TSN Hockey Insiders Pierre LeBrun, Darren Dreger and Chris Johnston joined host James Duthie to discuss the next steps for Jack Eichel after Thursday’s trade, the latest on the NHLPA and Kyle Beach as well as Team Canada’s roster coming together for Beijing.
What’s next for Eichel?
Now that the saga is over and Eichel will have permission to move forward with his desired medical procedure, what will the next step be?
Dreger: Well as we know, Jack Eichel is really well researched in the idea of the artificial disc replacement surgery. So what’s next is in conjunction with the Vegas Golden Knights’ medical team, they will further investigate the surgeon options and the options of the actual disc that will be used in the replacement surgery. Now, believe it or not, there are multiple disc options, there are like nine or 10 of these things. So it will be up to Eichel and the Golden Knights’ medical people to again first choose the surgeon and the disc that that surgeon believes fits best. So, Eichel is going to become Dr. Eichel in the very near future.
How close did the Flames get?
Before the deal got done with the Golden Knights, reports surfaced over possible packages from the Calgary Flames. How much of it was true and how much of a photo-finish was it?
LeBrun: Well one part that was certainly not true is that Matthew Tkachuk was never part of any offer from the Calgary Flames to the Buffalo Sabres. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams himself said that to Buffalo reporters on this day. But that’s not to say that the Calgary Flames did not come close to getting Jack Eichel. In fact, at one point on Wednesday there were some in the Vegas organization that thought Eichel was headed to Calgary. Brad Treliving, the general manager of the Flames, has been on this for a long time. He has done his due diligence. They were one of the few teams like Vegas that was comfortable with trading for Eichel pre surgery. The surgery that Darren Dreger just talked about. They didn’t get him but they certainly tried.
Was anyone else involved?
Most of the trade rumours swirled around the Golden Knights and Flames, but was there a third team that came close?
LeBrun: Oh, those sneaky Hurricanes. I mean, if they’re not offer-sheeting people they’re trying to trade for Jack Eichel. Listen, they weren’t at the same level in terms of proximity compared to Calgary and Vegas, but the Hurricanes kept tabs on Eichel very quietly to the point where there was another conversation yesterday, even. But, what I’m told is, Buffalo’s conversation had to start with either Seth Jarvis or Martin Necas as part of a package. And believe me when I say Carolina wasn’t interested in going down that route. The Hurricanes stayed in there just in case the price dropped. And finally, a quick note. Arizona tried several times to get in on this trade. Not to get Jack Eichel of course, but to be a third team to help with the salary cap implications like they’ve done in the past in order to get a draft pick. But it turns out Vegas could swing it on their own.
The NHLPA and Kyle Beach
Does National Hockey League Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr just go about his business as usual as the NHLPA directs an independent review of the Association’s response with respect to Kyle Beach.
Johnston: Well that’s certainly the intention right now with Donald Fehr continuing on his fall tour of NHL clubs despite this new investigation which is being launched by the players. Essentially every season the executive director of the NHLPA visits with each team, addresses key issues at that time and the plan right now is for him to move forward with business as usual. The investigation itself is expected to take about three months time and will look primarily into how the NHLPA allowed the Beach situation to fall through the cracks.
Dreger: Business getting done in Winnipeg. In fact, Sheldon Kennedy is in Winnipeg for the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame induction. He met on Thursday with Kevin Cheveldayoff and Jets owner Mark Chipman for several hours. Obviously Cheveldayoff and Chipman vowing on Tuesday as part of their media availability that they want to be leaders in developing educational and training programs. So Sheldon Kennedy is part of the group in brainstorming and ultimately trying to push this through.
How close is Canada’s Olympic roster to coming together?
With just over three months to the Beijing Olympics in 2022, is Hockey Canada getting deep into the team’s roster construction?
Johnston: Well it’s really ramping up right now and specifically Jon Cooper, Team Canada’s head coach, [is] coming up to Canada for a brief road trip this week. He’s pulling double duty. There’s been a meeting on Wednesday with Hockey Canada staff after he arrived here in Toronto. He’s going to have a similar meeting on Friday in Ottawa and they’re talking about coordinating everything with the coaching staff obviously getting into some of those roster discussions. And let’s remember there was no orientation camp this time around for the Olympic Team so there’s some new challenges with that. You know, one thing Jon Cooper has tried to do is meet with Canadian players throughout this season and while here in Toronto he intends to have a word with Mitch Marner, John Tavares and Morgan Rielly of the Maple Leafs.