Disgruntled star center Jack Eichel could be considering filing a grievance to force a resolution to his stalemate with the Buffalo Sabres. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman says the sense he gets is if in the next 1-2 weeks Eichel is not traded, he may decide to file and force someone to make a decision.
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Friedman added during the 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, “I’m not saying it’s going to be as quick as the next 24 to 48 hours, but I think we are getting to the point where the grievance could come down to force a kind of move.”
For anyone paying attention to the NHL over the past couple of months, this story isn’t new. Eichel has been out of action with a herniated disk. He needs to get surgery, but the type of surgery is still very much a point of contention between his side and the Sabres’ side. Eichel prefers artificial disk replacement (ADR) surgery but the team is concerned with him getting this type of procedure since it has never been performed on a hockey player at the NHL level. They want a fusion surgery.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement rules that the team has final say on what type of surgery can be approved. As such, Eichel is stuck. He’s requested a trade but the Sabres are asking a lot and some teams are concerned about his medical situation. Not to mention, he’s got five years and a $10-million average annual value remaining on his contract. He has a no-trade clause that kicks in next summer but he’s essentially told the Sabres he’s willing to go anywhere at this point.
The latest reports were that Eichel was making one final pitch to the team to reconsider their stance on the disc replacement surgery. He’s been seeking multiple medical opinions from experts saying the surgery would be safe. If the Sabres don’t plan to change their minds, it is believed Eichel will use the information collected in those opinions to make his case.
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