Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley stated recently that Jack Eichel was only a few weeks away from returning. However, it seems that this has changed, as Pete DeBoer has now told reporters that Eichel won’t be back for at least a month or two.
Pete DeBoer on Jack Eichel: “I don’t know what the timeframe will be. It’ll be at least a month or two months before he plays.” Says he’s going to start traveling with the team
— Justin Emerson (@J15Emerson) January 19, 2022
Eichel did practice with the team earlier this month, but it appears that he now needs more time to return to action. This certainly isn’t the best news, as Vegas fans were surely excited to see their new star center debut with the team. However, it also is wise of the franchise to not rush him back, as he is recovering from serious surgery.
Eichel’s delayed return also gives the Golden Knights more time to figure out their salary cap situation. Once he is activated, Vegas will be over the salary cap by a significant margin. Thus, they inevitably will have to move some players out. Reilly Smith is one potential player who could be.
Once Eichel returns, Vegas will finally have a legitimate first-line center. The truth is in his stats. In 375 career games with the Buffalo Sabres, he had 139 goals, 216 assists, and 355 points. His best season came during the 2019-20 campaign, though, as he scored 36 goals and had 78 points in just 68 contests.
Alas, the Golden Knights now will have to wait longer than expected for Eichel to return. However, it will be worth it in the end.
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