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Let Jack Eichel Be

from John Vogl of The Athletic,

This is about more than a letter or cap space. It always has been.

Eichel is a 24-year-old who’s supposed to be in the prime of his life. He’s a physical specimen, a man who’s been pushing his body to legendary limits since his early teen years. He’s fine-tuned every muscle, allowing him to reach the pinnacle of his sport.

And now he has absolutely no say in the next step for his body. The CBA allows teams to determine the course of treatment for injuries. That’s fine for ankle sprains, broken fingers and ACL tears. Life-altering neck surgery is something else completely.

Eichel needs surgery to resume his NHL career and live a healthy life. He and the Sabres acknowledge that. It’s the only thing accepted by both parties.

The Sabres and their doctors insist Eichel undergo fusion surgery, a common practice. It involves removal of the damaged disk. Two vertebrae inhabit the empty space and fuse together, either with time or the addition of a plate.

Eichel says no way, not a chance, never going to happen....

The Sabres are in the infancy stage of yet another rebuild. Their best opportunity to take a step forward is to trade Eichel and bring in significant pieces. But they are pretending he’s healthy in trade talks and won’t let him get healthy in real life.

It’s just wrong.

more ($$$)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink


d ca's avatar

...for those that don’t have access…

Sabres and Eichel are at a medical impasse where one wants spinal fusion and the other wants an artificial disc. Sabres point out treatment success rates. Eichel points out need for follow up surgeries 10 years out (after his contract with Buffalo expires) and 10 years after that (past his playing age) vs his preferred method with a 5% need for a follow-up procedure. He won’t follow their recommendation they won’t allow him to do his preference.

Buffalo seeking trade value of a healthy player without letting him have the surgery to allow him to get healthy means an impasse as no GM will pay that price.

This is where Buttman and the NHLPA must step in and resolve the issue….even if it means nullifying the contract and allowing a compensatory selection in the draft.

Posted by d ca on 09/24/21 at 01:13 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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