“Listen, I’m fed up with the losing and I’m fed up and I’m frustrated.” Those were the words of Buffalo Sabres superstar, Jack Eichel per ESPN in May. “You know, it’s definitely not an easy pill to swallow right now,” he explained after realizing his Sabres would miss the playoffs again. “It’s been a tough five years with where things have gone.”
Changes In Buffalo as Jason Botterill fired by Sabres
Well today it looks like the owner of the Sabres received the message loud and clear. Jason Botteril has been fired from his duties as the team’s general manager and has been replaced by SVP of Business Administration Kevyn Adams.
There are also rumors that the changes in Buffalo are far from done. Sweeping changes are expected throughout the organization from minor league coaches, to scouts, and more.
Saving Jack Eichel
Terry and Kim Pegula held a press conference to explain the reasons for the moves and ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup. They noted “philosophical differences” with Jason Botterill but end results were the real cause. Since joining the Sabres in May of 2017, the team’s combined record under his watch was an abysmal 88-115-30.
This move screams the need to keep Jack Eichel happy in Buffalo. He signed an 8 year deal for $80,000,000 in 2018. The 23-year-old star has rewarded the Sabres with 160 points in 145 games since inking the contract including 64 goals. For his young career he has 337 points in 354 games. Unfortunately for him the Sabres haven’t made the playoffs for 5 straight seasons.
Matter of fact, the only thing Eichel has experienced are 2 coaching changes and a GM firing already. Not exactly the definition of stability in Buffalo.
So will this send Jack Eichel the message they hope he wants to hear? It will all boils down to what they do going forward and what team they put on the ice next season. If Eichel is scoring big goals and adding tons of points but the Sabres are out for a 6th straight season with no postseason, it won’t take long for that frustration to lead to a trade demand.