On Monday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that Buffalo Sabres star forward Jack Eichel might have requested a trade. Upon speaking to Eichel's agent, Peter Fish, McKenzie also reported that Eichel doesn't want out of Buffalo and the Sabres aren't actively trying to trade him.
"I hear that [trade talk] a lot," Fish said. "Jack wants to win, he's frustrated [not winning] but, no, he doesn't want out. Jack is preparing to head to Buffalo at some point here and prepare for the season, whenever that may be. That's all he controls."
Since Kevyn Adams became the Sabres new general manager in June, several teams have called Buffalo to inquire about Eichel's availability and the New York Rangers are reportedly one of those teams. McKenzie reports that there isn't any "trade traction" when it comes to Eichel and Eichel wants the team improve.
For now, Eichel is staying put in Buffalo and the franchise has no plans to shop him.
Since being the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Eichel has scored 137 goals and registered 200 assists for the Sabres. Eichel is coming off his first 30-goal season with 36 goals and 42 assists during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season. The star forward's 78 points were the second-highest total of his professional career.
Despite a stellar year from Eichel, the 2019-20 campaign marked the ninth consecutive season in which the Sabres missed the playoffs. The Sabres accumulated a 30-31-8 record, which was good for sixth place in the Atlantic Division this past season.
The Sabres last made the playoffs during the 2010-11 season, when they lost in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals to the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games. The franchise hasn't won more than 35 games in the past nine seasons.
The Sabres have made moves during the offseason to make sure that the club is moving in a new direction. Back in June, the Sabres fired Jason Botterill as the team's general manager and Adams received a promotion from his previous post of senior vice president of business administration.