Five things we wonder as Flames announces a finalist to acquire center superstar Jack Eichel – .

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Five things we wonder as Flames announces a finalist to acquire center superstar Jack Eichel – .


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You can’t just check the leaderboard and find out who is leading these so-called raffles.

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The Calgary Flames are rumored to be the finalists in trade talks for disgruntled superstar Jack Eichel.

They may even be the favorite.

Or maybe they are the other potential contender who is being used to push the price up. Maybe the Buffalo Sabers are saying to a rival team, “Well that’s a decent package, but wait until you hear what the Flames come up with…” (In the annals of hockey history, this s ‘is produced more than once.)

There are two things we can be pretty sure of – the Flames are in the mix for the qualified center, and the rumbles won’t go away until Eichel gets a new address, whether it’s Calgary, Las Vegas or elsewhere.

Without a bug in Brad Treliving’s office at the Saddledome, we’re stuck with more questions than answers. Here are five things we ask ourselves as we wait for rumors to turn into resolution …

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What is more important: the playoffs or Eichel?

As their six-game winning streak was interrupted in Tuesday’s overtime loss to the Nashville Predators, the Flames have reached a 6-1-2 record so far and, with a stingy defensive structure and a solid transition game, have the makings of a should -be a playoff team in the Pacific Division. As Johnny Gaudreau summed it up on Wednesday, “it’s probably the best we’ve played to start a season in a long time.” Johnny is right, and the important thing to remember is that Eichel still needs neck surgery. He should be missing about three months – and that’s AFTER a market. We can only assume the Sabers are asking for at least one key item from the active roster, with NHL Network / ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reporting that he has heard that leading winger Matthew Tkachuk is the centerpiece of the offering. Calgary, so any trade would initially weaken the Flames roster. Do they have enough depth to stay in the playoff race until Eichel is ready for the playing action? Are they willing to risk it?

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Is this opportunity too good to pass up?

It’s been a long, long time since the Flames had a truly elite cross in their roster – and that’s no disrespect for the so underrated Elias Lindholm. When he’s healthy, Eichel falls into that upper echelon, and these guys don’t become available, either through free agency or trade, very often. We’re talking about a dude who was in the NHL’s top 10 scorers in 2019-2020, and was part of a lousy team in Buffalo. We’re talking about a dude with an effortless long stride and a nasty shot, a dude who could bury a lot of passes from Gaudreau or any other man of setup. We’re talking about a guy who, at 25, should be just entering his prime. This is why it is so fascinating to imagine Eichel in the Flaming C logo.

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Does Eichel want to play in Calgary?

You’re always a little wary of a guy who pushes his way out of another town, right? While Eichel does not currently have any trade protection, you would still like the reassurance that he cares in Calgary. Sure, he’s signed until the end of the 2025-2026 campaign (with an annual cap of $ 10 million), but you don’t want him spending the next few winters wishing he was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights. in place. Eichel was the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, just after the Edmonton Oilers welcomed You-Know-Who, and it’s no secret he’s tired of talking about Connor McDavid . Would he be thrilled to have the opportunity to skate in the NHL Battle of Alberta, or does that make Sin City even better?

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Is his health worrying?

When ESPN’s Emily Kaplan declared the Flames and Golden Knights as the two finalists in Eichel’s sweeps, she also indicated that both clubs were comfortable with her preference for an artificial disc replacement, which didn’t has never been done on an active NHL player. The Sabers did not approve of this particular procedure – their doctors recommended the fusion instead to repair the herniated disc in his neck. There is a risk every time you negotiate damaged goods. In the best-case scenario, Eichel is recovering from surgery, never has neck problems again and continues to accumulate points on behalf of his new team. But after being limited to 21 games – and two meager scorers – last season, medical records are arguably more important than any stats you can find on HockeyDB.com.

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Why is it not yet done?

It seems like every chair general manager, every @ LannysStache9 or @ IggyFan12, has shared their Eichel business proposals on Twitter. It’s this guy + this guy + this prospect + this choice. Should do the trick, right? Among the most… uh… most popular outgoing players is a guy who recently lost his spot in the top six forwards and a defender who hasn’t even been in the roster in the last two clashes. . If that was indeed Buffalo’s request, wouldn’t it already be? (Wednesday’s report from Weekes suggests the price is much higher than that.) Are the Flames waiting for the cost of return to drop? Are the Sabers, after a solid start, waiting for offers to improve or are they adamant that an out of bounds player or prospect is included? Eichel has been stuck for months now and they haven’t made a deal yet, which makes us wonder… what’s the delay?

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