As for Eichel, he was visibly angry at the end of another lost season for Buffalo. But as Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News notes, his attitude towards his coach – and this new report on his contract status – point to some level of petulance from a young star player:
Eichel has some growing up to do if he wants to be taken seriously as a leader. Leaders don’t undercut the coach as many times as Eichel has this season. Or make veiled comments about teammates, like Eichel clearly has about Josh Gorges more than once when referencing players who speak but don’t perform on the ice. Leaders don’t brood and pout in front of the media either like Eichel did to absurd levels Monday on locker cleanout day.
Maybe Eichel was upset at narrowly missing a $2 million performance bonus. Maybe he was miffed about the Sabres’ PR staff smartly asking him to meet the media at the interview room podium rather than form a mob scrum around his stall in the dressing room. Whatever. Deal with it. You’re the face of the franchise. This wasn’t a good face.