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[Rumour] Eichel wants out of Buffalo. Says there is disconnect with organization.


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Posted (edited)

Star center Jack Eichel said there's a "disconnect" between himself and the Buffalo Sabres over how his neck injury was handled this season, leaving his future with the franchise very much unsettled.

 

Eichel missed the Sabres' final 33 games of the season due to a herniated disk in his neck, an injury he suffered in a game against the New York Islanders. At the time, the Sabres announced that their captain was "expected to be healthy and ready to play at the beginning of the 2021-22 season."

 

But in Monday's postseason media availability, the injured Sabres captain wouldn't say if his next NHL season would be in Buffalo, citing the way the team handled his injury.

 

"I've been a bit upset about the ways things have been handled since I've been hurt," he said. "I'd be lying to say that things have moved smoothly since my injury. There's been a bit of a disconnect between myself and the organization. It's been tough at times. Right now, for me, the most important thing is just trying to get healthy, figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year, wherever that might be."

 

Eichel is signed through the 2025-26 season, with an average annual value of $10 million. He has a full no-movement clause that kicks in after next season.

 

Eichel said he struggled with a handful of injuries this season, from a cracked rib suffered in training camp to an abdominal injury from last year that still bothered him. But it was the way the Sabres handled his neck injury that caused the schism between the team and its franchise player. When asked why he didn't simply get the surgery or treatment he felt he needed, Eichel responded, "It doesn't work like that. I wish. I'm under contract with this team, and they hold a lot of cards on what I can and can't do."

 

That left him frustrated.

 

"Listen, my No. 1 interest is Jack Eichel, you know what I mean? You gotta look after yourself. You gotta look after what's best for yourself," he said. "The organization has a similar job to do, which is to look out for what's best for the Buffalo Sabres. It's tough. Things haven't been, I guess, really black and white. We're all trying to educate ourselves in this situation and what would be best moving forward. There's been some tough conversations. But I have to do what's best for me. I'm only going to play hockey for so long. I'm 24 years old. Hopefully I have many more good years in this amazing game left. But I have to take care of myself. It's been tough at times. But I'll come out on the other end of it."

 

The rough times for Eichel in Buffalo have been on the ice, too. Since he entered the NHL in 2015-16, Buffalo has the lowest regular-season points percentage of any NHL team (.444). The Sabres have failed to qualify for the postseason in every year of Eichel's career -- including last season, when the field was expanded to 24 teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic pause. Every other player selected in the top 10 of his 2015 draft class has appeared in at least one playoff game.

 

Eichel has played for four different head coaches and three different general managers in six seasons.

 

His last game of the season was on March 7. He had two goals and 16 assists in 21 games this season, which he said was not up to his standards. Over his career, Eichel has 355 points in 375 regular-season games.

 

Eichel wouldn't confirm or deny that he has made a trade request to Sabres management, saying only that he "has a lot of thinking to do" this offseason about his future. "There's a lot I have to consider. But for now, I'm here. I'm the captain of this hockey team. My goal is to be available and to try to help this organization to win hockey games. I'll do that as long as I'm here."

 

But if he did want out, is Eichel confident that Sabres management and ownership would grant that request?

 

"I gotta do what's best for me, but they gotta do what's best for them. It's like any other business. And I understand that," he said. "If you asked any NHL player, they'd be on the same page: You have to do what's best for the organization, but you also have to do what's best for you."

 

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I had a herniated disk in my neck, and it's one of the most debilitating injuries. Quite literally drove me crazy. If it's true, it sucks the Sabres mishandled it.


I see people talking about a potential trade for Eichel, but I think this "disconnect" warrants its own thread.

Edited by NaveJoseph
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It's actually tragic how they've handled things since getting Eichel. It's clear he was never the one they wanted, he was the one they got. So I can imagine how that relationship didn't start on the best of terms either. Lol. Now they've wasted so many years of his career. And are being weird about his health now. Eichel to Seattle. They are the only team that can really make it work. Especially if they get even half the free picks that Vegas got from other teams. They'll have a motherload of picks and nothing but cap space.

 

As for Buffalo as a whole. I think it's time for us to go poaching for some talent. If we can get either of Risto or Reinhart that'd be really nice. Risto could be had cheap. Everyone in Buffalo seemingly has a problem with him. Reinhart is a RFA and are they gonna wanna pay him while they are either restarting the rebuild or trying to retool the rebuild? Probably not. We'd have to move some cap out for it to work, but who knows. Would be nice to have a BC boy on the team that is, less maligned. Horvat and Reino would be so good. Playmaking winger with a bulldozer center with some scoring upside. Then you have the pitbull that is Hoglander on the LW.

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Posted (edited)

Boy, what a mess in Buffalo.

Do they get a haul of picks/prospects and rebuild once again?  Can they do that with Skinner signed to that deal?

Would the Canucks back up the Brinks truck for Eichel?  It would take a haul, could be worth it.. but a haul.

Could we fly under the radar for a slightly smaller move?  Reinhart is an excellent playmaker and would look really good on Horvat's wing (his weakness is playmaking)... and the ability to slide over to centre in case of injury would also be good.  He would fit into our age core pretty well.
If Buffalo was rebuilding, what would it take to pry Reinhart away from them?  DiPietro and Juolevi?  If they didn't want to rebuild and repair the Eichel relationship, could sending them Miller to be his linemate be an option?

Could we make it a blockbuster for two struggling teams that need a big shakeup?  They have some guys who could fit a 3C role in Eakin or Sheahan.  Could we move both Miller and Boeser their way for Reinhart, Ristolainen, and a good pick?  Eichel wouldn't have anywhere but the mirror to look at if he got Miller and Boeser parachuted onto his wings and he couldn't make it work.

Lots of interesting options.  I also like Tage Thompson as a middle six possibility that could complement our roster.  Could you get him for Juolevi?
 

Edited by Provost
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6 minutes ago, Provost said:

Boy, what a mess in Buffalo.

Do they get a haul of picks/prospects and rebuild once again?  Can they do that with Skinner signed to that deal?

Would the Canucks back up the Brinks truck for Eichel?  It would take a haul, could be worth it.. but a haul.

Could we fly under the radar for a slightly smaller move?  Reinhart is an excellent playmaker and would look really good on Horvat's wing (his weakness is playmaking)... and the ability to slide over to centre in case of injury would also be good.  He would fit into our age core pretty well.
If Buffalo was rebuilding, what would it take to pry Reinhart away from them?  DiPietro and Juolevi?  If they didn't want to rebuild and repair the Eichel relationship, could sending them Miller to be his linemate be an option?

Could we make it a blockbuster for two struggling teams that need a big shakeup?  They have some guys who could fit a 3C role in Eakin or Sheahan.  Could we move both Miller and Boeser their way for Reinhart, Ristolainen, and a good pick?  Eichel wouldn't have anywhere but the mirror to look at if he got Miller and Boeser parachuted onto his wings and he couldn't make it work.

Lots of interesting options.  I also like Tage Thompson as a middle six possibility that could complement our roster.  Could you get him for Juolevi?
 

OK well its clearly an injury risk acquiring him and this interview just knocked his value way way down imo. I'm sure Buffalo is pretty unhappy with this. 

 

I wouldn't want to lose Miller or Boeser for Sam R, he's the weakest player in that group. Risto is OK but also just one year to UFA. 

 

If we're going to move Miller or Boeser than make it for JE. But not both. Miller, a lotto protected 1st and one of OJ or Rathbone and they have to take Loui's last year back, which shouldn't be an issue for them as. next year is in the toilet for them anyway. 

 

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It's Ooooobviously the ol' karmic wheel belatedly kicking their Buffalo-butt, for how they deviously pilfered Gil Perrault from our deserving pocket!

 

What goes up, must come down

Spinnin' wheel, got to go 'round...

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13 minutes ago, Provost said:

If Buffalo was rebuilding, what would it take to pry Reinhart away from them?  DiPietro and Juolevi?  If they didn't want to rebuild and repair the Eichel relationship, could sending them Miller to be his linemate be an option?

That statement is based on the premise that the team was already 'built' doesn't it? 

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2 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

OK well its clearly an injury risk acquiring him and this interview just knocked his value way way down imo. I'm sure Buffalo is pretty unhappy with this. 

 

I wouldn't want to lose Miller or Boeser for Sam R, he's the weakest player in that group. Risto is OK but also just one year to UFA. 

 

If we're going to move Miller or Boeser than make it for JE. But not both. Miller, a lotto protected 1st and one of OJ or Rathbone and they have to take Loui's last year back, which shouldn't be an issue for them as. next year is in the toilet for them anyway. 

 

On another thread I suggested the Miller and Boeser for Eichel... it hurts enough that it seems pretty fair.   Also a possibility is sending Miller plus something (DiPietro and a 2022 2nd?) for their 1st round pick... if they were planning on trying to keep Eichel, then adding to their roster instead of swapping could be interesting for them.  Buffalo is getting a top 3 pick, which are generally hard to move... except this year there is no generational talent, relatively little scouting, and the pick doesn't have much value for Buffalo as the player doesn't help them for a couple of years at least.  For us getting a D and a centre in the top 10 would be amazing to tie into our window and keep it open longer with cheaper contracts coming onto the roster as we are having to give raises to our current guys,

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Just now, Provost said:

On another thread I suggested the Miller and Boeser for Eichel... it hurts enough that it seems pretty fair.   Also a possibility is sending Miller plus something (DiPietro and a 2022 2nd?) for their 1st round pick... if they were planning on trying to keep Eichel, then adding to their roster instead of swapping could be interesting for them.  Buffalo is getting a top 3 pick, which are generally hard to move... except this year there is no generational talent, relatively little scouting, and the pick doesn't have much value for Buffalo as the player doesn't help them for a couple of years at least.  For us getting a D and a centre in the top 10 would be amazing to tie into our window and keep it open longer with cheaper contracts coming onto the roster as we are having to give raises to our current guys,

They likely want firsts and top prospects around Dahlin's age or younger for Eichel. I remember them saying the equivalent of 5 1sts.

 

Getting rid of him would spark another rebuild. They would build around Dahlin who's just turned 21 for sure.

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Just now, Provost said:

On another thread I suggested the Miller and Boeser for Eichel... it hurts enough that it seems pretty fair.   Also a possibility is sending Miller plus something (DiPietro and a 2022 2nd?) for their 1st round pick... if they were planning on trying to keep Eichel, then adding to their roster instead of swapping could be interesting for them.  Buffalo is getting a top 3 pick, which are generally hard to move... except this year there is no generational talent, relatively little scouting, and the pick doesn't have much value for Buffalo as the player doesn't help them for a couple of years at least.  For us getting a D and a centre in the top 10 would be amazing to tie into our window and keep it open longer with cheaper contracts coming onto the roster as we are having to give raises to our current guys,

it does hurt losing both guys... but I think the league has Buffalo by the proverbial nuts on this one. With the covid cap and his admission of some serious injuries I don't think we need to send both Miller and Boser. Sounds like JE is headed for neck surgery, and if thats the case we may not have him until part way into next season, and if it goes wrong... yikes. 

 

Miller makes a ton of sense, they're getting a skilled C back + picks and prospects. 

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1 minute ago, Junkyard Dog said:

They likely want firsts and top prospects around Dahlin's age or younger for Eichel. I remember them saying the equivalent of 5 1sts.

 

Getting rid of him would spark another rebuild. They would build around Dahlin who's just turned 21 for sure.

5 1sts or equivalent is insane. No one is going to do that. I'm sure they'd like that tho. 

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Just now, Junkyard Dog said:

They likely want firsts and top prospects around Dahlin's age or younger for Eichel. I remember them saying the equivalent of 5 1sts.

 

Getting rid of him would spark another rebuild. They would build around Dahlin who's just turned 21 for sure.

Who knows... I don't know that they can afford to start over again.  Will any fans be left?  I suspect they need a quick retool and have to use some assets to get different roster players.

If they do want to rebuild, we can go the other way and offer them our 1st rounder plus some cap dumps middling prospects to make it work in the short term for Eichel.  No way they get nearly the equivalent of several 1st rounders for Eichel at this point.

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Just now, Jimmy McGill said:

5 1sts or equivalent is insane. No one is going to do that. I'm sure they'd like that tho. 

Still they are likely gonna look for a buuunch of rebuilding assets and whoever is willing to cough up the most will net him.

 

A team like the Habs is more suited for this deal.

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1 minute ago, Provost said:

Who knows... I don't know that they can afford to start over again.  Will any fans be left?  I suspect they need a quick retool and have to use some assets to get different roster players.

If they do want to rebuild, we can go the other way and offer them our 1st rounder plus some cap dumps middling prospects to make it work in the short term for Eichel.  No way they get nearly the equivalent of several 1st rounders for Eichel at this point.

They don't really have a choice. 9M with Skinner is a stamper for the next 6 years. They don't have much talent built and most of their top end prospects(Quinn/Cozens) are gonna take time to establish themselves. They will literally be more of the same if they try to retool.

 

Risto/Reinhart/Eichel. Trading them would be a huge jumpstart to a rebuild. They could do a short term rebuild.

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