As expected, the Buffalo Sabres have announced that Jack Eichel did not pass his physical yesterday and will not be with the team in training camp as he continues to deal with a neck injury. Less expected was what Sabres GM Kevyn Adams said next:
I spoke to Jack two days ago, I spoke to the team yesterday and addressed this, Jack Eichel is no longer the captain of the Buffalo Sabres. From our perspective, the captain is your heartbeat of your team, and we are in a situation where we felt we needed to make that decision.
Eichel was named Sabres captain in October 2018 after a strong sophomore season. At the time, he called it “humbling” a “huge honor” and noted how it showed “how invested [he was] in this city and excited for the future.” Three years later and Eichel isn’t expected to play for the Sabres again.
Adams confirmed that Eichel is not willing to move forward with what the Sabres medical team is suggesting and the two sides will continue to work toward a solution. That solution, it seems, is one of the more difficult trades he’ll ever have to pull off. Eichel is a star player with a huge contract that is set on having a neck surgery that has never been done on an NHL player. The young forward and his team are reportedly pursuing a disk replacement procedure, while the team wants to do a fusion surgery that has been performed on many other NHL players.
At the very least, the Sabres players now have some clarity. Eichel is no longer their captain and won’t be on the ice to help them during training camp.
Just trade him and move on already.
Patience. If you make a crappy trade you can’t undo it.
Soon as a nice offer comes across the table I’m sure they’ll Jump On It. The question is when will that happen considering his injury status? That’s the elephant in the room so with that on the Forefront I’m sure a one-for-one is all that’s been offered with perhaps one pic. That ain’t happening.. so we wait.
This type of wait for the best offer idea is fine most of the time, but when your dragging it out for the year it’s been already it becomes a negative for Buffalo, let the kid go play and pick whatever surgery he wants, every franchise has been dealt tough blows, most move on, Buffalo wants to remind everyone how tough the blow was forever, it’s annoying and petty, eichel isn’t gonna bring what Buffalo fans and execs want ever, so what are they waiting for
A trade is not so easy. Particularly in light of his surgery ( which may or may not be successful).
Whatever the Sabres are doing right now is definitely 100% better than letting him get the surgery that he wants. This is definitely going to turn out good for them. Can’t see them bungling this anymore than they already have. /s
Thanks jdgoat. I needed that laugh. Buffalo just can’t get out of their own way.
I’ve actually done some research on the surgery that Eichel wants performed and it makes perfect sense.
Buffalo is being pig-headed because an NHLer hasn’t had it done before. But it’s been performed successfully on a lot of pro athletes.
What a horrible organization. The Buffalo fans deserve better.
The surgery has been done on many hockey players and other professional sports players. Just never an nhl player.
It’s Eichels neck. Let him get the surgery he wants. If it hurts him in the long run it’s grounds for contract termination. If it works then they can get the trade value they seek.
@Lars & @JD – I’ll add a third vote there, alongside you both. Dwayne from Buffalo has to be on the warpath by now. Many of us here don’t have quite the rooting interest, but we definitely feel for you, Sabres fans.
You guys who saying the Sabres should let him have his disk replacement surgery are assuming interested teams are also on board with it. If not & the Sabres would have totally blown it & would be stuck with a player that has a higher risk of re injury. Even his new agent hasn’t been much help & that is probably the reason why.
If Eichel would have signed a 4 year extension instead of a 8 year max length extension he would be in a totally different situation than he is now.
@fljay73 – The disc replacement surgery has less to do with interested teams than his own quality of life, long-term. Jack and his doctors believe it is better than disc fusion. Whether interested teams like one or the other just whittles the field of potential suitors down, not up. That can’t be helped. The extension term is irrelevant here. This is all about the injury and how to treat it best for the player, not the team’s own self-interest.
Interested teams are a factor in this type of situation. They will be assuming the risk after a trade is done. If they do not prefer this type of surgery they won’t give the Sabres full trade value for him. Even with the change to Brisson a trade has yet to materialize. Why? Probably because of the artificial disk replacement surgery. Doesnt matter if other athletes have had it if almost all of the NHL is against it the Eichel really has no leverage in the decision. He can continue to fail physicals & eventually be suspended or stay off the ice for 5 years.
@fljay73 – Since it’s Jack’s health that is involved, Jack does, in fact, have the leverage. Buffalo cannot force him to be subjected to a surgical procedure that neither he, nor his doctors, agree with. If they try to go down the road of suspension-without-pay, I’d hope the NHLPA would step it and take appropriate steps to stop it. At the rate things are going in the case of Sabres v. Eichel, this could end up in court, or Eichel will simply have his procedure, his way, and then Buffalo would possibly have a case to sever the contract.
If Eichel does have that surgery without approval?
Seeing Eichel cannot pass a physical, he has no trade value and as such Buffalo needs to take whatever they can get, while they can get it. The incompetency of Buffalo’s upper level management leaves me feeling sorry for Sabres fans. This episode has finally reached its logical conclusion.
I couldn’t agree with you more.
100% wrong. Can tell from this one statement youd be one of the horrible GMs in the league. A player who puts up around a PPG with a neck injury has no trade value? Okay then senior delusional. They need to keep Eichel until someone is willing to trade for a superstar and until someone is they should just keep Eichel collecting dust on the shelf.
I do personally think the team shouldnt be able to have a say in the procedure a player decides to have since its his body and he is only under contract to play for them and should NEVER be considered their property.
But they dont have to trade him for peanuts and them keeping him is better than giving him away. He should go to a league where he can sign while under contract and come back when his NHL contract would be up or is traded.
Judgmental, aren’t we.
Can tell from your comment you’d be one of the horrible GMs in the league. There’s no value for someone who isn’t on the ice. Furthermore, potentially ever. With that contract.
Yeah id be the horrible GM, cuz im the one claiming someone who is a PPG WITH a neck injury has no value and should be basically given away. Hey, Matthews nearly had a goal per game with a wrist injury, according to you hes worthless right now cuz hes injured AND has a massive contract. I wouldnt trade a bag of pucks for him *extreme eye rolling*
Can’t score a point per game if you can’t skate buddy.
After he recovers from surgery hed be skating, not buddy
Dont trade for McDavid or Matthews when theyre injured either. Yknow hoe many players have been traded while injured? And they dont have the talent he do. Yall must just be salty Buffalo fans and yall got nobody to blame except your own management and coaching staff. You dont tryn control the type of surgery your players get, which affect them for a lifetime and really doesnt affect the owner for any time. Ever. And hed already be healthy and ready for the new year.
That’s the stupidest thing I keep reading on sites like this.
There is a ending to all of this. Either Brisson can find a team willing to accept the artificial disk replacement surgery & make a offer that GMKA will accept or Eichel finally goes ahead & has the fusion surgery. These are the 2 options for Eichel if he ever wants to play in the next 5 seasons.
A ratified document that players agree to between themselves & the owners.
The team has final say on surgical procedures on their players.
The players done been had. Aint no way in the world teams should have anything other than suggestions. Players live years beyond when they play for the teams and teams are suspiciously motivated by profits so fuck that, id be lookin to take that out during the next CBA talks.
This is why the Sabres will never be competing for a Cup. The handling of this situation has been baffling to say the least. Once Eichel made it known he wanted out, either find something to appease him, or trade him. Their request for 5(!) 1st round draft choices (either a strict 1st rounder or a player who was drafted in and considered a 1st round choice) is ridiculous. Especially with him having a neck problem that is serious and having a huge contract that not many teams can fit into their salary cap.
The Haul the Sabres are going to get is going to be minuscule compared to their asking price, and the damage to their reputation will hurt for years to come. how many top tier free agents are going to be lining up to sign with the Sabres after this? My guess, very few.
Good point. I never even looked at it from the free agent side of things. Man what a tire fire this organization has become. Too bad they have a great aura about them in the 90s and early 2000s. Danny Briere, Pominville, Tim Connolly, Hasek, Miller, Afinogenov… such a cool team. Now tire fire. Players don’t forget. Money can talk but losing culture and now their appearance of treating players like inventory (it’s irrelevant who’s right or wrong here it looks like what it looks like) good luck signing any real stars.
I remember that buff team they were good. I also remember this great goal Afinagenov scored in the crease where he pulled it between his legs, span around twice and taped it in
Nope totally disagree. It’s because of players like Eichel that the Sabres are where they are. Because of the play of Eichel, Rhino & Risto (& more vets) the Sabres currently have 2 1st overall drafted players & 3 other top 10 drafted players since Eichel has been drafted 2nd overall.
Fjay. Really? So whats the point of having GMs, coaching staff, trainers, player development personale, scouts?
I dont follow Buffalo enough nor am gonna research enough to know, but im betting these coaches, the GM and staff have a lot to do with it. Their systems, how they develop n train em to play, negative interactions that lead to negative associations, etc.
Look at Edmonton. They have 2 of the best forwards in the game and cant even win a playoff series. Probably their fault too eh?
Ill leave with this, they werent expected to be a great team last year because of Eichel alone. And it wasnt only Eichel that was a clear disappointment.
Who plays on the ice?
Who has the pucks on their sticks?
Who scores the game winning goals?
Who stops the pucks from going into the net?
Who commits penalties?
Who wins face offs?
Who makes the outlet passes?
Who sets up teammates with goal scoring chances?
Do I have to list more?
You never had to say anything for it to be knownt how you feel about Eichel. Guess well see this season then.
Eichels out and since he was the problem, the team should flourish right? They dont got that duufus dragging them down anymore so the coach and GM and all these other people whos fault it wasnt should be able to coach these non-Eichel types into being a winning team.
Except Eichel wasnt the problem, the sabres will continue to suck and strangely enough i have a feeling that wherever Eichel ends up going. Hell continue his superstar play and that team will have no problem being in playoffs and even contending for a cup.
Tldr; the sabres are gonna suck even without the one you say is the problem. And the problem will go on another team and not drag it down because he actjewalley isnt the problem and this very scenario playing out will prove you just to be hating on Eichel. Cuz if hes the problem the sabres should flourish and wherever he goes should tank so i guess well just hafta wait and see
There are plenty of reasons for it not to happen but given how stuck both the Blues and Sabres are a trade centered around Tarasenko and Eichel makes sense doesn’t it? It depends on what else the Blues would have to include , of course, but I don’t think St. Louis is counting on a full season from Tarasenko anyway, and he might be relegated to the third line, so getting him off the roster doesn’t really leave much of a hole. You put Eichel on LITR to solve the cap situation and let him get his neck surgery. It’s risky for both sides but it’s got to be better than having someone who doesn’t want to be there creating a distraction.
No idea if Vladdy would waive the NTC to go to Buffalo, though.
Why would He approve a trade to Buffalo after seeing how they treat their star players?
I agree with the trade centered around those two guys but with this being an unprecedented surgery, do the Blues need to include other pieces?? Or does Buffalo??
I agree, it just depends on how badly he really wants out of St. Louis. There was talk a few months ago that he’d go anywhere.
I think at this point it should be a one for one. But I agree with above it seems unlikely Tarasenko waves his NMC to go to Buffalo.
Blues can’t afford Tarasenko as it stands. How would they afford Eichel? No no and NO.
If he goes on LTIR, they don’t need to afford him. Tarasenko isn’t going on LTIR unless his shoulder craps out again.
5 years 50 million. Blues cannot afford him.
For Buffalo it gives them a player on a shorter term. But straight up 1 for 1? Sabres should say no.
the Sabres are the Mets of the NHl
Good luck Jack elsewhere hope u get healthy again and be a true star…
Does Eichel not want to move forward with what the Sabres medical team is suggesting or is this just a way another way to get himself out of Buffalo
Another example of “more than one thing can be true at the same time”.
Yes, the Sabres are a dumpster fire of mismanagement.
Yes, Pegula is a terrible owner.
Yes, Eichel is a selfish tin man.
And no, no one is going to trade for him when he can’t play and the only solution he’s willing to accept for that is one that could end his career while he is still owed $50 million.
This is turning out to be one heck of a staring contest between Eichel and the Sabres. And both of them are going to need a lot of Visine by the time they’re through.
At the end of the day this is going to hurt Buffalo a lot more than Eichel. Eichel getting this surgery even if it botched and he’s never the same he’s still gonna walk away with more money than all of us have seen put together. The Sabres are going to regret handling it this way. Let’s face it even star rookies will not want to play for this team. Look how they handled their supposed franchise center. Again I’m not saying Eichel doesn’t have a part in this but it looks bad from the outside. When a big name free agent is on the market he’s not likely to list Buffalo as a place to go because look how they treat their stars. Their handling of this is going to hurt this team for a decade maybe more. Sure money talks in some cases but lots of guys will be turned off by this, I’d bet most. Pride getting in the way.
Oh yea sure.
All 3 of their RFAs totally held out because of it
(All 3 signed 3 year deals).
The fact they only signed 3 year deals should tell you something about their long term interest in staying in Buffalo.
Not every team signs their RFAs to long term 8 year deals.
Unless the team is offering $8mil per $9mil per $10mil + per to the player then not so much. RFAs the team has 4 years of rights so going to 3 to 4 years is the most logical decision (unless the team is offering $8mil per $9mil per $10mil per x 7/8yrs) for both agent & player. $2.5mil per for both Joker & Mitts since they haven’t exactly “broken out” is still a nice raise with some security added in (3yrs) for both young players.
If you want to delude yourself into thinking the Sabres are a sought after team for players to play for, you go right ahead with that.
Sabres can continue to move forward with their current core of top 10 drafted players…..
(All drafted during Eichel’s tenure)
+ the rest of their other prospects mostly drafted in the 2nd & 3rd rounds.
Free Agency just messes up your cap in short order. You can continue to buy in that high end priced market. Good luck to you!
I’m not talking of their current RFA’s I’m talking about the future. Guys on the outside. Regardless who is at fault this looks bad on the organization and it may hurt Eichel’s stock but it hurts Buffalo’s image way more than it will Eichel’s that’s the point I’m making. Guys are going to not want to play on Buffalo because they treat their stars in this way. Even if it was all Eichel’s fault it looks bad. They should have let him do the surgery he wanted I doubt it’s some experimental garage procedure. Now they will forever look like the organization that chased their star out of town by not allowing him do get the best procedure in his mind. Dude can you honestly not see how public opinion of the Sabres and their higher-ups has been quite bad? You don’t think players feel the same way?
Pegula and the Sabres are a joke.
Top 10 in winning % since their inception.
And zero cups :)
link to youtu.be
Watch this. Totally Agree!
The problem for the Sabres here is that they put themselves in a no win situation. Eichel is obviously going to wait this out to get the surgery he wants and Buffalo will have a very hard time legally, whether thru league rules, arbitration or the courts, of forcing a player to get a surgery they believe could lead to adverse health risks, especially when they’re willing to have an alternative surgery done.
But just on the hockey side of this, Eichel’s trade value is not going up unless and until he has the surgery he’s holding out for. To let this drag out and pay him 10M instead of getting some kind of return for him is the ultimate lose/lose situation.
Lol, NHLPA CANNOT DO ANYTNING ABOUT THIS SITUATION! It’s in the CBA the team holds the medical rights of their player. It was negotiated and approved by the NHLPA to allow this so theor hands are tied. Eichel can get the surgery he wants but 1- he has to pay for it o on his own 2- team can (but won’t) terminate his contract as his value is too high high in regards to a trade 3- suspend him WITHOUT PAY (most likely outcome) as he violated his contract. Eichel really doesn’t hold any advantage in this situation until AFTER the 2022 draft! So by what Adams is doing is within the rights of the team towards Eichel. Eichel has stated he wants to play in the Olympics so as of right now his chances are slim he’s be healthy enough by then so a decision needs to come soon if he wants any shot whatsoever.
No player should ever be forced to have ANY surgery they don’t believe in period…..the end , The sabres ONLY LEGAL recourse is to void Eichel’s contract if he goes through with the disc replacement surgery. And they have every right to do so.
The problem is the sabres then can’t trade him
The Sabres are one million percent wrong here. They want to have their cake and eat it too. To force a player to have a surgery, the player doesn’t believe in just to help the team trade him. That is disgusting. The only legal right they have is to void the contract or let Eichel have the surgery he believes in.. if I’m Eichel, I do nothing and collect my 10 million a year until the petulant Pegulas come to their senses. The Sabres are wrong here… TOTALLY there is no excuse. A human being has every right to do what he believes is best for their health and if the team doesn’t agree, void the contract and get nothing in return
I agree with you. Unfortunately I do believe they will have grounds to suspend him so he’ll have to live on the 10 mil from the last few seasons. Good move Buffalo that’ll force jack’s hand, while you keep looking more and more like a big, green bin with flames shooting every which way.