Insider Trading: Jack Eichel Undergoes Neck Surgery; Hoping to be ready for next season


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How will the current delays in the NHL and the various variants of COVID-19 in Europe affect the IIHF World Men’s Hockey Championship? What’s the latest news on Team Canada for the Olympics? What does the NHL think of the new trend in dual-pay jobs? TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun bring you all of this and more.
Will the IIHF World Championship in Latvia go according to plan?

Darren Dreger: Well, that’s the plan. There are still plans to move forward. What they don’t know is what men’s worlds are [is] will resemble the concerns of variants that continue to develop across the world.

The IIHF got a call earlier today to talk about this and some of the other international events. There is a strong feeling that they can play male worlds in a bubble. They’re going to make that decision, I would say in the next two to three weeks. Then you have the ongoing delays in the NHL that are of concern to the men’s world championships as well.

Pierre LeBrun: Meanwhile, the brains of Canada’s Olympic men continue to plan ahead for Beijing until told not to. They have met on virtual calls every dozen games this season. The long roster of players Doug Armstrong and his team started the season with is down around 20% since then as they continue to cut that roster.

What they want to do is go from a long list to an average list at the end of the playoffs so that if there is an orientation camp or some kind of meeting before next season, and for the Olympic preparation, let it be a manageable number.

Certainly at some point at the start of next season, the idea is to reduce it to a shortlist where there are only three or four decisions on the list to be made. At this point, the plan would be for the management staff to bring in the coaching staff, who has yet to be appointed, to help make those three or four final decisions.

As for the Olympic camps, it is still not decided whether there will be any. This is a decision of the NHLPA in collaboration with the league and this decision has not yet been made.

Buffalo Sabers Jack Eichel is absent for the remainder of the season with a herniated disc in his neck. Will he be ready for next season?

Integrated imageDreger: Well, that’s the hope and expectation of the Buffalo Sabers captain. The plan is for Jack Eichel undergo surgery on a disc problem in early May. All the Buffalo Sabers are saying at this point is that Jack Eichel will be reassessed in the coming weeks.

Eichel wants to solve this problem. He doesn’t want to wait three, maybe six months to see if he heals on his own. He wants to fix it now so he’s ready to go for the start of training camp.

One of the trends on the trade deadline was double salary retention with a third team involved in trades. What does the league think of these professions?

Integrated imageLeBrun: It’s not that the league wasn’t paying attention here. They know very well what is going on with these agreements. Toronto did that a year ago, by the way. Certainly now with the flat cap it has become much more important. the David Savard treat, the Nick Foligno trade, and Mattias Janmark on deadline day, all needed a third team to help with cap space. The Sharks and Red Wings, the teams involved, were all drafted to be that space broker.

There are team executives who are not comfortable with what is going on here. With salary retention occurring twice from one shift to another. As far as the league goes, there is no money outside the system, all the money in the cap is accrued and ultimately a hockey asset was acquired by this team, so they are. Okay.

Are the potential events that were going to be scheduled by the CHL and the NHL for this month of July still in doubt?

Darren Dreger: Not necessarily in doubt, but the planning is certainly moving ahead. That’s all the NHL and CHL can do in this role. The CHL and NHL are in conversation with the Government of Alberta. Given the success [they] had in return to play, if they can get approval from health officials, the NHL would like to host a top prospects event in early July in Edmonton.

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