Sabres GM: ‘No intention’ to trade Jack Eichel, even though teams are calling

Sabres GM: 'No intention' to trade Jack Eichel, even though teams are calling
Getty Images
3 Comments

With Jack Eichel trade rumors swirling, still-new Sabres GM Kevyn Adams told WGR 550 that he has “no intention” of moving the star center.

“People call and make phone calls and ask about players every day,” Adams said, via WGR 550. “My job is to listen, and we have no intention of shopping Jack Eichel. People call and you have conversations. That’s it.”

Sabres would be almost certain to “lose” a Jack Eichel trade

It’s good that Adams claimed he has “no intention” of sending Jack Eichel away in a trade.

Now, sure, if I were a Sabres fan, I’d crave something even more emphatic. I’d probably want Adams to say, “Sure, teams call. And then I laugh at them, and slam my phone. It’s actually why I use a landline; you can’t really slam your cell phone to end a call, unless you want to break that phone.”

(OK, maybe Adams doesn’t need to get that procedural about hanging up on people, but you get the point.)

Simply put, teams usually don’t win trades when they move young stars (Eichel is 23). TSN’s Bob McKenzie did some digging and learned that the New York Rangers ranked among the teams reportedly calling about Eichel. Scan the Rangers’ assets and ask yourself: what kind of trade package would make it worthwhile to move Jack Eichel?

Don’t repeat the Ryan O'Reilly trade debacle, Sabres

If nothing else, the Sabres getting burned badly by the Ryan O’Reilly trade should serve as an additional warning to scare off any sense of trading. Consider the parallels, even while noting that Eichel is at an even younger part of his career than ROR was:

  • Plenty of people were discouraging the Sabres from trading Ryan O’Reilly before they did it, including some clown.
  • To be fair, the Sabres faced some pressure thanks to public comments. ROR spoke about how all of the losing was killing the joy of hockey for him before the Sabres swap. Back in May, Jack Eichel opened up about how fed up he is with losing.
  • Even under normal circumstances, you’re in a tough spot while trading a star. That only gets worse when a) those players are making public pleas and b) you’ve been losing, and thus look vulnerable. Again, the stage would be set for the Sabres to make a huge mistake.

So, here’s hoping Adams legitimately has no intention of trading Jack Eichel.

Could Sabres trade No. 8 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft?

Assuming that Adams isn’t pulling a Marc Bergevin and playing coy (lying?) up to the moment that he trades a star player, the largely unproven new GM of the Sabres is off to a strong start. By just about any reasonable measure, landing Eric Staal for Marcus Johansson was a shrewd move.

The Athletic’s John Vogl points out that Adams also mentioned to WGR 550 the possibility of the Sabres trading their first-round pick (eighth overall), although they like some of the talent potentially available if they stick with it.

Now, moving the No. 8 pick? That’s an interesting possibility for Adams and the Sabres.

However you feel about Rasmus Ristolainen as a player, he made a great point about the Sabres being stuck in a long period of hoping for a better future.

The Sabres could easily get a strong player at No. 8, and there are ample benefits to squeezing out value from entry-level contract years, not to mention potential bargain second contracts.

But the Sabres want to win sooner rather than later, and Adams has a fascinating opportunity in front of him.

[More on 2020 NHL Draft: Full order of picks for all 31 teams, how to watch]

Via Cap Friendly, the Sabres have about $33.6M in cap space. That might be a little misleading, as that’s with only 11 roster spots accounted for.

Yet it does show that, in many ways, Adams enjoys a blank slate. Could Buffalo entice a cap-crunched team to cough up a serious player by also presenting the eighth overall pick and maybe relieving some of their cap concerns? That’s a big ask for a brand-new GM like Adams. Even so, it could be a fascinating opportunity.

Or, the Sabres could stick with that eighth pick, and possibly enjoy better returns.

Either way, if I’m Adams, I’m diverting any attention from Jack Eichel trade talks to seeing if someone would pay up big-time for that eighth overall pick.

Just don’t trade Jack Eichel, Sabres.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Bruins set NHL record with 12 straight home wins to start season

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
2 Comments

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins set the NHL record for most home victories to start a season with their 12th straight, topping the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime with a power-play goal from David Pastrnak.

The Bruins broke the mark of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

“That felt awesome,” Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery said. “We talked about it after the second (period) going into the third. There’s been a lot of great teams in this league and you’re able to set a precedent, break a record. It’s pretty special and it doesn’t happen if those guys don’t believe in themselves like they do.”

Boston, which trailed 2-0 late in the second period, tied it with 9:33 left in regulation when David Krejci scored his second of the game on a shot from the right point.

“It’s never fun being down going into the third, you’re sitting in here (in the locker room) trying to figure it out,” Krejci said. “You want to come out and do the job, something special on the line. It’s hard to win in this league. To get 12 in a row at home is pretty special.”

In overtime, Carolina was playing shorthanded after being called for too many men on the ice when Pastrnak one-timed a pass from Brad Marchand inside the far post from above the left circle.

“It was a big win for us, obviously, coming from behind,” Pastrnak said.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stefan Noesen each scored a power-play goal for Carolina, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 38 saves. The Hurricanes lost their fifth straight.

In a rematch of last spring’s opening-round playoff series that the Hurricanes won in seven games, Carolina shutout the NHL’s highest scoring team for nearly two periods and jumped ahead a pair of power-play goals in the opening period.

“We took too many penalties. That’s hurting us right now,” Kotaniemi said. “I think 5-on-5 we’re doing a really good job. We started good tonight and couldn’t keep that up.”

Boston’s tying goal was originally disallowed because of goaltender interference on Nick Foligno but overturned on a coach’s challenge after it was ruled that he was nudged into the crease by Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce.

Boston starting goaltender Linus Ullmark made 28 saves but had to leave with 13:03 left in the third period with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Teammate Connor Clifton had jumped on him to block a shot during a scramble. Jeremy Swayman made six stops in relief.

Carolina’s Noesen scored at 6:34 in to make it 1-0. And with five minutes left in the period, Kotkaniemi collected the puck near the side of the net after Seth Jarvis‘ shot bounced off the back glass and slipped it inside the post at 15:05.

Krejci scored for Boston with 31 seconds left in the second.

Boston came in with a league-high 82 goals in 20 games (4.10 per game), but it was held to relatively few chances despite getting a 5-on-3 power-play advantage early on.

TAKE NOTE

The Bruins honored captain Patrice Bergeron, who recorded his 1,000th career point when the team was on the road against Tampa Bay, with a message on the Jumbotron. The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Bergeron became just the fourth Bruin to reach the mark, joining Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Johnny Bucyk (1,339) and Phil Esposito (1,012).

UP NEXT

Hurricanes: Host the Calgary Flames.

Bruins: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Predators postpone 2 games due to Nashville water main break

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  The Nashville Predators postponed two home games because of a water main break that soaked their downtown arena.

Hours after the Predators decided they couldn’t play against the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced it also postponed the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Makeup dates for the two games will be announced later.

The NHL said the water main break that occurred “significantly impacted the event level” of Bridgestone Arena. Team locker rooms and the ice surface are on the event level.

Predators President and CEO Sean Henry told reporters that the water in the event level ranged from 3 inches to 3 feet.

“We’re assessing it right now. We’re remediating it,” Henry said. “The good thing is, the water got shut off, the city responded in a pretty fast manner. I don’t think anyone is ready for things like this the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

Video posted by a WTVF-TV reporter shows the water puddled up on the main floor’s concourse area and the team store. The team was forced to close the store until further notice, pointing shoppers online for Black Friday specials.

The Predators’ next home game is now scheduled for Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

The water issue also resulted in a switch to a different venue for a college hockey game between Northeastern and Western Michigan. They also had been scheduled to play at Bridgestone Arena, a game that was moved to Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

Rangers trade Ryan Reaves to Wild for 5th-round pick in 2025

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The New York Rangers traded enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Minnesota Wild for a 2025 fifth-round pick.

Reaves had been a healthy scratch for eight of the past 12 games for the Rangers. He gives struggling Minnesota some extra muscle and a veteran presence.

The 35-year-old is signed through only the rest of this season at a $1.75 million salary cap hit. He has no points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 games of his second season with New York.

Reaves has played in 869 NHL regular-season and playoff games for the St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights and Rangers. He was with the Golden Knights during their inaugural season in 2017-18 when the reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Toronto’s Morgan Rielly placed on long-term injured reserve

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve with a knee injury.

Rielly was hurt in a collision with with New York forward Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of Toronto’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Islanders at home.

Rielly has no goals and 16 assists in 20 games this season and is averaging 23 minutes of ice time.

Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said following practice that the 28-year-old Rielly doesn’t need surgery, adding there’s no firm timeline for his return beyond the minimum 24 days and 10 games required for going on long-term injured reserve.

Toronto’s defense is also missing Jake Muzzin with a neck injury and T.J. Brodie with an injured oblique.