It’s almost as if Jack Eichel in a New York Rangers jersey is being willed into existence. The moment Eichel went public about his frustrations in Buffalo, the speculation began. That speculation became concrete evidence when it was reported that Jeff Gorton called the Sabres soon after to see if a deal could be made.
Elliotte Friedman believes Jack Eichel could get traded
Another one of Hockey’s Top Insiders, Elliotte Friedman made an appearance on WGR550 Radio causing a stir. When asked if he could see Jack Eichel traded, he answered with a prompt and affirmative “Yes!”
“I don’t think he ever asked for a trade, but [Eichel] was restless and teams knew it,” Friedman explained. The natural follow up was what would the package look like and if it would be too big for teams? “Maybe Buffalo would look at it that way – we need a billion assets, the things is – what’s the market?”
Friedman did say he believes it will be a “robust market” for the 24 year-old center but not an enviable position for the Sabres. “He’s a number one center – here’s the problem guys, if Buffalo is trading him this offseason it’s because he wants a change and they want a change,” he said. “It’s not an easy position to deal from.”
“The team I would look at first is the Rangers”
The Sabres are obviously giving up the best player in the deal, but Friedman started delving into Buffalo getting back several pieces they could get “excited about.” He believes that there will be 3-4 teams that will be interested and it would not be so prohibitive that said teams wouldn’t do it. Then he dropped the Broadway Bomb.
“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.”
The Rangers are targeting Eichel – if he becomes available
I know from several conversations with a team source that the Rangers are willing to make a big deal this summer. They have way too many prospects and all will not be able to make the lineup based on who’s already in front of them. One such player could be 2018 first round selection, Vitali Kravtsov. To a lesser extent Nils Lundqvist who was also selected in the first round that year could be in a package.
The more likely scenario would be the Rangers putting together a deal that includes Ryan Strome, Vitali Kravtsov, Morgan Barron, Matthew Robertson and several picks to acquire Jack Eichel. Not a definitive package, but an idea of what one could look like from the Rangers side.
While I am fairly certain the Sabres will ask for Alexis Lafreniere, the L.A. Kings are not parting with Quintin Byfield so that’s a non-starter. As Friedman noted, it will be what the market decides a fair trade is for Jack Eichel.
For more on the Rangers and the inevitable summer blockbuster trade check out this feature from yesterday.