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Quick Thoughts on the Statement from Eichel's Camp

July 31, 2021, 7:29 AM ET [1321 Comments]
Hank Balling
Buffalo Sabres Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Who needs a summer blockerbuster movie when there’s real life drama this good?

Last night, Jack Eichel’s agents Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli issued a joint statement regarding their position on the Sabres captain’s situation with the Buffalo Sabres. Let's just say they’re not happy:

So the stalemate continues: The Eichel camp still very much wants to go through with the artificial disk replacement and the Sabres still don’t want him to do it. It’s pretty obvious that this latest statement is meant to ratchet up the pressure on GM Kevyn Adams to get Eichel out of town prior to the start of training camp although it could also backfire on the player as well.

After declining to trade Eichel prior to the expansion draft, the NHL draft or the start of free agency, it’s clear that Adams has a set price on Eichel and is unwilling to budge off of it. The preference from both sides at this point is undoubtedly trade although it seems the potential suitors aren’t willing to pony up sufficiently to get a deal done. Statements like the one Fish and Donatelli made above aren’t going to drive Eichel’s value up, and despite the Eichel camp’s desire to get him out of town as soon as possible, this likely isn’t the way to do it.

It’s also interesting to note here that there hasn’t been any mention in the media or by Eichel’s agents of medical arbitration to this point considering how strongly Eichel seemingly feels about this. Perhaps that’s the next step. The collective bargaining agreement allows certain avenues for a player to air their medical grievances in nasty disagreements like this one which makes it all the more curious that there hasn’t been any movement on it in the past month.

What this statement also tells us is that Eichel does not believe he’s healthy enough to play in this condition and thus there is a very low probability that he shows up to training camp with any intention to play hockey for the Sabres. Interestingly, the statement does say that Eichel would be ready to play in October if he were given clearance to have the surgery now.

Again, all of this figures to be somewhat risky for Eichel if his number one goal is to leave Buffalo quickly. The more he tries to force Kevyn Adams’s hand, the more he likely drives down his own trade value, and one possible result of that is Adams holding out longer due to lowball offers from other GMs who see these statements and will try to get a better price for the superstar. We'll just have to see how this public shot will affect the trade market.

In the meantime, fans can sit back, grab a bag of popcorn and watch this juicy drama continue to play out.
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