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  1. What are the chances Okposo is healthy and can play on a 3rd line with Rodriguez and Sheary instead of Girgs and Larry on the 4th? The (at least) 3 concussions in 3 years took a toll on his cardio and speed the past few seasons, but he was a 50-60pt player before that, and 45/44pt player in 16-17/17-18. I can see him being a 20g/50pt player again if healthy and playing with speedy guys like eRod and Sheary. Kyle isn’t playing in da beauty league this year so we have to wait for camp to see, but I think that would give us a strong bottom 6 with Sobotka playing on the 4th line.
  2. Lol. I was thinking the same thing but it is substantial for 2 reasons. 1) JBott corrected valued a support player and gave him an fair and appropriate contract 2) everyone on Dallas loved Elie because he’s a competitor and gives 100% every game - that’s the type of example and work ethic we need to set for the prospects in Rochester
  3. I completely agree. TM was a failure when it came to attracting talent, hiring coaches, and signing deals. He constantly overpaid and didn't know how to build a team. This is what I picture today when I think about GMTM JBott had a decent roster last year, but the team failed, and a lot of that had to do with coaching (and because JBotts couldn't make a deal for a top six forward during the season). So what does he do? Fires the coach and goes and get one that is a world renown team builder. I'm not sure if Kruegs was the entire reason Johansson signed, but it definitely helped getting him signed, and at a reasonable price. Comparing JBotts to GMTM at this point is premature. JBotts is about to start his 3rd season at the helm, and you can already see how he's shifted from a short-term strategy (I need NHL ready skaters in my line-up) to a long-term strategy (I need enough talent on the NHL squad so I don't have to rush kids on ELCs into the league and I need a healthy AHL team to develop those kids). TM said all the right things, but didn't know how to deliver.
  4. That is pure speculation on my part, but if you look at the timing of these deals it appear JBotts and his front office have been working this daily and I don't expect them to stop until their team is finished. I think it's a safe bet the Sabres aren't going to be signing anymore FAs, so all other moves will be signing RFAs and through trades. Originally I expected JBotts to sign all his pending RFAs and then re-assess his cap situation before making a trade. But after the Johansson signing (he's a LW and we need an established 2C to legitimize this line-up) I'm now leaning towards a multi-player trade that moves around a big chunk of salary (Risto/Scandella/Bogo/Sheary/Sobotka) among a pick or two to get that 2C. Fingers crossed! Edit: arbitration on remaining RFAs starts in 3 weeks
  5. Glad this is done. I like Larry, Girgs, and Okposo as the 4th line with Wilson rotating in. Now we only have $5.1MM to sign Ullmark, McCabe, and E-Rod, which is not enough. The dominoes continue to fall. Should be an interesting next 7 days...
  6. I'd say our weakness was the middle six last season, because they had more than enough 4th line roll players on the roster. We needed more from Okposo and Sheary on the second line, and didn't get it. Rodriguez may surprise us next year and push for a 2nd line roll instead of Okposo or Sheary. Kyle seems to have settle on being a 3rd/4th line power forward, and I prefer if we had a roster that allowed him to be in that roll. I don't like the idea of Casey playing 4th line minutes at all. He needs ice time during games to develop - whether it is in Roch or Buf is up to management and the roster. But I fully agree he played too much of that 2C role this year for the struggles he had. Unfortunately there was no one else on the roster that could step into that role and actually produce on a constant basis. And regarding the crew you mentioned for 2nd line minutes, we need at least one of those guys to step up or next season will be better, but we will still be a bubble team. I'm expecting Tage and Casey to make some serious gains in the off-season to push for a bigger role. Olofsson still has a ton of potential at 24, but I'm not sure one season in the AHL has acclimated him to a role beyond 3rd line winger and playing the off-wing or point on the PP. The Sabres do have around $30M in cap space next year thanks to no $7M O'Reilly contract, $3.5M from Berglund, Tage's entry level deal, $5.6 from Pommers, $5M from Moulson, and $3.2 from Johan + Zemgus. Even when they sign their key RFAs (Ullmark at $2.5-3M, McCabe $2.75-4MM, Rodriguez $1.5-2.5), they will still have $20-25 to spend. Skinner gets $7.5-8, Paranin $10.5-11, and you still have some cash to fill in 3-4 more contracts, depending on other roster moves. Right now the Sabres only have 5 contracts signed for the 20-21 season, which gives Jbot a lot of flexibility on term and AAV.
  7. Even today it looks like there are a lot of takes and opinions on this trade. I still don't hate this trade and here's why: The 2017-2018 Sabres roster was comprised of only 2.5 top 6 forwards - O'Reilly, Eichel, and Kane (who I believe has proven himself as a solid middle 6 during his tenures in Buffalo and SJ, but shouldn't be considered a top line threat anymore). The rest was 3rd/4th line role players, guys running out contracts, and rookies trying to break into the league. Jacob Josefson played 39 games and had 4 points. Nick Baptiste, Scott Wilson, Jordon Nolan, Benoit Pouliot, Zemgus, and Larson didn't fair much better with a similar number of games (or more). Pommers, Okposo, and Reinhart were pedestrian at best. Want to throw up in your mouth a little bit? Matt Moulson and Seth Griffith played 14 and 21 games that season, respectively. Check out the roster and stats, it's disgusting… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017%E2%80%9318_Buffalo_Sabres_season#Player_statistics .We needed 3-4 top 6 forwards and didn't have the assets to get them. The O'Reilly trade brought us 3 roster players at a similar cap hit. Yes this cost us 1 of our 2 top 6 forwards, but who else had any trade value on that team besides Eichel? Kane was the only one and we got a fair return there. My main point here is this trade plugged some upcoming holes for the 2019 season while overall freeing up cap space to go make a splash in FA or with a trade (see Skinner trade) The Berglund Breakdown - this was a monkey wrench thrown into Jbots plan only the Blues GM could have likely foreseen. Berglund was not happy about being traded, was not happy about his role with the Sabres, and was not happy with being a hockey player anymore. It appeared Jbots strategy was to pencil Berglund into the 2C role and let Middlestat develop. If Middlestat appeared ready to handle a bigger load he could step in and provide the offensive 2C role, while Housley would be able to rely on Bergs for the defensive 2C role and a veteran presence. Decent plan considering what they had to work with. Unfortunately this plan burst into flames and drove straight into a ditch. A happy Berglund would have helped this team, and his departure left a significant void - one I felt Zemgus should have stepped into. O'Reilly wanted out and didn't care about this team. Let's face it - Ryan is a crybaby when things aren’t going well. He cried about his contract in Colorado and forced his way out of there, he cried about the team he captained in Buffalo and forced his way out of there, and he's going to cry if/when St Louis starts to get bad. Yes he says all the right things and is an amazing hockey player, but the guy has the constitution of 10 ply toilet paper. Yes I am aware this is subjective, but the first 2 things actually happened so I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb here. The trade worked. Blah blah blah their record was worse, blah blah blah they only had one forward line that could score blah blah blah there coach was in over his head blah blah blah. This is not GM mode in EA sports. You went from a team with 2 top 6 forwards to 3. You had a team that was actually enjoyable to watch for the first 50 games, even when they lost. And you ended the season with a number of assets you can still use along with some cap anchors coming off the books. Yes JBot has RFA and FA contracts to get signed, but so does almost every other GM in the league. What does JBot have to do this off season? Add scoring. He can do this by signing Skinner. I'd like to see him make an RFQ offer sheet for Marner, and if that fails go after Panarin. Having two scoring wingers we could play with Sam and Jack will be lethal, and let's see who comes to camp ready to be a top 6er out of the Tage, Casey, Nylander group. My guess is that Casey is coming to camp next year physically ready for the 2C role. I'd love our top six to look like: a. Skinner - Jack - Sam b. Sheary/Okposo - Casey - Panarin/Marner This would give us 4 top 6 forwards, playing with a high potential prospect and a vet next year. Sorry for the long post, but I really enjoy thinking about the short-term/long-term strategies when it comes to building a team, evaluating talent, and managing salaries; and I've been stuck on this line of thinking for a while when it comes to the O'Reilly trade. I'm curious to hear other people's opinion on it considering the points I've made. Let me know what you think!
  8. The popularity of IPAs over the last few years has led to capacity constraints with his fuel sources, forcing him to remain close to the Niagara Region so he can repower as needed. Don't forget, it was only a few months ago when the influx of returning hipsters - back from college - bought all the seasonal lagers (as 6 packs too ...the savages...), forcing a scary situation in the broadcast booth when cyborg-RJ ran out of fuel. This almost caused c-RJ to become self aware and realize that he is no longer just a man, but the future of mankind. Go Sabres. Long live RJ.
  9. I voted yes because I expect Jbotts to make a move for a top 6 FWD and there are 5 teams within 6pts of the Sabres right now
  10. Excellent analysis. I would add the moves and contracts JBots has negotiated gives us the cap space to sign someone like Skinner to a long-term deal (yes Berglund did help us here). He also positioned the team to have a flexible and manageable salary structure 3-6 years from now. We have 4 skaters on ELCs (Dahlin, Middlestat, Tage, Pilut) that all have the potential to be the cornerstones of this team when Jack, Sam, Skinner, start to fade. We also have 4 1st round picks over the next two years, which will usher in another 1-3 potential cornerstones on ELCs. The team is better this year, and is poised to get even better going forward. I just hope JBot evaluates talent the same way he manages the cap - like a boss.
  11. The bright side here is that this was probably the best place to have a medical emergency. I hope RJ is ok and this was precautionary
  12. Agreed. All good teams have some off games. The good news is this was back-to-back road games, 2 games in 2 nights, 1st night was an emotional barn burner that felt like a playoff game against the best team in the league, multiple injuries to key players for 1st time this year - and they still walked away with a point. The biggest concern for me to this point is still secondary scoring from the forwards. Its nice to see Tage start to heat up, but right now it's still the 1st line and defense that is driving the high level of scoring we are getting to enjoy...
  13. Ok. I would like to file a complaint that I'm not allowed to curse with asterisks on this message board. If these kids have actually been to, watched, or listened to hockey games, they have heard the F word multiple times a season. Sheltering children from censored curses on a sports message board in a time where the lead story on the evening news is payoffs to pornstars, or how powerful men can brag about grabbing women by the genitalia,... well it seems a bit asinine and tone deaf consider the lexicon of today. IMO
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