New York Rangers and Jack Eichel connection needs to end

The New York Rangers and Jack Eichel connection still seems to be hanging around. There is no doubt that the Blueshirts have been engaged with the Sabres about acquiring Eichel dating all the way back to the start of last season.

That interest died down once Buffalo put forth ridiculous demands even though the 24 year-old was injured. While the Rangers kept tabs on the situation all summer, even trying to trade him for him at the draft per a source, it never got close.

Chris Drury wisely deflected any connection to the rumors with agents so not to tip his hand. However, all the way up until Mika Zibanejad signed his extension, there were discussions.

Elliotte Friedman reignited the flame

The Rangers have certainly had trouble scoring this season. Through 7 games they are averaging just 2.14 goals per game. That ranks them 26th out of 32 teams.

That’s likely why fans continue to look for any answer, even injured ones that will be out until probably March.

Yesterday, Elliotte Friedman was on the Jeff Marek Show and gave his thoughts on Eichel’s situation and what he thinks is happening on the trade front. Sure as water is wet, he brought up the Rangers.

“All it takes is one phone call to change that and there’s no question that some teams have continued to engage at times,” Friedman explained. “The teams I wonder about are the Rangers, but now that they’ve signed Zibanejad I don’t think they can do it without someone retaining money.”

And that’s all some needed to hear, even though he mentioned 9 other teams.

It’s time to end the Jack Eichel connection

new york rangers rumors
Jan 28, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) takes a shot on goalas New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) and defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) defend in the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Rangers find some crazy scenario where Buffalo retains a small amount and another team with cap space does so as well? Sure, but it’s a fantasy. As of right now, the Sabres have been absolutely unwilling to retain any money, and no third party team is likely to eat the 30-50% needed on Eichel’s $10M cap hit to make it workable.

And just days before Zibanejad signed his 8 year extension, a team executive with knowledge of the situation made it crystal clear to me, “the Rangers will be in on Eichel up until they sign Zibanejad.”

The Rangers have to take care of Adam Fox and Kaapo Kakko. The fact that Kravtsov, who would have also been an RFA at the end of year wants out could be a blessing in disguise. Let’s not forget Sammy Blais needs an extension. And then in 2022-23, Alexis Lafrenière and K’Andre Miller will be looking for their new deals.

Eichel to the Rangers is over. Move on.

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