When reports surfaced about Jack Eichel’s potential availability this summer, the first team that came to many minds was the New York Rangers. The Rangers have enough young assets to land the Buffalo Sabres center and are now focused on making the playoffs after a short rebuild. Today, Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes that the Rangers have had preliminary talks with the Sabres about Eichel and that the asking price is currently “four pieces that would be equivalent of first-rounders.” The Sabres have also, according to Brooks, not yet granted any medical record access to interested teams.
Obviously, an asking price isn’t necessarily indicative of what will eventually land a player in trade talks, but that report from Brooks shows just how high the Sabres are setting their sights in this negotiation. The team is dealing with a distressed asset, as Eichel has expressed frustration with the team over a difference in medical opinions, but will still not simply give him away. The biggest question mark surrounding the $10MM center is the health of his neck, which still may require surgery this offseason. Eventually, teams will have to get their hands on his medical records and determine how much risk is involved in an acquisition beyond just his recent on-ice struggles.
- The New Jersey Devils are in the market for a young defenseman and would consider trading the fourth-overall pick, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The Devils have selected in the top ten three times in the last few years, taking Nico Hischier (first overall, 2017), Jack Hughes (first, 2019), and Alexander Holtz (seventh, 2020) in the early part of the first round. Perhaps that makes this year’s pick a little more expendable, especially with the uncertainty surrounding the 2021 class. Any trade that happens in the next few weeks has expansion draft implications, but as we examined recently, the Devils have a real opportunity to add defensemen with no risk of losing them to the Seattle Kraken.
- The Hockey Hall of Fame is preparing to move forward with its 2020-21 induction ceremony on November 15th, though the actual event will be moved to a new venue. Ken Holland, Jarome Iginla, Kim St-Pierre, Marian Hossa, Kevin Lowe, and Doug Wilson were announced as the class of 2020 last year, but because of COVID-related closures, were never actually inducted. The HHOF decided not to induct a new class for 2021 but will return to its normal voting procedure for next year.