The Bird Chirps on Eichel

By Kevin Sylvester, Buffalo Sports Page

On the latest edition of the BSP radio on WECK (1230 AM Saturdays from 10-noon), I mentioned in passing going to break that a little bird told me the Eichel contract might be done, and they are just waiting to announce it. I thought it was a good nugget to drop in, and shame on me for failing to realize the magnitude of those words. I soon realized the gravity of my statement, when twitter went nuts. Fans are ready for this news, and want it confirmed now.

I cannot confirm it at this point, but here’s what I can tell you. The “bird” has been right several times before, and how this information was presented was plausible enough to mention on the show. Sabres GM Jason Botterill has mentioned recently that both sides have spoken, and it’s been positive. Getting a deal done isn’t far fetched at all. Eichel’s next contract will fit between the contract Edmonton gave Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. A hard negotiation is not in order.

If the deal is indeed done, why are they waiting to announce it? That answer is pretty simple. In today’s world, execution of contracts are orchestrated with team media opportunities. It will be tweeted when he signs complete with photos and video. It will be big deal in many ways. The Sabres are also owned by the owner of the Bills, and there is no more competition to grab the headlines. Believe me, these things get planned in conjunction with each franchise now.

Many fans are hoping/expecting Jack Eichel to be named captain with a new contract extension. That notion makes total sense, and is the right move. However, I’m not sure having a new coach (Phil Housley) naming Eichel the captain before training camp is the best move. That would seem to go against the hockey traditions. Plus it gives the team the opportunity to grab more headlines at the end of training camp, before the start of the regular season.

Kevin Sylvester

Kevin Sylvester has over 20 years of experience in media, working for stations, professional sports teams, leagues, and national broadcast entities. This experience includes being an announcer for NHL, NBA, NCAA Football, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Hockey, and The PGA Tour. Kevin also served as the producer for the Buffalo Sabres post-game show, executive producer for a Sabres radio show, and started his own media production company, All Square Media LLC in 2008. All Square Media serves as the executive producer of the Tee 2 Green TV and Radio shows (created by Kevin), handling distribution, sponsorship sales, fulfillment, and production of the shows.

Kevin's business background extends beyond broadcasting. He served as the Director of Amateur Athletics for WNY Arena LLC (Key Bank Center in Buffalo), procuring major amateur sporting events for Buffalo, NY. The major highlights include two sold out NCAA Tournaments First and Second Rounds (2007, 2010), and the 2011 IIHF U20 World Championships (Kevin co-wrote the winning bid, and served on the organizing committee for USA Hockey). Kevin created The Duster Challenge in 2016, a local 18 hole putting competition, and serves as an advisor to WNY golf ball company, OnCore Golf.

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