Sabres GM Kevyn Adams told the media yesterday that they were “in control of the process.” Those comments obviously resonated with Jack Eichel and his agents.
“There is no change on the medical side,” Adams wanted everyone to know. To be clear, Eichel wants to have a surgery that the Sabres won’t approve.
Not too long ago, Eichel’s agent Peter Fish said that they were coming to a resolution on that matter. After Adams’ comments and saying he felt no pressure to make a trade, it painted them into a corner.
Now Eichel and his agents are responding.
Eichel’s agents say “process is not working”
At the start of free agency, Darren Dreger reported that Eichel’s camp “frustration levels” were on the rise. That has now reached its boiling point.
Late this evening, Eichel’s agents Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli issued a statement on the situation.
In response to the Sabres’ statement regarding being in control of the process, Jack Eichel under contract, and other comments, we offer the following response:
The process is not working. As previously stated, we fully anticipated a trade by the start of the NHL free agency period. After the agreed upon and prescribed period for conservative rehabilitation lapsed in early June 2021, it was determined by the Sabres medical staff that a surgical procedure was required. The recommendation by Jack’s independent neurosurgeon, other spine specialists consulted, and the surgery Jack feels most comfortable having in order to correct a herniated disc in his neck is to proceed with Artificial Disc Replacement surgery. A further point of concern is that our camp was initially under the impression that the Sabres specialist was in agreement with the Artificial Disc Replacement surgery until it was no longer the case.
What is being left out of the discussion is that Jack would be able to play in the NHL for the start of the season pending medical clearance if he were allowed to have the surgery he desires even as of this date. Repeated requests have been made to the Sabres since early June to no avail. This process is stopping Jack from playing in the NHL and it is not working.
Where does it go from here
There’s absolutely no denying this relationship is broken. Kevyn Adams could use this as an opportunity to accept the best deal on the table and tell the fanbase the truth. There was little chance he was going to get the ridiculous ask of four pieces that were characterized as thriving first round players or picks by Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports. Not for a player that needs surgery and has a $10 million cap hit to go with it.
Or, Adams could dig his heels in even further and portray Eichel as the bad guy. Which would only make this situation worse.
Right now, there is no market for Jack Eichel at Adams’ current demand. The one team that is still interested appears to be the New York Rangers, but it’s rumored to be believed that the Sabres owners refuse to trade him there.
The ball is now back in the Sabres’ court.