There is a stalemate between the Buffalo Sabers and their star striker Jacques Eichel. And not a little.
Jack Eichel is no longer the captain of the Buffalo Sabers and is now on the long-term casualty list, as we learned Thursday morning at a long press conference from General Manager Kevyn Adams.
Eshel, who has had a herniated disc in his neck since the beginning of March, failed his medical exam when he opened his training camp this week.
Let’s talk about the facts: the star player has wanted to undergo a disc replacement for several months. Since such an intervention has never been carried out against a player in the National League, the organization is like iron staunchly opposed to it.
Adams said Thursday that the striker will eventually need surgery. But the team’s doctors suggest a so-called “fusion” intervention, which the player, in turn, rejects.
“We’ll have to keep working to find a solution,” Adams said. […] What I can say is that we have complete confidence in our doctors. They’re the medical experts, they’ve been consistent since day one.”
“I give Jack a lot of credit for doing his research and trying to figure out his options,” he added. But our doctors have been clear from the start. ”
As required by the collective agreement, teams have the final say in how to treat their injured players.
In May, he told Eshel that the feud was casting doubt on his future with the sword.
He also changed agent at the end of August to be represented by Pat Bryson, which has Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews and Nathan McKinnon among its clients.
“Pat Bryson has been very cooperative since the beginning of this process. We talk to each other several times a day. Adams noted on Thursday that he is one of the best workers in the business for a reason.
So what is the solution?
Kevin Adams has spent the past few months trying to trade Eichel, which, we must remember, is the second overall pick in the 2015 draft. Some rumors sent him to the New York Rangers, others to Montreal Canadians. But it was just rumours.
“If there had been a solution over the summer and there was a possibility that we thought it made sense, we would have done it,” Adams said. Obviously that’s not the case, so we’ll see what we’ll do from here. ”
The 24-year-old center is at the center of the third reconstruction that began a few years ago in Buffalo. He still has five seasons to contract for eight years at an annual salary of $10 million USD. So the general manager can take all the time he needs to replace it. He also reiterated that he wanted to do “what’s best for the franchise, whether it’s now or whether it takes time.”
The situation is private. As Adams summed up at a press conference, we are talking about a “young ‘franchise player’ who is ‘not sure about his health’.”
“We will do it the right way, stick to our plan. We will not give up under pressure or because people are saying we have to do it, it is allowed. We will do what we think is the right thing.”
“We will continue to consider all possible scenarios,” he said shortly afterwards. There is collective agreement for a reason. We all want to keep working together moving forward. This is where we are. We will trust our doctors. I will continue to ask questions, gather information, speak with leaders across the league every day, give them clarity, and explain our position to them. When the time comes and there is a solution, you will know it. ”
Jack Eichel was named captain of the Buffalo Sabers at the start of the 2018 season when he was 21 years old. Since joining the ring in 2015-2016, he has accumulated 355 points in 375 matches.
“From our point of view, the captain is the team’s heartbeat, and we are in a position where we have to make that decision,” Adams said of the decision to pull C from him on Thursday.
The Sabers, now under Don Granato, missed the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 10NS season in a row last year. They are now counting on several promising young players such as Rasmus Dahlin, Casey Mittelstadt, Jack Quinn and Henry Jukiharjo, among others.
“They are hungry players, when you look in their eyes,” Adams said. “We will go ahead: This is the message I take from them and this is the message they sent me.”
The Eichel exchange will likely allow the acquisition of major players.
“He’s a franchise player, in his best years, on contract…We, as an organization, have to move on. We can’t compromise on some of the things we believe in, but we’ll work on it,” Adams said.
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