Irresponsible Rumormongering

On the Buffalo Sabres and what it takes to get Jack Eichel

The Buffalo Sabres basically fired everyone yesterday, which led to the inevitable Jack Eichel discussion. Eichel is one of the best players in the game right now and is signed to a pretty team friendly deal at “only” $10 million a year through his age 30 season. The Eichel discussions are mostly conjecture, and in no way, shape, or form do I think Buffalo is actually entertaining trading Eichel. However this is a team that needs a true overhaul after failing to surround Eichel with an actual competent hockey team, and he’s their best trade chip. After all, Chris Drury was a Sabre when Buffalo last won a playoff series.

There’s no need to go into what kind of player Eichel is. He’s a 1C and a game changer. The connection to the Rangers is obvious, as David Quinn coached Eichel in college. Eichel on the Rangers would give them that legitimate 1-2 punch down the middle with Mika Zibanejad, and you know he’d look good with Panarin on his wing. A top-six comprised of Eichel, Zibanejad, Panarin, Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, one of Kaapo Kakko/Vitali Kravtsov would be lethal.

Now of course the concern is cost. Eichel, even if I were to actual believe Buffalo would move him, would cost a fortune. Believe it or not, the Rangers may actually have the pieces to make something like this work. The starting cost is at least Filip Chytil and probably Tony DeAngelo, as a start. You have to give to get, after all.

Losing DeAngelo would hurt, but Adam Fox is more well rounded and it’s safe to assume the Rangers would be able to shoulder that loss with Nils Lundkvist on his way at some point. Chytil’s loss wouldn’t be as pronounced because he’d be shifted to 3C at that point, making him replaceable in this scenario. Let’s assume a first round pick is needed as well, plus a mid-level prospect, and Buffalo kicks in a secondary piece. I say mid-level prospect because DeAngelo has relatively significant value on the ice (off the ice is another story).

Aside: I wonder how much Chytil and DeAngelo actually moves the needle on this. DeAngelo is a 70 point right defenseman, a pretty rare occurrence in the NHL. Chytil has underlying numbers that show he should be able to handle the 2C job. I wonder if Buffalo would value Brett Howden more, but that’s just a pipe dream.

For a third time, I don’t think Eichel is being shopped. But these teams actually do sync up as trade partners in the current term. Long-term, the Rangers would have cap concerns, but shedding DeAngelo ($5 million most likely) and eventually shedding Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, and Brendan Smith frees up a lot of space for their RFAs coming up. This type of trade would also force them to trade Ryan Strome, who is likely coming in pricier than most expected.

The Rangers would be sacrificing depth for more stable top-six production in this scenario. Depth can be acquired rather easily, and the Rangers would already have Kravtsov/Kakko, Jesper Fast (maybe), Julien Gauthier, Phil di Giuseppe, and Brendan Lemieux to fill out the wings. Someone other than Howden as the 3C would be needed, since it’s been established that Howden isn’t a viable NHLer yet.

This is the type of move the Rangers make if they believe they can compete for a Stanley Cup in the next 2-3 seasons, which I believe they can. After that the cap becomes a concern with expected RFA second and third contracts becoming the primary focus. For the fourth and final time, I don’t think this is something that Buffalo entertains at all, but it’s fun speculating.

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  • I think Sabres would demand much more than you have indicated. Mika, Kakko and our 2 first rounders this year may still not be enough! Remember, to prevent a Sabres fan revolt it will take an OUTRAGEOUS package to move their best player…

  • Hey maybe we can get the Sabres to throw in Rasmus Dahlin as well if we add Georgiev to the trade. lol

    Whatever it would take to just pry Eichel from the Sabres would probably cripple us depth-wise. The team as constituted is fine, we just need to improve our bottom 6 and have the confidence to allow our prospects to mature another year or two.

  • It’s an interesting idea. I think the only way it happens is if Eichel demands a trade. If he demands a trade he’s not going to go to a bottom feeder. He wants to be in the play offs. Eichel does have an NMC which doesn’t kick in until 2022-23 so if it’s going to happen it’s probably going to happen before then.

    I don’t think a lot of teams have both, the right assets and are close enough to winning to swing a deal like this. NYR, CO and NYI come to mind as possible candidates. Carolina may be able to do a deal that makes sense but would they part with Aho plus to make this happen? NJ and LA probably have the assets, but they are not close to contending and their offers would be more prospect oriented. Buffalo needs NHL ready players.

    Buffalo would probably want to send back a bad contract. Skinner is a HARD PASS. (even if they retained half his salary) Colin Miller however is someone who hasn’t worked out for Buffalo. He could be a decent fit for us. With a cap hit of $3,875M for 2 more seasons, there’s a little risk there. If we included ADA, in a deal, we may need someone to fill the gap in the right side until Nils Lundkvist is ready.

    The package would be huge. I’ll differ on speculating what it would take since I have no idea, but I think we could make it work if the opportunity presented itself.

    • No way the islanders have the package to get this done.
      They have dropped way down on the prospect list and already gave up their first and second round pick this year for pageau lmao

  • The Sabres had a good thing going when they drafted Eichel. They just jumped off the rebuild too soon offering big contracts to UFA’s too soon. Had they stayed the course, they might be a contender today.

  • I don’t think a trade for Eichel is that far fetched. He doesn’t want to be in Buffalo and the new administration probably wants to put their own fresh stamp on the franchise.
    As currently constructed ,the Rangers have far too many stud defensive prospects. U can’t start them all!

    Eichel’s trade value will be high, but maybe not too cost prohibitive. He averages less than a point per game as a 1c, which is not ideal. He is also a minus 60 so far in his career. Much of this can be attributed to the Sabres Less than impressive record over the past few years. Although, great 1c’s pick up there teammates and still produce much better numbers .
    It would likely cost D’angelo, Buch or Chytil, a mid level prospect and a first this year and next.
    I could live with that, considering Eichel is 23

  • Eichel is only 23, so IF the Sabres are really considering trading him, then losing Chytil would not hurt so much because Eichel is a young man too.

    I would hate to lose Tony D, but yes, to get you have to give. Problem is though that at this moment the Rangers would have a bit of a deficit on D again until some youngster at Hartford breaks through. Not a deal breaker, but it is a consideration.

    I can’t argue with the fact that Eichel would give the Rangers two powerful lines and that he’d do that for a long time. I don’t know if Chytil and Tony D. would be enough to pry him loose.

    • If those two got it done and we could trade Strome for say Greenway plus a decent pick, sure I would consider doing this — but how does that make the Sabres better in any way? I think they would want a lot more in a package because they would be significantly worse without Eichel. Chytil isn’t even a shoe-in right now for the 2nd line let alone a replacement for Eichel in the future. Tony D would improve their D’, especially offensively … but they would still be worse overall. I think Buffalo fans are very tired of rebuilding, they want to be in the playoffs next year — this wouldn’t help. Plus would a rookie GM make this type of move if he wanted to ensure a 2nd season as a NHL GM? lol 1st line centers are very hard to find.

      I just can’t see this trade even being remotely possible unless Eichel insists on sitting out and foregoing $10M a year while designating the team he wants to go to — and would he really follow through on such a threat?

  • It is pretty cool to know that the Rangers could move pieces for this type of player….

    KUDOS NY Rangers leadership for building this team thus far!


    I hope it’s ok I officially changed my name, this is the first time I have done this… is this allowed?

  • I don’t think Eichel gets traded unless he demands a trade. So if we go in on him. This is who I think they should offer and what it would take to get it done.

    Chytil , Kravtsov and K’ Miller are the pieces already on the roster and also one of this year’s first round picks gets it done. It’s 4 first round picks. That’s more than we would have to give up if we signed him as a RFA.

    It wouldn’t rob us of our depth . We would also be trading from one of our strengths and that’s defense. Maybe we get back a 2nd or third too.

    • That’s a lot to give up however if buffalo is willing to swallow two million of that 10 million contract I’d do it otherwise the Rangers can’t afford to pay Panarin 11.6 Eichel 10 and Trouba 8.5 that’s 30 million in three players that would come back to kick them in the ass when kakko Zibanejad etc….. all want raises.

  • Firing the Buffalo front office basically guarantees that Eichel stays.

    And while I agree that Chytil and ADA would have to go (BTW this idea was also in an article about 2 months ago, I just forget where it was posted), it is an overpay based on the fact that the Rangers would be giving up more offense than they would be getting back.

    Though a Panarin-Eichel-Kakko line would really be fun, no?

    • Disagree,
      Rangers are dealing from a position of strength!
      All of the great prospects they have can’t play if someone on the parent club is blocking them.
      Might as well reap the rewards of having one of the best prospect pools in all of the NHL

      • You add $10M per to the payroll, then how do you field a team with depth? Not to mention the trade cost to get him?

        Chytil is on the verge of doing nice things.

        • Very easily
          Subtract Staal , Lundqvist, and Smith and there is plenty of room. Moving D’angelo saves much money when he becomes UFA
          Chytil may be on the verge, who knows?
          Eichel is a sure thing!
          Filling in a piece here and there on the 4th line is not an issue. Actually, if Fast doesn’t resign, Justin Richards fills in nicely as a 4c. He won back to back defensive player of the year honors in NCAA

        • The Rangers would have to get buffalo to swallow two million even if the Rangers have to sweeten the deal a little more between panarin Eichel Trouba that’s 30 million in three players that would kill them in two years

  • DeAngelo, Kakko, Chytil (or Buchnevich) Georgiev
    Probably a 1st also…but with pick comes B. Smith or Staal

      • I would on the condition buffalo swallows two or three million of the deal. Listen kakko will be a great player however I highly doubt he will be as good as Eichel and if buffalo is willing to swallow three million Of Eichel’s deal it will be worth it. Eichel at 7 million a year is worth it.
        Think about it like this

        Panarin Eichel Kravstov
        Kreider Zibanejad Buchnvich

        That would make the Rangers lethal Eichel and Panarin together they can both easily hit 100 points

  • It could be done, but it will take some real imagination on both sides to make it happen. I’m not going to pretend to know enough to put together a potential trade.

  • While such a trade for Eichel would be nice from the Rangers’ standpoint, I can’t see Buffalo parting with him unless they were offered much more than is being discussed. That would make it less attractive for the Rangers. I don’t think the trade will happen.

      • Goes significantly deeper than that. He’s been suspended multiple times for issues of the ice and has been engaging in questionable social media tactics all year.

        • but but but Dave … I’m the exact opposite of Tony politically and I love him to pieces. I think the real issue (discipline dating back to Juniors, TB and AZ) are behind him … and now we’re just left with a slightly crazy Right D that takes advantage of his right to freely express an opinion. Distorted perhaps, but not mean or threatening (like some who tweet 50+ times a day). In the final analysis you want a guy like Tony D in a foxhole for the hockey wars — I mean he isn’t exactly a Colonel Jessep-type. 😉

          • We as fans may be able to brush off some of this stuff, but I can assure you GMs and other teams look at this and take notice.

          • Having been around various GMs in the past — not as much as you think Dave, as long as it doesn’t affect the locker room. Besides, there are probably a decent number of GMs that generally agree with Tony’s “views” on (ahem) life.

  • Buffalo would want proven NHL players, stud prospects and lots of picks, anything less and the good people of Buffalo would burn the arena down. I love how Tony’s name gets thrown in every trade because people do not like his political views…but a 55-70 point, right handed dman do not grow on trees. It took Tony 3-4 years to develop but everyone easily assumes that Nils could come in and replace him.

    The Rangers do not need Eichel and he is not worth giving up the pieces it would take to get him. Stay the course, keep developing, keep drafting.

    I was watching the Rangers-Devils ’94 series. The Rangers were an old team because we traded everyone away. The Devils learned from that brutal lose but they had a lot of young players. Those young players lead them to 3 cups in a ten year span…that is what we should be trying to accomplish.

    • I don’t think politics has anything to do with this. Dave was trying to come up with a reasonable trade and that means you have to give up real value. Buffalo isn’t going to trade Eichel for ten Libor Hajeks and Brett Howdens. And guys like Staal and Smith get you nothing. Dave was also thinking that kids like Kakko, Chityl, DeAngelo, Fox were more attractive to Buffalo than guys like Kreider, Trouba who are older. The pool is pretty small. Dave picked a center as Eichel is a center and a right defenseman where the Rangers seem to have depth. And DeAngelo is not yet a complete defenseman.

      Incidentally – and this may seem paradoxical – is likely both very good and and overrated. Offense in defensemen is cherished and defensive weaknesses tend to get ignored, so a good offense weak defense defenseman tends to be overrated.

      Again, that does not negate the fact that he is a valuable player. And his defense might get better. But if it doesn’t, that overrating means he would command a little more salary than he deserves and would draw a bit more in trade than he should, both reasons to include him in the RIGHT trade.

      • Exactly, thanks Ray. I even called that out specifically in the post. But people who like Tony (and I like him on the ice!) will just assume I throw him in every deal.

        • Dave, while I agree with your ADA evaluation as a player, I have a problem with you mentioning his off-ice issues as part of the reason to trade him. Yes, he was suspended couple of times, but that was in the past. The last year and a half he was a “good citizen”. As for his social media interactions, he is entitle to express his opinions as much as other athletes do all the time in all sports.

      • Ok, then why not mention Fox as a potential trade chip? Tony is loved in the dressing room, will fight guys much bigger than him to defend his teammates and is no way a liability on the defensive side of the ice. He might get overpowered from time to time in front of the net…but same can be said of Fox and Lindgren.

        I do not want to trade anyone of them…but when u continually call out a guys character, you are exposing yourself as a guy who is blinded just as you criticize Tony for being blinded.

        • I don’t think either DeAngelo or Fox is in a class with Lindgren when it comes to muscle in front of the net. And that is one reason it is less appealing to keep both.

          It is certainly true that Dave could have written the article starting with Fox instead of DeAngelo. But I don’t think it is fair to presume bias just because he opted for DeAngelo. Here are some good reasons to pick DeAngelo. Current thinking is that Fox is better defensively and has more potential defensively. Trading Tony solves present contract negotiation issues and helps with the immediate salary cap. Tony’s flashier numbers may give him more trade value and it just might be harder to make a Fox package work. Fox really wanted to be Ranger and worked to sign here – trading him this early in his career sends the wrong message.

        • Cap reasons. When taking on $10 million in Eichel, you need to shed an expensive player. DeAngelo is $5 million, Fox is $925k.

  • Just a food for thought article. Until Jack starts complaining about his team and life in Buffalo, he isn’t going anywhere.

    The Rangers would be better off (and spend less resources) getting a guy like Sebastian Aho, who can slot in as a 2C flawlessly.

        • Fan riots don’t drive GM decisions. Just look at Edmonton.

          Again, I don’t think they will trade him, just saying Buffalo is a team to target in trades.

          • The Edmonton fan base is a captive audience though, I mean it’s Alberta, Canada after all. My point is Buffalo isn’t going to go through a rebuild and trading Eichel would be akin to almost starting from scratch. They have two superstars in the making, Eichel and Dahlin, trading either one of them would be like getting rid of a cornerstone … the pay off would have to be huge and immediately beneficial.

  • I would think it would take Jack demanding a trade which it may come to at some point you would be looking at 5 going to Buffalo. If that were the case the Rangers have plenty of young talent and draft picks. We would however have to move some salary like Tony D will get around 4 to 4.5M to sign him along with Strome who will take about .5.m to 6M to sign and there is your 10M right there. We would most likely have to give away 1 or 2 first round picks for this kid or if 1 first round pick than you would be looking at Chytil and a second round pick or another prospect which we are very deep! Certain prospect would be off limits as our two new D men coming up in Miller and Niles but we have others who play D. Howden would have to move up to third C. This could happen most likely not I would say it again Jack would have to demand a trade!

    • Thing is, we don’t NEED Eichel … we need more depth, which is coming internally if we just show some patience — if you trade away the depth we have now you’re going to have to be VERY sure that what’s in the pipeline is ready to “pop”.

      Now Strome is by no means Eichel, but he’s proven to be a good fit with Panarin and could be close to a ppg guy and at half the cost. I would rather sign Strome to 2 year deal under 5M (to wait for Chytil) and DeAngelo longer term if possible. If either repeats their performance next season you could trade one or both for maximum value (which would be very high, especially ADA).

  • I didn’t see anyone point out the Cap problem we would have from the 22/23 season onwards. No way the NY Rangers can take on 3 contracts (ie Eichel, Mika, Panarin) over $10mil per (Averaging $11/12mil per) and still have the complimentary pieces to have a run at the cup.

  • If the Sabres would take the Rangers second 1st rd. pick this year, Chytil, D’Angelo and a 1 next year the Rangers would have a steal.

  • I am sorry but this offer, no offense to any of the players in the offer, is a great offer from the Rangers standpoint. However, with a player like Jack Eichel, a superstar cornerstone of the Sabres, the offer is going to have to be one like the New Orleans Saints offered for Ricky Williams for the Sabres to even think about trading him. You see, the Sabres would absolutely lose their entire fan base unless the trade was so fantastical nobody could complain. Jack Eichel plays the key position, is arguably top 5 at his position and the Sabres are trying to acquire a couple more centers ( key in the Stahl trade) and are trying to finally become a playoff team again. So, honestly, unless a team wants to hurt itself for years to come Jack Eichel will remain a Buffalo Sabre.

  • Rangers don’t need to trade anyone they need to get healthy and develop the young talent they have ziggurat will be well on his way watch and see your not gonna give for great players for one etc

  • Every single one of you (including the author) are complete freaming morons. One idiot even suggested the Sabres have to keep 2mil in salary for Chityl and DeAngelo? Idk what the hell y’all are smoking but gtfo of here with your delusional, trashy offers you insufferable losers.

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