The Buffalo Sabres have been expected to trade Jack Eichel for months. His neck injury this season caused a difference of opinion between his camp and the team, leading to a lack of trust, which only exasperated a tough situation. Eichel has been in Buffalo for six seasons but has still not suited up for a single playoff game. On the other side, the Sabres have been paying him $10MM per season for three years without any postseason revenue to show for it. A split seemed inevitable, but there are many complicating factors.
One of them that has been discussed at length is that $10MM cap hit and how it is difficult for other teams to fit under the cap ceiling. Eichel is a top player when healthy, but his injury situation makes it an extremely risky proposition for anyone interested in acquiring his services.
There’s another complication caused by his contract though, and this one has gotten far less attention. In fact, it’s basically the opposite problem of an acquiring team not being able to afford Eichel. The Sabres can’t really afford to take him off the books at this point.