Tim Murray has it exactly right. You trade for the rights to a player who played with your hot young player, Jack Eichel. You’ve successfully negotiated with his agent in the past, as he also reps Eichel. You had an abundance of picks in the third round, which only produce NHL players (50 games or more in a career, so a low bar at that) at about a 30% clip. GMTM takes a small risk that he and Jack Eichel will be more persuasive than David Poile. No matter what happens, it’s worth it to give it a spin. Something else that might help is using all of that cap room to snag one of he biggest trade targets/free agents coming up. Since the exclusive negotiating period extends after July 1, Vesey seeing Buffalo making more savvy moves at the draft or in free agency could be the tipping point in his decision, no matter what he says now.
The NHL draft is less than a week away, and the Buffalo Sabres have a number of picks, including the 8th overall. It’s no #2 like last year but it’s still a nice place to be. Now, I haven’t been watching Junior Hockey, so instead of waxing on at length about stride length or showing you the same video you’ve probably seen everywhere else, I’m going to judge these guys on the next most important thing – their answers to the dumb questions you get asked at pre-draft.
- Auston Matthews – Presumptive number one overall pick Auston had some solid answers, but negative 1000 points for “I dream of: winning the Stanley Cup”. Contrast that with…
- Patrick Laine – …who said he wants to be the best player in the world. He loves Ovechkin and is ‘afraid of nothing’. Can’t think of any alarm bells here!
- Jesse Puljujarvi – Puljujarvi is top 5 for 2016 draftees whose names will be misspelled on jerseys.
- Matthew Tkachuk – One of the possible targets for the Sabres, the son of Keith Tkachuk, Matt nevertheless gets negative one million points for having Tom Brady as his most admired athlete. It’s a good thing nobody can navigate the shitty NHL website and find this.
- Alexander Nylander – Another player following in his father’s footsteps, at the buffet, Alex goes for…sushi? If I saw a buffet that had sushi, I’m turning around and getting out of there. Regular buffet food is bad enough.
- Jakob Chychrun – Another legacy player, with a dad and uncle who made the show, Jakob at least showed some effort on his answers. His karaoke song is “Call me maybe”, I’m proud of him for admitting that.
- Charles McAvoy – The coolest person he’s ever met is…Auston Matthews? Boston U can’t find a celebrity to hit the locker room? Also, Charles McAvoy is definitely the name of a kid in witness protection who really loves the X-Men movies.
In general, I question kids today and their judgement of comedy. Too many list Adam Sandler as the celebrity that always makes them laugh. Sandler hasn’t been funny since most of these prospect were five years old.
Tanking is done. Suffering is out the window. Your Buffalo Sabres are now at peak ‘put up or shut up’. Eichel is here and seems to be exactly as advertised. While there are guys yet to sign, there is room to maneuver, with a GM willing to do it. The draft is approaching, and that’s the perfect time to stop coasting on the goodwill generated by drafting a possible generational talent, and to make the moves that will put this team back in the playoffs where they belong.
Am I back blogging the Sabres for good? That remains to be seen, but I want be able to be excited again this year.
Hockey soon? Hockey soon.
Getting ready. More here soon.
After all this time, I love that the “are football or hockey players tougher?” article is still the most popular.
The Buffalo Sabres open camp today with three sessions open to the public. The Sabres site has your full details, but it feels too soon, strangely. There’s been some turnover in players and coaches – Miller’s really gone? – and there’s a new hope in Sam Reinhart. Despite all the change (and Darcy Regier being gone) many expect the Sabres to have another year of suffering, to get a shot at Connor McDavid. Though presumptive captain Brian Gionta and other players say the right things about wanting to win and sneaking up on teams, but they are in an odd spot where many fans would be cool with it if they just didn’t.
For my part, I just want to watch fun hockey games. I can see the draw of tanking for McDavid, but if this team gels and makes a playoff run, I’d be happy. Here’s to fun, and a return to blogging activity this season. Go Sabres.
So the Sabres season is finally over. It’s a relief, to be honest, even for someone like me who had tried to keep a lighter level of interest. John Vogl’s column has the grim details – 2-16-2 through the last 20, 150 goals on the season, clear of the 29th place team by 14 points – but to hear the media tell it, it will never be so bad again.
Will that be true, though? The turnover will be immense, especially if you count the moves going back to the deadline. Captains, goaltenders, coaches, execs, nowhere has been immune to the tectonic shifts in the Sabres franchise. That’s not a recipe for success. Next season is going to involve a large number of new players which will need time to gel. The main thing going for them is it would be nearly impossible to be this bad again. You could just about accidently score more than 150 goals if you swap in a few players that actually shoot the puck.
What does that mean, though? 26th place next year? A slight chance at a playoff spot? It may not be suffering, but it isn’t exactly set up for a season of joy. I’m curious to see how attendance works out next season, whether fans can get excited about seeing more of the young kids, or if there are any new surprising vets to watch. We’ve got a non-Darcy offseason to look forward to – we don’t know much about Tim Murray and what’s going to happen, so this might just be the most interesting part of 2014 for the Sabres as a team and fans. See you at the draft lottery.
The good seasons go by too fast, and the bad ones just lurch by in fits and starts. New GM? Someday. Maybe. Different coach? Ehh, we’ll see. The Sabres point out that ‘interim’ label on quite often. That drain the team has been circling sucks them further down every game, with little to cling to for hope.
“Next season!” appears to be the rallying cry, with fans looking at draft position and prospects. “All the cap space!” too. But without someone in place that you trust to make those choices or sign the right players, how can you still be looking forward to all that? It’s like getting excited for a new movie being announced, until you read that the same two idiots that ruined that other franchised you loved are writing it.
I know things are going to be very different here next season. The fact that there will be a new GM, possibly yet another coach, and a bunch of new players (especially if Miller and Moulson aren’t here) makes that true. But moving 6th round picks for minor contributors is just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. I’m patient, but you kind of need a GM in place to do the significant trades that will help the team be better in the NEAR future. They could be significantly better next year, but right now it’s less likely with every day that passes and the Sabres just standing still.