The offseason has been quite positive so far in Buffalo, especially after the success of the draft lottery and the arrival of first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin in town. Still, the Sabres are in the middle of a fanbase uproar following one move that made fans incredibly pissed on Friday evening.
Sabres superstar player made a shocking move no one expected, switching from 15 to the digit he wore at Boston University. Eichel revealed his new number on his Instagram account, first posting a picture of himself skating in a Sabres jersey with an emoji covering his back. The center later posted a photo with the No. 9 showing and the words, “New season, new number.”
The 21-year-old wore No. 9 when he attended Boston University and also wore the number while representing Team USA at the world juniors and IIHF world championship.
“For a long time, the number nine has always been a part of my identity as both a person and as a player,” Eichel said in a statement. “The opportunity opened up to switch and I felt it was the right time to make the change as I begin the next phase of my career as a Sabre.”
The number 9 has been up for grabs since Evander Kane was traded to the San Jose Sharks at the February's trade deadline.
According to the information provided by Hockey Reference, Eichel will be the 19th player to wear the number in team history. Before Kane, Steve Ott and Derek Roy had it. The first Sabre to sport it was Reggie Fleming.
While Eichel is excited about his new number, fans have been quite upset over the change and let their favourite player and the Sabres know on social media.
The team had to do something all the fans expressing their anger on social media following Eichel's announcement. Therefore, fans with an officially licensed No. 15 Eichel jersey can receive a $49 credit toward a new adult No. 9 Eichel jersey or $29 toward a youth jersey starting Monday at the Sabres Store inside KeyBank Center.
And of course, there will also be a major deal and marked downs on Eichel's old jerseys.