The Jack Eichel-Buffalo Sabres Feud Has Reached an All-Time Low
First, the team wasn't strong enough around him. Then, the team wouldn't allow him to get the surgery he wanted to get. After that, the team wouldn't trade him when he requested to be moved.
The relationship between Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres was already fractured. That being said, the news that surfaced this morning may just be the rip that tears the two sides apart for good.
Jack Eichel is no longer the captain of the Buffalo Sabres.
This announcement comes on the heels of another medical hiccup that Eichel is facing:
Now, there are two sides to this coin. Of course, this comes as a complete shock to the system for Sabres fans, and hockey fans everywhere. As bad as the relationship has become between the two sides, no one could've possibly imagined that it would come to this. Stripping a player of the title of captain not only shows the team that the player is not performing his on-ice duties. It also shows the team, the fans, and the league that the Sabres' front office does not believe in Eichel as a leader.
The other side, however, is that this move was probably overdue. As sad as it is to say, I commend the Buffalo Sabres for making this difficult decision. Eichel has been nothing but a distraction to a team full of young, impressionable players. The Sabres showed the rest of the roster that they will not tolerate any sort of action that will negatively impact the on-ice product. No player is greater than the sum of the team's parts, and General Manager Kevyn Adams and company proved that this morning.
So, where do the two sides go from here? It's hard to say, but you'd have to imagine that a trade is imminent. With the amount of negative press surrounding Jack Eichel, it will be impossible for the Sabres to make a trade that will bring equal value back to Buffalo. Eichel is a public relations nightmare right now, and is fresh off of a failed physical exam. Teams won't be willing to send their top prospects back to the Sabres in exchange for an unknown quantity.
No matter how you slice it, the Buffalo Sabres have a big, big problem on their hands.