New York Rangers potential Jack Eichel trade remains a mystery

Oct 6, 2018; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) reacts before a game against the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Things have been really quiet on the Jack Eichel front regarding the New York Rangers. It’s basically been that way since Forever Blueshirts learned on May 21st that their interest in him cooled.

Over the last few weeks there has been tons of chatter regarding a Jack Eichel trade. Here’s a bullet pointed breakdown of key stories with links on both here and our sister site, The Daily Goal Horn. This should be the most comprehensive timeline you will read on the subject.

  • June 6th, Sabres ready to move on from Eichel and let another team deal with neck injury
  • June 9th, report says Kings not in on Eichel
  • June 18th, as trade talks intensified the Rangers were barely being mentioned
  • June 22nd, report states the Blue Jackets and Ducks have had in-depth discussions
  • June 24th, report has the Blue Jackets out

Following the Jack Eichel trade talks

I’ve been pretty consistent relaying that a lot of this trade chatter is coming out of Buffalo to create a market. Only the Rangers have been reported to have made an offer on the 24 year-old injured center. The Sabres were said to have considered it before they opted not to move forward last offseason.

After the report surfaced that the Kings were out, a reliable source remarked that no one else was ever really in. Of course, that was met with more trade chatter such as the Blackhawks being involved along with the Ducks, and Blue Jackets.

Well we know what happened with the Jackets, and I haven’t heard anything more regarding the Blackhawks. Does that mean the Ducks are the only team in? There’s some rumblings that the Wild are also in play, and the Golden Knights, but both have cap issues.

Are the New York Rangers in on Jack Eichel?

are the rangers in on jack eichel
Bruce Bennett-POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

So are the Rangers in on Jack Eichel? Why wouldn’t they be is the better question. The concerns with his injury is one I believe many teams feel he will recover from. The biggest issue is cost in both money and assets.

At one point it was reported that the Sabres wanted four to five pieces, all in the form of first round picks. In other words, either players who were selected in the first round and doing well, along with an actual first round pick. That may still be the case, but I do not believe they will get that many. If the latest news is any indication, it could be the Sabres have lowered their demands in order to bring in more teams.

This has all been evolving over the last few days, and it is possible that the Rangers are keeping tabs on the situation. Remember, they already made an offer and why wouldn’t they want to add another elite center to their roster? Just look at the teams still playing in the Finals, they all have depth down the middle.

I tried almost two weeks ago to gather more information, but my limited sources have clammed up. That either meant they had nothing more to say on the matter, or are deal is being worked on. Does that sound like me hedging? Absolutely, but I wanted to relay whatever update I could.

Rangers are doing “due diligence”

The latest reporting, that is almost as mysterious as my tweet on June 16th, is that the Rangers have engaged with the Sabres again.

The Rangers have displayed increased interest in scoping out Jack Eichel’s medical condition and have had preliminary talks with the Sabres regarding his availability, The Post has been told by several sources – but it is unclear whether general manager Chris Drury is simply performing due diligence or is seriously interested in dealing for the Sabres’ disenchanted center.

Larry Brooks, NY Post

According to many reports, including from Aaron Portzline that stated the Blue Jackets were out of the Eichel running, Columbus did speak with Buffalo about him. Portzline classified it also as due diligence.

This is the same due diligence that Elliotte Friedman has been reporting for weeks. On June 10th, he appeared on WGR550 and was asked how many teams he thought were really in, to which he said “several.” Then he went further into what those teams were actually doing.

“I will tell you I’ve had teams reach out to me about my article on his injury and if there’s anything I know that I didn’t put in there,” he said. “So there are teams out there doing their due diligence.”

It’s a fine line between due diligence and a trade offer. So the mystery around the Rangers and Jack Eichel continues.

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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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