Rangers set new strategy to win Jack Eichel sweepstakes!

You thought they were out, but no! Check this out:


Earlier on Friday, insider Pierre LeBrun reported that some teams were steeping out of the Jack Eichel sweepstakes, and his report included the New York Rangers. LeBrun noted that the Blue Shirts had been interested in the past to trade for the Buffalo Sabres’ former captain, but mentioned that they were much in it anymore. 

However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has revealed that this might be part of the Rangers’ new strategy after all. Friedman suggests that the Rangers and general manager Chris Drury are acting like they’re not interested anymore in landing Eichel, but want it that way to pull a move. Here is how he explained it on TJMS: 

“The Rangers are doing a really good job of creating the impression they are not in on Eichel and maybe on a day-to-day business that’s true, but I have to think that just because the way a good GM thinks is, okay, maybe we’re going to stay out of this publicly. 

“but what if we can’t work out this situation with Zibanejad? We have to be prepared for Plan B, you always have to have escape routes and plans…If they can’t get him (Zibanejad) signed, I got to think they’re considering the possibility of it”.

The question comes as the Rangers are looking to extend Mika Zibanejad, who is starting the last year on his five-year deal and could become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2022. 

The Rangers need to consider if he will return or look to play for a contender if the Blue Shirts are once again out of playoff contention this upcoming spring. The team needs to get ready for a replacement and it seems like Friedman is hinting at Eichel. 

That would give the Rangers time to deal with Eichel’s injury as he requires surgery to play again. Eichel favors having artificial disk replacement surgery. The Sabres are against him having the procedure because it has never been performed on an NHL player. However, the Sabres’ way means that a patient could have three surgeries in 20 years. We can understand why Eichel wants to get it done his way. 

The Sabres’ asking price is still pretty high but with TSN’s Darren Dreger recently reporting that ongoing discussions and additional access to Eichel’s medical file has helped teams with trade interest clearly see his situation, and adding that both the Sabres and Eichel are hopeful a deal can be worked out soon with one of the interested teams, the Rangers could be in the mix after all. 

Let’s see!