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Golden Knights’ Jack Eichel undergoes successful spinal surgery

Mar 7, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) controls the puck against the New York Islanders during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 7, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) controls the puck against the New York Islanders during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Eichel underwent the spinal surgery that prompted his recent change of teams, and the Vegas Golden Knights termed the procedure a success Friday.

Eichel became the first NHL player ever to undergo an artificial disk replacement, and the star center experienced no complications, according to the Golden Knights.

The team did not immediately put a timeframe on his return, but Eichel said recently that he could be back within three months and that he believed he would be back at full strength in six months.

Eichel, 25, was captain of the Sabres, for whom he played six years, before clashing with Buffalo management over his health care. He was adamant that he needed an artificial disk replacement while the Sabres wanted him to have fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk.

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After a lengthy holdout, Eichel was traded last week to Vegas, which agreed to let him undergo his preferred surgical option.

The operation was done Friday at a spine clinic in the Denver area.

The Golden Knights received Eichel and a 2023 third-round draft pick in exchange for forwards Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 second-rounder.

Eichel is in the fourth year of an eight-year, $80 million deal. The Golden Knights reportedly absorbed his $10 million cap hit for the current season.

The second overall draft pick in 2015 out of Boston University, Eichel racked up 139 goals and 355 points overall in 375 games for the Sabres.

–Field Level Media