NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets out on Jack Eichel, Evander Kane on the block, and Conor Garland contract

jack eichel trade rumors
Mar 24, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) plays the puck against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

According to a new report, the Columbus Blue Jackets are out of the Jack Eichel sweepstakes. My question is were they ever really in? I’ve written before how the Sabres are trying to create a trade market for Jack Eichel and this just reinforces it.

Blue Jackets out on Jack Eichel

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.

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. Elliotte Friedman even said that they had “in-depth conversations.”

jack eichel trade talk
Jack Eichel trade talk (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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 the New York Rangers have made one. But that was last offseason before the neck injury.

So who is in on Jack Eichel? Just the Ducks? Good luck getting a big return if it is just one team.

Evander Kane on the trade block

EVANDER KANE BANKRUPTCY
Evander Kane (Brandon Magnus/Getty Images)

Another name that is potentially entering the trade market is Evander Kane. Per Frank Seravalli, “Sources indicate significant friction built up between Kane and a number of his teammates last season, frustration that was expressed clearly to management in exit interviews.”

The 29 year-old power forward has four years remaining a $7 million AAV. This past season he scored 22 goals and 49 points in 56 games. While he may be a little pricey, Kane can certainly add punch to a team’s top six. The question is, how many teams may shy away if they think he won’t fit in the locker room? I’m willing to bet several teams would love to have him.

Conor Garland contract talks going nowhere

The Arizona Coyotes forward is an RFA and per Frank Seravalli there has been “zero communication” with his camp on a new deal. Garland is 25 years-old and just completed his third year in the NHL. He matched his prior season’s total of 39 points but did it in 19 less games, so he is a player on the rise.

Due to the COVID shortened season and the flat cap, it’s more likely than not he would get a bridge deal. Something along the lines of two years at around $3.5 million to $4 million seems reasonable. If Garland’s camp wants to hold out for more, he could be traded.