Jack Eichel stripped of C in Buffalo
(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Jack Eichel Stripped of Sabres Captaincy

It’s hockey season. For most, that’s a good thing. A great thing even. That is, unless, you’re a Sabres fan…or Jack Eichel for that matter. I think, actually, Sabres fans deserve financial compensation for everything their team has put them through. 

This week is rookie camp, physicals, and training camp. Early this morning it was announced that Jack Eichel had failed his physical and was stripped of his captaincy. 

How low can they go?

Eichel has been out since March with a herniated disk in his neck. This injury was just the start. There was lots of disagreement between Jack and the Sabres. He wants surgery to replace the disk completely. It has a shorter rehab time meaning he’ll be back on the ice being Jack Eichel as fast as he can. The Sabres team doctors are suggesting a fuse of the disks. This surgery can lead to more issues in the future and a loss of range of motion. This is a tricky situation. Contracts in professional sports are tricky. To put it simply, the Sabres own Jack Eichel. They pay him $10 million a season to play hockey and he has to go to their team doctors and they make medical decisions for him. If he were an accountant, he could get the replacement surgery.

Because of the rift in the relationship, Jack requested a trade out of Buffalo. In case you’re just tuning in, he didn’t get it. Sabres GM Kevyn Adams has been in trade talks but they’re not asking a low price for the 2nd overall pick. 

The failure of the physical and the stripping of the captaincy had nothing to do with one another. In a presser on Thursday Adams stated, 

“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”.

The general manager declined to answer if teams had requested Jack have surgery before a trade. He also declined to answer if Jack Eichel has played his last game in a Buffalo Sabres jersey. 

Other than Jack not wanting the fusion surgery and the team doctors not wanting the disk replacement surgery, there’s no word on how they’ll be moving forward. Eichel has been placed on injured reserve and will not start the season with the team. 

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