Buffalo Sabres removing Jack Eichel as captain adds new layer to drama

Jack Eichel #9 of the Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
Jack Eichel #9 of the Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

With players reporting to training camp, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams provided an update on former captain Jack Eichel.

If you think the situation between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel couldn’t get any more frustrating, Thursday’s announcement from the team added another layer to the ongoing soap opera.

The Sabres confirmed what almost everyone expected which was that Eichel did not pass his physical and will start the season on long-term injured reserve. Then the team decided to take it one step further by stripping the captaincy from the 24-year-old.

"“I spoke to Jack two days ago, I spoke to the team yesterday and addressed this,” Adams told reporters. “From our perspective, the captain is your heartbeat of your team, and we are in a situation where we felt we needed to make that decision. … There’s a lot of voices in there that are strong, that are good pros. So we’ll just, instead of rushing into that, we’ll just let it play out.”"

Really at this point, the captaincy is the last thing the Sabres should be worried about considering the ongoing battle between the club and the franchise center’s on what to do about his neck surgery.

Eichel and his representatives want to do an artificial disk replacement surgery while team doctors are recommending a fusion operation. This impasse has already led to Eichel changing his representation.

It’s tough to see any side compromising right now and at this rate, the team needs to figure out a way to keep this from being a bigger distraction than it already is. Unfortunately, the move to strip the “C” from Eichel didn’t exactly do that.

Buffalo Sabres get pivotal deal done with defenceman Rasmus Dahlin

It wasn’t a long-term deal but the Sabres were able to get some assurance that 2018 first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin will be around until 2024.

At $6 million a season, the 21-year-old is getting a sizeable commitment towards his potential. Dahlin has put up 40 or more points in two of his first three seasons in the league and likely has the ability to produce far more.

It is now up to the team to ensure the young defenceman can continue to improve in an environment that isn’t bad for his development. He does have some help in other top prospects like Dylan Cozens and Owen Power but don’t expect them to be game-changers anytime soon.

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What do you think about the latest developments involving the Sabres? Can the Eichel situation get resolved before it gets any worse? Let us know in the comments below.