Jack Eichel's poor sportsmanship on full display in loss to Stars; maybe he was the problem in Buffalo

Published April 27, 2022 at 9:48
BY MIKE ARMENTI
One of the most covered stories in the NHL this season was undoubtedly the stalemate between Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres on the center's preferred neck surgery and the holdout that had ensued as a result. Eventually, the Sabres were able to strike a deal with the Golden Knights sending Eichel to Vegas, allowing him to get his preferred neck surgery in November.

There's no denying that, while the Sabres were still one of the league's lower-caliber teams this season, they made significant strides and had shown noticeable improvements this season. Meanwhile, a season riddled with injury in Vegas have the Golden Knights on the cusp of missing the playoffs for the first time since coming into the league in 2017. These facts seem to correspond with Eichel's departure from Buffalo and arrival in Vegas. Coincidence?

Eichel's apparent lack of sportsmanship and leadership was easily identifiable in the Golden Knights' 3-2 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday when, after the game, he appeared to roll his eyes at 25-year-old goaltender Logan Thompson, who had put up 28 saves on 30 shots and stopped 6 of 7 shots in the shootout.




It's not totally surprising that Eichel seems to have an attitude problem. The red flags were all there and we're continuing to notice things as time passes. Is Eichel to blame for Vegas' struggles? No, of course not. Not entirely anyway. The team has seen extensive turnover year after year, they have pursued and overpaid players they couldn't afford in free agency, and injuries to Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone and Robin Lehner, among others, have certainly played a role as well.

Still.. Eichel was expected to come in and be a leader on this team. That's not how you lead, Jack. You need to support your goaltender in those moments - especially when you didn't score on your shootout attempt or provide him with more scoring over 65 minutes.
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