It’s incredibly pathetic that we have to discuss something like this at all. It really is.
Here we are in (another) one of Buffalo’s worst seasons in history, and instead of the focus being on Evander Kane’s trade value, or Kyle Okposo looking better, or anything else, Sabres fans are concerned about something else – an apparent problem between Ryan O’Reilly and Jack Eichel.
It sounds silly, but there’s some evidence to support this theory as fans have picked some things up over the past week or so.
First, there was this. Eichel is fist bumping everybody as they come off the ice, but O’Reilly doesn’t even acknowledge that he’s there. (At 0:07 mark)
Eichel showing leadership, What’s up with O’Reilly? pic.twitter.com/dqIDfCASRo
— Rob Esmond (@rsantoe) January 26, 2018
It seems odd that O’Reilly wouldn’t know he was there, or for whatever reason, just wouldn’t do it. But okay, it’s not that big of a deal.
Until Thursday night, when Ryan O’Reilly scored a power play goal against the Florida Panthers and again, snubbed Eichel of a fist bump. Take a look:
This time, it looks much more intentional. O’Reilly has his head up and is looking that way, then turns at the last second.
But that’s it. These two clips have created quiet the conversation, but does it mean anything?
To add in a little more, O’Reilly did have a problem with Matt Duchene when they were both on the Colorado Avalanche.
From the Denver post:
Duchene said O’Reilly and his continuous salary demands became a detriment to the team.
“More of distraction the first time,” Duchene said of O’Reilly’s holdout at the start of the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season. “Last year I don’t think it was as bad. I never really look at it too much. But it is tough when a guy like that — who you look at as part of your core — and you don’t know if he’s going to be there or not in the middle of the summer. I guess that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
If there is any sort of actual problem between O’Reilly and Eichel, it needs to be resolved immediately. It’s embarrassing that this has even come up and the two need to be adults and put whatever it is aside.
But maybe this is all nothing. Maybe it is and it will just blow over and the two will be fine, but it is something to keep an eye on moving forward.
What do you think of this possible feud? Let us know in the comments.