Buffalo Sabres captain and center Jack Eichel was lost for the remainder of the 2020-21 NHL season when he suffered a herniated disk in his neck in early March. While speaking with reporters during Monday's postseason media session, the 24-year-old suggested he's played his last game with the club.
"I've been a bit upset about the ways things have been handled since I've been hurt," he explained, per Greg Wyshynski of ESPN. "I'd be lying to say that things have moved smoothly since my injury. There's been a bit of a disconnect between myself and the organization. It's been tough at times. Right now, for me, the most important thing now is to try to get healthy, figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year, wherever that might be."
He hinted that he feels the Sabres mismanaged the handling of his injury and said he "has a lot of thinking to do" this offseason about his hockey future.
"I gotta do what's best for me, but they gotta do what's best for them. It's like any other business. And I understand that," Eichel said. "If you asked any NHL player, they'd be on the same page: You have to do what's best for the organization, but you also have to do what's best for you."
The Sabres ended their season Saturday with a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and finished dead last in the East Division standings. Eichel, meanwhile, is signed through the 2025-26 campaign at an average annual value of $10 million and has a no-movement clause that starts after next season. He has tallied 139 goals and 216 assists for 355 points across 375 regular-season games.