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Sabres and Eichel Heading for a Hold Out Situation This Season?

The Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel are reaching a point that the player might be sitting out a portion of the 2021-22 NHL season.

Things are not looking good between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel. A situation fans, media and other NHL organizations are watching closely, the news regarding Eichel’s injury and potential surgery continues to make front-page news, this time getting attention based on comments made by TSN’s hockey insider Darren Dreger.

Dreger notes there was no consensus among the doctors Eichel saw on the west coast specific to disc replacement. He adds that the Sabres remain strong on their position for fusion surgery and the two sides are still very much at a crossroads. In the end, it could lead to a long time away from the team and the NHL.

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The reason this is so contentious is because of the consequences involved. If Eichel gets the surgery he’d like — one that is relatively unproven to be effective — this is an asset the Sabres could use that has tremendous value, either in a trade or as a player on the ice. Some have argued the team shouldn’t have such control over a decision like this, but it’s easy to understand why the Sabres’ organization feel it important to protect a $10 million per season asset.

At the same time, there’s a belief that perhaps the Sabres have spoken to some teams about a trade and those teams might be concerned about the disc replacement. If Eichel goes the direction he wants, other teams who give up as many as five assets to acquire him could be left with a player who might have to end his NHL career early.

Jack Eichel Sabres
Jack Eichel Sabres trade update news

It’s a sticky situation. The Sabres want what they think is best for the player, but also the team. The player wants the surgery he thinks will work best and other teams looking at Eichel want to know they’re trading for a player that will actually have a chance to play out his contract.

As such, there seems to be no real solution in sight. If one doesn’t present itself soon, Eichel won’t be at camp and the chances he’s unlikely to play for the Sabres this season go up.

Next: Injury to Bruins’ Charlie Coyle Could Affect 2nd-Line Center Role

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ron

    September 21, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    The media is misleading people about the surgery Jack wants to have. It has been around for over 20 years with great success just has not been done on an NHL player. However if the disc replacement surgery does fail at some point, not a given, the next step is the fusion surgery that the Sabres want him to have. So let’s say he has the surgery he wants and in 2 years it fails. At that point he has the fusion surgery and moves on from there. Think of it as initially putting the jell in your knee joints instead of having knee replacement surgery first. From personal experience, the fusion surgery will limit the range of motion and comes with a risk of damaging other joints around the fused part with continual impacts. If that happens, it could be Career Ending. I think Jack has a valid point in wanting to try the disc replacement surgery first. Eventually he will have the fusion surgery down the road but hopefully not until his hockey career is over.

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