Matt Moulson is one of Kyle Okposo's best friends. Moulson opened his house to Jack Eichel, who considers himself part of the family.
As expected, the news that Buffalo is waiving Moulson hit them hard.
"It's tough when you lose a guy like that," an emotional Okposo said Monday. "He's been my best friend for a while. He means a lot to me. It's tough news, but at the same time it's a business. He knows that better than anybody.
"In saying that, it's tough personally, for sure."
Okposo and Moulson formed a bond while playing for the New York Islanders, and they're godfathers to each other's children.
"You could go around and ask every single guy in this locker room, and they don't have one bad thing to say about Matt Moulson and the way he is as a person and the way that he carried himself at the rink every day through a really tough situation over the past few years," Okposo said. "He's just a good man."
Eichel lived with Moulson throughout his rookie season with the Sabres.
"It's tough," Eichel said. "He's a good buddy. I owe a lot to him. He's been there for me since the day I was drafted. I've obviously become very close with Matt and his family. His wife and his two kids have basically been like family to me.
"I feel for him. He's one of the best guys that you can play with. I don't think that there's a bad word to be said about him."
The Sabres decided to waive Moulson at noon Monday after watching him fail to produce a point in 14 games and get scratched in 13 others. Buffalo is 6-17-4.
"We're obviously not in a good spot as a team with where we are," Eichel said. "Every day it's a competition, and you've got to be your best. Matt was a guy who would show up every day at the rink and be a professional. Whether it was getting on the ice early to shoot or working out or whatever, he did a lot for us, brought a good attitude. He was a great guy to have here."
The waiving of Moulson sends a message that the players need to get their stuff together, said Okposo, though he used a stronger word than stuff.
"We've got to win some games," Okposo said. "That's what happens in the business. If you don't win games, if you don't have results, good people pay the price for it.
"Myself included, I've got to pick my game up. Everybody's got to pick their games up. We've got to find ways to win. We're in a results business. We're in a business of winning, and we're not doing that right now, so there's going to be some changes. Unfortunately, it was that, but we've got to figure out a way to win hockey games."