2 Minutes with Gawlik
Graphic Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

FSM Presents: 2 Minutes with Gawlik – VGK Acquires Jack Eichel

Franchise Sports Media


Take a deep breath, Vegas Golden Knights fans. The much-anticipated trade is officially official.


2 Minutes with Gawlik
Photo Credit: AP Photos

VGK sent Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, their 2022 first-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick to Buffalo. In return, VGK acquired Jack Eichel plus a 2023 third-round pick. So take a sip of your favorite drink and swish it around a bit. Do you like the trade? If not, take another drink and swish it around for a bit longer.

Everything was blurry when I learned of the trade Thursday morning, not because I swished around too many drinks. I was just waking up. My buddy asked what I thought of the transaction through private messenger. I told him that I think Calgary would close the deal since they offered more. Then a quick Google search showed VGK completed the agreement. My knee-jerk reaction is VGK made a great deal as Vegas got to keep Reilly Smith and Shea Theodore, for now at least.

VGK gave up another fan favorite in Alex Tuch. I lost count in how many times I said Tuch was one of the hardest players to stop in the neutral zone with a full head of steam. Tuch has a unique blend of skill, size, and finishing ability. If he can stay healthy, Tuch has the potential to become a consistent thirty-goal scorer.

Peyton Krebs was also lost in the trade. Due to the long list of VGK injuries, Krebs has played on all four forward lines this season. In the same breath, the only reason that Krebs is playing at the NHL level is due to injuries. Krebs should blossom into an everyday NHL player.


Jack Eichel is a player who is a point per game (355 points in 375 NHL games) and hopefully brings scoring punch to the Vegas Golden Knights that is desperately needed in the playoffs.


2 Minutes with Gawlik
Graphic Credit: Jack Eichel Twitter

Eichel gets an immediate boost from the players around him in the lineup, as Buffalo never had a team as deep as VGK to surround Eichel.

I am far from a medical expert, so I will not waste your time throwing out predictions on Eichel’s potential post-injury. Instead, I will trust the staff and ownership that is comfortable paying Eichel ten million dollars per year. Simply put, Eichel is expected to return to top form in the next three to five months.

There are two ways to evaluate this trade; current season and beyond the current season. For the current season, VGK has just improved their roster tremendously once Eichel hits the ice. Remove Krebs from the equation as he would not be an everyday player once VGK heals up.

For the current season, who would you rather have? Alex Tuch (injured himself and not due back until January or beyond) or Eichel. Alex Tuch has 139 career points in 255 games (point in 54.5% games played). Or Eichel (point in 94.6% games played)? VGK wins the trade easily when factoring in roster improvement for this year only.

How do things look beyond the current season? That is where things get tricky. VGK is currently on the books for just under $92,000,000 in salary, which is $10,500,000 over the salary cap. Note, players on long-term injury reserve do not count against the salary cap. As a result, there will be changes to next season’s VGK roster to accommodate Eichel.

Simply put, VGK shipped a few unknowns, as in we do not know the actual ceiling of Tuch and Krebs, to Buffalo for a proven commodity. A point per game commodity. The potential is there for Tuch and Krebs. We know what Eichel can do.


This is an “all in” play by Kelly McCrimmon and George McPhee to win the Stanley Cup this season.


2 Minutes with Gawlik
Photo Credit: Buffalo News

Mounting injuries have put VGK in a tough spot, but this VGK team will be difficult to beat come playoffs once everyone returns. Thankfully the Vegas Golden Knights play in the Pacific Division. The team needs to tread water for a month or two. VGK has received elite defense and goaltending during the previous two playoff runs. What they have missed is scoring. Acquiring a point per game player will help that.

The house always has an edge in Vegas. Gamblers are always looking for an angle to exploit. In this case, the NHL is the house and sets a salary cap of $81,500,000 for each team to utilize for their roster. The gamblers are George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon. McPhee’s and McCrimmon’s angle may be to keep Eichel on long-term injured reserve until the playoffs.

Once the playoffs start, the salary cap does not exist. The Tampa Bay Lightning utilized that clause last season and the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015. I do not care what anyone says. I believe VGK made this trade with the motivation to keep Eichel sidelined for an extended period to “heal.” I am guessing we do not see Eichel take the ice until the playoffs begin.


Go Knights, Go!!!


It is a new era for the Vegas Golden Knights. McCrimmon and McPhee are making moves to give VGK the best shot to win the Stanley Cup each season. I stand by my prediction. There will be a Stanley Cup Parade down Las Vegas Boulevard at the end of this season.

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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Chris on Twitter @TDChrisG

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