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Eichel spurred by new deal to transform Sabres into winners

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Jack Eichel says he has a lot to offer and even more to prove after the Buffalo Sabres center agreed to the richest contract in franchise history.

Eichel says he’s humbled after agreeing to an eight-year, $80 million contract extension and is looking forward to spending the next nine seasons in Buffalo. The 20-year-old says he owes it the city, the team’s fans and his teammates to help deliver a winner.

Eichel spoke during a news conference Wednesday a day after agreeing to the new deal, which will kick in at the start of next season. The No. 2 player selected in the 2015 draft has one year left on his rookie entry-level contract.

The team opens the season Thursday hosting the Montreal Canadiens.

The deal is worth an average $10 million per season.

Eichel’s contract extension comes at a time when the Sabres are undergoing an offseason overhaul after missing the playoff for a sixth consecutive season.

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