On Brian Gionta …
John Vogl of the Buffalo News: Forward Brian Gionta is still looking for a team to sign with as training camp approaches. His agent said that multiple teams have shown some interest in Gionta.
“Gio has not made any final decision on his future,” Gionta’s agent, Steve Bartlett, said via email. “We have had a number of teams that have indicated they would sign him, but he is not sure right now which if any offer he would accept.
“He will continue to prepare as though he will play, and we will see how things play out here over the next couple weeks.”
Another option for Gionta is to join USA Hockey and play in the Olympics.
On the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel …
Tom Gulitti of NHL.com: Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel says again that he wants to remain with the Sabres long-term and that it’s in the hands of his agent and Sabres GM Jason Botterill. The Sabres and Eichel’s camp had been discussing an eight-year deal.
“But in terms of the deal, it’s going to get done at some point whether it’s now or a couple months or next year. Who knows? I just know if my play takes care of itself, then good things will happen.”
Contract negotiations are “ongoing”, and they are trying to reach the right fit for both sides.
Eichel won’t get as much as Connor McDavid’s $12.5 million per year, but likely more than Ryan Johansen’s $8 million and Leon Draisaitl’s $8.5 million.
“Guys are getting an opportunity to fill a bigger role at a younger age, so they’re being rewarded with good contracts,” Eichel said. “As I’ve said, however you play and perform and the impact you have on your team should be the difference between how many dollars you get or how many years you get.
“If you’re happy where you are and you want to be in that specific position for a while, I think teams are committing to players and players are committing to the teams.”