Enough is enough. It seems to be the case for Buffalo Sabres star player Jack Eichel. The team's 2017-18 performance fell well short of even the low expectations for improvement... and it was all supposed to be different with Eichel's new contract and his desire to lead the team to greater things. The Sabres had just 16 points at the end of November and never recovered and are now set to finish with the worst home mark in the league...
While Eichel has looked committed to bringing success in Buffalo after signing a massive eight-year $80-million extension, he has never hidden his own displeasure with losing, and not playing up to the standards of the league, and of what the fans expect them to accomplish. Throughout the season, the fanbase started showing its displeasure with the team’s performance through its attendance to games. In the past week, Eichel has slammed his own team three times!
The latest run down came after Thursday night's game, after his team squandered a 2-0 lead against the Detroit Red Wings, ultimately losing 6-3. The young forward was not happy.
"We think we can take shifts off. We think we can take plays off. We don't think every play matters, and it does," Eichel said, according to John Vogl of Buffalo News. "It all adds up at the end of the game. We continue to make similar mistakes and sleep through shifts, sleep through periods, and all of a sudden it's 6-3. It's frustrating."
Eichel has been ruthless with his own club this season, and it does not seem like he is about to stop calling them out. Last week, he commented on the attendance numbers and added that he does not blame the fans for not wanting to show up to games.
“I think they have a reason to be negative, what have we really put on the ice as a product for them this year? We don’t score goals, we really haven’t made coming to the game worthwhile, so can you blame them? No you can’t."
Then on Tuesday, Eichel bluntly admitted that he has difficulty accepting the sorry state of the Sabres, who haven't reached the playoffs in the three years since his debut in the league.
"When I got drafted, if you would've said we'd be in this position, I probably would've told you to give your head a shake," Eichel told The Associated Press.
"You look at Colorado and some of these teams, New Jersey, that make a quick turnaround and all of a sudden they're in the playoff hunt," he added.
Frustrated to be the draft lottery again, Eichel seems to have had enough. All season long, the young forward has voiced his displeasure over the campaign, in which he missed several games due to another ankle injury. The Sabres might be loading up on first-round picks and growing prospects, but Eichel might not have the patience to stick around for such a long rebuild.
The message he is sending is not a good. It feels like he wants out. But can you blame him?
Photo Credit: Zuma Press