Dangerous neck injury pushes the Eichel trade

Published October 6, 2021 at 2:42 PM
Eichel failed his physical at training camp and lost his captaincy. This is because the team and its franchise player are still debating surgical alternatives. Eichel prefers artificial disc surgery. The Sabres oppose it since it has never been done on an NHL player. But the Sabres' method involves three operations in 20 years.

Friedman points out that this sudden desire to complete a deal might be connected to the potentially disastrous repercussions for Eichel.

«On Eichel: there is a real push to find a solution, because Eichel's displaced disc can't be allowed to just sit on the nerve. He is going to need a procedure sooner rather than later. What's helped is he's getting his own MRIs, so he and his representatives can share proper information. That's a big deal. More difficult to answer is whether or not he is traded first or gets surgery, returns to health and plays games for the Sabres to regain his trade value. No one will go on record, but there is a growing belief there are teams willing to accept Eichel's preferred disc replacement. However, you have to be able to make the trade first. There's definitely a push to get him healthy which should be the number-one priority.»
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