Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel has found himself in the headlines earlier this offseason after his allegations that there's a "disconnect" between himself and the club regarding a neck injury that he suffered, and that this reported rift between the two sides could lead to Eichel wearing a different uniform next season.
“There’s been a bit of a disconnect between myself and the organization,” Eichel said Monday. “It’s been tough at times. Right now, for me, the most important thing now is to try to get healthy and figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year, wherever that might be.”
And if this report from The Fourth Period holds any weight, this messy situation doesn't appear any closer to being resolved than it did during last season.
Take a look at what David Pagnotta writes:
"Multiple sources have confirmed that Eichel has still not undergone surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck, and it’s looking likely that he will not be medically cleared and available for the start of the regular-season – regardless of what team he’s on. On July 30, Eichel’s agents Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli issued a statement voicing their discontent with the way the Sabres have handled their client’s situation.
In that statement, Eichel’s agents “fully anticipated a trade by the start of the NHL free agency period” on July 28, and sources have told me the 24-year-old has not waivered from his stance on proceeding with Artificial Disc Replacement surgery.
This may explain Eichel’s unamused face emoji tweet this past week. He remains disappointed and frustrated as this unresolved matter continues to drag on."
Eichel has yet to play meaningful hockey in his relatively young six-year NHL career, and the Sabres don't appear any closer to breaking their decade-long playoff futility streak than they were when he was drafted 2nd overall behind Connor McDavid in 2015. Meanwhile, speculation continues to abound that Eichel could be on the move.