After failing to get traded to a team that will allow him to get the herniated disk surgery he prefers, the All-Star center Jack Eichel is trying a different approach with the Buffalo Sabres. According to multiple reports, Eichel and his representatives are set to have a meeting with the team’s brass and make a final push for the procedure they think is best.
Eichel and the Sabres have been engaged in a standoff for the better part of the season. The 24-year-old is dealing with a herniated disk in his neck, and Buffalo wanted him to do a fusion surgery that is common for NHL players with this type of injury. The player, on the other hand, wants to have a disk replacement procedure that has never been done on an NHL player before.
Since the collective bargaining agreement gives teams the right to make the final say on medical things, the Sabres were pushing for the method recommended by their doctors. Eichel, not wanting to do a fusion surgery, asked for a trade in hopes he’ll land with a team that will allow him the replacement procedure.
Reportedly, several teams were interested in acquiring Eichel in recent months, but the Sabres continued to aim for a king’s ransom for him. But with his medical status unclear, teams didn’t want to risk giving up major assets to get him, and the interest in Eichel cooled off as of late.
Jack Eichel has been the Sabres’ best player in recent years, making three consecutive All-Star appearances between 2018 and 2020. He has 355 points (139 goals, 216 assists) since debuting in NHL in 2015-16.