The Chicago Blackhawks will likely be very busy in the coming weeks as the 2021 offseason gets fully underway, and there are a number of player they could go after.
There are many different options that Chicago could go after, however, one player, in particular, has been in the spotlight lately: Buffalo Sabres captain and star forward Jack Eichel. Rumors have been swirling for months that Eichel wants a change of scenery, and a recent report from the New York Post claims that the ‘Hawks have entered the trade sweepstakes.
But in order to get Eichel in a Blackhawks sweater, general manager Stan Bowman would have to give a trade offer to Buffalo that they simply couldn’t refuse. Obviously, a player like Jack Eichel would have a monumental impact on the team’s roster. If the ‘Hawks were to also go after a guy like Seth Jones, they might even be able to compete for the Stanley Cup again in a few year’s time.
Is it really worth it to give up a lot of the future in order to acquire Jack Eichel? That depends on how badly the Blackhawks feel he could help the team. Additionally, any trade package would likely involve forward Kirby Dach, but I wouldn’t necessarily scoff at this.
After all, while Dach is only 20-years-old with a ton of upside, Eichel has a similar build and has posted 50+ points in five of his six NHL seasons. So while Dach is definitely a piece of the future, giving him up to get a guy like Jack Eichel might not be the worst thing in the world.
Beyond that, it would depend on just how much value Buffalo would try to squeeze out of the Blackhawks. This year’s first-round draft pick (11th overall) is probably a given, although the Sabres are already picking first overall yet again. I could see the final trade offer turning into something like this:
This is obviously a lot to give up for one player, although the guy that would be coming to Chicago in return is a proven superstar. That being said, giving up two high-value draft picks and two great players in Dach and Brandon Hagel seems like it would simply be too much to ask for.
There are pros and cons to this deal, and I can see arguments both going both ways. However, at the end of the day, pulling the trigger on Jack Eichel just doesn’t seem like something that Stan Bowman would do. He’s never been one to make giant blockbuster trades, after all, and it would also guarantee the ‘Hawks would miss out on a great draft pick like Jesper Wallstedt.
As much as I would love to see Jack Eichel play for the Blackhawks, I think that it is probably more of a fantasy than a reality. Additionally, the fact that there are at least four to five other teams also going after him doesn’t help. There’s a good chance that Eichel will be in a different sweater next year, but the odds of it being a Chicago one are probably slim.