Jack Eichel schedules disk replacement surgery; hopes for three month recovery

New Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel is scheduled to undergo an artificial disk replacement surgery Nov. 12 at a spine clinic in Denver, he said Friday.

The surgery was the centerpiece of the tension between Eichel and his former team, the Buffalo Sabres. The procedure has never been performed on an NHL player and the Sabres were pushing for a fusion surgery for Eichel’s herniated disk.

“I’m very comfortable with it,” Eichel said, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I have extreme confidence in my surgeon and the people I plan to do my recovery with.”

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Jack Eichel schedules surgery

“You hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” Eichel said. “In that case obviously I’m hoping that it’s a three-month recovery, and after three months if I’m ready to get back to doing what I love.”

Eichel and a 2023 third-round draft pick were traded Thursday from Buffalo to Vegas in exchange for forwards Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 second-rounder.

Eichel said Dr. Chad Prusmack at the Rocky Mountain Spine Clinic will perform the procedure.

Once he has the surgery, Eichel could be cleared to skate in six weeks but would be out at least three months before he’s cleared for contact.

Eichel happy this is all over with

jack Eichel trade
Feb 26, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) before the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

“The whole process was a pretty long one,” Eichel told Elliotte Friedman. “For awhile I thought maybe I was going to Minnesota and there was a short time where I was like, ‘Wow, I really think it’s a possibility I’m going to go to Colorado’ and that seemed like it could’ve gotten done.”

In the end, many hockey fans became sick of this story. Eichel wanted to make it clear that no one was more tired of it than him.

“A lot of guys in the league are sick of hearing about this story. Listen, nobody is more sick of this story than me,” he said. “There’s nothing I want more for this to just go away and I just can’t wait to be a hockey player again.”

Eichel, 25, is in the fourth year of an eight-year, $80 million contract. Vegas inherits his $10 million cap hit this season, per reports.

He has 355 points (139 goals, 216 assists) in 375 games, all with the Sabres. Buffalo took him No. 2 overall in the 2015 draft.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report