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Sabres' captain Jack Eichel expresses frustration, uncertainty about future in Buffalo

The Buffalo Sabres' captain Jack Eichel's season ended after a neck injury against the New York Islanders on March 7.
Credit: AP
FILE - Buffalo Sabres' Jack Eichel is shown during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Philadelphia, in this Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, file photo. Eichel is scheduled to address the media during an end-of-season session on Monday, May 10, 2021, for the first time since being sidelined by a herniated disk in March. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton, File)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel expressed a "disconnect" between himself and the organization since his neck injury on March 7, which ultimately ended his season.

"I've been a bit upset about the way that things have been handled since I've been hurt," Eichel said during his end-of-season press conference on Monday afternoon. "My number one interest and my number one goal is Jack Eichel... You’ve got to look after yourself, you’ve got to look after what you think is best for yourself, and the organization has a similar job to do but it’s to look after what’s best for the Buffalo Sabres.

“I think the most important thing is just trying to get healthy and figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year... wherever that might be.”

2 On Your Side's Adam Benigni asked Eichel if he would like to be traded this offseason.

"I'm frustrated," Eichel said. "You can't sit here on media day and be happy that we're having this conversation and you know we should still be playing.

"Did we have a hard year? Yeah, we did, and I think when that happens, it forces everyone to just consider what you could do better... What you think maybe the future holds."

Eichel mentioned his contract with the Sabres has prevented him from getting immediate surgery for his neck injury.

"It's a quick recovery... I think in my position you just want to try and put yourself in as good of as a position as you can be," Eichel said.

The 24-year-old, second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft said he and general manager Kevyn Adams were on different pages regarding treatment.

"There's been a few conversations... more so just about getting healthy moving forward," Eichel said.

Eichel dealt with multiple injuries this season, including a broken rib which kept him out early in Buffalo's shortened training camp.

"As long as I'm here, my duty is to be the leader of this team and be available for these guys in the group."