Everyone available except Eichel

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Everyone is available except Jack Eichel.

That’s the sentiment gathered by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

“There is a sense from other teams that the Sabres are sending signals that they are open for business, and you can ask about anybody whose name is not Jack Eichel. I think they are prepared to listen [on] everyone except the franchise player.” – Friedman

Buffalo has been in this position before, and it’s frustrating to see it happen again, especially so soon. A failed rebuild has the Sabres sitting in 31st place, a new low for a team that was hoping to take the next step forward this season.

The organization made moves to get new players like Marco Scandella, Benoit Pouliot, Jason Pominville and Nathan Beaulieu, but it hasn’t helped. The Sabres are on pace for their worst season in franchise history, and they have all sorts of problems. 

Now, fans will have to rely on general manager Jason Botterill to fix the team. With this season already a lost cause, Botterill can take his time and negotiate deals until the Trade Deadline in a few months. 

Building the team around Jack Eichel is a solid starting point, but so many questions arise everywhere else. 

Botterill confirmed late last week that he has not decided what to do with Evander Kane, but many teams should show interest. Kane has been one of the very few players this season excelling for Buffalo, but he could also land the Sabres a nice return. 

At this point, the Sabres aren’t in a “win now” position, so the moves that Botterill makes should be for younger players and high draft picks.  

Unfortunately, fans are going to have to show more patience…once again. 

Not even 30 games into the season, it’s too early to say if the Sabres will show improvement or remain in the bottom few spots. The idea of Buffalo having a shot at defenseman Rasmus Dahlin in the Draft is appetizing, but there’s no guarantee they’ll finish 31st, or even win the lottery if they do.

But that’s months from now. 

What we need to see now is what Botterill can do to help make Buffalo a playoff team in 2018-19.

With guys like Alex Nylander and Casey Mittelstadt in the pipeline, the Sabres do have some potential help coming, but they can’t rely on them to be the difference. Botterill must set the table so that once they do get into the NHL, the team is already heading in the right direction.

What kinds of moves would you like to see Botterill make? Let us know in the comments below.

Kevin Freiheit
I founded Buffalo Hockey Central in 2008 and have poured hours and hours into this site. Luckily, we have a great team of writers and designers who have helped keep this up and running despite a ton of out-of-pocket costs. We do this because we enjoy it, and we're desperate to see the Sabres win the Cup someday, but they have to make the playoffs first.
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