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Buffalo Sabres trade star forward Jack Eichel to Vegas Golden Knights

Buffalo Sabres trade star forward Jack Eichel to Vegas Golden Knights
Former Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, shown Oct. 3, 2019, has scored 355 points (139 goals, 216 assists) in 375 career games. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The Vegas Golden Knights acquired star forward Jack Eichel in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

The Sabres received wingers Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, a future first-round draft pick and a future second-round selection from the Golden Knights in exchange for Eichel. Vegas also got a future third-rounder in the deal.

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If the Golden Knights' first-round pick in 2022 isn't a top-10 choice, the Sabres will receive a 2022 first-rounder and a 2023 second-round selection, with Vegas getting a 2023 third-rounder.

If Vegas' 2022 first-rounder is a top-10 pick, the Sabres will get a 2023 first-rounder and a 2024 second-round selection, with the Golden Knights receiving a 2024 third-rounder.

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"The price was high for him, obviously, in terms of what we have sent to Buffalo, but at the same time for a player of this ilk, it should be high," Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon told reporters Thursday. "For me, when you look at what an NHL contending team should look like, he's really an important piece of that."

The Sabres selected Eichel with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft. The 25-year-old center spent his first six seasons with the franchise and was one of the team's most productive players during that span.

However, Eichel's relationship with the Sabres soured last season over a disagreement about how to treat a herniated disk in his neck. Buffalo wanted Eichel to undergo fusion surgery, as an artificial disk replacement has never been performed on an NHL player.

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Under the league's collective bargaining agreement, teams make the final determination on how to treat injuries.

After the trade, McCrimmon made it known that Vegas will allow Eichel to have his preferred choice of surgery. As a result, Eichel will get artificial disk replacement surgery as soon as this week.

"The decision of the surgery is one that we respectfully defer to Jack and his representatives," McCrimmon said. "Why wouldn't his people want what's best for him?"

After the procedure, Eichel is expected to be cleared to skate in about six weeks, but it will be at least three months until he is cleared for contact. That timetable puts his return after the All-Star break.

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Eichel, a former team captain for the Sabres, has scored 355 points (139 goals, 216 assists) in 375 career games.

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