Well, that didn’t take long. Just last week, Jack Eichel, the second overall pick from the 2015 draft, signed a mammoth eight-year contract extension to stick around in Buffalo. After a 0-3-1 start, Eichel has stated his frustration.
“We’ve got to just figure a way to be sick of losing,” Eichel said, according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. “I know I’m sick of losing. There’s a lot of guys that are sick of losing. There’s a difference between playing hard and playing hard and smart. We’ve got to execute our game all the way through the lineup, myself included.”
Unfortunately for Eichel, and, well, fortunately for the Maple Leafs, it doesn’t seem like that frustration is going to end any time soon.
The Sabres boast some exciting talent up front, led by Eichel, with guys like Sam Reinhart, Kyle Okposo, and Ryan O’Reilly, but they’re a yard sale on the back end. That isn’t an easy issue to fix. Defencemen, as we know, don’t come cheap in the NHL, so putting together a competent blueline that can be the foundation of a successful team in Buffalo is going to be a struggle.
Just hang in there, Jack. I know losing is frustrating, and eight more years after this one is a long time. But when the extension kicks in and $10 million annually starts filling up your bank account, you’ll forget all about it.