Top insider details Rangers “stealth” team on Jack Eichel; Buchnevich chatter; and interest in Zach Hyman

By Forever Blueshirts
Jan 18, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) plays the puck against Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Insiders are very busy these days trying to gather information and also discerning what they are hearing. Elliotte Friedman is no different and had some interesting tidbits on the New York Rangers in his latest podcast.

“I heard some teams passing out, and it’s so tough to say this right now because there’s so much bluffing… it sounds like Anaheim, L.A., and Calgary are out,” Friedman detailed on what he’s hearing about Jack Eichel.

Word of Anaheim dropping out is new to me. I’ve placed them and the Rangers as the frontrunners for the last few weeks despite many not mentioning the Blueshirts.

“I think Minnesota is in there, but they have to work with Buffalo or someone else to get a contract out.” Friedman alluded to the fact that despite buying out both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, that it would be hard for the Wild to take on Eichel’s $10 million cap hit for five years.

Rangers stealth team on Jack Eichel

Then Friedman dropped his thoughts on who he thinks may be really in on Eichel. That would be the New York Rangers, a team that has been the most discussed landing spot up until May when they backed off after hearing about his injury.

“I still wonder about the Rangers,” he said. “I really believe that Chris Drury is a stealth guy, I still wonder about all this.” That was then followed up by his co-host, Jeff Marek saying, “I can see the Rangers all day long, and that’s the one to me that makes the most sense.”

If it really is just the Wild and the Rangers; it will be hard not to see Eichel on Broadway next season.

jack eichel trade
Feb 7, 2020; New York, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) shoots at an empty net against New York Rangers center Ryan Strome (16) and defenseman Adam Fox (23) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Based on all the latest info out there and what I can gather dating back to last season, the Rangers want Eichel. What a valued source told me is they see a future top line with Alexis Lafrenière and Eichel together. Considering the other recent information Ryan Strome and Pavel Buchnevich, Drury could have a few moves to make once the roster freeze is gone on Thursday.

First, Drury could send Strome to Ottawa with pick 15 for their 10th pick overall. That will clear $4.5 million in space and meet Buffalo’s ask for having two picks in the top 10 of this draft.

Then, the Rangers can take pick 10, RFA Pavel Buchnevich, Filip Chytil, and Zac Jones to Buffalo for Jack Eichel. This is my best guess as to what may go down in the next 24-48 hours.

On Buchnevich rumors

One player that is getting a lot of traction is Pavel Buchnevich. The 26 year-old had a great year with 48 points in 54 games this season. Things certainly haven’t died down based on this latest report.

“The thing about Buchnevich is he’s an RFA, and next year he’s a UFA,” Friedman said. “The teams are heard that liked him at times were the St. Louis, Nashville, and I’m sure there is more.”

If Buchnevich is not in the trade for Eichel, could he be moved out to the Blues in a Tarasenko deal? It’s hard to see it happen unless the Blues will eat a large portion of his $7.5 million cap hit.

Rangers interest in Zach Hyman

Another notable tidbit was Friedman saying that the Rangers may have interest in free agent Zach Hyman.

“I had heard Hyman with the Rangers,” he said. “But they were not getting him at 6 x 3.6, which means he’s coming in significantly higher.”

On May 16th, I reported that Hyman was definitely on the Rangers radar with information I received out of Toronto. This now confirms it. The 28 year-old UFA is going to likely get a 7 year-deal in the $6 million range so I’m not sure if he is still a fit.

Regardless, it is an interesting insight into what Drury is looking to do.

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