In a totally predictable attempt to soften the impact of his whiny performance after Saturday's draft lottery, Sabres general manager Tim Murray told a national NHL columnist on Sunday that he did not consider Jack Eichel a consolation prize.
"People took my comments last night as an insult to Jack Eichel; that's the furthest thing from the truth. I love Jack Eichel," Murray told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com. "Do you want to win the lottery? I mean, absolutely. I mean, we haven't even had our [draft] meetings yet. We haven't done our list yet. I wanted to win the lottery and pick who we pick. Maybe after we have our meeting in two weeks, maybe we have Jack Eichel at No. 1.
"To me it's not a consolation prize," Murray told LeBrun. "There's two guys in the draft [who] stand out, we'd be extremely happy with either one of them. That's the way we came into the year and it hasn't changed one iota since. They're both great players. They're both impact players if they're not franchise players; I think they're both franchise players. But at worst, they're impact players. I've said that about both guys all year."
After losing the lottery and a chance to draft Connor McDavid first overall on Saturday, Murray compared it to getting cut from the national junior team and said he felt sorry for Sabres fans. But he didn't consider Eichel a consolation prize. Of course, this is the same man who said he did not expect his team to finish in 30th place.