The Jack Eichel saga may be nearing its end, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported Tuesday evening.
According to Kaplan, the Calgary Flames and the Vegas Golden Knights are the finalists to acquire Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres. Both teams are on board with Eichel getting his preferred surgery — an artificial disk replacement procedure — to correct his lingering neck issue.
Here’s Kaplan’s full segment from Tuesday’s edition of NHL on ESPN:
Here’s the transcript of Kaplan’s comments, in conversation with ESPN’s Arda Ocal:
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Kaplan: Arda, the saga now has two finalists: the Calgary Flames and the Vegas Golden Knights. There was a lot of work done over the weekend and today I was told a trade is at the one-yard line, except there’s still some final details they’ve gotta figure out. I am told that Buffalo GM Kevyn Adams is working extremely hard on this to get a trade done; however, he’s also been very firm in his stance and neither Calgary nor Vegas has met him on his full demands, yet. And if you’re wondering if Jack’s surgery is part of the hold-up, the answer is no. Both Calgary and Vegas, like most of the teams that Jack Eichel’s camp [has spoken to] through this process, are OK with him getting his preferred artificial disk replacement surgery instead of that fusion surgery.
Ocal: All right, since we’re at the one-yard line, it’s fair to ask this question: Assuming he does find a new team, whether it be Vegas or Calgary, what would be his timetable for a return — but also, perhaps a participation, or not, in the Olympics?
Kaplan: Yeah, so the ADR, if he gets that surgery, it’s about six weeks until he can get back on the ice, but a minimum three months until he’s cleared to play. So, that does take us until after the All-Star break and likely eliminates him from Team USA at the 2022 Olympics. I will note, however, that the artificial disk replacement surgery is about a two-month shorter timeline than if he were to get the fusion surgery.
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Eichel, the second-overall pick from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, has 139 goals and 355 points in 375 career games with the Sabres.
Including the 2021–22 season, he has five years remaining on a contract with an annual cap hit of $10 million.