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Jack Eichel Explains Why He Had To “Be Selfish” And Why He’s Fortunate To Have VGK’s Trust

It seems like each day that passes by there’s another piece of positive news on the Jack Eichel front. The most recent is that he has travelled with the team on the road trip starting in Washington D.C. and he’ll continue to assimilate with the Golden Knights’ players and systems as his return nears.

And while Eichel still remains in a no-contact jersey in practice, that piece of good news is seemingly next up and not that far away either.

I get cleared for contact 12-week post-op, so I think that’s beginning of February. –Jack Eichel on Won’t Back Down Podcast w/ Chris Weidman

To be exact, 12 weeks following Eichel’s surgery would be on February 4th, the day before the All Star Game in Las Vegas.

Eichel shared this information on a podcast with former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Eichel and Weidman, who each underwent artificial disc replacement surgery, chatted about the process of deciding to get the surgery, the operation itself, recovery, and so much more. It’s an excellent conversation for those wondering more about what Eichel went through and why he made the choices he made, but what jumped out most to me was the simple underlying reason why he was so confident in fighting the Sabres until the end.

It’s a fact that seems so obvious, but like many things, can often get convoluted with complexity of professional sports.

The thing that I didn’t really understand and still don’t is, as if I was going to make a decision that was going to compromise my ability to play hockey. My goal is to be the best hockey player that I can be and perform every night. I’m not going to make a decision or do something that I think is going to deteriorate my career. You really just have to become selfish. At the end of the day that’s what I ended up telling myself. I’ve got to be selfish because no one else is going to look after me better than I’m going to look after myself. –Eichel on Won’t Back Down Podcast w/ Chris Weidman

The Golden Knights took advantage of this and pulled off a blockbuster trade for what appears to be an excellent value on a superstar player that wasn’t going to be able to play for at least three months.

It was very refreshing when I went to Vegas. They said, ‘you can do whatever surgery you feel. You’ve had eight months to do your research on what you think is best. You can do your preferred surgery, you can choose the doctor,’ and they were just all supportive. It was very refreshing and I’m very fortunate. –Eichel on Won’t Back Down Podcast w/ Chris Weidman

As he continues to progress, the only real question now is exactly when Eichel will make his Golden Knights debut. The timelines have been wide-ranging from Eichel saying he thinks he’ll play sometime in February to Pete DeBoer calling him months away in a presser in Janaury to Kelly McCrimmon leaving room for it to last nearly to the end of the regular season.

One thing is clear though, and won’t be changing any time soon, now that he’s with the Golden Knights, the control is in Eichel’s hands.

The organization has been really good, they’re not rushing me to come back, but I haven’t played hockey in forever so as soon as I feel I can get back to playing, I’ve been cleared for contact, and I feel good and confident enough to go, I’m going to get back and go. –Eichel on Won’t Back Down Podcast w/ Chris Weidman

And while not even Eichel knows exactly when that will be, it definitely seems to be much sooner than later.

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23 Comments

  1. Galdom

    Good players make other good players around them better. Elite players raise the level of the play of their peers even more. Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty are at their best when they are both in the lineup at the same time which unfortunately has not happened much this season. I’m excited to see the Jack Eichel impact on this team.

  2. Pistol Pete

    Galdom, I wanted to say the same myself—elite players raise the level of their teammates. Ten will get you one he debuts at home 2/16 vs. Avs or 2/18 vs. Kings. I would not rule out the road games vs. EDM and CGY ahead of that.

  3. Tim F

    Thanks for the update Ken. Very excited to have Jack Eichel on the team, and it’s great that his recovery is going well.

  4. Arnold Rothstein

    live odds VGK @ Caps

    VGK -237 on the spread
    and +120 on moneyline

    Arnold

    • Blitz

      Vegas couldn’t even cover +1.5 against MTL and almost lost outright. It’s been a hard team to bet either way. They can crush a great team or lose to a garbage team.

      • MD

        They didn’t cover -1.5 (they covered +1.5 when the game went OT).

        • Blitz

          Yes, just a typo on my part, meant -1.5. VGK should have beat MTL by 2, but instead struggled. I guess in all fairness COL did the same thing 2 nights later with MTL.

      • Mark

        I just bet the over/under when playing a good team. It’s usually the over, it’s more fun IMOP. Against a lousy team I always go the Knights and the Over. I’ve done ok with that. Alot of times an empty net bails me out. My theory is we are probably the loudest team in the League mostly because many fans at the game has action on the game, makes for a crazy environment.

        • Blitz

          Interesting Mark, I almost never bet the over/under. Almost never even pay attention to it. Gonna have to keep an eye on it.

      • Lee

        Because unfortunately they never have the same lineup twice.

  5. Galdom

    Reilly Smith enters Covid protocol. Annoying

  6. As Eichel explained the timeline on his neck issue, it started towards the end of 2018-2019 season, with steady treatment into and for the entire summer of 2019. The issue persisted but with regular treatment he was able to play the 2019-2020 season, in fact it became his high goals scored (36) and 42 A (78 pts in 68 games) only 4 pts short of the previous season high (82 pts in 77 games–28 G). The problem worsened going into the summer of 2020 and the 2020-2021 season–finally in agame vs. NYI in March 2021 he received a hit that apparently caused the disc to finally herniate–prior to this it was not herniated but causing real problems. What is interesting is that he had his high goal scoring season 2019-2020 in spite of the disc issue–obviously the guy can play with a problem.

  7. Tim

    With our lineup tonight Lehner will have to stand on his head. Let’s cut through all the bullshit tonights his chance to turn the corner or as some may suspect he’s done.

    • Blitz

      Yeah I don’t see it unless WASH is super hurting too. What the hell is up with Marty? A cut to the face, really? He has been practicing in a reg jersey for a while now. As a long time MMA fan this stuff doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve seen dudes cut. I’ve seen dudes get destroyed for 5 rounds and still fought again faster than this.

      • Galdom

        You’ve got a better chance at finding Jimmy Hoffa than getting accurate VGK injury information. Obviously it’s more than a cut to the face. We are just left to guess. Probably concussion .

  8. Galdom

    Not that some criticism towards Lehner has not been justified but for tonight…….

    Richie-Rich, hdbiker7851, phantom major, DL, Blitz, DL, trade, Justin, Mark, Henderson One

    Shhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

    Props to Pistol Pete for sticking with Panda and not wanting to run him out of town

  9. Daryl

    One thing to think about… VGK in their first year showed that team chemistry is more imports t than having a superstar. Eichel will definately help this team but it isn’t a guarantee the other players will gel with him on the ice.

  10. Jeff

    Chris Weidman mentioned a second surgery. Does anyone know what that was about? He was cut open in the same spot, did he have to have the same surgery for the same thing twice?

    • I was wondering the same thing when I heard him talking about his scar. I can’t seem to find much on it that describes when he had his first one and when he had his second.

  11. Teedy

    Still at least 1 to 2 months away per the Vegas coach. I’d be just a bit nervous after hearing that.

  12. Daryl

    Never listen to PDB when it comes to injuries…

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