Artificial Disk Replacement Surgery

Jack Eichel was traded from the Buffalo Sabers to the Vegas Golden Knights today. The reason for the trade had nothing to do with hockey and everything to do with healthcare.

Eichel needs surgery. He has a herniated disk. He wanted to undergo a procedure that had never been performed on an NHL player. The team wanted him to have a more common procedure. I have to imagine that conflicts like this are probably common. The team doctors want to do X and the player’s personal doctor wants to do Y. In this case the two sides refused to budge and it lead to a stalemate where Eichel didn’t get either procedure and the team traded him to get rid of him.

It all seems dumb to me, but what really surprises me is that based on the collective bargaining agreement, the team is 100% in the right. Now I understand that the team has millions of dollars invested in the player and all of that, but try to look at this from your own healthcare perspective. Imagine you have a condition that requires surgery. You and your doctor come up with a plan of action, and your employer says no and tells you that you have to do something different. Now imagine that you signed a contract that gives the employer that right.

Wow. I mean… wow. Do the other pro sports leagues have this right too? No, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.

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