NHL Roundup: Coyotes being kicked out of Glendale; what if Eichel got surgery without Sabres approval; and more

The Arizona Coyotes are being kicked out of the Gila River Arena by the City of Glendale. They must vacate the premises by June 30, 2022.

According to the City of Glendale manager, Kevin Phelps they reached a “point of no return” and will not renew the lease. The two parties operate on a year by year agreement and the city of Glendale informed the club Thursday of their plans.

NHL Roundup: Coyotes need a new home

“With an increased focus on larger, more impactful events and uses of the city-owned arena, the city of Glendale has chosen to not renew the operating agreement for the Arizona Coyotes beyond the coming 2021-22 season,” the city said in a statement.

The move comes after months of stalled negotiations between the city and the club on terms of an extension, agreement on renovations and delinquent payments by the Coyotes.

Late yesterday, the Coyotes released a statement of their own disappointed in the City’s decision and vowing to stay in Arizona.

“We are disappointed by today’s unilateral decision by the City of Glendale to break off negotiations on a multi-year lease extension agreement,” President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez said. “Most importantly, the Coyotes are one hundred percent committed to finding a long-term arena solution here in Arizona, and nothing will shake our determination to do what is right for our organization, residents of the entire Valley and, most important, our fans.”

What if Jack Eichel had surgery without Sabres consent

jack eichel surgery
Feb 22, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) and New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) battle for position during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Many hockey fans who have followed the dispute between the Sabres and Eichel over neck surgery have asked why he just doesn’t get the procedure he wants. Eichel wants a disc replacement which has never been done on an NHL player, while Sabres prefer the traditional, fusion option.

Tim Graham of The Athletic recently covered that Paragraphs 4 and 5 in the CBA detail the violations Eichel would commit if he had the procedure against Buffalo’s consent. Bottom line, if Eichel were to get the surgery and be “unable to perform” the Sabres could terminate his contract.

I know that many who just read that are thinking, why hasn’t he gotten the surgery then? He would become a free agent.

Well, that is assuming that Buffalo would terminate his deal instead of suspending him without pay and giving him a fine. That’s the route Buffalo would likely take until he’s cleared to play. It’s a big risk for Eichel because no surgical procedure is a guarantee to go without issue.

Heaven forbid there were complications, not only would Eichel’s career be in jeopardy but he could stand to lose the $50 million remaining on his contract. Simply put, the risk isn’t worth it. Not when he could hold out of camp until a trade is done.

Worst case scenario, if he were to sit out the entire season he’d have more control next summer when his no-trade clause kicks in.

Sabres #1 pick going back to college

Defenseman Owen Power, the Buffalo Sabres’ No. 1 overall pick in July’s NHL draft, has decided to return for his sophomore season at the University of Michigan, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Power, 18, had to choose between extending his amateur career and reporting to the Sabres’ organization ahead of the 2021-22 season. In interviews before the draft, Power had hinted that he was enticed to play another NCAA season.

The Canadian blueliner is listed at 6-feet-6, 213 pounds, and was considered the consensus best prospect available to the Sabres at No. 1.

Power was one of four current or incoming Wolverines players to be selected in the top five of the draft. Defenseman Luke Hughes (No. 4 pick, New Jersey) is headed to Michigan for his freshman year and will team up with Power.

-Field Level Media contributed to this article.