New Jersey Devils Don’t Make Sense As A Jack Eichel Landing Spot

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9): (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)
Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9): (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jack Eichel deal has been hit from every angle at this point. Since the Buffalo Sabres were knocked towards the bottom of the standings, rumors started to fly that one of the better centers in the game wanted a new home. Obviously, like with any fanbase, New Jersey Devils fans started to ask what it would take to get Eichel on the roster. It’s pretty clear the Sabres would ask for Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier. That seems like a no go for the Devils since it tries to speed up the rebuild without truly addressing the issues with the roster.

The latest from Bleacher Report’s Lyle Fitzsimmons ignores that fact and still has the Devils as the third most likely suitor for Eichel. The only teams with a better chance to get him according to Fitzsimmons were the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. He cites the need for star power to compete with the Islanders and Rangers in the New York media market as a driving force.

There is some logic in the thought process, but the trade package would be pretty insane at this point. Not only does Fitzsimmons think the Devils would trade one of Hughes or Hischier, but they would add in Nolan Foote and/or Alexander Holtz too. That’s a package that most teams couldn’t touch, so it would definitely get the job done.

The issue here is that’s a desperation play, and the Devils aren’t in the market to make a desperation play when they have so many other holes on the roster. Getting Jack Eichel for, say, Hughes and Holtz gives them basically the same roster as last year while adding a $10 million contract and a better center who is now coming off a major injury.

Eichel’s trade value just isn’t there. However, the issue here is with the high-powered young players and prospects on the Devils, there’s no way the Sabres would accept anything less. Coming out with the seventh and eighth-best asset on a team for the Sabres best is going to turn the Sabres fans against management in an instant.

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There just isn’t a trade to be made between the Devils and Sabres. Eichel would of course be nice. The price it takes to get him would not. It’s time to move on despite others tying the Devils to Eichel constantly.