Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall weighed in on the situation between Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, saying he supports his former teammate.
Hall, who was traded to the Bruins from the Sabres ahead of the trade deadline, noted that Eichel believes his best course of action to recover from his neck injury is to have surgery.
“I know Jack is frustrated,” Hall said. “Jack and I became really good friends during our time in Buffalo. I support him and I know he’s gone through some stuff with the medical staff there and ultimately Jack has to worry about himself. There are teams that – just like he said – they’re going to worry about what’s best for them and Jack has to do what’s best for him. I know he’s got an injury that he feels he can take care of with the surgery and there’s a little bit of a disagreement, but I support Jack and he was nothing but a great teammate and a really good friend when I played with him.”
Eichel said earlier on Monday there was a "disconnect" between him and the Sabres over how to treat his season-ending neck injury. The 24-year-old also opened the door to speculation on his future when he added, "The most important thing now is to get healthy and be ready to play hockey next year, wherever that might be.”
Hall scored the overtime winner in the Bruins 3-2 win over the New York Islanders on Monday, increasing his totals to eight goals and 14 points in 16 games since joining the Bruins. The 29-year-old, who had just two goals and 17 points in 37 games with the Sabres prior to the trade, said he doesn't have an exact reason for his struggles in Buffalo.
“There were some really dark days this year in Buffalo,” Hall said. “I haven’t really talked a lot about it but I didn’t play well. I don’t have anyone else to blame for that, for my play in Buffalo. For myself, it just didn’t work out. I came in prepared, I worked hard and for whatever reason, we just didn’t have it. We had a great group of guys; the chemistry in the locker room was great.
"When it was time to perform in the game, I didn’t do my job and I’m sure a lot of guys would say the same thing.”
The Sabres, who fired head coach Ralph Krueger in March, missed the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year this season.