This whole Jack Eichel situation has been wild since the start and last night we got even more wild. As you can see from the statement above from Eichel’s agent, they don’t seem to be happy to say the least. Eichel has been dealing with a herniated disc in his neck since around March and missed the bulk of last season. One of the biggest topics of the off-season thus far has been his health along with the trade rumors involving his name.
Now obviously, teams have been lining up to see what it would take in order to get Eichel. But, the main concern is his health and when exactly he would be able to play for a new team once traded. So the Sabres and Eichel had worked on coming up with a solution which started with rehab to see if that would fix the issue. Clearly it did not and according to Eichel’s agent both sides had agreed that surgery was the best option. Well at least that’s what Eichel’s camp had thought but it appears the Sabres aren’t fully on board.
You can see in the statement that if Eichel gets this surgery he would still be ready to go for the start of the season and it seems like Buffalo is trying to make him hold off on the surgery for as long as possible. Why is that? In my eyes Buffalo is just trying to screw with Eichel here and it doesn’t seem right. At the same time though, why doesn’t Eichel just get the surgery and basically tell Buffalo to suck it. I’m sure he probably legally can’t due to his contract but still if I were him I’d be so damn annoyed right now.
The guy just wants to get off this shit Buffalo team and move on with his career and they just aren’t doing him any favors. That brings me to the main point of this blog….What if they don’t end up trading him. Well, if and this is a major IF, they end up holding on to him I think there’s a huge possibility that Eichel refuses to play for the Sabres. Why play for a team that is blatantly screwing you over pretty much every chance they get. I don’t know that anyone would blame Eichel if he just flat out said screw it, I’m not reporting to the team.
I wouldn’t blame the guy at all and I’m 100% taking Eichel’s side here. Buffalo has blown up their whole team for the most part but have yet to give Eichel the trade he wants. Let him get the surgery, trade him, and move on with the whole situation. Buffalo selected defenseman Owen Power with the first pick in this years draft and still have some solid young pieces to build around. Trading Eichel would net them even more young assets to truly restart the rebuilding process.
This is something to keep an eye on as we get closer to training camp and pre-season as the longer Eichel goes without the surgery the more the risk of him missing time coming the regular season. Regardless of what team he is on the league is better with Eichel on the ice.