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With no control over trade, could Eichel wait it out one more season in Buffalo?

Sabres captain Jack Eichel's 'no movement clause' kicks in next offseason.
Credit: AP
Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel (9) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's been just over a week since Sabres captain Jack Eichel told reporters there has been a "disconnect" between him and the organization over how to treat a herniated disc in his neck.

The injury ultimately ended the 24-year-old's season.

Eichel expressed that he wanted to have surgery for the injury and didn't get approval from the organization.

"Obviously, I'm under contract with this team. They definitely hold a lot of cards on what I can and can't do," Eichel said last Monday.

Two days later, General Manager Kevyn Adams didn't deny Eichel's remarks, but explained his team of doctors agreed on conservative care instead of performing a surgery that has never been done on an NHL player.

"My number one interest and my number one goal is Jack Eichel... You've got to look after yourself, you've got to look after what you think is best for yourself, and the organization has a similar job to do but it's to look after what's best for the Buffalo Sabres," Eichel said. 

"I think the most important thing is just trying to get healthy and figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year... wherever that might be."

Monday night on Sports Talk Live, 2 On Your Side Sabres contributor Paul Hamilton of WGR Radio said, while it sounded like Eichel is hoping for a trade this offseason, he may be wanting to wait it out one more season in Buffalo.

"There's some people who feel that this was just something that was put on by Eichel's agent to put off being traded by one year because if they accomplish that and get to July 1, then his 'no movement clause' kicks in, and he can do what Taylor Hall did and pick where he wants to go," Hamilton said.

"That might be something where maybe Eichel wants to be here for one more year."

Credit: AP
Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel (9) celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Hamilton explained Eichel wanting to wait for his no movement clause to kick in next offseason is the only way the situation between the captain and organization is salvageable.

"I think the only way it's salvageable is if he does play another year, and whoever the coach is, somehow or another, makes the playoffs, which means they would have had to make some major improvements to the team," Hamilton said.

"Then Eichel might say 'well you know maybe this isn't so bad we made the playoffs were improving where everything seems to be okay. My neck is okay,' and maybe he would be want to stay then, but I don't see any other way."