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The Buffalo Sabres don't need any assistance to finish last in the NHL this season, but here's a little push in that direction anyway.
Jack Eichel will miss the remainder of the season with an herniated disk in his neck, the team announced Wednesday. The injury will require surgery, and the captain is expected to be healed up in time to start next season.
Eichel has been out since March 7 with the issue.
It seems to be a fitting conclusion to a disastrous season for Eichel, who has likely seen his performance affected by the ailment. Eichel was limited to two goals and 18 assists in 21 games before exiting the lineup for the remainder of the season, which was a far cry from the impressive numbers he posted through his first five seasons in the league.
Eichel is recently coming off his most productive season, scoring 36 goals in 68 games and contributing a personal-best 1.15 points per game.
Of course, many will wonder if Eichel has played his last game for the Sabres, now that his season is officially done. Whispers of his unhappiness have grown louder as the organization continues to regress, even beyond the most pessimistic of expectations.
Eichel will now be six seasons into his NHL career without appearing in even a legitimate postseason race, and it seems the Sabres are headed toward another significant re-tooling.
In other Sabres news, the club is expected to name Jason Karmanos to the executive team, presumably to help guide rookie general manager Kevyn Adams through that roster overhaul from an associate position.
Karmanos was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins staff which recently won back-to-back Stanley Cups.
Good luck to Jason.
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