With the Buffalo Sabres again struggling this season you knew rumors about Jack Eichel would begin to swirl. As expected with the Sabres sitting at 5-7-2 the rumors about Eichel’s future in Buffalo have already begun to hit a fever pitch.
As we all know whenever there’s a big time player’s name circulating the New York Rangers name will always be thrown into the ring. However at this point and time it makes little to no sense for the Rangers to get into a potential bidding war for Eichel.
While the Rangers have the prospects to most likely get a deal done to land Buffalo, a trade for Eichel at this juncture would severely deplete the prospect pool that Jeff Gorton has worked so hard to cultivate the last several years. Not to mention Eichel having a cap hit of 10M a year until 2025-2026. If the the Blueshirts also wanted to add Eichel this season then Buffalo would most certainly ask for one of Alexis Lafreniere or Kaapo Kakko which is something the Rangers most certainly would not be willing to do.
One of the most realistic trade options from a Rangers side would be Kravtsov, Chytil, 2021 1st, 2022 1st, and a conditional 2022 3rd that could become a 2nd. Hear me out I’m not even saying this proposal would potentially get it done but it would be the path of least resistance for the Rangers. While this might be the most fair deal for the Rangers in theory it can also be seen as a lateral move because while landing a superstar like Eichel will be great it’ll cause multiple cap casualties as a result. Landing Eichel would mean Mika is probably a goner, and most likely Buch as well. If Eichel comes to town at the cost of Mika and Chytil then the Rangers are in the exact same position if not worse at center than they are right now except with Jack Eichel.
Unless Eichel creates a public spectacle of wanting out of Buffalo then there’s no leverage that will drive the price down for Eichel. Only if Eichel starts to create a headache then there will be no rush for the Sabres to move their franchise player and former second overall pick without their ownership and front office receiving massive amounts of heat from fans and media.
Even though the Blueshirts have the ammo in their war chest to be able to land a superstar player at the level of Eichel, it wouldn’t be the most wise move for the franchises future. The Rangers would be better served holding and targeting a potential guy like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in free agency or waiting for another center to shake free via trade. In the world of covid-19 there will be players becoming available that you wouldn’t think of because money and term are scareing most teams. The beauty of being the New York Rangers is that even in a world where other teams have financial restraints that will never be an obstacle for the Rangers.
Now while this is following scenario is highly unrealistic and certainly in no way do I think this could happen but if the Rangers could land Eichel without moving Chytil, Lafreniere, or Kakko and not run the risk of losing Mika then without a doubt you go and get Jack Eichel. While they are at it, they might as well construct a statue of Jeff Gorton to stand proudly out front of Madison Square Garden.