Jack Eichel doesn't need surgery yet

Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams says he will continue rehab on his neck

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres introduced associate general manager Jason Karmanos on Thursday, but before I get into that, I wanted to do some housekeeping.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported a few days ago that Jack Eichel will be having surgery on the herniated disk in his neck. He repeated it Thursday on The Instigators, saying the surgery was coming soon.

Kevyn Adams said during a Zoom conference call on Thursday that a decision hasn’t been made.

“He sustained an injury a few weeks ago, and the course of treatment was to rehab it and to give it some time to see if the disk has moved back to where the doctors were comfortable," the Sabres general manager explained. "The hope was he could jump back in and play.”

Adams said after that portion of the rehab took place, they all got together on Tuesday.

“The next steps were to shut Jack down for the season, continue to do his rehab and then we will re-examine him early into May and see where we are then."

Buffalo also will not have a taxi squad goalie Thursday night against the Washington Capitals. With injuries to Linus Ullmark, Carter Hutton and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, the league has made an exemption.

“UPL’s [Luukkonen] first day back on the ice was today, so we hope to have him with us tomorrow, if necessary, because Linus will be getting checked out by our doctors,” Adams said.

Luukkonen has never played a game in the NHL, but if he’s healthy, his first game could come against the Pittsburgh Penguins this weekend.

“He was on the ice today and all reports are positive, but there may be a situation where we feel ready, and depending on the health of our other goaltenders goes that may happen,” Adams said.

It took awhile for Adams to get the guy he wanted to come to Buffalo. Karmanos has known the Sabres general manager since they played against each other in junior.

“He checks all the boxes," Adams said. "He is a person of integrity, high character, has great experience, a track record of success in multiple organizations, and certainly somebody I’ve known for many years and trust.”

Ownership made a huge mistake putting the few people that were left in the hockey department in jobs they had never had before with no experienced help. Terry Pegula wanted the hockey department gutted to save money, and that whole idea has already been a failure.

With the hiring of Karmanos, Adams said he has the help he needs.

“I want to be really clear, with everything that’s going to be happening from today moving forward in our organization, Jason’s going to be involved with," he said. "We’re going to make decisions together, we’re going to work hand-in-hand in every area with other staff members.”

Adams wasn’t the only person courting Karmanos, but the new associate general manager said Buffalo won out.

“I was talking to another team and did have another opportunity, but at the end of the day, I was more excited about coming to Buffalo and being part of helping Kevyn and the Pegulas,” Karmanos said.

Karmanos didn’t want to say too much yet, because he feels he’s an outsider that has to learn the Sabres organization. Karmanos said he will get to Buffalo in the next few days and will have immediate chores to do.

“Next week I’ll see some home games, get to Rochester, and then we’ll be heading to Texas for the U18s, so there’s a lot coming up here,” he said.

Karmanos will have to get the scouting staff in order soon.

“We are going to have a very good draft pick and lots of picks in general," Karmanos said. "I’ve been involved in the draft very intimately in Pittsburgh in the last four years, so I look forward to working with the staff.”

The game keeps changing fast, and those that change with it do the best. Karmanos said that’s something he’s good at.

“I think I’m someone that keeps an open minded approach. I think I’m somebody that has adapted over time.”

Karmanos will serve as the general manager of the Rochester Americans. He will also oversee the scouting, player development and analytics departments. Adams has already said that more scouts will be hired by the organization.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett - Getty Images