The Jack Eichel saga has dragged on for months without a resolution, but the situation could be mere minutes, hours or days from finally coming to an end based on recent reports.
It is pretty clear at this point that the Sabres did not want any of this. If they had their way, Eichel would have had offseason surgery on the herniated disk in his neck and would be playing in games for the team this fall.
But we’re a long way from that outcome being a reality. Eichel reportedly disagrees with the team about which kind of neck surgery he should have, and does not have approval from the team to go under the knife with his preferred method.
The result is a stalemate between team and player, and a league full of teams waiting for the price to drop in trade talks.
“I would say I’ve been a bit upset about the way that things have been handled since I’ve been hurt,” Eichel said after last season. “I’d be lying to say that things have moved smoothly since my injury. So yeah, I think that there’s been a bit of a disconnect from the organization a bit and myself. It’s been tough at times.”
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Eichel’s future is totally up in the air as a result, but reports this week indicated that other teams have been made privy to his medical records and a trade could be imminent as multiple clubs involved could give him the OK to have his preferred surgery.
But where will he land?
Jack Eichel’s next team odds are available now at online sportsbook Sportsbook as oddsmakers respond to the situation.
Here’s a look at the book’s full list of odds:
Jack Eichel Prop Bets: Where Will Jack Eichel Play This Season?
|Los Angeles Kings||+450|
|New York Rangers||+600|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+600|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+800|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+3000|
Odds as of October 7 at Sportsbook
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Potential Landing Spots
One particularly interesting aspect of this situation is how little we know about the potential suitors for Eichel despite the situation approaching a year in length.
We can only speculate and piece together what we know about team salary situations and intentions.
Los Angeles Kings (+450)
The Kings have more than enough assets to get a deal done.
The question for the Kings is whether or not they are ready to part with those assets.
Would the Kings be willing to give up a Quinton Byfield or an Alex Turcotte in a deal for Eichel? This is a team that missed the playoffs by 14 points in a shortened season last year.
They did sign center Phillip Danault in the offseason, which might indicate they are ready to make a playoff push, but there is speculation about whether GM Rob Blake is willing to pay the price (or at least what we think the price might be) for another center.
Anaheim Ducks (+800)
Similar to the Kings, the Ducks are in the midst of a rebuild and have the young assets to present a solid offer. General manager Bob Murray is also known as a swing-for-the-fences type who is not afraid to make a big move.
However, all signs point to this team trying to draft, develop and build for the future and it seems unlikely they would be willing to trade away the young talent they have to become Jack Eichel’s next team.
Montreal Canadiens (+800)
Because why not? At +800, oddsmakers certainly believe this is a team that could be interested in Eichel’s services.
Another factor to consider is how acquiring a player like Eichel would affect this season for the acquiring team. If your team is a contender, and you have to give up legitimate NHL roster players to get him, you have to expect a step back in the standings as you wait for his future surgery to heal up.
That might be a tough sell for teams on this list like Vegas or Boston.
But the Canadiens might be open to a situation like that with Shea Weber, Mike Hoffman, Joel Edmundson and star goalie Carey Price all on the shelf to start the season. With Price out indefinitely, this Habs season could be over by Christmas. So bringing Eichel into the fold and giving away top players to get him might not sting as much as it would for other teams.
Fans may not want to hear names like Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki or Alexander Romanov thrown around in trade scenarios, but there is no doubt Montreal has the pieces to get a deal done to secure Jack Eichel’s services.
Minnesota Wild (+1200)
The Wild had a great season and are a well-rounded team that plays strong defense. But there is no true top-line center on this team. The Wild do not have the kind of organizational wealth of talent enjoyed by New York or L.A., and we don’t know if general manager Bill Guerin would have the appetite to trade the farm for one player.
But adding Eichel to a line with dynamic winger Kirill Kaprizov would push this team to legitimate Cup contender status. At +1200, the Wild are a great option in Jack Eichel prop bets.
Best Bet: New York Rangers (+600)
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
As mentioned previously, it could be a hard pill to swallow for a team that fancies itself a playoff contender to give up a Mika Zibanejad-plus-others type of package just to have Eichel immediately be out for multiple months.
But there are also reports that if he has his surgery soon, Eichel could be back by the end of December. If the Rangers think they can tread water until then, it would make a lot more sense to go after Eichel.
A healthy Eichel would immediately improve the team’s playoff chances, and few teams have the assets to put together a deal as strong as what the Rangers could offer.