The Calgary Flames are interested in making a trade for Buffalo Sabres superstar center Jack Eichel and reportedly are willing to include some big pieces to get it done.
ESPN's Kevin Weekes reported the details of a potential package the Flames could send the Sabres for Eichel, and it includes star winger Matthew Tkachuk.
There also are reports of Tkachuk not being involved, including this one from Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest:
ESPN's Emily Kaplan reported Tuesday night that the Flames and Vegas Golden Knights are finalists for Eichel.
If the package Weekes mentions in the tweet above is legit, the Sabres should absolutely take it. Tkachuk is a very talented offensive player who's tallied 284 points (114 goals, 170 assists) in 358 career games. He's posted four goals with two assists in nine games this season.
Tkachuk is the type of player the Sabres could build around for a while. One concern with Tkachuk is his contract. His three-year, $21 million deal expires at the end of the season, at which points he'll be a restricted free agent. Would he want to stay in Buffalo? Could a deal be worked out between his representatives and the Sabres? These are some of the questions the Sabres would have to answer before making this kind of trade.
Acquiring Eichel in a deal that involves Tkachuk doesn't make a ton of sense from the Flames' perspective. For starters, they aren't a team loaded with elite prospects, so giving up a fantastic young player in the early stages of his prime isn't the best idea unless you're getting an absolute stud in return.
Eichel, if healthy, is an elite player capable of consistently scoring a point-per game rate. He's a tier above Tkachuk and the kind of No. 1 center the Flames really need. But can he stay healthy? Does he need neck surgery? If yes, will he even play for the Flames this season? The Flames are 6-1-0 and look like a legit playoff team.
Giving up one of your best players, plus other prime trade assets, for someone who might not help you much (or at all) in 2021-22 just doesn't add up.
It's a fascinating decision for the Flames.