Sabres, Eichel feel they reached "the perfect deal"

Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 16:48:32-04

Jack Eichel never thought he'd be in the position he's in. Just a few weeks shy of his 21 birthday, Eichel signed the richest contract in the history of the Buffalo Sabres organization, agreeing to an eight-year contract extension worth an average of $10 million per season. 

"I just look forward to being a part of this city for the next nine years and all the successes we're going to have," Eichel said in his opening remarks on Wednesday. "I want to bring so much excitement to this team, this organization, and this city. Our team is heading in the right direction and I couldn't be more excited for the future here in Buffalo."

Takeaways from Wednesday's media conference: 

Who will be captain? 

We thought we got a hint as Wednesday's practice ended with Eichel breaking down his teammates at center ice.  But not so fast. Sabres general manager Jason Botterill was asked point blank if the team will name a captain this season.

"We will not be naming a captain to start the season off here, we will see how things progress from that standpoint. " Botterill responded. "We're very comfortable with our leadership group right now that we have here and Jack is a big part of it." 

Botterill went on to add that successful teams have several leaders in their locker room. When asked if he saw himself as a captain, Eichel echoed those comments saying that you don't need a letter on your jersey to lead. 

Buffalo was the plan all along

Eichel made it very clear during Wednesday's press conference that he always wanted to be in Buffalo. He admitted that he was open to playing the season without a new deal but is happy to be under contract for the next nine years. 

"I think right from the get-go it was pretty obvious that both sides wanted eight-years," Eichel said. "I told my agents I wanted to be here for as long as I could and commit to this city and this organization."

Eichel added that he left the negotiations to his agents and said it's his job to focus on hockey.  

"We wanted to make sure that four or five years from now Jack and his family were very excited about being in Buffalo and being comfortable with the contract," Botterill added. "Woke up this morning; I think both sides are excited about the situation so to me it was a perfect deal." 

The best is yet to come 

Both Eichel and Botterill were adamant that the future in Buffalo is bright. Botterill even said at the beginning of the press conference that Eichel was one of the reasons why he took the GM job in the first place.