The medical stalemate between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel continues, and things may get more ugly before they get any better.
Eichel continues to sit out as he deals with a herniated disk in his neck suffered back in March. The 24-year-old is wanting to undergo an artificial disk replacement in his neck to start the road to recovery, while the team is against that procedure, preferring Eichel to undergo an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure.
While the original hope was for Eichel to not need surgery to repair the damage to his neck, both sides are in agreement that a surgical procedure is the only option, at this point.
With Eichel and his camp at odds with the organization over the handling of his injury, talks have been ongoing about a potential trade to a team that will allow Eichel to undergo the artificial disk replacement surgery. However, according to ESPN NHL reporter Emily Kaplan, the trade market for Eichel has gone quiet once again.
With the market going silent with recent trade talks, the plan for Eichel's camp going forward appears to be shifting.
According to Kaplan on Thursday, Eichel's camp is formulating a plan to pitch one last case to Sabres management to allow Eichel to undergo his preferred artificial disk replacement surgery. This plan will include a number of medical opinions from other doctors and specialists with the hope their insights will convince the team to change their stance on the procedure.
There has been quite a level of urgency from Eichel's camp for some time now to find a resolution to his situation, whether that is a trade or the Sabres giving Eichel the OK to get the artificial disk replacement surgery.
Kaplan reported last week that as many as five teams have been interested in Eichel and talking with the Sabres. However, general manager Kevyn Adams has held firm on his asking price for the former second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, which has some teams steering away from trade talks.
If this plan does not work out for Eichel's camp, Kaplan says the next step would be for Eichel to file a grievance against the Sabres, which has been seen as a last resort.
The Sabres are gearing up for their fourth game of the 2021-22 season on Friday night against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center. Faceoff on Friday is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Stay tuned for any more developments with this story...