Sabres captain Jack Eichel out for remainder of the season with neck injury

Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) skates during the third period of an NHL hockey game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said on Monday the team would be “completely transparent” when it has “proper information” on captain Jack Eichel’s injury. Wednesday, the team announced Eichel will miss the rest of the season with a herniated disc in his neck.

“Very difficult knowing him as a person, his commitment, his character and he’s playing through it. It’s not something you want exposed obviously because it’s such a competitive environment so that’s information you don’t want opponents to have obviously for his safety but it’s a bummer, it is,” interim head coach Don Granato said on Wednesday.

“You hope for him to feel better every day and improve every day and that’s in essence what you think of and how you think about it.”

Granato could not say whether or not Eichel needs surgery or when the injury occurred but Eichel is expected to be healthy and ready to play at the start of next season.

“It’s tough, I mean it’s always tough missing time. No one wants to go through a stretch like this watching games so you just hope he recovers and comes back better from it,” Sam Reinhart said.

Eichel has been out with an upper-body injury since the Sabres’ 5-2 loss to the Islanders on March 7, when it appeared he hurt his neck. Then-coach Ralph Krueger said the following week Eichel will be out for the “foreseeable future” but there was no mention of it being season-ending.

During his trade deadline zoom call on Monday, general manager Kevyn Adams said Eichel will still be “out for a while” which didn’t sound promising for a return this season with 15 games left.

“He was again recently looked at by the doctors and slight improvement from where he was at before. I don’t want to go too much further than that but it does look like he’s still gonna be out for a while so where that puts him in terms of return, we’ll have to see,” Adams said on Monday.

“The reason he’s not playing is because he’s not healthy enough to play and we need to help him do everything we can as an organization to get him back there. I think as we move forward here in the coming days there will be more clarity. We have a little bit more information last week and then here in the next couple of days gonna have some more conversations with the doctors and then for sure, kind of what are the next steps and why? And be transparent with that information with you guys,” Adams also said on Monday.

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