Thoughts on Jack Eichel Rangers rumors

Yesterday Twitter exploded as Bob McKenzie came out of retirement with some NY Rangers news. The Rangers have at least discussed Jack Eichel with the Buffalo Sabres. Nothing came of the talks, at least not yet. However something like that, when McKenzie comes out of retirement to make note of it, is significant. As usual, I have thoughts.

1. McKenzie started by mentioning the Rangers have had discussions regarding Eichel. Later in the thread, he noted that nothing came of it. His agent refuted it, and the Sabres refuted it. The basic summary is that the Sabres aren’t looking to trade him, but GM Kevyn Adams received calls.

2. However where there is smoke, there is fire. McKenzie doesn’t just come out of retirement to tweet something like that. He doesn’t care about getting Twitter mentions anymore. So why do it? Maybe he was interested from a personal aspect, but why tweet it? Why not mention the other teams that also called about Eichel’s availability? Seems like we are only getting a piece of this.

3. Regarding Eichel not requesting a trade, he doesn’t have much of a choice. He’s signed already. He has no leverage in this situation even if he did want out. The only thing he could do is sit out games, which he’s not going to do. Eichel wanting out, even publicly, doesn’t hold much clout.

4. On to the Rangers. The cost the Rangers would need to pay to land Eichel would likely be astronomical. When I had posed this question in June, I was told by someone in the league (not with either team) that the cost begins with Kaapo Kakko or Adam Fox. It’s safe to assume the #1 overall falls into that category. It’s highly unlikely the Rangers pay that price, thus the deal is off. That, of course, is in the normal NHL.

5. But this is COVID NHL. This is a league that will have more than half the league on internal budgets with no revenue coming in. The Sabres already made a move to shave some real dollars by acquiring Eric Staal. With no end in sight, paying Eichel $10 million a year might be a bit much. That said, Eichel already received $7.5 million of his salary as a bonus on July 1. The Sabres only owe him $2.5 million for the rest of the season. The guaranteed price tag beyond still remains.

6. In this situation, and assuming Buffalo eventually has to penny pinch, does that change the asking price? You’d have to assume Filip Chytil would be the next ask. Tony DeAngelo likely would be included. The 22nd overall this year is a no-brainer. Probably an unprotected 1st rounder in 2021 as well. Buffalo is still giving up the best player in the trade by a country mile though. A blue chip prospect likely needs to go as well.

7. In this hypothetical situation, the Rangers would add $10 million to the cap for six years. That would mean $21 million tied into two forwards, and $28 million into three forwards. This doesn’t include Mika Zibanejad, who is due a big raise after 2021-2022. Would the Rangers commit $38 million to four players?This is where the Rangers trade Zibanejad. Yes, it seems blasphemous. But Eichel is better and four years younger. Tough pill to swallow, but it is what it is.

8. In the end, Jack Eichel and the Rangers is likely a pipe dream at the moment. This is a point in time evaluation, since things change.

9. A player like Eichel doesn’t get traded at 23 years old either.

10. Just leaving this nugget – what if Buffalo retains salary?

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  • Can’t see it happen now… but then again, in 2 years, when Zib contract is up and Eichel probably still frustrated by BUF lack of success /playoffs, who knows?

    • I wouldn’t trade for Lafreniere, Kakko,or Fox those will be your corner stone of the team For many years to come!!!!
      This guys will became stars like Jack one day , just need to Be patient…why trade for them!!!

      • That’s true. Let’s see in 2 years where NYR and BUF stand. Must be tough to be a BUF fan…

  • Interestingly if you look at the Ryan O’Reilly trade as an indication(I realize Eichel is a better player, but O’Reilly did win a cup and Conn Smythe) a late round first in 2019(pick 31) + 2nd in 2021 +Tage Thompson, Sobotka and Berglund and St.Louis paid O’Reilly’s $7.5 mill bonus. They were looking to cut costs then pre covid. And that return was meh. Not saying they give Eichel away. But Buffalo appears to be in bad shape as a franchise. So who knows.

    • Your right. The Sabres will only negotiate with the Rangers and probably only ask for the worst player over 30 on the Rangers farm team plus retain Eichels entire salary.

  • I spent part of my college years in Buffalo. It is a great hockey town that has suffered with a bad team for too long. Jack Eichel is the shining jewel of the franchise, and the owner has plenty of bucks. The knowledgeable fan base would scream bloody murder if they lost a young talent like Eichel. I don’t see it happening. Perhaps a truly mega deal would soften the blow, but I rather doubt that taking place either.

  • Now let’s just do the accounting as it is today, and what it would look like in two-three years:

    Bread $11
    Kreider $ 7
    Trouba $8
    Zib $5.5, will go to at least $10 as well
    Eichel $10-if this ever happened
    Igor $4-5 bridge deal in another year
    Alexis $4+ bridge deal
    Fox $3.5 bridge deal
    Kakko $4+ bridge deal
    These numbers are very conservative dealing with Alexis, Kakko, and Igor.

    This will get us to $62 mil, for only nine players. There usually are some 23 players signed, who will play for peanuts? We will need to sign 14 players with only $19 mil to do it.

    What about Kravs, Miller, Nils, Georgiev, Barron, Lindgren, do you see where I’m coming from. This is a crazy thought, and a waste of time.

    The cost to get Eichel would be high, and then how will he fit in? What is the guy like in the locker room? He signed a huge contract on good faith, only to want out after a few years. What’s to say that won’t be the case again if he were moved to us? Sorry folks, I’d have to say thanks, but no thanks, and look elsewhere!!!!!!!!!!!


    Congratulations to the Lightning, and Victor Hedman for a terrific cup run, and championship!!!!!!!!

    • Eichel is exactly why you do not pay Krieder $7M. CK will never give you fair value at $7M, but Eichel at $10M for 4 or 5 more years surely does.

      Yes we will have money tied up in a handful of players, but this is why the pipeline for bottom 6 forwards and bottom pair defensemen needs to be strong. You play the kids at low pay so that the stars can shine. Eichel makes us legit in a hurry.

      • Very good point. If Eichel is worth 10 million, what’s Kreider worth in “COMPARISON”?

        A. 7 million
        B. 50 centavos

        The answer, of course, is B. Gracias.

    • Not taking issue with your accounting, (which is not exactly my strong point!), but I believe trading for Eichel would mean we wouldn’t be re-signing Mika, so that would be $ saved. I love Mika, but if given the chance to swap him out for Eichel I’d do it. The question is what we’d have to give up to Buffalo, which probably is what kills a deal more than the money issue.

      • Why do so many guys want Eichel? Is it his name? Is it all the wins and accolades he has earned for the team? Is it his w(h)inning attitude? I don’t get it, not that that’s’ necessary. You make a deal you honor it. Who, on his team, has he made better? If what is being said is true about him wanting out, ok, but please not to the NYR. Mika has made CK and PB better players and has a track record. As Casey used to say “you could look it up”. Stay where you are Jack, make the city, your teammates, your owners (who are paying you a ridiculous amount of money to play a game) and most of all yourself proud for honoring your word.

        • I understand what you are saying but we should keep the young guys we have we will get better this is a rebuilding team i hate to say it but byout Hank keep the young goalies we have because this is the future and be patient. I’ve been a loyal Ranger Fan for over 40 years and I was at the 94 Stanley Cup game when we won I saw them at the worst and great times and never gave up so be patient

      • clerks37

        I take exception for one reason, what was the objective for the trade in the first place?

        The answer is to have a great one-two punch at center. By not re-signing Mika, your defeating the reason for the trade in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Yeah, if the thought is to have Mika and Eichel as the 1-2, then I agree with you that the numbers make it unworkable. But I wasn’t viewing adding Eichel in that sense, but as a younger replacement for Mika who will soon be in line for a big bump-up in salary. In that case yes, we’d still be dealing with the 2C issue, but we would be in a better long term position at 1C, though some folks here apparently would disagree.

    • Walt I agree on the Eichel front, this is not the time for the Rangers to blow up their rebuild, it would be foolish because the cost is way too high.

      On another note though, you say, “He signed a huge contract on good faith, only to want out after a few years. What’s to say that won’t be the case again if he were moved to us?”
      This I find interesting. Why? You say Hank is being selfish by honoring his contract and not retiring, but when Eichel does the exact opposite, assuming he wants out, you seem to be indicating that is a selfish issue as well. You can’t have it both ways my friend. It’s one or the other.

      • JoeS.

        To answer your question, and it’s basic, Hank claimed to love the Rangers, but is ineffective, while Eichel hates Buffalo, and is effective.

        Hank has been on a slippery slope for a few years, clinging with his pride, and greed coming into play, hurting the team. Jack is young, and wants out because he doesn’t like his team. Just think about my point, and come to your own conclusion, agree or disagree!!!!!!!!

        • So, what you mean is it is ok to be a selfish player if you are effective, but not if you are ineffective. It has nothing to do with honoring a contract. I get it now. Totally disagree, but I get how you think, now.

          • JoeS

            I’m not in favor of getting Eichel at all, and reading my post should have proven my point.

            As far as honoring a contract, I’m all for it, and believe that anyone should follow through with their commitment. In Hanks case, if you want to help the team you state you care about, and love, and realize that it’s in the best interest of the team, and your legacy, you retire, and take a job with the organization. In reality, your helping the team.

            It’s the honorable thing to do. I believe we are on the same page, if not, so be it!!!!!!!!!

          • Walt, we are on the same page regarding Eichel. I was just pointing out an inconsistency in your statement. Believe me it is nothing to argue about and I wasn’t trying to goad you. I hope you don’t feel that way. It really is not that in important anyway. Have a great night and, mostly I agree with you.

  • Teams have their stars and their support players.

    The Rangers have incredible stars already and a bunch that are about to start shinning bright.

    We need the right support players way more then another star whose contract would only mean that mgt would need to parse support players and young talent.


    • Our top players didn’t shine enough and our support players suck. We need more studs on this team to even sniff the playoffs in the future. Do you actually think that adding LaFren and K’Andre makes us a contender?

      • Our top players had this team playing better then almost every team prior to the pause. Our support players are growing and losing them to add JE is dumb. We also have players that will produce handedly in the years to come while the huge price tagged JE will be declining.

        Just stop this thought…it’s not going to happen…

        And yes I completely think adding LaFren and Miller makes us a contended… I just see things in terms of 3 years from now and for 6 years… Adding JE derails he real plans of this team

        • We are not a much better team adding LaFreniere and K.Miller. Younger and more athletic, but sill not in the playoffs. Eichel is a #1C, and makes Strome expendable. Thats $5M right there. Don’t resign Fast and thats another $3.5M. You still have Kraftsov for a winger when needed. I say you try to get Jack in a NYR sweater if you just have to give up Chytil, Kakko and pick #22

  • We’re in the season of mis information (Draft,FA,Expansion, etc).

    Not happening, unless we’re looking to rip apart our good young and up an coming team again. Which I don’t see us doing.

    Just to get another superstar!

    Stay the course, we don’t know how the landscape will be going forward.

    • This would be the most Rangers thing to do. Throw away a young core that is poised to make this team a contender for years to come(only not this year, which is what most rangers fans can’t see beyond) on a player that will never live up to the money that he will be paid and the large fortune in young talent it will take to acquire him.

      • That is the Ranger norm under Sather.

        But this administration gets it mostly build through the draft, and smart trades.

        I just can’t see us trading say, Kakko,Lafen, no.22 pick and say ADA for him.
        Don’t get me wrong Eichel is a great player, but at what cost. Not only do we mortgage the present but the future also.
        Plus the money $10M a year for the next 6 years.

  • Normalized to an 82 game season, Zibanejad would have had 59 goals and 49 assists for 108 points, Eichel would have had 48 goals and 50 assists for 98 points. OK, Jack is younger than Mika, but I wouldn’t say that he’s better.

  • I don’t see Gorton and the Rangers adding Eichels salary to the books. What if the call was to try and see if a 3 way deal was made where NY got LA’s #2, and LA gets Eichel? Basically something like NY’s carolina pick + Georgiev, LA’s 2021 first rounder, a high end prospect from LA, and some added players/picks of course. LA is in a bind, they have players under contract like Kopitar, Quick and Doughty in addition to the Browns and Carters. They can’t just unload players, and arent necessarily in a rebuild. Eichel is a game changer for them, and they can afford him. So NY get Byfield and Lafreniere, LA gets Eichel, and Buffalo loads up on a bounty of picks and prospects. Everybody wins…except the Buffalo fans….they lose.

      • Because NY cant pay all the huge contracts they already have and then add in 2 years – when all the ELC’s expire- How do you pay fox, kakko, chytl, shesterkin, zibanejad, lindgren who will all be due raises. Basically look at Toronto and how that model of high end contracts and no depth has worked.

  • Priorities for leadership:

    Bottom Six- clarify, add grit, chemistry.
    Defense-Big bodied-hard nose D man with loins

    Adding Eichel would be amazing, but as I mentioned to friends yesterday, JD is not going to part with LaFrenchise….

  • Eichel is just another shiny object and virtually every shiny object is tied to the Rangers. Due diligence requires kicking the tires on this one but the bottom line is determining whether in the long run you want Eichel or Mika, I don’t think it’s wise to have both making that type of money. I would prefer they use some assets to move up in the draft and pick a 2C or trade for a 2C — it would be less than half as expensive both short term and in the long run.

  • If Lundqvist gets bought out, and all but Strome signed reasonable RFA contracts (Dangelo, Fast, Lemieux, Gorg, and DiGuiseppe) the Rangers have just under $9mil in cap space the next 2 years but that will drop significantly the year after that when Mika and a few other RFAs are resigned. It would drop to about $2-2.5mil and assumes a comparable D is resigned at Deangelo value (or make available another $4mil if rookie replaces). I know, a lot of variables.

    Point being I can’t see the Rangers handcuffing themselves again in 3 years time so I think they are far more likely to look for a LD and 2C, at $4-5mil each, that have no more than 2 years left on their contract. In the flat cap year I could see them getting both without giving up anything crazy like our 2nd first rounder. Maybe we dangle some mix of 2021 #2, Lias, Hajek, Rykov, etc. Latter three are expendable from my perspective.

  • The NYR are always in the conversation for these types of things, even when there is no logical reason. But now it’s even worse since they have all these options and picks and young talent. No doubt the Rangers would have been part of the “rumor” even if they didn’t have all these options. There’s going to be more juice to NYR rumors these days since they actually do have the options to pull off something big. But I don’t see these things as anything other than trying to move eyeballs to a website with scenarios that are plausible, but very unlikely.

    I trust JD and JG here. I don’t believe they will trade the 1st pick, and I really don’t think they’re going to blow this whole thing up to get Jack Eichel. Honestly, Eichel is a really good player. But they guy has complained A LOT since his rookie year. He wants out of Buffalo every season and is not quiet about it. IMO, I’m always put off by players like that. I’ve (almost) met him too. He started running to MSG when my son approached him for an autograph. I have a blurry pic of him sprinting past a 10yr old. The guy is a jerk…

    • chrisqct

      I even posted that I had questions about how he would fit in, especially in the locker room. You confirmed what I had heard before, that he is a jerk, and a whiner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Probably biased against him since that interaction last season. We were at the corner of MSG and no one had noticed him yet. It was nothing for him to stop and sign his book, and he literally started running the rest of the way to get behind the bike racks. Thank god it wasn’t my other son who LOVES Eichel. It would have absolutely crushed him.

        Maybe it was just a bad day. But based on things I’ve read, I really wasn’t that surprised. It did catch me off guard that he wouldn’t sign anything or take pics even with kids. There was even a kid BUF fan with an Eichel jersey…maybe 12 or 13…and nope. He was inside MSG as fast as he could (an no, he wasn’t late…the team bus pulled in about 15 mins later).

  • The Rangers and their fans are dreaming if they believe or even think they are getting Eichel without including Lafreniere (Sorry if I botched his name) in the trade package and that is only for starters. If the Sabres GM and ownership traded Eichel for anything other than an offer that truly blew them and Buffalo’s fan base away the Sabres top brass should and probably would be lynched. Eichel is a top 5 center in the league and the corner stone of the franchise locked up for another 6 years at a decent price for players of his caliber. You don’t give that kind of player away for peanuts no matter what kind of team you have. Honestly, I believe it’s a non-starter so have fun, I guess, Rangers fans with those pipe dreams.

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