Skip to main content

Can the Wild win a bidding war for Sabres star Jack Eichel?

Eichel could be on his way out of Buffalo, and Minnesota could use a No. 1 center.

The Wild has needed a No. 1 center throughout the history of its 20-year franchise, so it only makes sense that there is speculation they could be a perfect fit as a trade partner with Buffalo for Jack Eichel. 

Eichel, 24, is a former No. 2 overall pick who scored 36 goals in the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season. But he's been out since March 7 due to a neck injury, which followed numerous other issues during an injury-plagued season with the Sabres. And on Tuesday he made it about as clear as possible that he's not very interested in staying in Buffalo. 

“I’ve been a bit upset about the way that things have been handled since I’ve been hurt,” Eichel said during the team's media day. “I’d be lying to say that things have moved smoothly since my injury. So, yeah, there’s been a bit of a disconnect, I think, from the organization and myself. It’s been tough at times.

“Right now, for me, I think the most important thing is just trying to get healthy and figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year wherever that might be.”

It's unclear if the Sabres plan to trade Eichel since he still has five years and $50 million remaining on his contract, but considering he has a full no-move clause in his contract beginning July 2022, the pressure is on Buffalo to move sooner than later so Eichel doesn't control his own market. 

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun writes: "I think the Wild make a ton of sense and they have the pieces to do it." 

The Wild have the pieces, but as The Athletic's Michael Russo points out, taking on Eichel's $10 million annual average salary would require GM Bill Guerin trading "lucrative salaries in other moves or get Buffalo to acquire some of Minnesota's big-money players in a blockbuster package." 

Russo, by the way, started his column by saying it's likely that Guerin "began investigating" trade possibilities for Eichel "weeks ago." 

LeBrun spoke with seven members of NHL front offices and the majority of them believe it's going to take a lot to get Eichel, and there is potential for a bidding war. 

One front office executive speculated to LeBrun that it could cost a team a first-round pick, a young NHL player and a top center prospect. The Wild have two first-round picks in the 2021 NHL Draft – their own and Pittsburgh's from the Jason Zucker trade – in addition to center prospects Marco Rossi (2020 first-round pick) and Marat Khusnutdinov (2020 second-round pick). 

Minnesota clearly has young talent on the roster, so as LeBrun says, Guerin should have the ammo to put together a decent offer for Eichel. But it would likely require Guerin parting with extremely valuable picks and prospects. 

So which way will Guerin go: Trust his scouting and keep the roster intact? Or get aggressive and trade for Eichel to see what he could do alongside Kirill Kaprizov on the top line? 

Time will tell. 

Next Up

police lights

On the lam since 2007, suspect in MN murder case arrested in Florida

The suspect is one of three men connected to a fatal drive-by shooting on St. Paul's West Side.

Deer on road

Motorcyclist in collision with deer dies from injuries

The 55-year-old from Princeton died at a hospital a day after the crash.


Burnsville approves measure that will make its landfill much taller

The expansion will increase the landfill's allowable height by an additional 268 feet.

michael carbo

Northern MN man found guilty in 1980s cold case murder

Nancy Daugherty was found dead in the afternoon hours of July 16, 1986.

Red Ox Cafe

Breakfast spot in Ham Lake closes after decades in business

The business posted an announcement on its front door.

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 1.43.04 PM

St. Paul man killed partner, himself while their 5 kids were home

St. Paul confirmed the double shooting on Tuesday evening was murder-suicide.

Kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

Minnesota, Wisconsin kids competing in USA Mullet Championships

The contest is divided into kids and teens divisions.


One killed after being trapped under UTV near Alexandria

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says the victim died at the scene.


What's in the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden?

How the nation's biggest climate law will reduce emissions.

Patrick Henry High School

Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis will get new name

A school board meeting was held this week, discussing what's next going forward.

Mike Max

Mike Max is out at WCCO Radio

Max got his start at WCCO Radio in 1998.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

Uber passenger dies a week after fiery crash in St. Paul

Her Uber was struck by a suspected drunk-driver.


Jack Eichel

Report: Wild expected to make an offer for Jack Eichel

There probably isn't a team in the league that doesn't want the former No. 2 overall pick.

Jack Eichel

Report: Wild 'backing out' of Jack Eichel trade talks

Ryan Suter is also close to an agreement with Dallas.

Zach Parise

Playoff push or sell mode? Where the Wild stand at the break

Minnesota has nine days off before a February push that leads to the trade deadline.

Matt Dumba

Report: Wild 'far from done' making moves; Dumba next?

Minnesota has made multiple moves already this summer.

Kaprizov, Wild

Wild to face Vegas in playoffs; Game 1 Sunday

Game 1 is Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas.

Mikko Koivi, Kevin Fiala

Wild respond to Zucker trade with resounding win over Vegas

Kevin Fiala has five goals and five assists in his last five games.

Nick Foligno

Plenty of speculation about what the Wild will do this offseason

With an expansion draft, trades and free agency, the Wild will be busy over the next several weeks.