose to draft a famous person participant. Positive they received Tkachuk, Monahan, and Sam Bennett (ugh) at #4, however they by no means received that probability to draft first or second general to nab an elite of the elite participant. As an alternative they constructed the staff slowly over time, including items by drafting and trades, adopted by bringing in Jacob Markstrom and head coach Darryl Sutter.
The Flames have additionally carried out an excellent job of filling their prospect cabinets as properly to both embrace as items on this commerce, or to fill in roster holes transferring ahead on the NHL stage. A mixture of A stage prospects (Coronato, Pelletier, Zary, Wolf) and B stage prospects (Francis, Ruzicka, Heineman, and so forth.) will give the Flames choices for buying and selling, but additionally enable them to be assured in what’s leftover. All the things is in place proper now for the staff to go for it, and Eichel could 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 in case you aren’t very snug 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 be capable of make all of it match. Nevertheless including Eichel to play with Gaudreau for ~30 video games and one playoff crack simply doesn’t appear to be value it for me.
There isn’t a doubt that the Eichel commerce speak 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, an enormous change like this may widen the potential outcomes (each constructive and damaging) for the staff. Change may be scary, however change is what followers of this staff have been wanting for years.
It might be romanticizing issues however you possibly can like this to the Derozan-Leonard commerce with the Toronto Raptors a number of years again. It would harm to lose a fan favorite in Tkachuk, however the final purpose is to win a Stanley Cup and the Flames could be rather a lot nearer to that purpose if Jack Eichel joined the staff. We will see.
Ought to the Flames commerce Tkachuk, a former 1st spherical choose, a 1st, and prospects for Eichel?
Sure, you’ll be able to’t go up Eichel
No, you’ll be able to’t lose Tkachuk
118 votes whole