Mika Zibanejad isn’t worried about the Jack Eichel trade talk

mika zibanejad rangers
Apr 25, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers celebrates his goal in the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden on April 25, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers number one center, Mika Zibanejad is entering the final year of his contract. The 28 year-old is more concerned about the team making the playoffs than anything else.

In a new interview with site Swedish Hockey News, Mika also touched on the subject of Jack Eichel and gave his thoughts.

Mika Zibanejad on Jack Eichel

eichel trade rumors
Jan 1, 2018; Queens, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) skates with the puck against New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) during the third period in the 2018 Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While there’s been plenty of talk in the media about Eichel being traded, it’s not something Mika is overly concerned with. “I don’t think about it that much,” as was translated to me by reporter Henrik Sjöberg who conducted the interview.

Instead, Zibanejad turned the question around to discuss the roster changes that have been made by Chris Drury this offseason.

“What the club has done so far has been good and we will get the ultimate results on the ice next season,” he said.  “All that other stuff (Eichel) is more talk than anything else and I’m confident in the situation I’m in, so no matter if something happens, I’m calm.”

Zibanejad could also be referring to comments Chris Drury made recently when asked about his contract situation. “Mika is a huge part of our team. I’m not going to discuss his contract or anyone else’s publicly,” Drury said. “I have a ton of respect for him as a person and a player.”

The Rangers top center earns $5.35 million and is due for an increase. In the last two seasons he has scored 65 goals and 125 points in 113 games. That’s worth big time money, and if he hits the open market next summer he should get 7 years at $10 million per season. That’s regardless of the current flat cap situation expected to stay around $81.5 million for the next few seasons.

Other tidbits

The interview also hit on Mika missing out on a 50 goal season back in 2019-20 due to the Pandemic cutting it short. Zibanejad didn’t really want to dwell on it and noted just how difficult it still would have been to hit the mark but it would have been nice to do so.

Throughout the entire Swedish interview, which is available on Youtube, Mika was team focused. Everything was about the disappointment of missing the playoffs and team success. He is understandably excited about getting the 2021-22 campaign underway.

What if Jack Eichel gets surgery without Sabres consent?

The Sabres and Jack Eichel will eventually part ways. While everyone thought that was going to happen before free agency started on July 28th, it hasn’t. There’s also no signs that this is coming to an end soon. To the contrary, it appears it will drag on into the season.

So what happens if Eichel decided to against the Sabres wishes and have surgery? It’s explained here.