The Vegas Golden Knights have a new team policy for treating injuries. They will now allow players to inform medical staff of their preferences and they won’t automatically administer painkillers or other medications. The move is being seen as a way to show support for player health during the long season, rather than rushing them back from injury too quickly.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ Jack Eichel hopes players gain more input on injury treatments. He believes that the players should be able to make their own decisions about how they want to get back on the ice.
Jack Eichel would not want any NHL player to be stuck in the same situation as he was with the Buffalo Sabres over his medical issues.
After being acquired from the Sabres in a blockbuster trade on Nov. 4, Eichel had his first formal press conference as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday. The Knights were one of the few clubs willing to let Eichel have artificial disk replacement surgery rather than the fusion surgery that Buffalo’s doctors desired. His health fight was lengthy and public, and it contributed to his trade from the franchise that selected him.
“I believe there are things in our CBA that can be modified, and I hope they will be in the future,” he remarked. “I’m not convinced that the team should have complete control over medical care. It should, in my opinion, be a collaborative effort. I’m not sure when the changes will happen — we just renegotiated our CBA a year ago, after all — but I wanted to speak out for what I believe in.”
Eichel said that if the Sabres had permitted him to have his desired operation earlier this year, he would be playing right now. He is scheduled to have artificial disk replacement surgery this week, with a three-month recuperation period.
Eichel landed in Las Vegas to much hoopla, as is customary for the franchise. To welcome freshly acquired players, the Knights usually send their mascots and a phalanx of showgirls to the airport. They ran into Eichel at the entrance to their headquarters this time.
“As a player, you value it. It makes you feel appreciated as a player “he said
Eichel said he’s excited to play for the Knights because he’s “just touching the surface” of his potential and believes the team’s competitive atmosphere will help him succeed.
“Every year, the aim here is to win the Stanley Cup, and that’s a great attitude to have,” he said.
On Monday, he elaborated on it on the team’s official podcast.
“This is perhaps the most driven I’ve ever been. Just look at how things went down in Buffalo. You try not to pay attention to what others have to say about you, but there have been a lot of things said about me that I don’t particularly agree with or enjoy “he said “It’s not like you’ve been forgotten, but I believe a lot of people have written me off. And it bothers me. I’m in a competition with you.”
“Jeez, isn’t it difficult to be associated with that guy?”
Jack Eichel on coming in second place behind new division opponent Connor McDavid in the draft
For center Peyton Krebs, winger Alex Tuch, a future first-round draft selection, and a future second-round pick, the Golden Knights received Eichel and a third-round draft pick. The deal places the No. 2 selection in the 2015 NHL draft in the same division as Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, who was chosen first that year.
“Isn’t it difficult to be associated with that guy? There, I got the short end of the stick, “In his press conference, Eichel drew laughter. “He’s had a fantastic career. Connor is a world-class basketball player. That level of competition brings out the best in me.”
Eichel had to face the issue of NFL allegiances at his press conference. He grew up in Massachusetts as a Tom Brady supporter, and his favorite team is the New England Patriots.
“However, when you are picked by Buffalo, they want you to abandon your allegiance and become a Bills supporter. For a time, I was certainly a Bills fan. But it’s difficult because you don’t only want to support the Patriots; you also want to support the area where you live “He added that he would continue to support Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen, whom he knows.
“Prior to being moved here, I was a huge Derek Carr supporter. I’m not sure… I’ll be rooting for the Raiders in Las Vegas “Eichel said.