According to John Wawrow of the Associated Press, Buffalo Sabres young star Jack Eichel was due a $2 million bonus if he finished top-10 in the NHL in points per game. He finished 11th… by a difference of a 0.005 points per game average.
Eichel finished the season with 57 points (24 goals and 33 assists) in 61 games, good for a 0.934 points per game average. However, the Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl finished with 77 points in 82 games, for an ever-so-slightly better 0.939 points per game average.
Draisaitl trailed Eichel heading into the final game of the season, but Draisaitl had a goal and assist, while Eichel went pointless.
On Monday, Eichel didn’t say anything to the media about the $2 million bonus he reportedly missed out on, but he showed frustration about the Sabres’ season, and made it clear he expects more out of himself:
“My job is to go out on the ice every night and perform, and obviously I didn’t do a good enough job of that. So, that’s the only thing I really look at.”
“Yeah. That’s what a winning culture is, not being satisfied with yourself, not being satisfied with the fact that you’re losing. It’s important to realize that you can’t be satisfied with the fact you’re in the NHL.”
I’m here to win. It’s pretty frustrating. I think guys want to want to win, but there’s a difference between saying you want to win and actually wanting to win and putting the work in and dedicating your life to it.”
When a reporter told Eichel that he was near a point-per-game player, the Sabres’ center responded, “I wasn’t though.”
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) April 10, 2017
The 20-year-old is a special talent, and it’s pretty clear how much he expects out of himself, as well as how much he cares about winning. If he’s really missing out on $2 million now, well, that really, really sucks. There’s no way around that. But — health provided — Eichel is still going to make himself a lot of money in the future.