Source: Eichel may not start NHL season with contract extension

Buffalo Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the season approaches, it appears that star forward Jack Eichel will begin the year without a contract extension, a source familiar with the negotiations told News 4 Sports Reporter Nick Filipowski.

“No talks,” the source said, adding “Could change, but we don’t know.”

The Sabres and Eichel had been negotiating the terms on an eight-year deal, the maximum allowed by the NHL.

The center, who was the Sabres’ second overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, has 48 career goals and 65 assists.

Money remains the factor in finalizing the deal.  Eichel said he is comfortable playing the season out if terms aren’t agreed to.

He missed 20 games during the 2016-2017 season after suffering an ankle injury ahead of the season opener.

He returned and was nearly a point per game player, recording 24 goals and 33 assists.

“I’ve made it clear that I want to be a Sabre. I want to be in Buffalo when we start winning. I want to reward the city. It’s been two great years. I don’t want to go anywhere else,” Eichel told the Lowell-Sun in August.

The two sides began working on a new contract on July 1.

Connor McDavid, who was selected No. 1 overall by Edmonton, signed an eight-year $100 million contract becoming the highest paid player in the NHL.

His teammate Leon Draisaitl inked an eight year $68 million extension in August with the Oilers.

During training camp in Rochester, Terry Pegula, who owns both the Bills and Sabres told reporters, “We want Jack and Jack wants to be in Buffalo.”

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