Sabres finally trade Jack Eichel to Golden Knights

The Jack Eichel sweepstakes are finally over and it’s the Vegas Golden Knights who’ve fittingly hit the jackpot. 

The Buffalo Sabres agreed to trade the injured star middle — who was in a stalemate with the group — together with a 2023 third spherical decide to Vegas for forwards Peyton Krebs, Alex Tuch, a top-10 protected first-round decide in 2022, and a third-round decide in 2023, in accordance to a number of studies Thursday.

It brings an finish to a steady drama with sufficient twists and turns for the cleaning soap channel — all deriving from the ineptitude of the Sabres. 

Since being drafted second total by the group in 2015, simply behind Edmonton Oilers celebrity Connor McDavid, Eichel has been one of many solely lone shiny spots for a Sabres group that has constantly been amongst the worst within the NHL. 

Via his first 5 seasons, he averaged 27 objectives and 40 assists per yr whereas flirting with a point-per-game tempo.

Whereas the Sabres rewarded him with a nine-year contract, instability from management trickled down to a group that completed dead-last within the NHL in 2018. After narrowly lacking the playoffs in 2019, Eichel — now the captain — started discovering his voice to the press, calling the group’s performances below former head coach Phil Housley “embarrassing.”

It solely continued to nosedive from there. 

The 2020-21 season featured the Sabres tying an NHL document with 18 consecutive losses earlier than Eichel was shut down for the yr due to a herniated disk in his neck which finally put the wheels in movement for his trade.

Eichel wished a synthetic disk alternative surgical procedure however the Sabres didn’t permit it, initially opting to go the route of relaxation and rehabilitation earlier than admitting that surgical procedure was, actually, wanted. Nevertheless, the Sabres nonetheless didn’t need to go the route of a synthetic disk alternative process as a result of their group medical doctors weren’t comfy with it having by no means been carried out on an NHL participant.

The distinction in opinion finally bled into the 2021-22 preseason, which not solely noticed Eichel fail his bodily due to his injured neck however prompted Sabres administration to strip him of his captaincy. 

“At this point, Jack is not willing to move forward with what our doctors are suggesting is the fusion surgery,” Sabres GM Kevyn Adams stated on the time. “So we’re going to continue to work toward solutions… What I would say was we’re open to [a trade]. Like I’ve said before, with any player, how do we make our organization better? We have a plan.”

Quite a lot of groups had been linked to Eichel in latest months together with the New York Rangers. However the notion of such a deal evaporated after they rewarded Mika Zibanejad with a prolonged eight-year extension.

Per studies, the Calgary Flames had been in superior talks with the Sabres for Eichel as latest as this week.

With Vegas, Eichel will finally get the factitious disk alternative surgical procedure he wished as quickly as this week. The 25-year-old can then start skating in six weeks however gained’t be cleared for contact for up to three months. 

That opens the potential of him being accessible for the Golden Knights’ stretch run earlier than the playoffs, which would offer a substantial increase to a group that’s already seen as one of many favorites within the Western Convention alongside the Colorado Avalanche.

 

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