Jack Eichel comes to Madison Square Garden as Rangers trade rumors swirl

By Forever Blueshirts
jack eichel
Jan 28, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Colin Blackwell (43) gets control of the puck from Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) in overtime period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers will face the Sabres tonight at Madison Square Garden. It will be a memorable last home game before they go on a six game road trip. That’s because Jack Eichel will be front and center on the ice instead of just in the papers.

Jack Eichel to the Rangers trade rumors grow daily

This all started back on September 28th when hockey’s top insider Bob McKenzie confirmed that the Rangers called the Sabres about Eichel. Things calmed down with the signing of Taylor Hall, but that didn’t change the fortunes of the team this season.

Now we are swimming in Jack Eichel trade rumors daily. That’s due in large part to Elliotte Friedman’s and Darren Dreger’s recent radio appearances.

“Prior to the start of this season – go back into the summer – yeah it’s believed that Eichel had a conversation, and part of that conversation was wanting a change -wanting out of Buffalo,” Dreger said on Overdrive. “Now they found a way to talk him into changing from that mindset. They brought in Taylor Hall at $8 million, and they thought with a real good year maybe things would settle down.”

“The team I would look at first is the Rangers,” Friedman said before the host added the L.A. Kings into the mix. “I think the Rangers could make the deal. I think both those teams could make deals with Buffalo that would make you say maybe we didn’t get the best player in the deal, but you are getting more than one thing you’re excited about.”

And finally, in a recent post in The Athletic one NHL executive uttered these words, “I think at the end of the day, Jack Eichel is going to end up a New York Ranger. I just don’t know when that’s going to be.”

What’s the price for Jack Eichel?

jack eichel rangers
Jan 28, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) warms up before a game against the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Now the talk is about what it will take for the Rangers to land Eichel, the #2 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft. Yes, that’s the same draft as Connor McDavid. There’s no shortage of trade proposals on the internet, but this one from ESPN Analyst John Buccigross caused a stir.

“As I said earlier,” Buccigross tweeted. “I’d require Kaapo Kakko, Braden Schneider, Chytil, a goalie and a 1st rounder. And if I’m the Rangers I make that trade in 3 seconds.”

I spoke with one NHL team executive who said there’s almost no chance for the Sabres to receive such a package. It’s also understandable why. There’s no way anyone is trading in essence 4 first rounders plus a goalie for any player not named Connor McDavid.

Matter of fact, the last time a trade of that magnitude happened was for Eric Lindros.

A realistic Rangers trade package for Eichel

Now when it comes to what the package will be, you can rest assure it’s going to be significant. It just won’t be anything close to what some are thinking. Truth is, the market will dictate and it will be less than many expect.

There’s very little chance the Rangers will part with Alexis Lafrenière, Kaapo Kakko, or K’Andre Miller I am being led to believe. There’s a possibility Vitali Kravtsov could be included in a package for Eichel. Depending on any additional Sabres being included, Alexandar Georgiev could be added.

It’s more likely the Rangers opt to simply send Mika Zibanejad and a player/pick to the Sabres in order to get it done. Cap wise, that makes the most sense and still leaves them room to improve since Mika is likely looking for over $10 million on his next deal.

Of course, that really doesn’t make the Blueshirts deeper down the middle but it is a more likely package than the one Buccigross puts forth. The Rangers would then need to use some of the assets they didn’t move in a deal for a number two center. Maybe Filip Chytil to Nashville in a Matt Duchene trade for instance.

At the end of the day, and as I’ve been writing for awhile – the Rangers are already first in line when Buffalo is ready to trade Eichel.

NHL Trade Rumors

The latest NHL Trade Rumors now has Boston in on Eichel.