Can you technically rebuild something if you didn’t build it first? It’s just a “build”, isn’t it? It’s the Buffalo Sabers, it’s even reasonable to build anything in the first place. This is the building in your neighborhood that used to have four or five different restaurants or bars and didn’t seem to last more than a few months between them. It seems like a good location, and everything around it does well, but every few months you walk in and all the lights are off and the place is littered with miscellaneous garbage. Maybe it’s in front of something else, maybe it’s cursed, maybe it’s just an indomitable race of Moran custodians, but whatever it is, nothing works. It is That Place
It’s not actually any news, because we know it’s been coming for some time. But on the opening day of Sabers Camp, it was an occasion to mourn rather than celebrate, Jack Eisel was snatched from his physical failure and captaincy. Which makes it clear that he will no longer play for the Sabers. Which isn’t too surprising, because he’s made it clear that he doesn’t want it that way.
We will separate these. First: Aichel’s injury, which is a pillar of her frustration for the Sabers and her desire to leave. He had a herniated disc around his neck. Sabers wanted him to have fusion surgery. Ikele wants a different procedure, a disc-replacement surgery. The Sabers didn’t approve of it, mostly because it had never been done on a hockey player before. Aichel prefers this because of the risk of complications on the road, which is understandable.
Even if Aishell had been healthy, he probably still wanted to go out, because the Sabers had moved to the Aisle of Uselessness in the NHL, which is not easy to do. Aichel has played six seasons, and the Sabers have never been within the player’s 15 points in the service. They can also play on Mars, which will be at least a little warmer in the winter.
The promise of getting Aisel second overall behind Connor McDavid is out of the ashes at the moment. Free agent signature didn’t work (Kyle Okposo), big business didn’t work (Ryan O’Reilly, who then went on to lead the Blues to the cup as soon as he could get out of this depth of hell, and Jeff Skinner who continued to score goals Will not be heard), other draft picks have failed to get the Sabers out of this (Sam Reinhart, Casey Mittelstadt, Rasmus Dahlin). This team never gets out of the mud, be it veterans in frustration or young goalkeepers who fail to deliver or blindfold the coaches or something else.
So the Sabers have to start all over again, unless they get out of the starting block for the first time. And a chip that they can start the process isn’t going to fake them too much. No team is giving up much for Aisel. They’re going to be on the run, and really they can’t do much to start building the next good Sabers team (I have a vague memory before, but vague memories of the time) until they pick the top-2 and draft next year. Where they found themselves six years ago. Where they found themselves three years ago, when they found Dahlin. The parties are supposed to leave the place, and yet the Sabers are still asking the guy on the sofa if there is any beer left.
Aisel’s position is not that big. Wherever he goes, he has to be fit for the way he wants, which has never been done in an NHL player again. His contract still has five years and 50 million, so even if a new team leaves a very small helm in a trade, they are still on the hook for that money. Maybe LTIR Savings are attractive enough to be in and out of the Eichel lineup, but it’s still a big risk. No one knows when he will play again this season. Or he could do more traditional fusion surgery for a new team, which would be the Sabers ’ultimate middle finger. But it seems impossible to give how hard he fought for it.
So the Sabers will go ahead with their other No. 1 pick in Dahlin and really nothing else. This is the very beginning of square one. Aichel won’t be moved to do too much in the end, and no one is happy about whether she can bring her career back to the place it was before her injury – which has been Sabers ’motto since 2007.
Boy, would it be better if the bills were good.