George McPhee Says Jack Eichel Battled Injury for Majority of His Season

Source: Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP

As the 2021-22 season neared the finish line, Vegas Golden Knights fans were starting to become more and more frustrated with Jack Eichel, who was held without a point in five of his team’s last seven games, but a thumb injury may be to blame for his struggles.

Despite coming off of a neck procedure that some believed could be career threatening, Eichel had immense pressure placed on him, especially given the fact that the Golden Knights were not running away with the Pacific Division at the time he was able to make his season debut. Still, things started off relatively well, as he recorded four points through his first five games. Shortly after, however, his production began to dip off, and recently on the Bob McCown Podcast, Golden Knights president of hockey operations George McPhee revealed why.

“What most people probably wouldn’t know is that he broke his thumb in a bad way about three or four weeks into his return,” McPhee said. “It was non-displaced so he didn’t have to have surgery, but it was a bad fracture, and the guy didn’t miss a game. He toughed it out, we had to numb him up and it wasn’t easy because when that wore off, he was in a lot of pain, but he toughed it out for six weeks with that.”

Heading into this season and even in years past, there have been some questions about Eichel’s character and how much he cares about winning. This goes to show that he is fully bought in to this Golden Knights team, and says a lot about him that he didn’t make any excuses to the media, who were never once aware of what he was battling. Had it not been for McPhee, there is a good chance we wouldn’t have heard about this Jack Eichel injury at all.

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