The Minnesota Wild is reportedly out of the Jack Eichel sweepstakes.
According to The Athletic's Michael Russo, the Wild is "backing out" of trade talks with the Buffalo Sabres over concerns of the price and cost to acquire the franchise center.
Eichel was the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and has developed into one of the top centers in the league. The 24-year-old averaged 67.4 points in his first five seasons but was limited to 21 games last season with a herniated disk in his neck.
Eichel and Sabres have been at odds over whether he should undergo cervical replacement surgery to fix the issue. While Eichel prefers going under the knife, no NHL player has had the procedure and Buffalo's training staff has recommended against it.
Eichel also brings a $10 million cap hit for the next three seasons, which would be difficult for the Wild to manage. According to the Star Tribune's Sarah McLellan, the Wild are looking to make "dollar-for-dollar" trades to navigate the dead cap hit created by the buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
This comes on top of the assets needed to pull off a blockbuster trade. A highly-paid veteran such as Fiala may need to be included in the deal as well as top prospects Matt Boldy, Marco Rossi and draft picks.
According to CapFriendly, The Wild currently have $29 million in cap space entering free agency but a good portion of that money will be used to re-sign Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov.
That combination makes making a deal with the Sabres difficult and could persuade the Wild to acquire a top center.
Suter to sign with Dallas, Goligoski to Wild?
In the moments prior to free agency, Suter has found a new home in the Central Division.
According to ESPN's Kevin Weekes, Suter is "closing in" on a multi-year deal with the Dallas Stars. Russo reports that Suter's deal will four years at an average annual value of $3.65 million.
Suter spent nine seasons with the Wild before being bought out on July 13 and created a huge need for the Wild on the blue line.
The Wild traded fellow defenseman Brandon Menell to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a conditional seventh-round pick on Wednesday but also lost Carson Soucy to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.
That will have the Wild looking for defensemen when free agency opens and Russo believes the answer could be former Gopher Alex Goligoski.
The Grand Rapids native has 15 years of NHL experience and 429 career points after becoming a second-round pick with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2004 NHL Draft.
Adding the soon-to-be 36-year-old could bring another veteran presence to a team that needs it on the back end.