The Jack Eichel situation shows how lucky the Blackhawks are

David Kampf #64, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
David Kampf #64, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

There was some news out of Buffalo this past week about the Buffalo Sabres and their big star Jack Eichel. While the Sabres have never been that great, things have taken a turn for the worse as they have seemed to upset their big star, Jack Eichel.

The panic button has been pressed. The Sabres and their star Jack Eichel have a divide between them. Eichel has been with the Sabres for six years since being drafted second overall in 2015, and he doesn’t have a lot to show for it.

Outside of his massive 10 million dollar contract that runs through the 2025-26 season, Eichel has not been to a playoff game with the team, and they haven’t finished in the hunt for the playoffs yet.

When I read about the situation in Buffalo, I cannot help myself but think about the old Blackhawks. After his sixth season in the NHL, Jonathan Toews was 24 years old and had just won his second Stanley Cup.

Every team does things differently, but there are two different paths top draft picks careers can go. The Blackhawks did not give Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane their massive payday contracts after their entry-level contracts expired, opting for bridge deals to get them a few years further down the line. It paid off in the end for both parties as Toews and Kane are still getting 10.5 million till the end of the 2022-23 season.

Here is what Eichel said:

“Wherever that might be.” Wow, am I happy that the Blackhawks never had to deal with Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews saying something like that. Winning it all is a hard thing to do, especially when considering how many different players there are on a championship team.

What if Duncan Keith became fed up with the organization being towards the bottom of the league in 2006 and asked for a trade? What if Marian Hossa never signs with the team because of comments like this?

I understand where Eichel is coming from saying this, but it kind of also hurts his chances of winning too. Jack Eichel’s contract might be too big to trade. So chances are he might be stuck in Buffalo for a little bit. Now that also means that the Sabres just lost even more standing in the eyes of free agents. Why sign in Buffalo if the team’s captain wants out?

"The 2012-13 Blackhawks are still the best during a shortened season"

Everything going on in the league involving Buffalo right now just makes me happy that the Blackhawks’ success worked out when it did. It is not just a goal that could have changed the outcome of the three Stanley Cups, but also the players’ ability to buy in and believe in the team.