Buffalo Sabres GM wants ‘the people who want to be here’

Feb 18, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) skates during warmups prior to the Sabres’ game against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams didn’t mince words on Wednesday.

“We are going to get this right with the people who want to be here,” Adams said.

That comment comes two days after captain Jack Eichel said there’s been “a bit of a disconnect” between him and the organization since his season-ending neck injury. The end-of-year exit interviews from alternate captains Sam Reinhart and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen could also be construed as negative, with the former saying that “no one wants to go through a rebuild.”

Adams acknowledged on Wednesday that Eichel has not requested a trade.

“For sure, I would say I’ve been a bit upset about the way that things have been handled since I’ve been hurt,” the 24-year-old Eichel said Monday. “I’d be lying to say that things have moved smoothly since my injury. So yeah, there’s been a bit of a disconnect from the organization a bit and myself. It’s been tough at times.

“Right now, I think for me the most important thing is just trying to get healthy and figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year, wherever that might be.”

Adams said there has been “constant communication” between the team and Eichel, who has five seasons remaining on the eight-year, $80 million contract he signed with the club in 2017.

Eichel has recorded 355 points (139 goals, 216 assists) in 375 games since being selected with the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

The Sabres missed the playoffs for the 10th consecutive season after posting a 15-34-7 record in 2020-21.

–Field Level Media