Eichel traded to Vegas, to have disk replacement

NHL News

Jack Eichel will get artificial disk replacement surgery as soon as this week after being traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday morning, sources told ESPN.

The return for Buffalo is Peyton Krebs, Alex Tuch, a 2022 first-round draft pick and a 2023 third-rounder, sources confirmed. Vegas will also get a 2023 third-round draft pick as part of the deal.

No salary is retained by Buffalo in the deal, sources told ESPN. The deal, which is pending a trade call, was first reported by TSN.

The Calgary Flames were also deep into talks with Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams this week, sources told ESPN.

Eichel, 25, was the No. 2 overall pick by Buffalo in 2015. He is in the fourth year of an eight-year, $80 million contract — and in the last year before a full no-movement clause kicks in next summer. However, his relationship soured with Buffalo last season over a disagreement over how to treat a herniated disk in his neck.

The Sabres preferred Eichel undergo fusion surgery, as an artificial disk replacement has never been performed on an NHL player. Under NHL collective bargaining agreement rules, teams have the final say on how to treat injuries.

Vegas, as well as most teams that Eichel’s camp talked to, was amenable to Eichel getting his preferred surgery, sources told ESPN.

Buffalo stripped Eichel of his captaincy, and he has been on injured reserve this season. In six seasons in Buffalo, Eichel scored 355 points in 375 career games.

After his surgery, Eichel is expected to be cleared to skate in six weeks, but it is a minimum of three months until he will be cleared for contact. That timeline would put his return until at least after the All-Star break, and likely eliminates him from competing in the 2022 Olympics for Team USA.

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