You liked that stupid headline didn’t you? Thought so.
I remember shortly after I had coached in the EJHL and Empire Junior League I was hearing all about Jack Eichel, a Boston Jr. Bruin, just tearing that league to shreds. He was all the talk and more, putting up 80+ points in just 36 games that year.
Fast forward just five short years to today and that then 15-year-old Jack, now 20, has himself an $80 million NHL contract.
I wonder what it feels like to sign a piece of paper that guarantees you $80 million? It must feel somewhat decent, right?
Jack is an amazing player. After this season, when his new hefty extension kicks in, he’ll be one of the highest paid players in NHL history. And he deserves every nickel of that money.
What’s crazy is if he had waited another six or seven more months he’d probably have gotten another million per year or so out of the Sabres. Maybe even more. But he was sure to face questions all season long about his future in Buffalo had he waited to get this deal done. Now he can just focus on his game.
Jack’s new contract extension with the Sabres also crushes any Bruins fans pipe dreams of Eichel dressed in black n’ gold. When the former Junior Bruin and Boston University Terrier’s eight-year $80 million payday expires in 2026 he’ll be 28. That’s still in his prime and maybe, just maybe, he’ll want to experience a Boston homecoming then via free agency. In the words of Dumb & Dumber’s Lloyd Christmas, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
Expect Eichel to explode this year. Expect him to be the essential cornerstone needed to help steer the Sabres toward that first elusive Stanley Cup. Whether they can eventually win it will go beyond just Jack. But expect him to prove over and over, night after night, that he’s worth this new extension. And expect me to continue to be bummed he’ll be burning the first decade of his career in Buffalo.
He deserves double what he’s getting just for that alone.
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