22d | RotoWire
Eichel is free to negotiate a contract extension with the Sabres beginning Saturday, and new Sabres GM Jason Botterill has expressed how important he feels the center is to the club, The Buffalo News reports. "Our conversations over the last month or so with (agent) Peter Fish have gone very well," Botterill said. "It's a situation of understanding we've had a lot going on in the organization, but we've clearly told Peter we understand how important Jack is to our organization here moving forward."
The supremely talented pivot voiced his frustration with the Sabres coaching staff when Dan Bylsma was behind the bench, and in April, Eichel went as far as saying he wouldn't sign an extension -- he has one year remaining on his entry-level deal -- if Blysma was to return next season. As it turns out, the admonishment worked in Eichel's favor and Buffalo wound up replacing not only Blysma, but general manager Tim Murray as well. Despite being in the league for just two years and counting, Eichel has tremendous leverage with this franchise; he'll likely net a huge contract this summer after adding 113 points (48 goals, 65 assists) in 142 games between seasons one and two.