NHL News: Eichel schedules surgery; Sens name Tkachuk captain; and big names hit IR
New Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel is scheduled to undergo an artificial disk replacement surgery Nov. 12 at a spine clinic in Denver, he said Friday.
The surgery was the centerpiece of the tension between Eichel and his former team, the Buffalo Sabres. The procedure has never been performed on an NHL player and the Sabres were pushing for a fusion surgery for Eichel’s herniated disk.
Jack Eichel hopes for quick recovery
“You hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” Eichel said. “In that case obviously I’m hoping that it’s a three-month recovery, and after three months if I’m ready to get back to doing what I love.”
Eichel and a 2023 third-round draft pick were traded Thursday from Buffalo to Vegas in exchange for forwards Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick and a 2023 second-rounder.
Eichel said Dr. Chad Prusmack at the Rocky Mountain Spine Clinic will perform the procedure.
Once he has the surgery, Eichel could be cleared to skate in six weeks but would be out at least three months before he’s cleared for contact.
Senators name Brady Tkachuk captain
As expected and long rumored, forward Brady Tkachuk was named captain of the Ottawa Senators on Friday.
“Brady personifies leadership,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said of the 22-year-old in a news release. “While on the ice, he craves winning and commands respect. Off of it, he routinely sets a good example for his teammates and carries himself with a combination of confidence and dignity. He’s deserving of this next step in his career. We’re proud to bestow the honor of being the team’s 10th captain upon him.”
Tkachuk is in his fourth season with the Senators, who selected him No. 4 overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. In 205 career games, he has tallied 129 points (62 goals, 67 assists) and 271 penalty minutes.
NHL Injury News
The Columbus Blue Jackets were dealt some bad news as forward Patrik Laine is expected to miss four to six weeks with an oblique strain.
Laine, who was placed on injured reserve Friday, was hurt in the Blue Jackets’ 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday in Denver. He had two assists in that contest to boost his season total to 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in nine games.
Washington Capitals forward Anthony Mantha underwent shoulder surgery on Friday and is out indefinitely.
The Capitals recalled forward Aliaksei Protas from Hershey of the American Hockey League to take the spot of Mantha, who was placed on injured reserve.
Mantha, 27, was injured during the second period of Washington’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday.