Chris Drury telling agents the Rangers have never been seriously interested in Jack Eichel

We are now in full gamesmanship mode.

Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres are heading for a divorce via trade, that’a a certainty. When that will happen is still anyone’s guess. However, that isn’t stopping the situation from growing more bizarre by the day.

First, let’s break down the latest tidbits of info to come out on Eichel and the Rangers. And honestly, tidbits is really the best way to classify it.

Jack Eichel heading to the Rangers?

Steve Valiquette made wearing a Spider-Man goalie helmet famous with the Rangers caused a stir on the bird app today. The MSG TV Analyst, and close friend of GM Chris Drury tweeted that his spider senses were tingling on Jack Eichel and the NYR.

This caught the attention of NY Post reporter Larry Brooks. “Curiously, Drury has been telling agents this week that Rangers have never been seriously interested in Eichel,” he responded.

Of course, this is the way contract and trade negotiations are played. Where information changes from day-to-day and even hour-to-hour.

Some credence was lent to Valiquette’s tweet by Scott Laughlin of NHL Radio. Earlier today, the NFL’s Buffalo Bills just extended QB Josh Allen to a monster deal worth $258 million. He mused, wouldn’t it makes sense to do the trade now and minimize the media scrutiny?

If the Sabres wanted to try and fly a little below the radar, then this would be the day to make a deal.

Were the Rangers never really interested in Eichel?

jack eichel
Feb 18, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) skates during warmups prior to the Sabres’ game against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Now to address Larry Brooks’ curious comments on the Rangers not being interested in Eichel.

I can confidently report that under John Davidson and Jeff Gorton, the Rangers were 100% interested in the 24 year-old center. The interest did die down in May, but that had a lot to do with the ridiculous ask coupled with his neck injury.

Has that changed under Drury’s Rangers? There’s been enough indication that at least leading up to the draft they had conversations.

So, I’m not sure how to explain what Brooks is reporting, outside of the fact that there’s a motive to everything.

Maybe Drury is trying to ease the mind of some agents who are worried there won’t be enough money to extend their clients. I’m not sure, and can’t get inside the GM’s head.

The bottom line is top insiders like Elliotte Friedman reported the Rangers even made an offer last year. Friedman also noted the two teams were far apart on a package in a recent podcast. So to say the Rangers were never interested is a stretch.

Did the Sabres mishandle the Eichel trade

The Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel reached a tipping point when his agents responded to comments from GM Kevyn Adams on July 30. So can Adams still save this situation? Read more.