The marriage between Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres has been on the rocks for quite some time. And now, the sides are officially divorcing, ending a nearly year-long battle of he said, she said. Thursday morning the Sabres shipped Eichel to Vegas in exchange for two players, two draft picks and peace of mind.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 4, 2021
Eichel and Buffalo had been heading towards Splitsville since last March when the center suffered a neck injury, and the team and Eichel couldn’t agree on treatment. Eichel preferred a disk replacement, but the team asked him to undergo a more dangerous fusion surgery instead. The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement gives teams final say on injury treatment.
The disagreement led to a sour relationship between player and team, and the Sabres went so far as to strip Eichel of his captaincy. As recently as last month, Buffalo again tried to persuade Eichel into the more dangerous treatment, though he held firm in his stance.
Now, the two sides will part ways, and Eichel will likely undergo his preferred form of treatment before the end of the month. In return for Eichel, the Sabres will receive Peyton Krebs, Alex Tuch a first-round pick this year and a third-round pick in 2023.
When healthy, Eichel is one of the league’s best players. In six pro seasons, the former second overall draft pick (2015) has tallied 139 goals and 355 points in 375 career games.
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