The New York Rangers have been fairly quiet heading into today’s opening of the free agent season. Multiple reports came out last night suggesting the Blueshirts and the Golden Knights are two teams very interested in signing the free agent center.
Larry Brooks and Elliotte Friedman, along with others are reporting the Rangers have interest in shutdown center Phillip Danault. The 28 year-old UFA was an integral part of the Canadiens improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final this past season.
There’s also some unconfirmed reports that Danault already has a deal in place with Vegas. The Golden Knights got to see him up close and personal as they were eliminated by the Habs in the third round. Mark Stone applauded Danault’s efforts in the defeat.
The question I have is should Chris Drury spend $6 million plus on a third line center? During the regular season, he put up a respectable 24 points in 53 games. His face-off percentage of 52.5 shows his consistency and effectiveness in the dots. For his career, he wins 53.8% of the draws he takes.
These are solid numbers, and if they opt to keep Ryan Strome and can’t get Jack Eichel then this makes a lot of sense to sign him.
Will the Jack Eichel saga end today? I most certainly hope so. This is without a doubt the most prolonged trade in the history of the NHL.
According to Pierre LeBrun, he states the Sabres are in serious talks with multiple teams. By the way, two teams is considered multiple. He continues saying that it isn’t done yet and that Buffalo doesn’t feel the need to trade him today.
Once free agency opens and teams spend money elsewhere, it will remove some of those “multiple teams” from the Eichel equation. Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams may have held onto to his cards too long, because the less demand, the more the price has to come down. So yes, the pressure is on despite what’s being said publicly.
Are the Rangers still in? The last I heard, it was an absolute yes.
The Sabres continue to demand that Braden Schneider or Nils Lundkvist be included in the deal. I doubt the Rangers will add either of them. If the Drury does complete the deal it should very much be like the offer which was relayed to me by a team source back in March.
Vitali Kravtsov, Filip Chytil, Zac Jones, and a first round pick are pieces they’d be willing to move. Maybe with Kinkaid in the fold and Sabres unsure they can sign Linus Ullmark the Blueshirts could include Alexandar Georgiev.
One foreshadowing sign that the Rangers are getting Eichel will be if they trade Ryan Strome today.
On Jack Eichel, my sense from talking to a few people around the league is that Buffalo is in serious talks with multiple teams, the process hasn't zeroed in on just one team yet. And I don't think the Sabres feel it has to be done today if they don't get the package they want…— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 28, 2021