BUFFALO, N.Y. – Jack Eichel, a professional ice hockey center, is locked up at the Buffalo Sabres for another eight years after he agreed to an $80 million contract.
The deal which carries an average annual value of $10 million, was agreed upon two days before Sabres opens the season and hosts the Montreal Canadiens. The contract will make Eichel, 20, the highest paid center in the history of the franchise.
In an average of $10 million every season, Eichel levels with Anze Kopitar of Los Angeles Kings for being sixth on the annual average salaries of NHL. Overall, the total value of the contract meets with Kopitar as the 10th on the NHL list.
Peter Fish, Eichel’s agent, credited him for urging the deal’s completion after saying that he is willing to play out the season even without an extension.
“We happened to have a talk today, going forth and back on the digits, and Jack was like, ‘Let’s get this finished,'” Fish quoted in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “Jack felt having a deal done as soon as possible was the appropriate thing to do for each side,” Fish added.
“He didn’t want to drain the Sabres for every last buck. He just wanted to make sure that there’s sufficient money to hire players and help win,” Fish said. “What was necessary to him was a victory in Buffalo and having enough cast to support him to be able to win. And I do commend Jack on that.”
Eichel helped the Sabres as a rookie bringing in 24 goals and had a 57 point team-best in the previous year.
Upon arriving at the training camp in September, Eichel was inspired saying he was aiming at being a leader inside and outside the ice. He also was straightforward in evaluating his first couple of seasons.
“Actually, there’s nothing I’ve proven,” Eichel said.”What I’ve done was not really a big thing. Two ordinary seasons for a failing team,” he continued.