Montreal Canadiens centres Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi as well as Ryan Poehling and Jake Evans, offer the Habs quite a bit of hope for their most depth at the position in decades.
It has been a long time since the Habs centre ice position was considered a great strength and when was the last time they had a budding two-way star at the position like Suzuki?
It sounds like general manager Marc Bergevin isn’t satisfied with his centre ice position and is still looking to upgrade it, and he is looking for a massive upgrade.
According to Elliotte Friedman, who is one of the top insiders in hockey, the Canadiens and Sabres were into “heavy talks” regarding Jack Eichel over the draft weekend. Obviously, it hasn’t reached a conclusion yet, but there is no question Eichel is going to get traded, and these things sometimes take a few days to work out all the details.
Elliotte Friedman just said this about Eichel situation: “They talked pretty heavily with Montreal yesterday. It was quiet last night.”
Also said they’re looking at a prospect-based deal for Eichel.
— Joey Alfieri (@joeyalfieri) July 24, 2021
There would be several teams looking to acquire a star player like Jack Eichel. He was the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and quickly became one of the most dangerous offensive players in the entire league.
The 24 year old has been upset with how the organization handled his neck injury and the dispute has led to him wanting out of town. It sounds like he will get his wish very soon, but will the Canadiens be able to meet the large asking price?
Apparently, the asking price has been extreme, and the Sabres have been looking for the equivalent of four first round picks in exchange for Eichel. Teams never get exactly what they initially ask for in a deal, especially a deal with an injured player who everyone knows wants out of town.
However, the price to acquire Eichel would be enormous. The Canadiens would have to include their 2022 first round pick for sure, which is always risky. They would need to add a couple of recent first round picks as well, and you know the Sabres are going to want Cole Caufield or Nick Suzuki as part of the package.
With Eichel’s injury history and $10 million contract, there is no way I want to see the Habs trade Suzuki or Caufield to get the Sabres centre. But if they can build a package without including one of those two, I’d be all in.
Would Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Alexander Romanov and their 2022 first round pick be enough? That’s three big pieces and two of the Canadiens best young players. It’s not quite what the Sabres are asking for, but it is an impressive package that they would have to strongly consider.
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We will have to wait and see, but probably not for long. The Sabres are going to want to get this deal done so it doesn’t drag through the offseason and become a training camp distraction. It will be interesting to follow this and see if the Canadiens can land Eichel in the coming days.