Insider says Jack Eichel talks are “dead quiet”; all signs point to Rangers as only team that can make the trade

eichel neck surgery
Mar 7, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) reacts after a goal by the New York Islanders during the second period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Free Agent Frenzy has lived up to the hype so far. We’ve had some expected signings and a few surprises as well. The Seattle Kraken grabbing Philipp Grubauer and the Bruins signing Nick Foligno certainly opened some eyes.

Yet, here we are and Jack Eichel is still a member of the Buffalo Sabres with no end in sight.

Bob McKenzie says it’s “dead quiet” on Eichel trade front

During today’s Free Agent Frenzy broadcast, TSN’s Bob McKenzie provided the following update:

“The reality is things are dead quiet on the Jack Eichel front right now,” he said. With the Kings signing Phillip Danault, he notes that is another team out on trying to acquire him. Earlier today, Michael Russo stated that the Minnesota Wild dropped out. If you like at the moves the Golden Knights have made, you can see that the list of suitors are dwindling.

“You can go up and down, and around the different teams that might have interest, but right now it’s on the back burner,” McKenzie continued. “The Sabres are saying that’s just the reality of the market right now and everybody’s going to sit tight. It’s not an ideal situation for the Sabres and Eichel, but as of right now it’s really soft, really quiet.”

Who may still be in on Jack Eichel?

jack Eichel trade TALK
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

Here’s the cap situation of teams reportedly interested in Eichel:

  • ANA – $22.9M, 15/23 roster spots filled
  • CGY – $13.7M, 15/23
  • LAK -$5M, 23/23
  • VGK – $200K, 21/23
  • MIN – $22M, 15/23
  • CBJ – $15M, 15/23
  • BOS – $9M, 21/23
  • MTL – $1.5M, 21/23
  • NYR – $18.4M 21/23

Some may point to the cap relief the Habs will get from putting Weber on LTIR, but that’s not enough to take on Eichel’s $10M cap hit.

It’s clear to me that the team best situated to make a trade for Eichel are the New York Rangers. If I can see this using CapFriendly, so can Chris Drury. So why should he meet the Sabres very high demands?

The Sabres continue to ask for Braden Schneider or Nils Lundkvist from the Rangers. I doubt GM Chris Drury will add either of them. If he does complete the deal it should very much be like the offer which was relayed to me by a team source back in March.

Vitali Kravtsov, Filip Chytil, Zac Jones, and a first round pick are pieces they’d be willing to move.

By the way, the Rangers have done next to nothing in free agency save for a few minor signings. Why did they move out Pavel Buchnevich if not to make a trade or signing of consequence?

Who blinks first? Or are the Sabres and Jack Eichel destined more misery together.