Things took an ugly turn in Buffalo on Friday. A situation everyone knew was already tense, Buffalo Sabres’ GM Kevyn Adams said the team would welcome Jack Eichel back to the team if a trade couldn’t be facilitated. Based on a statement released by Eichel’s agent in response, it sure sounds like there’s absolutely no way Eichel is open to returning.
Eichel’s agents – Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli – released a statement essentially calling out the Sabres’ organization for the way they’ve handled Eichel’s request to have surgery and the way they’ve not been able to get a trade finalized that would see him move to a team where the center could get back on track with his timeline to get surgery completed and return to his new team.
Related: David Krejci Says He Won’t Be Returning to Boston Bruins Next Season
As seen above, Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News posted the statement on Twitter. It reads:
The process is not working. As previously stated, we fully anticipated a trade by the start of the NHL free agency period. After the agreed upon and prescribed period for conservative rehabilitation lapsed in early June 2021, it was determined by the Sabres medical staff that a surgical procedure was required. The recommendation by Jack’s independent neurosurgeon, other spine specialists consulted, and the surgery Jack feels most comfortable having in order to correct a herniated disc in his neck is to proceed with Artificial Disc Replacement surgery. A further point of concern is that our camp was initially under the impression that the Sabres specialist was in agreement with the Artificial Disc Replacement surgery until that was no longer the case.
After essentially blasting the team for not being forthright about the medical issues at play, the agents go on to say that the Sabres are unethically leaving out a very important part of the discussion when it comes to Eichel’s health and the surgery in question.
What is being left out of the discussion is that Jack would be able to play in the NHL for the start of the season pending medical clearance if he were allowed to have the surgery he desires even as of this date. Repeated requests have been made to the Sabres since early June to no avail. This process is stopping Jack from playing in the NHL and it is not working. — Peter Fish & Peter Donatelli
Sabres Not in Control
It wasn’t even 48 hours ago that the Sabres organization wanted to make it clear that they were in charge of how the negotiations for an Eichel trade would go. They wouldn’t be pushed into taking a lesser deal because teams knew they were looking to move him. The rumored ask for Eichel was and remains high.
Unfortunately, this statement clearly shows that the Sabres are not as in control as they thought they were.
Eichel is clearly not going to return to the team. Not only that, but the agents are basically telling every other NHL club not to worry about Eichel’s surgery. If they trade for him now and he gets the surgery right away, he’ll be ready for opening night of the 2021-22 NHL season.
This is getting ugly and it’s getting ugly in a hurry. It’s not clear which side is more willing to yuck it up in the mud, but it certainly seems like Eichel’s camp isn’t above returning fire.
Next; Agent Denies Georgiev Has Asked for Trade from Rangers
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