As the Buffalo Sabres were making final preparations for their home opener Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens, their Wednesday practice came to an abrupt, sobering halt.

Young star forward Jack Eichel, the team's second leading scorer last season, was writhing in pain on the ice in front of one of the nets after an awkward fall during practice. His left leg got stuck under him as he crashed to the ice. From the moment the video of Eichel's fall became public, you had to know the news wasn't going to be good and it isn't.

The team announced later Wednesday that the 20-year-old suffered a high ankle sprain and that there is no timeline for his return. Sabres fans know all too well just how unpredictable and frustrating a high ankle sprain can be. Goalie Robin Lehner missed about three months of the season after sustaining the same injury in the team's opening game last year.

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the initial prognosis is that Eichel will miss a minimum of four to six weeks, but that kind of timeline is uncertain with this injury. That very well could end up being more hopeful than anything else. This could have been worse, of course, but it's still a pretty awful way to head into the season.