While Sabres center Jack Eichel continues to rehab his neck injury and wait for a decision on whether or not to have surgery, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported in a recent appearance on WGR 550 (audio link) that Eichel’s preference is to simply have the procedure, one that carries a six-week recovery time. That would give him plenty of time to rehab and be ready for training camp in the fall.
Where he goes for that camp is going to be one of the storylines to watch for this summer. Eichel has been in trade speculation for a while now but a trade in-season would have been tough to do for salary cap purposes. Dreger reports that the Kings are one of the teams that have been interested in the 24-year-old. They would be an interesting fit as they have young center prospects (including Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte, and Gabriel Vilardi) that would need to be part of the deal plus the cap space to afford his $10MM price tag. Of course, should the Sabres make him available, there will be plenty of other suitors as well.
More from the East Division:
- The Bruins aren’t expected to try to turn John Beecher pro this summer, suggests Mark Divver of the New England Hockey Journal (Twitter link). His sophomore campaign at Michigan came to an early end due to shoulder surgery and he was limited to just 16 games, recording four goals and four assists. Accordingly, it makes sense for Boston to want him to stay in college for another year although Divver indicated that if Beecher wants to turn pro, they will oblige that request.
- Still with Boston, the Bruins were happy to have Tuukka Rask back in the lineup on Thursday for their match-up against the New York Islanders. However, that appears to be the only addition from the infirmary that they’ll get, as Matt Grzelcyk (upper body), Brandon Carlo (upper body), and Kevan Miller (undisclosed) aren’t expected to return for the team’s next game on Sunday, according to The Boston Globe’s Matt Porter.
- Flyers goaltender Carter Hart was a late scratch from this afternoon’s contest against Washington with the team tweeting that he has a lower-body injury. Hart has been better this month after a disastrous March, posting a .910 SV% in five games before this setback. There’s no word yet on how long he’ll miss.