Eichel, 24, has a herniated disk in his neck, and there is urgency to have it addressed as soon as possible. He had been hopeful that the Sabres would trade him to a team that would allow him to get a disk replacement surgery.
The Sabres preferred that Eichel receive a fusion surgery, as a disk replacement has never been performed on an NHL player. Under NHL collective bargaining agreement rules, teams have the final say on how to treat injuries.
Eichel’s camp met with the Sabres in late October in one last attempt to convince management to let him get his preferred surgery.
Eichel failed his physical and was on the injured reserve list. He was selected by the Sabres with the No. 2 pick of the 2015 draft. In 2017, he agreed to an eight-year, $80 million deal, making him the highest-paid player in franchise history.