A person with direct knowledge of Jack Eichel's contract confirmed to The Associated Press that the Buffalo Sabres forward missed out on a $2 million performance bonus in his contract by a mere decimal point.
Eichel would have collected the bonus by finishing among the top 10 in the NHL in points per game, the person said Monday, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The contract clause is not public.
Eichel had 57 points in 61 games to finish 11th with an average of 0.934 points per game. Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl edged him out by averaging 0.939 points per game with 77 points in 82 games. Draisaitl passed Eichel with a goal and assist in the Oilers' 5-2 season-ending win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
CapFriendly.com first reported the clause in Eichel's contract.
Eichel was most concerned with the Sabres' team play during a season in which Buffalo (33-37-12) finished last in the Atlantic Division and 15th in the Eastern Conference with two fewer wins and three fewer points than 2015-16.
"I think it's important to realize you can't be satisfied with the fact you're in the NHL. I'm here to win, so it's pretty frustrating," the second-year center said Monday. "I think guys want to win, but there's a difference between saying you want to win and actually wanting to win and putting the work in and dedicating your life to it."