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How Close Was Jack Eichel To Joining The Avalanche?



Vegas Golden Knights Jack Eichel avalanche nhl

How different would the Colorado Avalanche have looked during their 2022 Stanley Cup run if Jack Eichel was on the team? Very different, so much so that it’s difficult to comprehend.

According to Eichel, there was a period in time where it looked like he could end up in Colorado.

On the Empty Netters Podcast, Eichel broke down the teams that were in the mix to acquire him when he was looking to be traded from the Buffalo Sabres. Obviously, everyone knows that he ultimately ended up on the Vegas Golden Knights, but quite a few teams were involved in the process.

And the Avalanche were definitely one.

If you can’t listen to the clip, here’s what he had to say.

“I think as it went on different teams came in and out of the mix,” Eichel said on the Empty Netters podcast. “At the beginning, there were some teams out east trying to make things happen… I think as the summer went on you always hear different teams call. Whether it was Minnesota, Carolina or, there was a period in the early fall, where it was Colorado.”

In the end, Eichel says it came down to two teams – Calgary and Vegas. The rest is history.

While this might catch some off guard, there were rumblings at the time that the Avalanche were interested in Eichel, so I don’t think it comes as a total surprise to everyone. Eichel says the Avalanche were involved up until training camp started that year (2021).

What would Colorado have had to give up? Well, Vegas dealt Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, and two high draft picks to get the center. This was before any trades were made for the likes of Artturi Lehkonen or Josh Manson, so Colorado had some more trade capital to move around. If they had acquired Eichel and his massive contract, those two might not have ended up in Colorado. Would Nazem Kadri have gone the other way? It’s a lot to wrap your brain around.

It’s just another alternate universe for everyone to think about. The Avalanche obviously never pulled the trigger, but it just goes to show how aggressive Joe Sakic was at that time. He was ready to do what was necessary to get his team over the hump, and explored any and all options.

A Nathan MacKinnon/Jack Eichel combination down the middle could have been pretty deadly, but it wasn’t meant to be.

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