Eichel Relieved To Be Rid Of Treatment Saga
Although star NHL forward Jack Eichel may not be able to take to the ice for at least three months due to surgery, he says he’s feeling only relieved that his recent trade from the Buffalo Sabres to the Vegas Golden Knights is now a thing of the past.
Following the trade, Eichel now gets to have the type of surgery he’s preferred all along for repairing his neck injury. The forward will go under the knife on Friday.
Eichel said this week he hopes that something good will come of this widely publicised feud with the Sabres regarding the preferred treatment prescribed for the injury, which in Eichel’s case will involve the artificial replacement of a herniated disk.
He said he hopes players will in future be granted more decision-making power in matters affecting them personally.
A Fight That Cost A Season
The Sabres took issue with the artificial replacement as it’s a procedure that has never before been performed on an NHL player. The bickering eventually saw nearly an entire season lost because of the parties’ inability to reach a mutual resolve.
Eichel said he sincerely hopes that his situation has now shone a new light on some of the things that should possibly be changed in how the NHL and NHL Players’ Association approach players and their decisions. He said instead of a dictatorship-style rule, decisions regarding especially medical treatment should always be a collaboration.
The forward is currently completing the fourth season of an eight-year contract. He played a breakout year in 2019-20 with 36 goals scored across 68 games – which had been a personal career best for Eichel.
Eichel Confident In Outcome
Regarding the procedure, Eichel said he had thoroughly researched the treatment and believes it will make him a stronger player for it instead of a risky venture.
Eichel said it’s a procedure that has been tried and tested and one that has been around for a considerable amount of time. He said the surgeon set to perform the procedure has been doing it for nearly 20 years, and so there’s really nothing out of the ordinary to be concerned about.
The forward also expressed gratitude towards Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner, who he said has been extremely supportive of him throughout the entire ordeal. Lehner is somebody who speaks up out of the principle of a matter when it’s something he believes in, and this, said Eichel, had meant a great deal to him as well as to his family.