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Everything posted by dudacek

  1. I tend to agree. Not only were there legitimate reasons for the stall, but the fanbase was still in the honeymoon phase, not beaten down by a decade of constant disappointment and losing. Oh for the misery of the late 70s again, when we wanted the GM fired because he wasn’t winning the cup. Expectations.
  2. In the 4th year of the Punch Imlach build - with a roster including Martin, Perreault, Robert, Schoenfeld, Luce, Ramsay, Dudley, Korab and Robitaille - the Sabres finished with just 76 points, after a feel-good 88 points (up from just 51) the year before. I wonder what Sabrespace was saying.
  3. No person who ever sat beside a pool should ever wear the "C" for an NHL franchise. Brad Marchand spends his vacations wrestling bears in Siberian coal mines.
  4. Tampa fans are saying a 3rd or a 4th — to them he's basically a cap dump. Given how easily I'd pay that, I'd say it's got to be more. GMs will remember what he was in Nashville. But given his play the past 2 years on a good team, maybe not much more? Tampa paid pretty much an entire draft (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and Cal Foote) to acquire him.
  5. Friedman is saying Tanner Jeannot is a player to watch after a brutal season in Tampa. No idea what happened to this guy, but at $2.6M for one year, I’m definitely kicking those tires.
  6. Benson just had the 19th-best 18-year-old season since the 2006 lockout. It looks even better when you look at the top 30. Sillinger is an outlier. Most of these guys are studs. https://www.eliteprospects.com/league/nhl/stats/all-time-season?age=u19&from=2005-2006&to=2023-2024
  7. First bold was a reference to you saying they were a bottom 1/3rd defence in the league, which from your past posting I took to be a reference to expected goals against. That's a useful stat, but it is also a team stat that measures chance prevention, not a measure of how effective your defencemen are at their all-around games. It's kinda like saying they are a top half defence in the league because of their team Corsi numbers Also, the numbers for this past season reflect 18 games of Byram and 41 of Mule, two players expected to play top 4 minutes in the coming season, so not exactly apples to apples. Second bold is absolutely a great point, but the flip side is also true. Paying your top 2 centres just $7M each long-term and 5 of your top 6 forwards only a combined $20M right now allows you to spend more on your D. And the hope is clearly that Cozens/Thompson/Power/Dahlin provide a useful artificial cap moving forward when the cap rises and contracts are needed for Byram, Peterka, Tuch and Quinn — similar to what the Bruins did with Bergeron and their other leaders all those years. People talk about what kind of influence Ventura has or doesn't have on coaching or pro scouting decisions. I wonder how much influence his department has had on contracts and roster makeup. The Sabres braintrust has clearly decided their key players are Dahlin and Power and their key position is the blueline and invested accordingly.
  8. Krebs is an interesting one for me: Is he a Casey Mittelstadt-esque case of patience being needed? Is he a Tyson Jost type — given plenty of rope due to his draft slot, but basically an NHL tweener? I'm kinda inclined to think he's neither. I think his most likely fate is as a Teddy Blueger-esque journeyman role player. He's right at the 200-game mark that I tend to use as a cut-off for when the learning period wraps up for young NHLers. And I think that over those 200 games he's really grown as a defensive player. But his offensive game seems to actually have regressed. He will never be a finisher, but he used to show far more creativity than he did this past year. He's going to get a cheap qualifying offer and not much more, so there's no sense turning the page yet. He is competitive, diligent, relatively fast and coachable; I'm fine with him as a 4th-line placeholder. But in order to be an actual asset, he needs to forge some kind of bottom-six identity trait: PK, faceoffs, 30-point scorer, fighter, forechecker, pest, shutdown guy, hitter... he desperately wants to have a role on this team, but seems to have no idea what that is. I'm really hoping Ruff can help him find it.
  9. Yep, pretty risky on Adams part to bet so much on unproven potential: 5 regulars of your top 6 under 25, 3 of them with less than 170 NHL games played? Your “bottom 3rd” is a cherry-picked stat not necessarily reflective of the players in question, but Dahlin Power Mule Clifton Byram (and Jokiharju?) certainly have a lot to prove next year. There’s a lot riding on as-yet-unrealized potential.
  10. Edmonton has $23M invested in their top 3C (27 if you use Henrique instead of McLeod) Florida $16 (Lundell on ELC), Dallas $22 and the Rangers $19M. You absolutely can invest $21M in your top 3 centres if that’s how you want to build your team. Adams chose not to. So much this. Regardless of what any of us think of Cozens, it’s pretty clear that Adams sees him as a core player.
  11. What Granato did was mostly irrelevant in terms of what Ruff might do, but I think we get too locked into the idea of 1st, 2nd and 3rd pairings as rigid entities when they are actually very fluid from game to game and within games. For example, I picked a random February game from March versus Dallas. Johnson and Johnson were the 3rd pair. Over the course of the game, they played 10 (very short) shifts and about 6 minutes together. Dahlin and Jokiharju were the 1st pair, Power and Clifton the 2nd. Power played 7 more minutes than Clifton, Dahlin 8 more than Joki. Ras played 21 shifts with Henri, 5 1/2 with Cliffy and 4 with Owen. The shift chart makes a very clear that Granato’s plan for that game (a very tight 2-1 loss) was to have either Power or Dahlin on the ice as much as possible. One would come off and the other jump on and that continued until late in a close game where he started throwing them out together to tie things up. Being on “the 2nd pair” had no drag whatsoever on Power’s ice time; he got considerably more minuteS than 1st-pair Jokiharju. The “3rd pair” didn’t see the ice much more than the “non-pair” of Clifton and Dahlin. My point is pairings are hardly locked at the hip, they switch from game to game and throughout games based on situations, opponents, injuries and trends. Deployment is what’s important. “So-and-so shouldn’t be on the 2nd pair” looking at the pre-game line chart doesn’t really mean what people think it does.
  12. I would not be holding my breath on adding another defenceman of consequence. When a GM invests around $27M in the space of a little over a year on long-term deals for 4 defencemen, then trades his leading scorer for another one 5 months later, he’s pretty well gone all-in on his top 5. If anything, Jokiharju’s contract may see him moved and replaced with a cheaper option and Bryson probably won’t be qualified. (Maybe he returns on a cheaper deal) Fortunately Samuelsson, Byram and Power are probably capable of more than this board expects from them because we’ll be having to cross our fingers they deliver. I’m really curious how Ruff will implement his rotation. 2 years ago, with 5 good veteran D in Jersey he played each of the 5 (Hamilton, Graves, Severson, Marino, and Seigenthaler) roughly equally - between 19:57 and 21:46 a game. Hamilton got most of the PP time with very little PK, the others roughly the opposite, with his #6 (Brendan Smith) lagging well behind. Last year, with Hamilton hurt and Graves and Severson gone, it was harder to track but was kinda similar: Luke Hughes played the Hamilton role and minutes, with Nemec and Bahl roughly replacing the other 2. Bahl got about 2 minutes a game less, but that seems largely a function of him being the #6 who frequently had to slide up Lindy’s fave 5 due to missing bodies. Smith and Colin Miller played roughly 15 sharing bottom 6 duties.
  13. Further to the above, Not saying Adams made the right call, just disagreeing with the idea it wasn’t proactive. Or lacking in balls. it was entirely proactive and there was nothing safe about it. Related, I don’t recall this kind of angst about type or fit when we were chasing Chychrun a year ago. He’s also an offence-first lefty of slightly more size and a more difficult contract situation. Did people have a misperception Jake is a bruiser like his dad?
  14. If only Tim Murray had listened to Jerry Forton. McAvoy was Forton’s guy that year but Murray wanted a guy to ride shotgun for Eichel
  15. Not a Waddell fan as a hockey ops decision-maker, but as an old boy insider, he knows people and strings. In a senior advisor role (read a voice in the room, but not the boss or primary conduit to the boss) why not? I think most of us are in favour of adding another outside voice and Carolina has been doing some things right.
  16. Adams did not have to trade Casey this season. There was absolutely cap space to sign him to a long-term deal. There was absolutely even more cap space to sign him to a short term deal. Adams instead - proactively- decided not to invest in him as a core piece if he could instead use him as asset to fill a hole elsewhere. Adams tells us also he - proactively- has been chasing a top 4 defenceman for a couple years. We were told he had a deal close for Pesce that was nixed by an NTC. We were told he had a better offer for Chychrun that Ottawa spurned over division concerns. Adams also tells us he has had a - proactive - interest in Bowen Byram dating back to the Eichel trade talks. Maybe Adams is facing an artificial cap crunch and desperately took the best offer he could find regardless of thought about how he might fit. Or maybe he actually likes Byram better than Mittelstadt and proactively sacrificed a chip he thought he could afford for another he really likes and thinks his team needs more.
  17. Yes, I get that you think the Sabres didn't need to reset in in March of 2021 because: The 25th-place 81-point (prorated from 69 games) 2020 team was pretty good and trending upward. The Sabres 31st-place 54-point (prorated from 56 games) 2021 team was a mirage because Jack Eichel was hurt and COVID I get that you think that team had enough pieces that it could have become a playoff team relatively quickly with the right tweaks. And that you think Adams has pushed that possibility back when he did not have to. The point I was trying to make was simply that it is not typical for a really bad team to turn into playoff regular in 2 or 3 years. I didn't even mention Adams, let alone the hyperbole-filled bold. That's all you. If you want to discuss whether the reset itself was prudent, sure. When I check my 'real world context' from March of 2021 I see: a franchise player whose health will probably make him unavailable for the coming season an owner who is unwilling to give that player the surgery he wants a roster and a failing season unlikely to keep Eichel happy, or deter him from a trade request, no matter what new offseason promises I make my best healthy player, Sam Reinhart, saying he would not be signing a long-term contract with us my $9M winger coming off miserable 14- and 7-goal seasons my $6M big free agent acquisition unlikely to stay, or bring back a big haul in a trade half my defence corps — Montour, Ristolainen and McCabe — headed toward free agency and not wanting to talk contract uncertainty as to whether or not I can re-sign my starting goalie an owner who may or may not back off on the austerity program he launched during COVID a dressing room that had grown 'toxic' due mostly to the wear of years of constant losing a reputation among players and agents as a place to avoid These are issues I can't ignore. Even if I do accept handwaving the 2021 disaster as just the product of an unhealthy Jack and the bubble, I don't think an 81-point team can withstand all that, let alone a 54-point team. And I don't handwave 2021. Every team was in a bubble. Every team has injuries — you've said it yourself several times. And whether you accept it as representative or not, the Sabres literally did morph into a .330 team. My take in that moment is that I don't see this mix becoming a playoff team relatively quickly with the right tweaks Regardless of how we got there, or what we've done since — I guess I need to stress this is not about Adams' overall performance as a GM — I think a reset at that time was absolutely the right move. I respect your take, I just see it differently.
  18. Last year they stunk like the Sabres did this year. They were an 83 point team that had missed 3 years in a row and 7 of their previous 8. But the previous year they had just missed, with 92 points (again, very much as the Sabres did)
  19. For me it's less about coping with the Sabres and more about coping with @PerreaultForever, but we all gotta find our ways to get by 😜 ***** Two things have become really clear lately to me about your position on this rebuild: You think the Sabres of 2021 were in much better shape than I do And/or you think it's much easier to turn a really bad team into a playoff team than I do. To the 2nd point, I took a look at other teams, going back 10 years to the lockout. Including teams that have done it more than once, there have been 14 sub-.400 non-expansion teams beyond the Sabres. the 2015 Oilers were in their 8th consecutive year out of the playoffs. They drafted McDavid, finally made it 3 years later and missed the next 2 the 2015 Coyotes were in their 3rd consecutive year out of the playoffs. They missed 4 more years before finally making it, and have missed 4 years since. the 2017 Avalanche were on their 3rd consecutive year out of the playoffs and had missed 6 of their last 7. They made the playoffs the next season and have yet to miss since. the 2019 Senators were on their 2nd year out of playoffs and missed each of the 5 years since. the 2020 Wings were on their 4th year of missing the playoffs and have missed each of the 4 years since the 2021 Ducks were on their 3rd year out of the playoffs and have missed all 3 years since The 2022 Devils were on their 4th year out of the playoffs and had missed 9 of 10. they made the playoffs the next season, then missed last year. the 2022 Flyers were on their 2nd year out of the playoffs and have missed the 2 years since. the 2022 Canadiens went to finals in bubble the year prior and have missed the 2 years since the 2023 Sharks were on their 4th year out of the playoffs and missed again this year the 2023 Jackets were on their 3rd year out of the playoffs and missed again this year the 2023 Hawks were on their 3rd year out of the playoffs and missed again this year I'm just not seeing many examples of GMs turning sad sack teams like the Sabres into playoff contenders in 2 or 3 years. The 2020/21 Sabres were a .330 hockey team. Which comes back to my first point up top: your argument makes a lot more sense to me if you think the 2021 Sabres were like the 2016 Hurricanes or the 2022 Canucks. I just don't think that's the case.
  20. Quinn and Peterka are two years into their ELC's. You can pay them a lot next summer if you want. But you also can literally wait 5 more years before you have to give them big contracts. If they deserve the big money earlier, then that's a good problem to have. You move somebody to clear up space. That's what the good teams do.
  21. Here’s someone who fits my “this year’s 2021 Reinhart” model. Marty Necas is a 25-year-old 5-year veteran RFA who wants more than Carolina is willing to pay him. Friedman says he’s expected to hit the market. Wants term and the Canes won’t do it. 6’2” skilled, and fast. Former 12-overall pick in 2017 who broke out with 71 points 2 years ago after 3 years of 40ish. Dropped to 53 last year. Not particularly physical or a shutdown guy, but his puck possession numbers are strong. Plays RW but is naturally a centre and reportedly wants to play centre. This is the the type of guy you could get for the Reinhart price of roughly 2 picks in the second half of the 1st, or equivalent prospects. He shouldn’t cost more than Cozens on term and you’ve got him for at least 2 years for 5 or 6 if not. He’s basically your Mitts replacement to a “T”. Which is ironic because reports say he was going to be the Sabres pick at 8 in his draft year before newcomer Botterill overruled the holdover staff and took Casey.
  22. Bo’s got more of mean streak than this board recognizes. In a perfect world he ends up Duncan Keith. Same size, similar approach.
  23. Sure, but let’s not dismiss it as a pipe dream either. This is how good teams have stayed competitive and mediocre teams have made the jump. You’re not going to sign Lindholm and Joshua for anywhere near that money, but you can find the next Lindholm and Joshua. If you want to contend, you have to.
  24. isn’t it really just about spending your money wisely? I think it @GASabresIUFAN who has talked on here about Adams choices at the bottom of his roster. While Vancouver was paying $4M to Lafferty, Blueger and Joshua, the Sabres were paying $7.2M to Okposo, Girgensons and Jost. That’s not just about having a better bottom 6, the difference might be what allows you to acquire an Elias Lindholm. It”s not something the Sabres have really had to worry about as they stocked their roster with players on their first and 2nd contracts. But it’s something they need to worry about now.
  25. They absolutely could get a bigger-name guy for $6-8 million and 2 plugs for the 4th line and call it a day. Let’s focus on the Canucks here since they are a team whose jump we are trying to emulate. I think the Sabres would be more than happy with a summertime haul that yields the likes of Elias Lindholm, Dakota Joshua, Sam Lafferty and Teddy Blueger. Vancouver is paying those 4 guys $4.8M, $800K, $1.9M, and $1.1M - $8.8M total. Lafferty was acquired for a 5th-rounder, Blueger signed July 1 to a 1-year UFA deal, Joshua was basically a Brett Murray they signed for depth. And Lindholm was acquired for the type of deal many of us want Adams to make: a bushel of picks and prospects - roughly equivalent to Ryan Johnson, next year’s 1st and scraps - and Kuzmenko, a fat contract sitting in the press box.
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