NHL rumors: Flyers' Jack Eichel trade pursuit reportedly takes turn

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Report: Flyers' pursuit of star Eichel takes a left turn originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers are trying to aggressively retool their roster this summer after unexpectedly missing the playoffs this past spring, and one way to kick next season's attack into high gear would be general manager Chuck Fletcher pulling off a blockbuster trade for a marquee name.

Unfortunately, after the big-but-not-gigantic Ryan Ellis deal last week, it sounds like the Flyers have cooled on a much larger target.

SportsNet insider Elliotte Friedman reported during a radio spot on Buffalo's WGR550 that the Flyers' interest in disgruntled Sabres star Jack Eichel is all but over:

"I think Philly's not in on Eichel anymore, but I do think Philly talked about maybe [Sam] Reinhardt and [Rasmus] Ristolainen. Now that they've got Ellis, I would think they're probably out on that."

Ouch.

Eichel is widely viewed as the offseason's biggest ticket, and back in late June buzz was building around a possible Flyers pursuit of the offseason's biggest ticket as The Athletic's NHL insider Pierre LeBrun connected the dots between the Flyers and Eichel as a possible destination.

Eichel isn't going to be cheap, but a Flyers team that finished 15th in the league in goals per game last year needs to give its offense a boost, and a Eichel move would've communicate Fletcher's intention of competing for a Cup immediately next season.

Here's what NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall thought of the Eichel rumblings and their viability late last month:

"The Flyers have the Northeast connection working for them in making Eichel feel comfortable and close to home if they do land him in a trade. The Flyers also have the ability to deliver a haul for a blockbuster. Their organizational depth consists of solid variety, a good picking of older, established players still performing at a difference-making level, younger, proven talent and potential ascending prospects."

Elsewhere in Friedman's reporting, the Flyers pulling back on their pursuit of Ristolainen makes sense considering the Ellis trade, while cooling off on Reinhart might simply be a product of the Flyers being more interested in a single-player deal rather than taking both players.

Flyers fans will probably remember Reinhart well; the 25-year-old scored six goals in eight games between the two teams last season as the Sabres inexplicably tortured the Flyers while losing basically every other game on their schedule.

The Flyers are still on Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko's reported approved trade list as he looks for a new home, but things seem to have cooled on that front as well.

After the Seattle Kraken threw Fletcher and the Flyers' front office a curveball in the expansion draft, bypassing expensive veterans like James van Riemsdyk and Jake Voracek for prospect Carsen Twarynski, they're stuck with less than $10 million in cap room and fewer options than they'd hoped would be available. Eichel carries a cap hit of $10 million in each of the next three seasons; Tarasenko is a little more affordable at $7.5 million over the next two years.

With the NHL Draft a day away and more chaos likely coming, we'll see what Fletcher has in store.