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Why Peyton Krebs Cannot Be Included In Any Deal For Jack Eichel

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As long as Jack Eichel remains property of the Buffalo Sabres, the possibility will remain open that the Golden Knights pull off yet another blockbuster move and acquire him.

From Max Pacioretty to Mark Stone to Robin Lehner to Alex Pietrangelo, the Vegas front office has never been shy to cast a line at the biggest fish on the market. They don’t always reel it in, see Erik Karlsson and John Tavares, but in the five year history, you can always bet the Golden Knights will at least be in the conversation.

While Eichel’s medical situation remains in the balance, the marketplace to acquire him via trade has seemingly gone stale. Like with any valuable commodity, when there’s not a lot of demand, the price falls. This is exactly how the Golden Knights got both Stone and Pacioretty.

Could the price fall low enough that it eventually makes sense for Vegas? According to one of the best insiders in the league, that answer is currently no.

I don’t think Buffalo and Vegas can make a deal. I’ve heard that Buffalo wants Krebs in that deal and I don’t think Vegas has any desire to do that. So as I see it right now I don’t think that’s a match, it could change, but I don’t think it’s a match. –Elliotte Friedman on The Jeff Marek Show

Simply put, Peyton Krebs’ name should be an instant non-starter for the Golden Knights in any deal for Eichel.

No, not because Krebs is eventually going to blossom into a player better than Eichel, it’s because of the ripple effect it would cause on the rest of the team to center a deal around acquiring a $10 million piece while the primary asset heading out is less than $1 million.

Of course, Vegas would have to offer much more than just Krebs, but as the focal point of the trade, the salary aspect of the trade would instantly become a burden from a VGK perspective. Any salary Buffalo would be taking on would be doing Vegas a favor in the deal, and thus, the player attached would not be worth nearly as much as simply removing his contract.

We’ve seen this on a number of occasions already. Nate Schmidt went for a 3rd round pick after being the #1 defenseman on a conference final team. Paul Stastny went for a conditional 4th after posting 80 points in 121 games as a Golden Knight. And most notably, the reigning Vezina trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury was sent away for literally nothing. In all of these moves, the value to the Golden Knights was the additional cap space. The player involved had little to no meaning at all, and thus it lowered the best goalie in the league, a top-four defenseman, and a top-six center to the 100th pick in the draft, at best.

If Krebs is involved in a deal for Eichel, that will kill the value of players like Reilly Smith, Alex Tuch, Shea Theodore, and Jonathan Marchessault. The entire world would know that the Golden Knights need to shed another $9 million to stay cap compliant, and the feeding frenzy will begin as the league vultures over their highly paid, highly-productive players, buying them up at dollar store prices.

This doesn’t mean the Golden Knights must take a back seat in the Eichel sweepstakes, it just means they have to find a way to pull off that trade by getting market value on every asset they move. If Smith has to go, they need to get a 2nd, if Tuch has to go, a 1st. Marchessault, Theodore, McNabb, Pacioretty, you name it, there cannot be a salary dump involved in this deal, because quite frankly, the Golden Knights don’t have a player they can afford to cast away for nothing.

Even if the price keeps coming down, the end price on Eichel will be substantial. Yes, Jack Eichel can help the Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup. But they can’t blow the entire team up before he gets here.

If Peyton Krebs is in that deal, the implosion that will follow will be unavoidable.

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29 Comments

  1. Rob

    I think Krebs can be included if Buffalo retains significant salary. But given the term left on Eichel’s deal that is probably not going to happen.

  2. jbkrmd

    Excuse me, but has anyone pointed out to management that there are current stalemates over a major neck surgery that Eichel wants/needs, the procedure that Eichel wants/needs (fusion vs disc replacement which is untested and unproven in contact hockey), a possible stalemate over who would agree to perform the surgery, a possible stalemate over which surgery his insurer would authorize and pay for, and a possible stalemate over who assumes the liability for the performed surgical procedure, potential problems/complications either sooner or later, and potential end-of-career due to the performed surgery either sooner or later?

    This issue is not as simple as people seem to think…

  3. Been wondering why Buffalo has not been more willing to make a deal for Eichel, so I’m gonna take a logical guess ..

    They have an insurance policy on Eichel and the insurance company is likely paying his salary. Therefore no financial incentive for buffalo yo trade him unless they get their deal, otherwise they’ll let him rot just for spite.

    It’s the only thing that makes sense because when his no trade clause kicks buffalo loses a lot of leverage.

    • THE hockey GOD

      @Justin, Buffalo is caught between a rock and a hard place. There is no win win situation for them, or they would have stepped up to the plate by now. Sure they may be able to collect some money, but it doesn’t put immediate value into their product on the ice.

  4. THE hockey GOD

    After Wiggy Biscuit recent raging rants I doubt that much would happen, nice ploy by walanda (panda + walrus) to bring trade value down by calling out prior team’s FO mis steps. But it isn’t going to work.

    “Andre Fleury was sent away for literally nothing.” It freed up seven million dollars a a year to sign established players, so that is not ‘literally nothing”. It is worth a lot for a 37 year old goalie who is well past his prime in clutch, playoff hockey situations and on down side of his career. He didn’t have a particularly good start to exhibition game last night despite getting a good work out. He was flopping all over the place.

    Nate Schmidt is no longer a “top four defenseman”, The Canucks could not wait to unload him after having a terrible year in Vancouver. If you seen some of plays he made last year, you would agree. And VGK getting a third round pick was a steal. Statsny is now 35 years old, and getting a 4th rounder is a good deal for VGK.

    The rest of VGK players , you are selling TOO LOW. VGK should get more than a no. 1 for TUCH.

    I wouldn’t include Krebs in deal for Eichel, I wouldn’t even consider trading for Eichel in first place. I just think that Krebs = glass = dean = nms. I would trade Krebs for an established player, with Stanley Cup winning experience, who can immediately pass the team’s physical exam.

    • Mike StG

      ThG – good point on Fleury. Actually the $7M in cap space gave them the money for Howden, Dadonov and Patrick (or to re-sign Coghlan). So in effect they got 3 players for him, right? Plus Hakkarainen, ha!!

      • Daryl

        3 players that very possibly won’t be on the top 3 lines or everyday players altogether. If MAF had a long contract then I would agree his trade wasn’t for nothing ut what they got wasn’t worth the price they paid (for MAF}. I guess we will see but based on everything I’ve seen so far, they wasted the money they got by trading MAF

        • Mike StG

          Daryl – if you’re saying Patrick and Dadonov won’t be top 9 you’re just purposely lobbing fire bombs of negativity, apparently just for the sake of being negative. Not only will they be Top 9 but they’ll also both play regularly on the PP. And don’t give me that “possibly not…” line that’s just BS. Yeah, “possibly” I’ll win the Powerball lottery but it’s not likely.

          And Howden was acquired not be a top 9 but to play on the PK. The FO were clear in saying their intention was to add players that could fill special team roles, and that’s what they’ve done.

          Those 3 players will be part of their regular roster, and that’s an improvement over having either $5M or $7M in goal sitting on the bench every night.

          • Richard Santomauro

            I see Patrick as a solid 3rd line starter. Howden is 4th line. For me, Dadanov is still sketchy. I haven’t really seen much to cheer about there.

            This is how I see it:

            F1 – Stone, Stephenson, Patches
            F2 – Smith, Karlsson, Marchy
            F3 – Janmark, Patrick, Dadanov
            F4 – Kolesar, Roy, Howden

            *Now begs the question as to where Carrier fits!

            In the Hunt: Krebs, Brown, Cotter, Lechyshyn

            D1 – Petro/Martinez
            D2 – Whitecloud/McNabb
            D3 – Hague/Coghlan or Miromanov

            G1 – Lehner
            G2 – Brossoit

            In the Hunt: Thompson

          • Daryl

            Simply your opinion… Patrick is the only one that will play near a top line. And I don’t see any being on the PK as none of their defense is very good. You give all of them way too much credit

  5. goalie trade

    Totally wrong, Ken.

    the Sabres could retain up to 50% of Eichel’s cap hit…thus, his $10m cap hit would get a fair bit smaller for the VGK.

    why would they do that? for one thing, to get a better prospect player from the Vgk, such as Krebs.

    but also, the Sabres will need to get over the cap floor, which they will be below if they trade Eichel. Thus, Buffalo will need to get a high cap player in return as part of any deal.

  6. Spiros Filios

    OMG, Stop talking and or writing about Jack Eichel. We don’t have the Cap space, AND WHY in the name of Caesars Ghost would we trade healthy players for Damaged Goods like Eichel! Stop! just stop.

  7. on further review

    any possible Vgk trade will hinge on what kind of start the Vgk get this season.

    IF they start off slow, and lose a lot in the first month, and the PP continues to look bad like last year, then expect the pressure to make a trade increase.

  8. Richard Santomauro

    Put the Eichel nonsense in the rear view mirror and lets talk about something relevant.

  9. John W

    I think what is missing in both Ken’s column and the comments is the value of Jack Eichel as an ASSET that would come in return for some of the pieces that would need to be traded for him. If we traded a package including R. Smith and Krebs for Eichel, we wouldn’t be losing Smith for “nothing”…..we get Eichel. (Buffalo has to retain or trade for SOME salary, as they are close the cap floor – They can’t just take on prospects). This is of course contingent on VGK management being satisfied that the injury/medical situation is NO ISSUE. The “damaged goods” comments are obvious and not really additive.

    If Eichel is healthy, we would be getting a top 5 center (per NHL.com) with 5 years left on a reasonable contract. (Reasonable for a top 1C – McDavid and Mathews make much more, projection for Mckinnon RFA next season is more than Eichel’s $10 million)

    If Krebs was really going to be the next Nick Suzuki, I think we would have seen more from him by now. My take is that by insisting on Krebs, the Sabres are OVERVALUING Krebs. He hasn’t proven in anyway that he will ever be a comp for Jack Eichel – although I sure wish he was.

    Example – VGK sends Krebs, Hague, R Smith and 1 first rounder for Eichel.
    This takes roughly 6 million off the VGK cap (assuming a 22 man roster). Trade or waive Carrier (1.75 million), and then trade RFA McNabb (2.5 million). You are within 2 million of making it work, and 2 of the 5 players moved are RFA’s after this season. Do you really see the Knights Trading R Smith or McNabb mid-season this year???? (Much better chance we are trying to acquire more scoring help). Only if we are not making the playoffs – We will have to re-sign next off season, or lose them for nothing anyway. Only value they have is NOW.

    This pre-season showed us the depth of our Blue Line prospect pool. Leveraging this pool to obtain a proven 80+ point scorer should at least be considered.

    I think the underlying logic from Ken here is that we need some top players on entry level contracts. Agreed. But, given our weak prospect pool for the top six, the Defensive pipeline is more likely to produce those players.

    IMHO only – Thanks as always for the great articles!

    • Mike StG

      JohnW – so you think that in 6 or 7 NHL games “we would have seen more from Krebs by now”?? He’s 20 years old and barely out of juniors! ‘Oh yeah, we’ve seen him in a half dozen games and it’s OBVIOUS – nothing there!’ That’s pretty funny. How good did Jack Hughes and Rasmus Dahlin and Alexi LaFreniere look in their entire 1st seasons? Three obviously overrated #1 (generational player) picks. 🙂

      So, in his 7th or 8th game Krebs has a 4-pt game, a goal and 3 assists. How about now? 🙂

      • Richard Santomauro

        Krebs is a keeper, period. There should be no deal for Eichel. We really do not need the risk.

  10. THE hockey GOD

    Richard Sacamono (Kramers friend) may be right and wrong. He predicts that wiggy biscuit, I mean you know who would fizz out in January, or by January. Looks now like may not even make it to opening day based upon latest updates on stressing out in last 72 hours ! (somehow I feel this will get back to FO and how they somehow failed to nip it in the bud) .

    More salary cap space coming soon with Wiggy going on the LTIR ???

    • where the Buffalo roam

      If they put the clubhouse lawyer on LTIR, and get rid of Daddynot, plus Tuch is already on LTIR, that would open up just short of $15 million in cap space

      just sayin’

  11. Mike StG

    Well Ken, I guess tonight made your point here – why Krebs cannot be included in an Eichel deal. Kid has a super high ceiling.

    Also Reilly Smith. As I’ve posted on several articles, he and William just are too good together. It’s like right hand left hand, they just play seamlessly with one another. That’s what great chemistry and four years as linemates will do.

    I like this team. I really like Patrick. The only question mark for me is how much Dadonov will contribute, and where he’ll even play. The way Kolesar has played he could easily end up 3RW. If Krebs or Marchie end up at 3LW then where does Evgenii play? PP and wing on L4?? Nice problem to have, finally!

    • Walt23

      Dadonov needs to go bye bye ….he never should have been acquired in the first place, a total waste of Fleury’s cap space by McC

      • Mike StG

        Real smart move. Trade for Dadonov in offseason and then get rid of him before the szn starts. You can’t give the guy a chance? Ridiculous comments from mostly negative FO bashers. You’d think the team was in the cellar 4 years running. Sheesh!

        It’s like with Petro. He was adjusting to new team and style of play, got injured, got Covid. And all the critics came out of the woodwork bashing him and saying he was old and worthless. Now he’s an effing beast, driving offense, shutting down plays in the DZ, making spectacular plays and passes, looking like the elite Dman he’s been all along. But I’m sure on this site there’ll still be naysayers who wanna crap all over him.

        • Daryl

          When has Petra been a beast? Martinez played better overall. And Petra did a good job in playoffs offensively but he didn’t play great defensively. Everything else you said is just an excuse. Don’t get me wrong, Petra is a very good player, but he wasn’t what VGK needed and no I don’t think he is worth what VGK paid… And he definately isn’t worth his contract

          • Mike StG

            Whatever. You’re about the only person saying that. Even Ken is seeing him in a different light.

            Guess they shoulda kept Engo instead – they woulda won the Cup twice instead of the Bolts. BTW this offseason Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, Dougie Hamilton and Darnell Nurse all signed bigger contracts than Petro, and I’d take him over any of them 8 days a week.

          • Daryl

            Exactly… WHATEVER. I’m the only one who says that? Richard just said almost the exact same thing. In fact there are several on here who have said what I did. There on plenty on Twitter, Bleacher Report, and just about every other sports site. NHL Network where even surprised at his contract and didn’t think long haul it was a good move for VGK.

            As far as Engo, we see how VGK wasted money by resigning Holden to a larger contract costing the team almost $2m playing exactly as much as Engo would have

          • Richard Santomauro

            I would take Coghlan, Miromanov, or Hayes at this point over Holden.

            Let’s not forget that Engo wasn’t even given a chance to play in a farewell game for VGK. I love the VGK, hate the FO.

  12. Richard Santomauro

    Petro didn’t turn it on until late against the Avalanche. He was just as non-existent against the Habs as the rest of the team in the semi-final. Has he looked good in preseason?

    With his years of experience he’d better look good.

    Let’s see how he does this year before we start crowning him MVP.

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