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Posts posted by dudacek

  1. 1 minute ago, Curt said:

    I’ve been checking out some options for defensemen in rounds 2-4, because Sabres have picks 39, 45, 86, and 109.  Some RHD who caught my eye were:

    Tom Willander

    Oliver Bonk

    Hunter Brzustewicz

    Maxim Strbak

    Cameron Allen

    Aran Minnetian 

    Andrew Gibson

    Dylan MacKinnon

    Gavin McCarthy

    Anyone have strong opinions about any of these guys?

    Not about the player himself, but Willander has a far better chance of being the pick at 13 than 39.

    He, Simashev, Reinbacher and Sandin-Pellika will be the first 4 D taken and from what I’m reading any of them could go top 15

  2. 6 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

    No, to the bold. 

    If you look over the whole season, the teams that play better D are the teams that gave us the most trouble. Regardless of how good they were. Otherwise I agree, but would also add bad D makes goalies look bad and then people say "our goaltending sucks" and good team D makes average goalies look good. For example Hill, playing for Vegas right now. He's no better than Comrie as a goalie, but you wouldn't know it behind that team's defensive system. Put Hill on Buffalo and he'd look like a sieve. 

    Vegas had the league’s 11th best defence, Florida its 21st.

    Florida was 6th in the league in goals for. They knocked off the league’s 1st, 7th and 2nd best defences to get to the final.

    The 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th best defences lost in the 1st round

    The 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th best offences won in the 1st round

    Not seeing any evidence that defence is more important than offence in this year’s playoffs.

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  3. 3 hours ago, Archie Lee said:

    Maybe Adams was legitimately interested in Gibson.  It is, however, counter to everything Adams has said and done in building the team thus far.  He simply has shown no interest in taking on a veteran player with lots of term and a high AAV.  Indeed, he has said on multiple occasions that it is important that he and the organization know a player before they make that kind of a commitment to an individual.

    My opinion is that the hockey world in general looks at the Sabres and assumes they will do what the hockey world in general does.  There is no veteran starting goalie in Buffalo and thus the Sabres will be in on any veteran goalie who might make them better in the short-term.  This is why the connection to Gibson is made and now to Hellebuyck as well, I think. 

    There is little to no chance, from what Adams has said and done, that the Sabres are interested in acquiring Gibson (high AAV, lots of term, declining performance) or Hellebuyck (high acquisition cost, one year to UFA with an extension that would require a high AAV over a long-term while also blocking Levi). If Adams acquires either player it will mean he has had a 180 degree shift in his plan for building the roster. 

    My recollection is that in the year-end interview Adams was asked about going young in net and his answer was that the organization's philosophy on this was to be "fearless".  All signs point to Levi/UPL as our goalies. 

    Maybe you don’t consider Matt Murray’s 2 years at $6.2 to be a match, but that was a veteran with term and a high AAV. Adams agreed to a trade for for him with the Senators.

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  4. From Seravalli:

    John Gibson, the man who may have nixed a trade to the Sabres last summer, has apparently told the Ducks he’s now OK with being moved.

    29 with 4 years left at $6.4. Excellent his first few seasons. Hasn’t performed to his rep for a few years now.

  5. 3 hours ago, thewookie1 said:

    You can't win a rental without winning the Cup

    I'm unwilling to give Hellebuyck 8x10mil and trade 2/3 1sts in value to get him 

    I'd rather just sign a UFA goalie and hope Levi explodes onto the scene than trade 13OA, UPL, Savoie/Kulich for Hellebuyck who will expect to either become a UFA or an absurd extension that doesn't work from a cap or year situation.

    To the bold, you are renting Hellebuyck for an entire season, not just a playoff run. You’re also acquiring him to get you into the playoffs.

    I haven’t seen a single fan or analyst advocating acquiring Hellebuyck for the equivalent of two top 13 picks and a young goalie, or signing him to an $80 million contract. I will bet good money the actual price = acquisition or contract - is nowhere near this,

    It is a horrible exaggeration of his market value and a false argument.

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  6. 1 hour ago, nfreeman said:

    The underlying point here is reasonable -- there's an opportunity to make next season the best Sabres season since 2006-2007, the Sabres seem to have a ton of good young prospects already, and advancing that opportunity by getting Helle is worth sacrificing a valuable asset in #13, which may or may not develop into another good young prospect -- but I think the bolded items are exaggerated.

    For the first one -- we cannot know how these prospects will develop.  It's quite likely that more than one of them will wash out, get injured, decide to go back home, etc.  In the meantime there is plenty of room on the Amerks' roster and all of them are far away from having to clear waivers.

    For the 2nd one -- not wanting to give up #13 this year is not equivalent to not putting any value on Helle.  I, and I think most here, would give up the Sabres' 2024 #1 plus UPL and a decent prospect for Helle.  That is a pretty good package for a guy with 1 year left before UFA.  I'd be curious to know what other goalies with similar contract situations have recently been traded for better packages.

    I disagree with your 1st point: not that some will wash out, just with the math.

    NHL players on ELCs or long-term deals take up 10 roster spots, while Mittelstadt, Dahlin, Jokiharju and UPL remain under team control when their contracts expire and increase that total to 14.

    There is not enough room for the 6 1st rounders (Savoie, Östlund, Kulich, Rosen, Johnson and 13) to graduate in the next 2 or 3 years, never mind the 5 recent 2nds, and tthe deeper cuts like Novikov and Rousek. 

    Your 2nd point is mostly correct; very few goalies have garnered that return, period, regardless of coontract. Goalies of Hellebuyck calibre rarely reach free agency or get moved, making comparables, or recent ones at least, tough.

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  7. 46 minutes ago, nfreeman said:



    The contract is the biggest impediment to the trade IMHO.  I think the following are pretty much locks:

    - KA will not give Helle a long-term extension this summer (because KA thinks it's pretty likely that Levi is the future, and doesn't want to box him out by committing to Helle for the long term).

    - Although KA would give Helle a short-term extension this summer, Helle would not agree to this as it would be well against his economic interests.

    - If Helle has a good year with the Sabres, he will not be interested in signing a short-term, team-friendly extension at the end of the season.  He turns 31 next May and will be swinging for the fences in seeking his last big contract.  While he might be inclined towards staying with the Sabres, the money and term will need to be in the ballpark of what he could get in the UFA market (i.e. $8MM x 6 years or thereabouts -- this would the 4th-highest G salary in the NHL, and his current contract is $6.2MM x 6 years), or else he's gone.

    So, I think the net result of the above is that the most likely outcome is that the Sabres would be paying a high price for 1 year of Helle.  Now, it's quite possible that KA becomes convinced next year that Levi doesn't have the goods, or that Helle is so good that he's worth moving on from Levi and getting a fat extension, or both -- but the likelihood seems pretty low.

    Given how often KA has mentioned the need to keep replenishing the prospect pool, I just don't think he's going to give up #13 this year for what would most likely be 1 year of Helle.


    I’m not sure there is a team out there willing and able to give a goalie $8 million. At least that’s how things are trending.

    Only Bobrovsky, Vasilevkiy, Murray, Gibson and Hellebuyck make more than $6, and 3 of those guys are considered bad contracts. Murray was the most recent and that was 3 years ago. Markstrom and Binnington got 6 2 years ago  and that was probably bad value too.

    Would Helle take 7.5 over 6 from Chicago or Detroit over 6.5 over 5 from an emerging Buffalo  team he just took to the 2nd round? Probably, but there is a window of possibility for the Sabres.

    More to the point though is whether the Sabres close enough to contention, and rich enough in prospects to “rent” him  for a year to fuel a real run at a special season and all the  development opportunities  that may bring for the core that is already here, not to mention the business and the fanbase? As opposed to the negative repercussions on same if Levi and whatever stopgap he plays with fail to deliver? 

    I agree it is  counterintuitive to our perception of Adams, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a lost opportunity.


  8. 2 hours ago, thewookie1 said:

    Based on your suspicions however he wouldn't be worth the trade to begin with however.


    In my opinion while @Thorny is correct we have the prospect depth to survive a trade; that doesn't particularly make me willing to use that depth on a 1 year hail Mary who based on your readings would suffer significant regression due to Buffalo's style versus Winnipeg's.

    Additionally is the issue of a new contract. I don't want a Bob contract whereas we have a goalie who is overpaid by nearly 5mil a year and has been mediocre at best besides this year's playoff run. Plus he'll be looking for year we really have no need to give out. Even slow rolling Levi's starting role for 3 seasons would equate to a mere 2 year extension. Anything longer and we are more or less pushing Levi out of Buffalo. 

    I would rather just sign a stop gap than pay a king's ransom to either have a rental for a season or a long term increasingly headache inducing contract. Goalies are just far too fickle of a resource to devote such large amounts of assets to potentially get a single year of above average goaltending.

     Lot of negative assumptions here.

    ”Goalies”might be fickle, “Hellebuyck” has been anything but. Dude has had 7 seasons as an NHL starter and never had a year worse than .907 (his 1st year as a starter) or 24 wins (a COVID season). His career averages are 32 wins and .916. A significant regression to a career worst year is still a significant upgrade on UPL or Comrie. This is what I mean about looking past his talent.

    Pick 13, UPL and Kisakov or something similar is not “a king’s ransom”. It’s the type of price one pays for a first liner but not a star player. It’s possible one or more of those pieces are good. But it is highly less likely any of those pieces are part of the Sabres core 3 years from now - or even beyond - than Hellebuyck would be.

    But the biggest negative assumption is that we would sign Hellebuyck to a Bob contract. In order to earn such a contract Hellebuyck would have to have an impact season with the Sabres, the type of season that would justify the trade price. The Sabres would be in a position to either sign him to a deal that makes sense under their cap, or walk and pass the baton to Levi, who would be in a much better position to take it. Hellebuyck, coming off a bad year would be in no position to ask for such a contract. Coming off a good year, he would be more likely to take a team-friendly deal in Buffalo because things here “worked” and he has his desired  “chance to win”.

    Sure there’s a chance he doesn’t provide contender -calibre goaltending next year, he walks and the Sabres give up the next Matt Savoie plus for nothing. But there’s a better chance they give up the next Drew Stafford to be a contender next year while giving Levi a buffer and exploring the potential of something longer term with Hellebuyck.

    Thanks, I think you’ve convinced me that I’m on board with trading 13 for Hellebuyck. He’s the closest thing we’re going to get to a playoff guarantee at a cost we can afford.

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  9. Very interesting proposal.

    As a rule, trading top 20 picks for a rental is poor asset management, but @Thorny makes a very cogent argument as to why this situation dictates an exception:

    • the Sabres have an excess of young “top 20” talent; trading from this pool is inevitable, and selling high (meaning flipping for an obvious roster upgrade as opposed to depth pieces or more futures) is wise
    • the Sabres are on the brink of something special with a very obvious question mark in net as a potential impediment.
    • Conner Hellebuyck is really ***** good, as in as good at his position as Dahlin is at his - the type of player who rarely comes on the market. I’m kinda surprised at the number of people looking past this.

    My initial push would be make the deal based around the 2024 1st and up the value of the rest of the package to compensate: 1st, their choice of Leinonen or UPL, and Rosen perhaps? Adding a 4th piece?

    But I suspect 13 will be necessary in order to outbid other suitors.

    If I trade 13 for Hellebuyck I’m going to be trying to extend him. If the season goes the way I suspect it will, the fit here may be such for him that his cost may not be exhorbitant. 

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  10. The kid is not big on specificity, but ultimately says he took his time, considered his options, listened to what others had to say, and decided this is where he wants to be.


    “There’s something special here with the staff and the culture this team has,” said Johnson, who was drafted by the team’s previous regime. “It’s definitely trending on the upward, it’s noticeable. And also it’s cool even what’s happened in the city. Buffalo, I know it’s a major sports city and it’s cool seeing that they rallied behind Damar Hamlin, seeing the support of all the fan base.

    I definitely want to be a part of something like that where’s it’s bigger than the game.”

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  11. The amount of posting about the Ryan Johnson “situation” is a textbook example of how the internet abhors a vacuum.

    • We know he could have walked as a free agent in August like any college player could and few do.
    • We know the Sabres offered him a contract last summer that he mulled for a long time then turned down to finish college.
    • We know he did an interview last summer at development camp where he said he liked the Sabres and he planned on signing eventually.
    • We know he was offered another contract in April that he eventually accepted nearly 2 months later.

    Everything else posted about his character and his thought process is complete and utter speculation based only on the above facts. Nobody knew anything else and in the absence of knowledge leapt to all kinds of wild conclusions.

    Perception became reality, when really we didn’t have a clue.


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  12. This thread has a real loudmouth at the end of the bar vibe.

    Kyle is still a decent hockey player who supplies a physical strength,  cycle game and savvy the team could use more of. His defence was good, his  offence can only come  in spurts, but those spurts seemed to come at times they were needed. He can help on special teams or move up the lineup in a pinch.

    Best, most-respected human being on the hockey team. Multiple players called him the best captain they’ve ever played with.  The improvement we’ve seen in guys like Krebs and Mitts has his stamp on it. Probably a year where the torch passes and the contract reflects that, but he sets  a bar that the kids will have to meet and is the type of player good teams have in their bottom 6. He makes them better.

    Most people besides Tim Murray understand that matters.

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  13. 1 minute ago, Pimlach said:

    A hasty deadline trade to get something (draft pick) for an asset (Montour) that did not want to be here.  Krueger era and JBot firing drove away Eichel, Reinhart, Ullmark, Montour, Risto - none of them wanted to stay any longer. 

    Always thought the return in Montour was odd.

    Whatever you thought of his play here, he was a top-4 RHD rental at the deadline. That market typically warrants a 2nd.

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  14. Novikov is the 7th player to sign from the 2021 draft class, which is highly unusual for a Sabre draft.

    Poltapov will likely make it 8. Marjala needs to sign by the end of this month or we lose his rights. 2 more years for Von Barnekow and Sardarian. I’d say all three are long shots.

    The Sabres have signed 3 from 2018 and 2019 and 2 from 2020.

    I count 6 from each of the 2012, 13 and 14 drafts, with 3 or 4 seeming to be more common most years going way back.

    1983 was the Mother Lode: 11 of those picks actually played games for the Sabres..

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  15. 2 hours ago, Pimlach said:

    So what forwards do you purge from the current roster?   You need 3 slots to take on 3 rookies and if the rookie is not playing many minutes then he might be better off in Rochester  (Savioe excluded).  

    Last year's depth chart, based on ice time:

    • Tuch
    • Thompson
    • Skinner
    • Cozens
    • Mittelstadt
    • OKposo
    • Olofsson
    • Greenway
    • Quinn
    • Krebs
    • Peterka
    • Girgensons
    • Jost
    • Hinostroza

    14 slots, 4 free agents, including the 3 least-used forwards. I think most of us believe Olofsson could be moved.

    To me, the Sabres enter the off-season with 9 of 14 forward position locked up, five TBD. Whether Adams will give some or any of the slots to kids, I have no idea, but history suggests there will be a path for any of them earn it.

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  16. Athletic reporting Sabres have interest in Hellebuyck. It’s Russo and Duhatschek, plugged in and not generally clickbaiters.


    Hellebuyck is one of the NHL’s few true No. 1, workhorse goaltenders. He won the Vezina in 2020 and is a finalist again. How much is he going to want on a long-term deal? Currently making $6.16 million, he could command $9 million-plus on the open market. Can the Jets stomach that?

    If he becomes available, don’t be surprised if Buffalo and New Jersey take big swings.

    One thing we’ve heard early this offseason is that the Sabres have interest in Hellebuyck, with the belief that a genuine No. 1 goaltender could be the last remaining piece in turning them into contenders. Getting one would also allow them to hold off on turning the reins over to Devon Levi until he’s proven to be NHL-ready.

    The Jets would want young team-controlled assets in exchange, and the Sabres have plenty of those — from a youngish goaltender in Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to promising talents like Peyton Krebs and even Casey Mittelstadt.

  17. 41 minutes ago, klos1963 said:

    What are your thoughts on all the long term deals the sabres have and will be paying out , and we haven't even made the playoffs since I can't remember when.

    Are you comparing the $49 million they gave Matthews Marner Tavares Nylander Reilly (59% of today’s cap)

    to the ~$40 million the Sabres gave (will give) Tuch Thompson Cozens Samuelsson Power Dahlin? (~40% of the cap in a few years)?

    Seems like the Sabres have a wider base and a wider margin for error.

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  18. 7 minutes ago, ddaryl said:

    The question is outside of Leinonen we pretty much know what we have in the system


    I don't know if I agree.

    UPL just turned 24 and has played 46 NHL games. Levi has played 7 and is 21.

    Ullmark, Husso, Markstrom, Grubauer, Merzlikins, Lehner, Binnington (I could go on): did we know what those guys were at those points in their careers?

  19. 8 minutes ago, JustOneParade said:

    On the Rosen clip ... put a Sabres sweater with #71 on it and he looks like a carbon copy on that PP goal. Right down to holstering his stick afterward.

    Agreed. He looks like he might be a better skater and passer than Vic.

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  20. Athletic's Montreal writer does a nice dive into the process of finding goalies this morning.


    He was looking at the period of 2011 to 2017 because goalies picked after 2017 are, by and large stil developing.

    The Sabres took 5 goalies in those 7 drafts, pretty much in line with what the thread recommends.

    Two teams took 8, one took 2. 16 - half the league - took 3 or 4.

    The only conclusion I can gather from the article is that there's no magic formula for finding them, it usually takes years to determine whether you did, and when they finally arrive, it's more often than not on another team.

  21. 1 hour ago, ddaryl said:

    The way I feel is I would like to see a few drafted G's placed throughout the Sabres system and let the cream rise to the top. 

    So kind of like last year, when we had 4 goalie prospects (UPL, Portillo, Levi and Leinonen) and we watched Levi rise to the top?

    Taro cited the Sharks as a team with a history of having excess goalies, so I looked them up. They’ve drafted 16 since the year 2000. 

    Just 2 of them have played more than 15 NHL games. Twelve have played no NHL games at all. None of them played a significant role for the Sharks.

    The thing with goalies is you want “the guy” you want a backup and you want a “potential guy” in the system.

    The key though is finding the guy. If you don’t have him you need to be spending a lot of time and resources chasing him, like the Sabres have in recent years with Lehner, Ullmark, Johansson, Luukkonnen, Portillo, Levi and Leinonen.

    Once you get the guy though, the pressure is off because the push for other 2 to be more than they are is more of a want than need.

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