It appears some sort of resolution to the neverending saga between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel has arrived.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan had the scoop and she says that a trade is at the “one-yard line” and that the finalists in the Eichel sweepstakes are the Calgary Flames and the Vegas Golden Knights.
The saga now has two finalists. The Calgary Flames and the Vegas Golden Knights. There was a lot of work done over the weekend and today I was told a trade is at the one-yard line. Except, there are still some final details they’ve gotta figure out. I’m told that Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams is working extremely hard on this, to get a trade done. However, he’s also been very firm in his stance and neither Calgary nor Vegas has met him on his full demands yet.
If you’re wondering if Jack’s surgery is part of the hold up, the answer is no. Both Calgary and Vegas, like most of the teams that Jack Eichel’s camp has spoken to through this process, are okay with him getting his preferred artificial disc replacement surgery instead of that fusion surgery.
The ‘ADR’ if he gets that surgery, it’s about six weeks until he can get back on the ice but a minimum three months until he’s cleared to play so that does take us until after the all-star break and likely eliminates him from Team USA at the 2022 Olympics. I will note, however, that the artificial disc replacement surgery is about a two month shorter timeline than if he were to get the fusion surgery.
In September, Eichel reported to Sabres training camp and promptly failed a physical due to the well-known issues with his neck.
The crux of the issue has always been about the surgery Kaplan talks about. Eichel wanted to get artificial disk replacement surgery and the Sabres wanted him to get a “simpler” disc fusion surgery. Neither budged and that ultimately led to Eichel being stripped of the Sabres’ captaincy and now probably traded.
Eichel had been captain of the Sabres since October of 2018 which was almost exactly a year after he signed an eight-year, $80 million contract extension to stay in Buffalo.
.@emilymkaplan saying the Flames and Golden Knights are the finalists in the Jack Eichel sweepstakes. Trade is at the "one-yard line."
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) November 3, 2021
The Golden Knights are looking to make a deal after being ravaged by injury. Forwards Alex Tuch, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and William Karlsson are all out long-term with major injuries. Eichel would be another name, if acquired, that would be out for quite some time, but Vegas could fit his $10 million under the salary cap with several of those names being put on LTIR.
As for the Calgary Flames, they would likely need to lose key depth from their current NHL roster to complete a trade.
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