BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Not a lot when right for the Sabres a year ago.
Jack Eichel is on record saying he had two mediocre years and hasn’t proven a thing.
Ryan O’Reilly believes he still has to be better.
With a new coach, a new focus and new energy – the centerman is ready to lead the Blue and Gold.
“At the end of the day it comes down to how we do as a team. I don’t think anyone here can say we had success,” O’Reilly said on Friday. “(Eichel) is a phenomenal player, he’s had good numbers but if we can do something together that’s what people will remember. Winning games, winning together with a group of guys you like and want to see succeed, that’s what it’s all about.”
Since his arrival in May, General Manager Jason Botterill has given the Sabres roster a bit of a facelift.
14 days after being hired he signed Russian defenseman Victor Antipin in a move to help bolster the blueline.
Nearly a month later he sent Marcus Foligno and Tyler Ennis to Minnesota in exchange for defenseman Marco Scandella and a veteran presence in Jason Pominville.
He also added left winger Benoit Pouliot and inked Chad Johnson as the backup goaltender.
“It’s always tough to see players go, but getting news guys from a different organization that gives us a fresh look,” O’Reilly added. “For myself, for other guys there’s a lot we have to change ourselves. We can’t expect someone to come in and make all the difference. For myself I have to be better at this year and I think I will.
“I like our look right now. We have a lot of good new things, good new pieces. It’s a great feel. There’s a lot of excitement with us right now and that’s what we want.”