As per a report by WGR 550 and according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, news on Jack Eichel’s injury situation might not be good. The Buffalo Sabres’ center has left the team to seek a second opinion on a nagging upper-body issue and Friedman notes, “It was quiet on Jack Eichel’s injury at first, but somebody else told me the news could be bad.”
The NHL insider adds, “There were rumors he could be done for the rest of the season” and says the Sabres are trying to figure things out, which is why they had no issue sending Eichel to a specialist. Leaving the team will result in the need to adhere to a seven day quarantine upon his return, but in a season that has already gone off the rails, better to play it safe.
There’s still hope this isn’t a season-ending issue. Friedman notes:
Everyone is trying to get a handle on it and what exactly it is. It was certainly more serious than a one day thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s as bad as someone initially feared.
Is It Better Just to Shut Him Down for the Season?
If it turns out that his injury situation isn’t great and with the Sabres out of playoff contention, one could argue the best move here is to simply shut down his season. Not doing so could risk further injury for an essentially pointless handful of games and if there’s any talk at all to potentially trading him in the offseason, that last thing Buffalo needs is to try and move an injured star, hampering their ability to get the best possible return.
Obviously, all of this depends on what comes of this second opinion. But, if Eichel is out for even two weeks, the team will have just over 20 games left to play with him potentially a part of the roster. And, when you consider the organization might be moving (or have moved) a number of pieces before the trade deadline, who exactly will he be playing with?
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