Eichel's agents fed up with Sabres: 'The process is not working'
Eichel's agents Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli released a statement Friday night in response to general manager Kevyn Adams' comments, in which the executive said he "doesn't feel any pressure" to trade the superstar center.
Eichel's representatives explained their displeasure with the organization for not moving their client nor allowing him to have his preferred method of surgery to treat a herniated disc in his neck.
"The process is not working. As previously stated, we fully anticipated a trade by the start of the NHL free-agency period," the statement reads. "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."
Eichel missed the final 33 games of the 2020-21 campaign due to the herniated disc. He discussed his position with the front office in his end-of-season press conference, saying "I’ve been a bit upset about the ways things have been handled" and "there's been a bit of a disconnect (between) the organization and myself."
As stated by his agents, Eichel wants to have the surgery, but the Sabres appear cautious of the idea, possibly since it's a relatively new procedure and hasn't been performed on an NHL player before.
Eichel also added during that presser he wants to get healthy and play next season "wherever that may be."
Adams responded two days later, saying the team will move forward "with the people who want to be here."
Trade rumors have circulated since the exchange, but nothing has come to fruition as of yet.