Report: New York Rangers interest in Jack Eichel has cooled tremendously

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

Jack Eichel is the biggest name rumored to be available on the trade market this summer. Although he has not officially asked for a trade, the consensus is that he is likely to be moved in the offseason.

Rangers interest in Jack Eichel has cooled

Forever Blueshirts has learned that despite all the mentions in the rumor mill connecting the Rangers to Jack Eichel, interest has cooled significantly. As to why things have changed recently, three major factors were pointed out to me.

A) His $10 million dollar cap hit could be easily fit into next season. However, come 2022-23 with Mika Zibanejad up for a new deal it becomes difficult. Also Ryan Strome is a UFA, but it would safe to assume he’d be moved out to make room for Eichel. The real problem comes in the form of RFA’s Adam Fox, Kaapo Kakko, and Vitali Kravtsov. All should be a higher priority in signing.

B) His neck injury is a serious concern. Obviously that impacts everyone looking to trade for him, but that health uncertainty has backed the Rangers off.

C) The Sabres are still asking for way too much. We know the Blueshirts had a “reasonable offer” last year that was considered but ultimately declined. Now the demands have gone up and despite neck issues have not come down. Buffalo is just not being realistic.

rangers jack Eichel
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Does that mean the Rangers are out of the Eichel sweepstakes?

So are the Rangers moving on from Eichel? Yes and no.

Unless there is a lot more clarity surrounding the injury and the Sabres price comes down, they are moving on. As for the money, that is a roadblock in and of itself but maybe there’s something that can be done there. How about a three-way type of deal? I’m not saying it is likely, but teams around the NHL have been very creative over the last year. Would the Sabres eat even a small portion of his cap hit?

Bottom line is this, despite all the talk about the Sabres not wanting to trade Eichel to the Rangers, it may be the Rangers that have moved on from him. Now that they may not be as big a player as everyone thought, does that mean the L.A. Kings can get Eichel at a bargain? In the end, the market dictates.

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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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