NHL Rumors: Another one bites the Jack Eichel dust as Blue Jackets are out too

nhl rumors eichel
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

First it was the New York Rangers cooling their heels on Jack Eichel. That was followed by a report that the L.A. Kings were not in on him either. That was met by reports that trade talks for Eichel were intensifying.

Here is where I started scratching my head. Could it be that the Buffalo Sabres were simply trying to create a trade market that wasn’t there?

The Ducks and Blue Jackets were in on Jack Eichel

Then two teams started to emerge as potential front runners to acquire the injured 24 year-old center. Both the Anaheim Ducks and the Columbus Blue Jackets were considered two top destinations.

“I believe the Sabres have entered some pretty in-depth trade discussions on Eichel,” Elliotte Friedman recently said on NHL Network. “I think they know what the market is, I think they know who is interested.”

As far as the situation with Eichel’s injury, teams have not been granted to speak with him direct and must go through the Sabres. “I understand the Sabres are asking for a ton,” Friedman continued. “I think they are deep in discussions with several teams. I’d be lying if I said I knew it was close. I’ll tell you this, I believe those conversations with teams like Anaheim and Columbus among them, are pretty in-depth.”

Lo and Behold, Columbus is not in on Eichel

jack Eichel blue jackets
Mar 31, 2019; Buffalo, NY, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) makes the save against Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) during the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Portzline who covers the Blue Jackets for The Athletic wrote, “After talking with numerous sources in recent days, it doesn’t appear that the Blue Jackets — at least as of today — are in hot pursuit of Eichel, one of the premier centers in the league.”

He goes on to say that Columbus did indeed speak with the Sabres to conduct “due diligence”, but so have plenty of other teams. That does not equate to an offer, and to date only one team has actually done so.

As far as anyone knows the New York Rangers are the only team to have made an offer for Jack Eichel. To be clear, that offer was made last offseason, and well before the neck injury. Since that issue arose, and coupled with the increasingly ridiculous trade demands, the Rangers backed off.

New York Rangers could circle back on Eichel

So where do we go from here? Is it really just the Anaheim Ducks in the running for Eichel. If so, why would they give up a king’s ransom if there are no other suitors? GM Bob Murray must certainly be pulling out Trevor Zegras and/or Jamie Drysdale out of any potential deal.

What about the Minnesota Wild? They are mentioned in rumors but I haven’t heard much about them. Sabres GM, Kevyn Adams is going to have to do something if he intends on trading Eichel. Lower the ask, allow teams to speak with Eichel, or both.

He needs more teams in. Hell, he may even have to eat a million or two off the deal to get the package he’s looking for. Should that come to fruition, the Rangers could circle back on Eichel.

They definitely like the player, and they were willing to trade for him once before. Maybe if the circumstances change, they may be interested again.

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