Jack Eichel sat down alongside Jason Botterill this afternoon to address questions regarding the eight year, $80 million extension that he signed with the Sabres late yesterday evening. Though the press conference was relatively quick, Eichel answered several questions pertaining to the negotiation process, and what it meant to him to be a Sabre for the next nine seasons.
In general, the 21-year-old superstar kept his answers focused on the work ahead, and less about his accomplishments thus far. Throughout the off-season, the young centerman remained adamant that he had no issue starting the season without a long term contract.
“With or without the contract, my goal was to be a leader and a guy people could rely on. I want to take on more responsibility and be the best player I can be, and the best teammate.” – Eichel
Following a season where he scored 57 points in 61 games, there is a great deal of pressure on the Sabres’ franchise cornerstone to compete at a high level, and carry his team toward the ultimate goal of a Stanley Cup.
During the presser, Eichel remained adamant about his commitment not just to the team, but to the city of Buffalo as a whole.
“I just look forward to being part of this city for nine years. This city means so much to me. People are great to me, my friends, my family. I think I really owe it to them.” – Eichel
#Eichel on #Buffalo: “This city means so much to me… People are great to me, my friends, my family… I think I really owe it to them” #Sabres pic.twitter.com/6yD0lrYQHU
— Spectrum News BUF (@SPECNewsBuffalo) October 4, 2017
On a rather interesting note, when asked about the Sabres’ vacancy at captain, Botterill stated that the team would not be naming a captain to start the season. Though nobody will wear the “C” when Buffalo squares off with the Montreal Canadiens tomorrow night, there is no doubt that the team will play with an extra edge knowing that their star player is locked down long term.
Now more than ever, Jack Eichel’s play will be held under a microscope both locally and nationally. After hearing the focus and determination in his voice this afternoon, he is more than ready for the daunting task ahead.