Jack Eichel is staying in Buffalo for the foreseeable future. The Buffalo Sabres signed Eichel to a max deal worth $80 million as first reported by Kathryn Tappen.
Eichel was in the final year of his rookie deal and was reportedly looking for $11.5 million per year, but he took less so that the Buffalo Sabres could have space in their cap situation. He was advised by his agent to play out the year to possibly get more money, but Eichel is committed to Buffalo and wanted to get a deal done as soon as possible.
After a slow first season, Eichel came back after injury in year two and had 57 points in 61 games. If he had played a full 82 game season, he would have been on a point-per-game pace.
How this will affect other players in Eichel's position like Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine is unforeseen, but if they want their teams to win, then they should follow in Eichel's footsteps.
The Buffalo Sabres have yet to announce who the captain is for the upcoming season.
The road ahead
The extension of Eichel gives Sabres' fans a certain validation that the three straight seasons of tanking was worth it. That enduring the pain and suffering of constant losing, seeing Lindy Ruff leave, three head coaching changes, and the veteran "purge" makes it all worth it with franchise cornerstone Jack Eichel under contract for the next nine years.
This moment right here, this feeling in Buffalo is why teams tank. You can't get a player like Eichel anywhere else but in the draft, because teams don't have access to these types of players in free agency.
This is why you tank, to have a once-in-a-generation player on the roster which sets your team up for the next decade. It doesn't matter what happened in the past that's behind us now, all that matters is what the future holds for GM Jason Botterill, head coach Phil Housley, and the rest of this Sabres' roster.
So, with a tip of the cap to Tim Murray, we celebrate this occasion by looking forward and seeing what a player like Jack Eichel can bring to this roster.
From Sabres' fans everywhere from across the globe, we thank you, Tim Murray, for bringing us Eichel, and we thank you, Eichel, for staying, for being committed to playing in Buffalo, and for truly representing what it means to be a team player.
Do you think this was a good contract? Who do you think should be the next captain of the Buffalo Sabres? Tell us in the comments below!
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