Every season is worse than the last

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Sailor Man
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Every season is worse than the last

Post #1 by Sailor Man » Tue May 11, 2021 5:33 pm

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/31-thoughts-caused-disconnect-eichel-sabres

What we know: Jack Eichel dropped a neutron bomb on the Buffalo Sabres. As the team’s captain revealed Monday, he’s “a bit upset about the way that things have been handled since I’ve been hurt…. There’s been a bit of a disconnect from the organization and myself.

“The most important thing is trying to get healthy and figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year wherever that might be.”

Yiiiiikkkkkesssss.

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams is scheduled to meet with the media on Wednesday.

What we want to know: Why did Eichel do it? Here’s the best Picasso I can paint.

According to multiple sources, Eichel had a contentious exit interview with the organization. No one is commenting, but it’s believed he is exploring — on the advice of his medical team — an artificial disc replacement in his neck.

The Sabres and their captain are believed to have agreed to a month-long “pause” to see how Eichel reacted to rest. The end of that period is approaching, and, from what I understand, he still wants the surgery. The Sabres aren’t thrilled with the idea, and have not indicated they will approve.

I find it hard to believe Eichel isn’t consulting the best of the best, while Buffalo’s reticence comes from artificial disc replacement lacking evidence of its effectiveness on elite-level athletes. It’s a relatively new phenomenon. As far as I could find, there are no examples of NHLers who returned to play after having one.

Mixed martial artist Chris Weidman announced he underwent this procedure in Jan. 2019, and proclaimed it a success. He’s fought three times since then, suffering an unrelated injury three weeks ago. Another fighter, Aljamain Sterling, went through it last month. He’s resumed cardio and sounds optimistic, telling ESPN that doctors informed him, “I will heal in three months.”

The Johns Hopkins Medicine website describes the procedure like this:

Cervical disk replacement surgery involves removing a diseased cervical disk and replacing it with an artificial disk. Before this procedure was available, the affected disk was removed and the vertebrae above and below were fused together to prevent motion. The use of an artificial disk to replace your natural cervical disk is a new type of treatment that has recently been approved by the FDA. Disk replacement surgery may have the advantage of allowing more movement and creating less stress on your remaining vertebrae than traditional cervical disk surgery.

“While any surgery carries some risk, disk replacement surgery is a relatively safe procedure,” the website states, before adding it “is a new type of spine surgery so there is little information on possible long-term risks and outcomes.”

There are recent examples of star players embracing the unconventional. Connor McDavid did it coming back from his severe knee injury. Sidney Crosby with his concussion recovery.

Prior to the 2020 bubble playoffs, the NHL and NHLPA amended the CBA section concerning “Second Opinions” for players. It allows players like Eichel to obtain these insights at their own cost, with full medical information provided by the team. A grievance or appeal of Buffalo’s stance is always possible, but the passage seemingly puts power in an organization’s hands: “The club physician shall determine the diagnosis or course of treatment (including the timing thereof) after considering any report or other records received from the player’s physician and after giving due consideration to their recommendations.”

Undoubtedly, we’re going to hear more and learn more. But it’s hard to see how Eichel plays another game for the home team in Western New York. It’s clear that trust is broken, and arguments about medical care are much harder to fix than debates over franchise direction.

31 THOUGHTS

1. Potential trade partners will need to navigate his treatment, but don’t kid yourself — there will be a ton of interest in Eichel. Teams you initially don’t think of will be there. Think about it: He’s still in his prime, turning 25 in October. He’s signed for five years. Yes, this season was a disaster, but one year ago, he was excellent. He’ll be incredibly motivated.

The obvious suitor is the Rangers, who made a legit pitch one year ago. If they want to do it, they definitely can. They weren’t willing to do a first-rounder last fall — it was No. 1 overall — but unless they win the lottery back-to-back, that’ll be an option this time around. No GM will be more comfortable with Eichel’s representatives, Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli, than Chris Drury, who was their client when he played.

Big question: Will Buffalo want to send him there? Bigger question: If the Rangers make the best offer, can the Sabres afford to say no?

You have to think Boston tries, but do they have the pieces? No one lusts after a centre more than Columbus, but, again, do they have what Buffalo wants? Philadelphia could do it. Anaheim was in on Pierre-Luc Dubois, and they have the pieces. Los Angeles certainly can. It doesn’t make sense for them, but Ottawa could, too. So could Montreal. There’s going to be a serious suitor we don’t think of.

2. Eichel overshadowed everything else from Buffalo, but two other year-end media goodbyes were notable. Sam Reinhart didn’t reveal much and looked like he’d rather be eating lit cigarettes. Asked if he wanted to stay, he replied, “I don’t really have much to say right now. Gonna take some time, that stuff’s going to get figured out when the time comes.”

Rasmus Ristolainen said that if Adams traded him, “I’m fine with that.”

That’s really, really bad. Reinhart was 10th in the league with 25 goals. Ristolainen had every excuse to bail on the year after a rough case of COVID. Both of them played hard, even when there was no playoff spot to play for. Reinhart’s been there six years, Ristolainen eight. Those are two guys the Sabres invested in, and, one year from unrestricted free agency, both can’t wait to leave.

More than one western Canadian team would love to have Reinhart, born and raised in West Vancouver.




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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #2 by Sailor Man » Tue May 11, 2021 5:51 pm

So many times I find positives (not covid) to console me over the summer going into the next season... this past one was the hottest pile of putrid feces that fans have swallowed in the past 10 years, but Cozens, Luukkonen, Mittelstadt, Ruotsolainen, Thompson, Asplund, Jokiharju, Borgen... all looked elevated after Kreuger was tossed. Skinner was coming back around, Bjork and Bryson have been nice surprises. I figured, great, get Eichel back and Reinhart signed and we may finally be off to the races after this complete failure of an experiment.

...NAH!

Fuck Eichel, fuck the Pegulas and fuck this league. See ya next season, assholes. Go get Lafreniere in here and galvanize this team, build up some antibodies against the rotten perception of Buffalo being a friggin hockey Purgatory. This is wrecking the most dedicated hockey (not Sabres) fandoms of the US, check the ratings if you disbelieve.
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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #3 by chicpea » Tue May 11, 2021 6:15 pm

Eichel does this every year. He needs tp get a new hairdo. It is not cutting the mustard if you ask me.
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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #4 by Sailor Man » Tue May 11, 2021 6:50 pm

there's rumours that he's unhappy every year and he's been a coach killer (I was at the game where he turned on Dan Bylsma after he was benched during a power play) but he's spelled it out pretty clear here. There's probably a path to reconciliation but it's not going to be easy.

Risto and Reinhart sound as mopey and pathetic as O'Reilly did a few years ago at their exit interviews... I don't expect "we'll get 'em next year, folks!" said with a big smile after this extra-depressing 4 months but ugh...

Even run-of-the-mill shittiness would be great for a change... which I think they could get back to with a sensible Eichel trade and the Pegulas sinking some cash into scouting. If we can't ape the Bruins or Leafs, let's ape the Sens (oh god) or the Rangers.
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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #5 by Sailor Man » Tue May 11, 2021 7:02 pm

a last place finish 4 out of the last 8 years!!!
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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #6 by Sailor Man » Tue May 11, 2021 7:58 pm

I own a Taylor Hall shirsey (birthday present) and it's the funniest thing I own. It's worse than the losing teams championship shirts that get sent to Africa.
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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #7 by Sailor Man » Tue May 11, 2021 7:59 pm

They really missed Zemgus Girgensons. That's a terrible sentence.
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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #8 by Sailor Man » Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:54 pm

The fact that three Russians were taken in the draft is scary for no reason other than Buffalo hardly ever drafts Russians unless they've been playing in N.A.

Maybe they hired local scouts? Has Olga Khmylev been watching games in St. Petersburg?
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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #9 by Sailor Man » Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:54 pm

also, cant wait to watch Jack in Vegas.
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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #10 by chicpea » Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:57 pm

I'm sure things will pick up soon! Hold your head up high. I believe in you.
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Re: Every season is worse than the last

Post #11 by Sailor Man » Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:33 pm

Ullmark negotiations going til the last minute but he's about to be UFA. Another one gone for nothing... just give him his $5-$6m. The treatment of pending UFAs is part of the losers culture... it's why I loved the Skinner signing 2 years ago, because it was so unexpected.

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