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Hamilton: How do the Sabres react to statement from Eichel's camp

In the statement released Friday night, Jack Eichel's agent said "the process is not working" about the Sabres captain's potential trade.
Credit: AP
Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel (9) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It was obvious that Jack Eichel was angry with what he heard from Kevyn Adams when he spoke to the media last Thursday.

Late Friday night, Eichel’s agents put out a statement that led with “In response to the Sabres’ statement of being in control of the process.” Eichel can be angry all he wants, but by putting out a statement and saying things like “the process is not working” and that they were anticipating a trade by the start of NHL free agency.

What did he gain? Absolutely nothing.

What Eichel did do is make it harder for the Sabres to trade him. He’s already considered to be difficult. Elliott Friedman said his type-A personality has made it more difficult to move him.

Teams already have to deal with the injury issue and now teams must evaluate if they want to take on a player who at times is difficult and considered in many circles as not a good leader. 

Adams was adamant on Thursday that he would not trade Eichel just to make a trade. He stressed he’s not concerned about distractions and that includes if Eichel is still on the team when the season starts.

If Friday’s statement was Eichel’s agent’s idea, they should be fired. If it was Eichel’s temper getting a hold of him, his agents have to find a way to keep him under control.

Making it more difficult for the Sabres to trade him doesn’t benefit either side. The last thing Eichel wants is to have to report to training camp for the Sabres.

It seems both sides agree that the herniated disk needs surgery, they just have two very different ideas on which surgery needs to be done. With that in mind if no surgery is done by September, it’s very unlikely Eichel would even pass his physical. So then he would just have to sit on long-term IR while Adams tries to get proper value for him.  

As of now, teams are not willing to give up their top prospects to get Eichel. They’re trying to take advantage of a GM that has never had the job before.

Eichel and his agents popping off doesn’t get that trade done any sooner. It does help him stay in Buffalo and still be dealing with this when the Sabres season starts.