Report: Eichel won't sign extension if Bylsma is retained
Is there trouble brewing with Jack Eichel in Buffalo. One report seems to think so.
Paul Hamilton of WGR 550 says that inside sources are telling him Jack Eichel has no intention of signing a contract extension with the Sabres if the team retains Dan Bylsma as its head coach.
Bylsma, like Eichel, just completed his second year with the Sabres. Injuries were a problem, but Buffalo actually finished the season with a worse record than it did the year prior. And general manager Tim Murray hardly gave Bylsma a ringing endorsement at his year-end press conference a week ago.
Eichel's agent spent the day denying the reports, saying that the 20-year-old is on board with an extension in Buffalo, and wants to be a Sabre for a long time. Eichel actually retweeted a story from John Vogl of the Buffalo News. Eichel also did a Q&A with Vogl, during which he categorized the report as false.
If true, however, this is a big deal. Eichel is young, and has accomplished relatively little at the NHL level. To have someone of his youth calling the shots within an organization is not unprecedented, but it is extremely uncommon.
Nobody has ever doubted his competitive nature and his will to win/disdain for losing. But this is not the first time his maturity has been called into question.
Eichel has one year remaining on his rookie contract, and would be a restricted free agent following the 2017-'18 season if no deal on an extension is reached.