The Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel’s camp have started “preliminary discussions” about a contract extension for the star center, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
The 20-year-old has one year with a base salary of $925,000 left on his entry-level deal. He can’t sign an extension until July 1.
If superstar Connor McDavid’s reported new contract – an eight-year deal with an average annual value of $13.25 million – is any indication, Eichel will break the bank. Eichel, of course, almost certainly won’t sign a deal worth as much as McDavid’s. Still, he could receive a long-term contract worth perhaps $8 million a season.
Eichel compiled 27 goals and 57 points in 61 games last season. McDavid just won the Hart Trophy and posted the NHL’s only 100-point season. The Edmonton Oilers drafted McDavid first overall, one spot ahead of Eichel, in 2015.
The Sabres have let go of development coach Randy Cunneyworth, according to The Buffalo News.
New Sabres general manager Jason Botterill has been subtracting from former GM Tim Murray’s staff and adding his own people.
Cunneyworth had two playing stints with the Sabres over his 866-game NHL career before coaching the Rochester Americans, their AHL affiliate, from 2000 to 2008 and again in 2015-16.
After moving up to the NHL as an assistant with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2008, Cunneyworth coached the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. He eventually became the Montreal Canadiens’ interim coach in 2011-12.
Cunneyworth returned to the Sabres as a scout in 2013. Coincidentally, he coached Botterill in Rochester for three seasons.
The Sabres also let go of scouts Jon Christiano, a holdover from former GM Darcy Regier’s tenure, and Kevin Predergast, according to the paper.
Goalie prospect Cal Petersen will sign with the Los Angeles Kings, according to LAKingsinsider.com.
Botterill said last week Petersen, a 2013 fifth-round pick, would become a free agent instead of signing with the Sabres.
Petersen can officially sign his entry-level contract Saturday. The 22-year-old left Notre Dame last month after his junior season.