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Eichel camp shoots down Bylsma rift buzz in Buffalo

If Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma’s job is in jeopardy, star forward Jack Eichel’s representatives insist their client is not the one pushing for a change.Whether Bylsma returns for a third season won’t have any effect on Eichel negotiating a contract extension this summer, Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli told The Associated Press on Wednesday — contrary to an earlier report by Buffalo’s WGR 550 radio.“He loves the Pegulas and wants to be a longtime Sabre, and he loves Tim,” Donatelli said, referring to team owners Terry and Kim Pegula, and general manager Tim Murray. “(A coaching change) is not even on his radar screen.”Any suggestion the second-year player is threatening to balk at negotiating an extension if Bylsma is still coach is “1,000-per-cent false,” Donatelli added.“It couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Fish.Article Continued BelowFish said Eichel “was genuinely excited” following end-of-season meetings with both Murray and Bylsma last week, and “felt very positive with the plans for next year’s team.”Last week, Murray backed Byslma returning for a third season as Sabres coach despite the team missing the playoffs for a sixth straight year. Murray, however, noted the ultimate decision on Bylsma and his own future rests with Pegula.Murray’s rebuilding plan took a step back this season. With a 33-37-12 record, the Sabres finished last in the Atlantic Division with two fewer wins than the previous year.

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