BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Jack Eichel era in Buffalo has finally come to an end.
The Buffalo Sabres announced Thursday the team traded their former captain to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Sabres acquired forwards Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch, a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 second-round pick from Vegas in exchange for Eichel and a 2023 third-round pick.
We have acquired forwards Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch, a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick, and a 2023 second-round pick in exchange for forward Jack Eichel and a 2023 third-round pick.— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 4, 2021
Details: https://t.co/b1emYKI6rD pic.twitter.com/a6Vpgd8lRQ
In a tweet, the team thanked Eichel for his time in Buffalo saying: "From your constant support at Roswell Park and across our community, to the memories made on the ice, Buffalo thanks you, Jack Eichel."
In another tweet, the team said: "Thank you for everything, Jack. Best of luck in Las Vegas!"
Eichel tweeted a photo of himself in a Golden Knights uniform and said "VEGAS BABY, VEGAS" Thursday.
You can watch the full press conference Sabres GM Kevyn Adams held Thursday morning to discuss the trade here.
The Sabres drafted Eichel in the 2015 NHL Draft with the 2nd overall pick. In October of 2017, he signed an eight-year, $80M contract extension that began at the start of the 2018-19 season. Exactly a year after signing that contract extension, Eichel was named the team's captain. He held that captaincy until September 2021, in which General Manager Kevyn Adams took the letter 'C' away following an offseason of tension between the two sides.
"The captain should be the heartbeat of this team," Adams said on September 23rd. "We felt we needed to make the decision."
It seemed like the frustration with the organization had been building year after year. Since joining the team, Eichel has played under four different head coaches [including this year's head coach Don Granato] and has been a part of a team that's finished no better than 23rd in the league standings, finishing dead last twice.
Eichel was injured back in March and missed the team's final 33 games of last season. Tensions came to a head after Eichel's wish to have an artificial disk replacement wasn't agreed to by the team, instead choosing to go with their team doctors' recommendations of a disk fusion surgery, something Eichel doesn't want. During the end of season press conferences, Eichel expressed his frustration with the organization and the handling of his injury.
"I'd be lying to say things have moved smoothly since my injury. I think there's been a bit of a disconnect from the organization a bit and myself," he said on May 10th. "It's been tough at times."
Following multiple trade rumors throughout the offseason that resulted in him remaining in Buffalo, Eichel failed his pre-camp physical and has been on long-term injured reserve since.
Eichel played 375 games with the Sabres, scoring 139 goals and adding 216 assists for 355 points.