Jack Eichel has decided to change agents and will be represented by Pat Brisson of Creative Artists Agency, whose other clients include high-profile players like John Tavares and Sidney Crosby, per Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
The move comes as Eichel continues to navigate an ongoing rift with the Buffalo Sabres, centred on a difference in opinion over how to treat the star centre’s neck injury.
The 24-year-old was previously represented by Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli of Global Hockey Consultants. Both Fish and Donatelli released a statement on July 30 stating they had anticipated Eichel would’ve been traded prior to the start of the league’s free agency period, but that did not happen.
"As previously stated, we fully anticipated a trade by the start of the NHL free agency period," the statement read. "After the agreed upon and prescribed period for conservative rehabilitation lapsed in early June 2021, it was determined by the Sabres medical staff that a surgical procedure was required. The recommendation by Jack's independent neurosurgeon, other spine specialists consulted, and the surgery Jack feels most comfortable having in order to correct a herniated disc in his neck is to proceed with Artificial Disc Replacement surgery."
The statement came after Sabres GM Kevyn Adams said the team did not feel any pressure to move their captain.
There have been no recent updates on a potential move involving Eichel. Anaheim, Calgary and Minnesota were among the clubs believed to be showing interest throughout the process.
Eichel's desire for the disk replacement surgery is at odds with the Sabres medical staff, who are said to have recommended against it because it hasn't yet been performed on an NHL player. In July, it appeared the two sides were reaching a resolution on the issue. Friday's statement from Eichel's representation suggests otherwise.
“I've been a bit upset about the way things have been handled since I've been hurt. I'd be lying to say that things have moved smoothly since my injury,” Eichel said back in May. “There's been a bit of a disconnect between myself and the organization. It's been tough at times. Right now, for me, the most important thing now is to try to get healthy, figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year, wherever that might be.”
Eichel has spent the past six seasons with the Sabres — in that time he's amassed 355 points through 375 games with the club, highlighted by a 36-goal, 78-point effort through 68 games in 2019-20.