Morning Free Association: Jack Eichel

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I know he isn’t a Bruin (yet) but I think it’s time we talked a little about what’s going on with Jack Eichel and how the Buffalo Sabres are handling his situation.

At some point in the past season, Jack Eichel injured his neck. He has a herniated disc in his neck, an injury that can cause numbness and pain to radiate down the appendages and back of the affected person. As one can imagine, a hockey player needs to have full feeling in his hands and arms to play as well as to be free from pain to play effectively. However, he and the Sabres medical team are unable to come to an agreement as to how to solve this issue.

Jack Eichel is pushing for a surgery to replace the affected cervical disc, a surgery that has been performed onĀ  ordinary people but not yet on an NHL player. Since this is the case, the Sabres medical team would rather that he have a cervical fusion, which involves removing the disc and adding a bone graft to encourage the fusingĀ  of the two vertebrae. Eichel is worried about a potential loss of mobility in his neck, which is a valid concern, although not a typical post-surgical complaint.

While the two sides have been discussing it since he was place on IR with rehab as a focus. Rehab didn’t work.

Now, Eichel and the Sabres are at an impasse. He failed his physical, the team won’t grant him the surgery he wants, and prior to placing him on IR, stripped him of the captaincy.

So, it appears that Jack Eichel no longer will play for the Buffalo Sabres. The team has to deal him this season before his full NMC kicks in. This will not be easy: he has 5 years remaining at $10 million so a team has to have the cap space to trade for him even on LTIR because at some point he’ll be on an active roster. So, the Sabres need to get value in whatever way they can.

Word was last season that the Bruins are the team he wants to play for. Does this sound familiar? One wonders if Don Sweeney can fleece Kevyn Adams again for 50% salary retention and a good player while giving up very little.

But what happens if no one makes a deal? Would the Sabres void his contract? Would Eichel get the surgery he wants? He could sign a new deal once he’s healthy. Is that something the Sabres allow to happen?

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the german hammer

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Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Just my opimion, but if I was a GM, I would steer clear of Eichel. The upside is ther, but the downside.. Ugh. I feel the same way about Tarasenko

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

The Bruins are not a ” let’s take a chance on that guy ” team, right now.

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Been raining here this morning.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Been raining here this morning
Noah said something like that!

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Yeesh, this is such a dumb conflict. I mean yes, there are reasons to prefer one surgery over another, and the sides that they came down to make perfect sense, but the player is opting for a reasonable choice with maximum upside for his career. By this point, the team should have been done fucking with the player, and should have moved on to encouraging him to get the damn surgery – either one – so they can recover value from his pricey contract. Do you want to see your best and most popular player skating again?

Eichel as a Bruin seems like a pipe dream, but the timing would work out nicely. Krejci is likely gone for good, and Bergy is getting towards the end of his career. If Eichel can play like Jack Eichel next season, and even if partially there at the end of this season, then he would slide right in to a glaring roster hole in the Bruins top-6.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Maybe the Bruins do a Tampa and leave Eichel on LTIR until the playoffs. Bergy and Tuukka may well retire if they win another Cup, which helps with the cap situation.

Is what definitely won’t happen …

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Good morning!
I feel for Eichel. He’s done his homework, it’s his body, but the Sabres are leasing it. Owner should be able to choose!
In other news, build your ark! Holy Schnikees! We are getting rain. Got out and ran some stout stuff with a buddy as the reservoirs were being emptied in preparation for the deluge!

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

The rain is here now. Fun.
I’m curious how MWRA is managing the reservoirs this year. I’m told that they reverse the flow of the Ware river depending on whether they want to drain the Quabbin or fill it.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Not a cloud in the sky here!

It’s lovely and warm. Wasps in the garden have been collecting wood from the fence to build nests – they think it’s spring! They’re in for a shock in a couple of weeks

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

I have been noticing similar activity here. Also, plants that should be going dormant sprouting green leaves! Hope it’s just a blip on the radar, they happen