As Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel remains in quarantine, he provides some sound advice when asked about getting back to play.
Unlike some players who returned home overseas or like Atlantic Division rival players Aleksander Barkov and Victory Hedman who stayed in sunny Florida, Eichel is trying to keep himself busy in Buffalo.
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For the 23-year-old he had to make the tough decision to stay at his home in Western New York instead of going back to see his family in Boston. In a way, it’s a responsible decision considering the risk involved as many positive cases have been linked to those who have travelled.
Eichel’s mother works as a nurse at Boston Medical Center but has been on paid leave since the COVID-19 outbreak started which has put him at ease.
At a time where people are searching for any type of answer as to when any semblance of normalcy will return, Eichel reminds hockey fans that it’s not an easy situation to sort through.
"“We really don’t know what tomorrow holds, never mind a month from now,” Eichel said during a Zoom conference call. “So it’s tough to predict the hockey aspect of life. …It would be tough to say the league knows what we’re going to do, because I don’t really think the world knows what’s going to happen in a few weeks.”"
This is a very mature take considering players’ livelihoods have been directly impacted but considering how tough life has been to those on the frontlines including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, those working at grocery stores, and restaurants.
While the Sabres don’t have much to play for in the standings considering they sit 13 points out of the finals wild-card spot, no player wants to see their season end prematurely. At the same time, it would have provided management with more games to evaluate different parts of the roster.
Although it has been a tough season for Buffalo, it’s better to give players a chance to end things off on a better note than with the sour taste that they are probably living with. In Eichel’s case, he was well on his way to establishing a new career-high in points after setting a new single-season best in goals scored.
In other Sabres news Mattias Samuelsson inked a three-year deal last week, the defensive prospect was selected in the second round (32nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft. He is the son of former defenseman Kjell Samuelsson who works for the Philadelphia Flyers.
The 20-year-old is now set to leave Western Michigan and will probably report to the AHL next season. At 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, his size is something the Sabres admire about his game and it helps that he possesses great speed for his size as well.
Do you want the Sabres to finish off their season or is it not worth it at this point? What do you think they need to prioritize this summer? Let us know in the comments below.