Three big names have been ruled out for the remainder of the 2020-21 NHL season.
First up, the Sabres announced that captain Jack Eichel has a herniated disk in his neck and will not play again this season. Eichel, who is signed through the 2025-26 season with a $10M cap hit, has not played since March 7 and finished with two goals and 18 points in 21 games.
“He was again recently looked at by the doctors and slight improvement from where he was at before,” Sabres GM Kevyn Adams said on Monday. “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.”
The 24-year-old Eichel suffered the injury during a game against the Islanders in March where he was checked into the boards by Casey Cizikas.
According to the Sabres, the expectation is that he will be healthy and prepared to start the 2021-22 NHL season.
Stars pair out, but Seguin returning soon
The Stars will try to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs without the services of Ben Bishop and Alexander Radulov.
Bishop has not played at all this season after undergoing right knee surgery in October. The initial diagnosis was that the 34-year-old netminder would miss five months, but the decision has been made to allow him more time to rehab and be ready for next season.
Radulov, meanwhile, last played on March 18 and will need core muscle surgery. Like Bishop, he’s expected to be ready for next season.
There is good news for the Stars, though. GM Jim Nill said this week that Tyler Seguin, who has not played this season due to off-season hip surgery, could return in two weeks time. Seguin began skating with the taxi squad this week.
“I don’t like to give exact dates, because when you’re coming back from major surgery, things can change quick,” Nill said. “The tough part in bringing players back is we never practice anymore. To get players up to game condition, game speed, and get in the grind of everyday hockey, we don’t have that ability.”
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.