Growing belief around NHL circles that Jack Eichel will be on the Rangers one day

It started months ago, right after the season went into a pause and Jack Eichel was voicing his disappointment about not winning in Buffalo. That began a lot of conversations around the hockey word, from writers, to insiders, and even anonymous executives that Eichel wasn’t long for a Sabres uniform.

“Listen, I’m fed up with the losing and I’m fed up and I’m frustrated. You know, it’s definitely not an easy pill to swallow right now. It’s been a tough couple of months. It’s been a tough five years with where things have [gone],” Eichel said on a conference call Thursday. “I’m a competitor. I want to win every time I’m on the ice. I want to win a Stanley Cup every time I start a season.”

via ESPN

The Rangers called the Buffalo Sabres about Jack Eichel

This offseason, we learned that teams called the Sabres about Eichel and the Rangers were front and center in that conversation.

There is no secret that the Rangers want to add another star center to the roster. They have Mika Zibanejad but would love an upgrade over Ryan Strome. This prompted me to write about the possibility of a Jack Eichel trade to the Rangers all the way back in April of 2020.

So how much more can Jack Eichel take? How soon before he feels he needs a change and asks to be traded? If that were to happen, Jeff Gorton would undoubtedly make a move for the young star center and he already has tried.

Let’s not forget, David Quinn has a history with Eichel and would jump at the change to coach him again.

Jack Eichel on Broadway a growing belief around NHL circles

Jack Eichel Rangers
Eichel Rangers rumors (Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP)

The Athletic’s Craig Custance sent out a survey to 21 player agents back in November to ask a variety of questions. He did so on the condition of anonymity in order to elicit unfiltered responses.

“Jack Eichel,” one anonymous agent said is very likely to be traded. “He’s an interesting one. At some point, he’s just going to say, enough. Buffalo and losing is not fun.”

So could the 24 year-old pivot get dealt this upcoming season? New Sabres GM, Kevyn Adams said he’s listening but has no intention of trading Eichel. Here’s the rub, it’s not solely because they don’t want to, it’s also because they paid him to play already.

Eichel makes $10 million per season. However, the way they structured the deal he was due $7.5 million in a signing bonus this season which they already paid. His base salary is just $2.5 million, so the Sabres aren’t trading him now. They may not even trade him next season, but keep your eye on the summer of 2022.

That’s because he will be due another $7.5 million bonus and his no trade kicks in. If Eichel is going to be dealt it would make more sense at the 2021-22 trade deadline or offseason.

Still, if a trade is inevitable Jeff Gorton would have the assets in players and prospects to get the deal done during this offseason. The Rangers game-plan is to use their deep prospect pipeline to acquire a big name star, and that means a trade not UFA signings. Something is brewing and many believe it’s the Rangers landing Eichel.

Bottom line, Jack Eichel on the Rangers is not the far-fetched fantasy some believed not too long ago. It could become a reality next season.


Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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