The Jack Eichel Debacle Is … It’s Something

Someone needs to save Jack Eichel. Like Batman or some random NHL GM. Just someone has to because this is getting out of hand.

Today, 24-year-old, talented as hell Jack Eichel was stripped of his captaincy. If you’ve been living with your head in the sand you might as “well Shortman, why was Eichel’s captaincy taken?” And the answer, in my humble opinion, to that is the Buffalo Sabres are jackasses.

First, the Herniated Disc:

Eichel has been dealing with a herniated disc in his neck since March. Eichel does not want to have a cervical discectomy and fusion surgery (team suggested, NHL standard), he’d rather have the whole disc just replaced with an artificial one. However, an NHLer has never gotten this surgery so that scares the Sabres’ team doctors and front office. Usually, doctors just go with the discectomy and fusion for players so that has been what Buffalo is pushing. But Eichel has been pushing back against doing that, since MARCH.

I don’t pretend to be a doctor here so I am obviously not going to lecture about which is the correct choice. I think this article on Die By The Blade by Kyle Trimble goes into great detail about both procedures and the cautions of both, highly recommend you read that. Regardless of whichever side you’re on, it’s some bullshit that Eichel has been dealing with this injury since March. I mean baseline, it’s insane that a guy who is 24 and makes $10 million a year doesn’t have a say in his own healthcare. But he is also the star player and he has been in discomfort since March. And I keep making March stand out because that was AGES AGO. I am not a doctor and I am concerned.

Not to mention the poor guy is trying (and has been trying) to do what’s best for himself and the Buffalo Sabres front office just won’t let him. Eichel has requested a trade, he was a big name in trade rumors this summer, yet he is still stuck in Buffalo. He just wants the hell out at this point and he is completely stranded.

Then the GM just today stripped him of the C. And the way Kevyn Adams (The GM in question) did it pissed me off:

“I spoke to Jack two days ago, I spoke to the team yesterday and addressed this, Jack Eichel is no longer the captain of the Buffalo Sabres. From our perspective, the captain is your heartbeat of your team, and we are in a situation where we felt we needed to make that decision,” 

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams

You want a guy that’s the heartbeat of the team? That’s Jack fuckin Eichel. The guy that has been selling your team to his friends for years. Without Eichel there is no way in hell Taylor Hall or Jeff Skinner would have ever stepped foot in that city unless it was an away game. Eichel has carried the burden of leadership for that dumpster fire of an organization with grace for years and now he wants to try to do what’s best for himself (both with the surgery and trying to leave Buffalo) and you spit in his face? Kick rocks, Kevyn.

Honestly, it’s bullshit. He’s a 24-year-old man. Regardless of what his job is, I think it’s absolute crap that he doesn’t have control of his own healthcare. Also the fact that he’s been injured since March and the Sabres are like “no, suffer” because he wants to get a different procedure? That’s fuckin malarkey. I hope someone can rescue that kid. He’s at the prime peak of his career and he’s sitting at home as the season gets started. And he WILL be sitting at home until someone allows him to get a surgery, whether that’s Buffalo or another team. Then he’ll be sitting at home for however long recovery is and who knows when we’ll see him.

All he is probably thinking about is getting his neck fixed and getting back on the ice and back to his normal life, but he has to deal with the red tape that is front office bullshit. Once again regardless of the whole herniated disc debacle, I hope they trade him somewhere better. In his first 6 NHL seasons he’s put up with a lot of shit and he really deserves some winning for once. He tried his best to get Buffalo to a winning team and hey, it just didn’t work out. It’s time for him to get shipped somewhere good so he can kick ass and not have to carry the weight so much anymore.

Never have I ever been this fired up about the Buffalo Sabres but damn it I am now. I am going to buy a bottle of champagne tomorrow and the day Eichel gets traded, I am going to pop that sucker and celebrate for him. This is now a Jack Eichel Safe Space.


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Featured Image:  Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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