Star center Jack Eichel is inching closer to leaving the Buffalo Sabres, according to a recent report from Darren Dreger of TNS. Dreger reports that trade talks centered on Eichel have intensified recently and that he and the Sabres are optimistic about parting ways sooner than later.
Eichel requested to be traded away from Buffalo in the summer after clashing with the Sabres about how his neck injury should be treated. The organization wants Eichel to undergo more traditional fusion surgery, while the player and his representatives are pushing for artificial disk replacement surgery that was never done on an NHL player before.
The questions surrounding Eichel’s injury, potential surgery, and recovery initially kept other NHL teams at a distance and deterred them from engaging in serious trade talks with the Sabres. This was understandable considering that the 24-year-old would arrive with a $10 million cap hit in each of the next five seasons.
However, things changed in recent weeks after “ongoing discussions and additional access to Eichel’s medical file” helped teams with trade interest to “clearly see his situation,” according to Dreger.
The list of teams with interest in Eichel reportedly includes the Anaheim Ducks, the Calgary Flames, the Los Angeles Kings, and the New York Rangers.