The New Jersey Devils don’t really need Jack Eichel to be successful, but getting him from the Buffalo Sabres could mean making this franchise a true contender almost immediately.
The New Jersey Devils are playing very well to start the season. They are currently 6-3-2 on the season. They just beat the Boston Bruins, who many considered the best team in the league. Most analysts had them as one of the worst teams in the league, and that was amplified when Corey Crawford abruptly retired at the beginning of the season. The Devils were supposed to be deciding whether Owen Power or Brandt Clarke was a better option with their top pick. It’s still only a month into the season, but this team feels like they can play against anyone.
Could the New Jersey Devils make a Jack Eichel deal work?
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres have fallen further down the standings after losing to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night. It’s another lost season for a Buffalo team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011. It’s the longest streak in the league. They spent big on Taylor Hall this offseason, but it hasn’t moved the needle. Now, as the rumor mill tends to do, many are wondering what it would take to get the team’s best player out of Buffalo.
Jack Eichel is literally watching his career be wasted by mismanagement and falling below expectations in the win column. The goaltending has been inconsistent, the depth has been atrocious, the other draft picks have been disappointments, and the Sabres need to make major changes. Eichel could be that change, but it’s clearly going to cost a ton.
Eichel is currently on a $10 million per season contract. Not many teams can afford that, especially in this economy. The Devils are one of the teams that could make an Eichel deal work. It would hurt at first, but eventually, everything would work out with the salary cap.
The Devils have $7 million in cap space this season (and could probably make more with some creativity), and they have a ridiculous $37 million available next season even with a flat salary cap. So, it’s clear the Devils can make an Eichel deal work, but the question now turns to what would it cost.