What Is Going On With Jack Eichel’s Injury? It’s Complicated
Ever since the spring, Buffalo Sabres fans have been wondering when and where Jack Eichel will be traded?
Eichel let it be known at the end-of-season press conference back in May that he was unhappy and ever since then, it appears anyway, the Sabres have been trying to work out a trade. That obviously has not happened yet and we have now gone through both the NHL Draft and the free agency period with no clear end in sight.
The biggest thing that is holding up the trade (other than fair compensation), is Eichel's injured neck.
By all accounts, Eichel needs surgery on his injured disc but the treatment has not been agreed upon by the Sabres or Eichel's camp.
According to SportsNet, Eichel met with the NHL, NHLPA, the Sabres and medical professionals to come to an agreement on a treatment plan, but ultimately, that didn't happen and no agreement was made in terms of Eichel's injury.
Eichel missed over half the season with a herniated disc and his camp would like to have the artificial disc replacement surgery, which would require a longer recovery.
The Sabres are and have been against that particular surgery because it has yet to be performed on an NHL player yet. The Sabres prefer an anterior cervical discectomy with fusion surgery; which would require less recovery time.
Eichel, frustrated, parted ways with his representatives (Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli) and hired Pat Brisson as his new agent.
It's clear that general manager Kevyn Adams has not gotten what the Sabres deem as fair value for Eichel. But, teams have to agree on an Eichel surgery for him to be traded as well. Eichel is already guaranteed to miss at least some of the regular, regardless of which procedure Eichel gets, considering the season begins in six weeks.
So, the Sabres not only need fair value in a trade, but they also have to have Eichel get surgery and that a team trading for him agrees on treatment and know when he will be back in the lineup.
Maybe we shouldn't be as surprised that Eichel hasn't been traded yet. It's a pretty serious surgery, even with a high success rate, and teams know that Eichel wants out; so perhaps they're trying to get him at a cheaper cost, knowing he's currently hurt.
Who knows when this saga ends, but as of today, there is no end in sight for the Sabres or Eichel.