Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams spoke with the media on Wednesday following the team winning the first overall pick in the NHL Draft Lottery for the 2021 NHL Draft.
As part of his comments, Adams said the 12-week rehab period was over with the herniated disk in captain Jack Eichel’s neck. The only real information that Adams had to share was that their position on the surgery that Eichel would like to have hasn’t changed.
“Our doctors still are not comfortable with any type of surgery that’s never been done on a hockey player before,” Adams said.
As far as what’s next, Adams said it's all about gathering the right information to make the best decision he can for the Sabres.
“We’re right on that 12-week mark, so for me, it’s a lot of information gathering over the next few days," he said. "Speaking with our doctors, speaking with Jack’s camp and where do we go from here.”
Adams said they were all on the same page when this started.
“Everybody agreed that the 12-week rehab was the first step in this process, but I don’t have the information to say to you this is where we go from here," Adams explained. "Jack may have had some other thoughts over these last few weeks, so we’ll see. That’s the next conversation.”
Adams said he’s spoken with NHL, AHL college and European coaches as he looks for the Sabres' next head coach. He didn’t want to get into anymore detail.
The NHL Expansion Draft for the Seattle Kraken is set to take place on Wednesday, July 21. Adams was a teammate with Seattle general manager Ron Francis in Carolina, so they know each other very well. Adams said they don’t know what the expansion list will look like, because moves could be made before that.
Adams said he has entered discussion with Francis and he wouldn’t be against sacrificing a draft pick to keep Seattle away from certain players.
“It’s absolutely something you have to be open to, and that was a little bit of the strategy of building up draft picks where we were in the standings," Adams admitted. "We want to use our draft picks, but if it’s the right thing for the organization, then we would potentially be interested in that.”
The Sabres traded a sixth round pick to the Vegas Golden Knights to keep them from taking Linus Ullmark back in 2017. In turn, Vegas took Will Carrier from Buffalo with their pick.
Buffalo have the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie, or eight skaters and a goalie just as they did in the 2017 Expansion Draft.