TAMPA, Fla. — Eric Wood has become quite a hockey fan during his years in Buffalo, a regular at KeyBank Center who has interacted with several Sabres. So Friday's news of his sudden forced retirement due to a degenerative neck condition hit Sabres star Jack Eichel hard when he saw it on Twitter during his travels here.
"It's really unfortunate," Eichel said Saturday at NHL All-Star Media Day. "Somebody like Eric who has had such an impact on the community in Buffalo and who is so well-liked ... just speaking to people inside the organization with the Bills or Sabres or just in the city in general, everyone has such good things to say about him.
"Personally from getting to meet him and know him a little bit and talk to him here and there, he's just an unbelieveable guy. ... Obviously he has to look out for his best interests and his health. I know how much football means to him and how much pride he takes every time he goes on the field. I really feel for the guy. I can't imagine going through something like that. But his impact on the game and other people will move people far beyond the field."