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Jack Eichel's agents release statement on trade talks: 'The process is not working'

·3-min read
It didn't seem possible that things could get messier between Jack Eichel and the Sabres, yet here we are. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
It didn't seem possible that things could get messier between Jack Eichel and the Sabres, yet here we are. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

Jack Eichel's camp had a few things to say about the way the Buffalo Sabres have handled the star's trade demands.

On Thursday, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams addressed the ongoing trade speculation that continues to circle around Eichel.

"What's critically important to make sure is clear is that we're in control of this process," Adams told reporters. "We have a player under contract. We don't feel any pressure.

"If there's a deal out there that we feel is the right thing for the Buffalo Sabres, that's going to help us improve — whether that's improve right away or improve down the road, those are all the things we weigh — we'd be open to it. But we're not in a position where we feel we're just going to do something to do it. That doesn't make any sense."

After catching wind of Adams' comments, Eichel's agents, Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli, fired back with a statement of their own, per John Vogl of The Athletic.

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 that 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.

Wowza. This situation has gotten all sorts of messy.

It'll be interesting to see if Buffalo's front office continues to operate under its "process," or if Adams and co. will feel a little bit of pressure after Eichel's agents' rebuttal.

The Sabres star recorded just two goals and 18 points in an injury-plagued 2020-21 campaign that saw him play just 21 games. Eichel carries a cap hit of $10 million per year over the next five seasons.

Where Eichel will play next season remains to be determined, but Elliotte Friedman reported on Sunday that his best guess at this point is "some combination of Anaheim, Calgary, Minnesota," although he admitted there are surely others in the mix. 

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