Jack Eichel has finally been traded! In case you missed it, Buffalo finally traded the disgruntled center along with a 2023 third-round pick to Vegas for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick. Mike Clifford wrote about the trade from a fantasy perspective, which you can read about here.
To take stock of everything from a Vegas perspective, Vegas currently has their entire future first line sidelined in Eichel, Max Pacioretty, and Mark Stone, as well as another top-6 forward in William Karlsson. If they can weather the storm between now and when all of these players return, they have to be considered a strong Stanley Cup favorite. That might take a while, given Kelly McCrimmon's comments that they are expecting a 3-5-month timeline for surgery and recovery for Eichel. Getting to the playoffs won't be a small feat. The Pacific Division might be weak on paper, but several teams (Edmonton, Calgary, San Jose) might be better than we thought they were given their strong early-season play.
In the end, Vegas's situation lends itself better for an Eichel trade than Calgary's. The only current asset that Vegas loses is Krebs, who has not registered a single point in nine games anyway (Buffalo has subsequently sent him to the AHL). The rumored trade with Calgary could have involved the Flames potentially losing Matthew Tkachuk and even Sean Monahan. Calgary would lose considerably in the short term, which matters if they have playoff ambitions. If I'm Buffalo, I'm taking that Calgary offer in a heartbeat! But we really don't know if that was a true offer, given the conflicting reports.
As for Eichel, someone in your league likely has him on IR in the hopes that he will return at some point this season. The worst-case scenario above would place a Vegas debut in early April, which would give you nearly a month of usage. The best-case scenario would be right after the Olympics in late February, which would give you just over two months because the Olympic break. So really this could be more like a 4-5-month absence. On top of that, keeping Eichel on IR for 3+ months might not be that easy given the number of injuries and COVID-related absences. But if you can, do it. IR needs are always fluid, but if you have an abundance of spots that you figure you won't use, you could consider acquiring him at a discount.
Getting back to the current state of the Golden Knights, these are the line combinations they used for their 5-1 win over Ottawa. Not exactly the Knights tha