Jack Eichel is in a tough spot. He failed his physical at the Buffalo Sabres’ training camp and was stripped of his captaincy on Thursday. His trade and future remain in an impasse all because the team and its franchise player remain at an impasse over surgery options. It has been mentioned that the forward is willing to go anywhere to facilitate a trade, though Nick Kypreos, who made that information public, maintains that the interested clubs, Kypreos says there a half of dozen, are open to accept a trade if the Sabres add “conditional” clauses around how he performs after surgery. ie .. games played, scoring…
But the Sabres are not willing to help : Elliotte Friedman reports now that they are instead believed to be withholding information on Eichel.
“There are teams here, I believe, who are legitimately interested in trading for Eichel, have been involved in discussions with Eichel, who feel they don’t have all of the information.”
Eichel switched agents last month and is now represented by Brisson, who can make tough moves when necessary. Eichel is under contract through 2025-26 with a $10-million cap hit and GM Adams is believed to be asking for a hefty return in exchange for his captain: he is reportedly seeking and not budging from his demand of the equivalent of four first-round picks, which could be anything from young, established roster players, A-level prospects, or actual first-round draft picks in the next two NHL drafts.
GM Kevyn Adams is sticking to his guns, and if as Friedman mentions, he is not telling the whole story about his former captain, things will only get worse.
In the same podcast, Friedman also mentioned that the Sabres could suspend Eichel to avoid paying him and the whole saga could end up in court, with the NHL getting involved.
“Everybody is sitting here wondering what’s going to happen. People are wondering to me, ‘are the Sabres going to suspend him so they don’t have to pay him’? If they suspend him and he doesn’t get surgery are they going to argue to toll the contract? Which means that the year doesn’t come off, kinda like the Alexei Yashin thing.”
“And, you know, I think the NHL has to step in here. I do. I understand that the NHL wants to protect the rules of the CBA, I get that. But at the end of the day I don’t think it’s a good look for your league when you have a star player like this and a team that can’t agree on this and this player… is in some ways held back from playing because they can’t agree on a surgery.”
This is getting real messy!