The Sabres open their schedule tomorrow night, hosting Montreal, and announced their roster just before the deadline yesterday. Notable keeps are Derek Grant, Hudson Fasching and Casey Nelson, who have all had good camps. Though some of that may be the fact that both O’Reilly and Okposo are still hurting and questionable for tomorrow.
The other huge news of the day was Rasmus Ristolainen finally signing a new 6 year deal, with a $5.4 million cap hit. A very solid deal for a player who still has room to grow. I’d like to see him take a step defensively this year, while still managing 10+ goals/45+ points.
I’ve seen a bunch of talk about the Sabres being picked to finish last or nearly so in a few publications. I’m with the rest of you that it seems unlikely, but I can’t fault them too much. Most of our “FUCK YEAH PLAYOFFS” feelings come from the idea of all the young kids getting better and progressing at a steady rate. I’d like that to be true, but it just doesn’t happen. No one was more positive about Tyler Myers than me, starting out with 2 solid years, thinking he was going to keep progressing into superstar status. It hasn’t happened – he’s more Bouwmeester than Chara. I’m hyped, but I’m okay with people outside of Buffalo not buying in yet. Still, I kind of want to re-do Prediction Watch for this season so I can revisit it after the season.
(10/13 Update) Well THAT escalated quickly. I wrote this yesterday before Eichel’s high ankle sprain came to light. I don’t think it greatly affects the season, barring some weirdly lingering issue, but you have to laugh at the luck here. “Hey, at least we’ve got some great young players to watch!” “LOL NO sorry you don’t.”