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New York Rangers Could Push Hard for Jack Eichel If Hall Gets Traded

If the Buffalo Sabres don’t wind up a playoff team and Taylor Hall is moved, Jack Eichel could be a target of the New York Rangers.

While it’s potentially too early to talk about deadline moves, the Buffalo Sabres will be an interesting team to watch, for a couple of reasons. First, there are a number of eyes on the organization as they try to become playoff contenders. Second, if they fail to do so, it could mean big changes. Third, one of those changes could shift the overall direction of the hockey club dramatically.

Related: Conflicting Reports Talk Failed Letang Trade Motive for Rutherford Exit from Penguins

To this point in the 2020-21 season, the Sabres have not gotten off to a strong start. With a 3-3-2 record, they’ve not been awful, but they sit outside a playoff position with teams like 5-0-3 Washington Capitals and 5-1-1 Boston Bruins ahead of them. There’s still lots of time to make up ground, but as the 56-game season rolls along, chatter about the Sabres potential moves will get louder.

The club added winger Taylor Hall as their “big get” this offseason but there was a ton of debate about whether Hall would be interested in a long-term deal with the team. The speculation was that this season was a one-and-done scenario and his one-year contract would allow Hall an opportunity to cash in during 2021’s free agency period for a bigger deal with another franchise.

In fact, Matt Larkin of The Hockey News points out that the no-movement clause worked into Hall’s contract is almost meaningless because most believe Hall will take the opportunity to go to a contender if the Sabres turn out not to be in the mix.

Taylor Hall Hart trophy 1 photo via Chris Johnston Twitter

That Could Lead to Bigger Moves

If the Sabres lose Hall, expect a lot of talk about Jack Eichel to follow. Larkin notes that Hall’s exit could open up discussion about Eichel wanting out and Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic recently wrote that the New York Rangers have a history of pursuing the center.

Duhatschek writes: “I do believe the Rangers made a hard push on Jack Eichel last summer, but ultimately, couldn’t get anything done.” The expectation, of course, would be that the Rangers would rush to the front of the line to make it known they’d be interested in Eichel again should his name be out there and the Sabres realizes a trade is inevitable.

The Rangers Want Another Center

While Duhatschek contends that Eichel’s future will likely depend upon how much progress the Sabres show this year and if they can get Taylor Hall to sign a contract extension, talk of Eichel on the move is always out there. Conversely, the Rangers always seem to be in the discussion when any big trade proposals are being tossed around.

In this case, the Rangers could use another big-name center to give the two one of the most dominant one-two punches in the NHL. A pairing of Mika Zibanejad and Eichel would be dangerous and alongside Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere, who knows what kind of damage that team can do.

Next: Scribes Predict Three Big NHL Trades That Could Happen This Season

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jake

    January 29, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    There’s no way rangers get richer without giving up zibanejed, panarin or lafreniere.

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