Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel (9) celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
- As the April 12th NHL trade deadline approaches, there are odds speculating the future of Buffalo Sabres stars Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall
- At minus-500 odds, the betting line is heavily weighted that captain Eichel will remain with the Sabres
- Surprisingly, Buffalo is the -200 chalk to remain the team of soon-to-be UFA Hall
Is a Jack Eichel trade in the works? Will Taylor Hall be joining a playoff contender prior to the April 12th NHL trade deadline? On paper, the Buffalo Sabres should be a very good team. Ten of Buffalo’s players were selected among the top-10 picks in their draft year. Hall was a first overall selection in 2010. Eichel went second overall in 2015.
However, games aren’t won on paper. The Sabres are the NHL’s longest-running train wreck. Buffalo is heading for a 10th straight finish outside of the playoffs. They are on their eighth coach and fourth GM since 2012.
Coach Ralph Krueger has been dismissed and speculation is that the Sabres, who’ve lost 13 games in a row, may be about to blow up the roster and start rebuilding yet again. And that could see some big names moving to new homes.
Oddsmakers don’t believe that it will be Buffalo’s biggest names that will be relocating, however. Betting lines on a pair of props as to where Sabres captain Eichel and former Hart Trophy winner Hall will be playing following the NHL trade deadline lists the Sabres as odds-on favorites in both instances.
Eichel is given -500 to still be with the club following the deadline. Hall is becoming an unrestricted free agent as season’s end. Yet the Sabres are the -200 chalk to be his team when the deadline passes.
Jack Eichel/Taylor Hall Trade Odds
|Team||Jack Eichel Odds||Taylor Hall Odds|
|New York Rangers||+500||OFF|
|Los Angeles Kings||+1200||OFF|
|Detroit Red Wings||+2000||OFF|
|New Jersey Devils||+2000||OFF|
|New York Islanders||OFF||+400|
Odds as of Mar. 22nd. Market closes at NHL trade deadline on April 12th, 2021.
Eichel Speculation Jacking Up
As much as dealing away their best player doesn’t make any sense, the Eichel trade speculation won’t be quelled. According to published reports, in order to pry Eichel out of Buffalo, the Sabres require four first-round picks, or a package of four players and picks in which all of the players included were first-round selections.
Ennis, Kassian and Turris and this years 1st for Eichel sounds good to me! pic.twitter.com/dHlthKGgd9
— Josh (@JoshWaters__) March 22, 2021
It’s no surprise that the New York Rangers are the second betting choice at +500. The Rangers always do things in a big way. They’ve also got the kind of assets that Buffalo is reportedly seeking.
No NHL team is as deep in high-end prospects as the Los Angeles Kings. But the Kings are also in a rebuilding mode and might not be willing to part with some of that future talent before seeing what they have to offer.
Asked about Jack Eichel’s patience for the Sabres’ situation and the speculation over Eichel’s future, Kevyn Adams says he has open communication with his captain: “Jack knows my door’s always open. We talk regular.”
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) March 17, 2021
Eichel is currently out for what the Sabres have termed the foreseeable future with a neck injury. There are rumblings that it could be season ending.
Eichel, 24, is also signed through 2026 at $10 million per season. Players of his caliber with lots of term left on their pacts generally don’t get moved until the offseason, when teams have the time to make the necessary salary-cap adjustments.
Pick: Buffalo Sabres (-500)
A Haul for Hall?
Odds were that Hall was always going to be a rental in Buffalo. He signed a one-year deal with the Sabres last year. That gave Buffalo a season to show Hall why he should stay and provided Hall with a quick escape route if things ended up pretty much like they have.
Combined salary = $27 million
Total goals = 6
Combined salary = $27 million
Total goals = 50
— Jesse Pollock (@jpolly22) March 22, 2021
If the trade deadline passes and the Sabres haven’t moved Hall, they truly are the NHL’s worst franchise. Their biggest problem could be finding a suitor for a player who’s scored twice in 29 games and just 18 times over his last 94 games.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
The Islanders don’t score much (2.94 goals per game, 15th overall in NHL) and are without captain Anders Lee, who’s been their leading goal scorer in four of the past five seasons. They might just be desperate enough to roll the dice on Hall rediscovering his game.
Pick: New York Islanders (+400)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.