7:43PM: Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that the latest package the Rangers have presented to the Sabres is built around Zac Jones, Vitali Kravtsov, Alex Georgiev and a first-round pick.
11:38AM: Elliotte Freidman was on Buffalo radio on Thursday morning and said the following about Jack Eichel and the Rangers:
“The one team we are all sitting here and wondering about is the Rangers. From what I heard, as recently as last week, what Buffalo wanted and what the Rangers were willing to do was, and I said this on our podcast, the idea of a Venn diagram and there was no overlap, that it was two separate circles. Like i heard what the Sabres wanted to do and the Rangers wanted to do wasn’t even close, not even close. I wonder if what the Rangers are looking at here, and the Rangers have some decisions to make down the middle, extend Zibanejad, trade for Eichel, what are you going to do with Strome, all this stuff. I think what the Rangers might be looking at is, ‘who are we really negotiating against? I kind of wonder if that is the way they look at it, does Buffalo have another outlet here?”
Friedman mentioned Montreal, Minnesota, Vegas, LA, St. Louis and Anaheim as teams that have taken various runs, and to various degrees, at trying to get Eichel.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks wonders about a similar thing and references how Glen Sather and the Rangers held out on trading for Rick Nash until they got the price they wanted.
Brooks says that Drury and the Rangers hold as much leverage in trade talks as the Sabres do and that there is no deadline or need to rush things. (NY Post)
Bob McKenzie said on TSN on Thursday that things are “dead quiet” with Eichel right now.
Adam Rotter: This idea of the Rangers being the only real contender for Eichel, and thus bidding against themselves, has become a popular theory around the league in the last few days. Others think that Vegas is a legit contender for Eichel and they are one move, to clear more salary, away from getting Eichel. We will see. What seems clear is that the Rangers could have gotten Eichel at any point because they have the young players, prospects and cap space to get it done. What also seems clear is that Chris Drury, as he probably should, is holding back his best young players and prospects because he believes the Rangers can get Eichel without including them.
The Rangers, as of now, are believed to have Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller, Braden Schneider and Nils Lundkvist walled off from a trade. Those guys should be walled off except in one scenario: if Buffalo is willing to retain salary on Eichel. Why? Because if Buffalo retains salary on Eichel, the Rangers can keep him and, likely, re-sign Mika Zibanejad. Buffalo is unlikely to do that and that is where you get the idea of Filip Chytil, Vitali Kravtsov, Zac Jones or Matthew Robertson and a first round pick. Buffalo won’t make that trade because they don’t get a name to replace their biggest star in Eichel, but until something changes, the Rangers should hold firm on that kind of deal and let things play out.