No matter what team he’s on, superstar center Jack Eichel won’t be lacing up his skates for another couple of months, at least. The Fourth Period’s Dave Pagnotta reports today that considering Eichel’s recovery timeline for any potential surgery, time’s run out on the possibility of him being ready for the start of the regular season on October 12th.
What remains to be seen is how long it takes before the price Buffalo will be able to ask for begins to drop in earnest. It’s obvious that the Sabres and Eichel won’t come to a resolution on his health anytime soon, as Eichel and his agents remain adamant that he receives artificial disc replacement, a procedure that the Sabres won’t permit him to undergo. With Pagnotta reporting that there are multiple teams around the league that would let him undergo that surgery, though, it seems like there’s at least light at the end of the tunnel for Eichel’s health and neck issues.
But are teams going to be willing to pay full price for a player who needs to proceed with a surgery that some deem as risky? It’s a question that’s been thrown around ever since trade talks began. As days continue to pass by without a deal, it seems like that a slightly decreased return may be the case, barring any unforeseen circumstances. The usual suspects — Anaheim, Vegas, Minnesota, the Rangers, and others — reportedly remain in on Eichel, but it’s hard to get a true read on the situation considering discussions appear to be in a holding pattern for now.
The future remains extremely uncertain for Buffalo and Eichel, but it’s a reality that he won’t be suiting up at the beginning of 2021-22.