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Archie Lee

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  1. I think Adams and Granato are smart and are well aware that the time is coming, sooner than later, where the fan base will not accept player development, good vibes and incremental improvement as the end result of a season. What they, smartly in my view, have no interest in doing is tagging the team with an unneeded proclamation like what Pierre Dorian did with the Senators a year ago when he declared their rebuild to be over. The Adams/Granato plan is to get there organically without making needless public promises that only serve to increase expectations prematurely. I’m certain they know that pressure to succeed is coming and is inevitable.
  2. FWIW, I think there is a reckoning coming for youth hockey and how goalies are coached. The butterfly/flare position and RVH post-play are horrible for hips. Injuries happen in sports; parents, and kids to an extent, know there are risks. For me, there is a bit of an ethical quandary when it is known that specific techniques are the cause of a common injury that requires surgical intervention for young athletes.
  3. I think the plan is to win with a bunch of players on ELCs. It’s just that is is the next batch, not the current batch that we will win with (if all goes according to plan). Fast forward two off-seasons and Thompson, Cozens, Asplund and Samuelsson will be on higher contracts. Dahlin, Power, Joker, Bryson, Krebs, Mitts, Olofsson, Comrie will all need new deals. Not all will be kept, either because they didn’t fully pan out or because we can’t afford them all. But, Quinn and Peterka will still be on their ELCs as will the last four 1st rd picks (Rosen, Savoie, Östlund and Kulich) not to mention all the later picks and possibly Levi and Johnson. It seems clear to me that we have more or less determined that Dahlin, Power, Samuelsson and likely Joker are the future of our top four D. In net we have a cascade of 3 goalies (4 if you count Portillo) who are separated by age who are going to get opportunities to grab the #1 job; Comrie gets 1st shot, then Luukkonen, then Levi. Up front Thompson, Cozens, Mitts, Krebs, Asplund and Olofsson are getting a shot to show they are indispensable along with Tuch and Skinner (who likely can’t be moved). Not all will stick. The pipeline of ELCs upfront is intended to keep the forward group productive through a 6-8 year window where we have Dahlin, Power and Samuelsson along with the final winner of the goaltending derby dominating on the backend. At least, that’s the way the next decade plays out in my mind.
  4. Interesting. I don't see how the Isles get significantly better short or long term by signing Kadri and trading Barzal. I hope they ship Barzal out west.
  5. I would definitely say that he does not see this as year 11. If he is thinking in terms of years at all, then I think he may well see this as year 2.
  6. I think Barzal is rightly viewed as an elite player. If the Isles are looking to add Kadri it is as their 2nd line C behind Barzal. I doubt he would be available unless there are off-ice issues that have them wanting to get rid of him. Even then the asking price would be steep.
  7. If you, arbitrarily to be sure, set the level for an NHL goalie's breakout season at starting at least half of his team's games and performing at a better than average NHL level, then you don't have to look far to find multiple examples of goalies who did not "breakout" as a starter until they were older than Comrie is. Just looking at the goalies in the Atlantic division last year and Jack Campbell, Linus Ullmark, Thomas Greiss, Anton Forsberg and Craig Anderson were all 28 or older and no longer with their original NHL team before they started 41 games in a season while also posting better than average NHL #'s. Of course, over the longer haul those goalies have had mixed success in their careers. It is though, based on Comrie's background, well within the realm of possible that he will give the Sabres better than average NHL starting goaltending. It would not be close to an outlier scenario for this to occur.
  8. I’m not a Cornhusker’s football guy myself, but I was listening to a POD yesterday and they said that all of the Cornhusker references were from the 2010 season (so the mall caper took months to pull off, starting in winter 2010 and running into the fall). They said that based on the BB timeline, the Gene caper episode would have overlapped Walt’s return to the ABQ from New Hampshire and, of course, his death. I would not have pieced any of that together myself.
  9. Gaudreau and Huberdeau are the same age. They play the same position and are, statistically, nearly the same player. If the Flames were to get Huberdeau and Weegar signed long-term, it would almost be like they just swapped out Tkachuk for Weegar and added a prospect and 1st RD pick. The Flames lack a true elite defender, but their back-end, starting in goal and through their top 6 D, is awfully good.
  10. Of those 9 teams, as things stand today, only Edmonton and Florida look like they will have to move someone out. Unless they get bargain deals on Yamamoto and Puljujarvi, the Oilers can't sign both and would need to move out one or maybe Warren Foegele. The Panthers likely need to move out Hornqvist. Of course, if any make further trades or take a run at Kadri that would change things.
  11. The optimist’s argument is that the Sabres added Tuch, Krebs, Samuelsson and Power over the course of last season and by the time Mittelstadt and Olofsson got healthy they had passed Ottawa and Detroit. Meaning Ottawa and Detroit were in positions of needing to catch-up. Now add Comrie, Lyubushkin, Quinn and Peterka and the Sabres still have the edge. This will never be the professional/media/expert opinion, because free agency is viewed as an avenue for improvement and the Sabres mostly abstained. What we know, though, is that many UFA signings will not have the anticipated positive impact (including, possibly, ours). Since it is July, I’m an optimist.
  12. I think this is only logical if one takes the position that anything less than a Stanley Cup is failure. The Penguins have been, for a few seasons now, long-shot contenders. They have still been a really good NHL team though. They will fall off the cliff eventually, but I don't think it will be for a couple of years. Though aging, they still have high-end talent and decent depth and Sullivan is a very good coach. There are some who will take the position that if you aren't 1st you might as well be last. Me, I would gladly take a few years of cup runs followed by 5-6 more years of watching Dahlin, Power, Cozens, Thompson, Mitts, et al play on 100+ point teams with the hope that maybe there is one more "lightning in a bottle" season.
  13. If I was betting an over/under on the Eastern playoff teams using their points from last season, I might go under on all of them.
  14. Could be, but I don’t think that is the plan. Performance and health are obviously factors. Going back to his junior days, Comrie has had 5 seasons in his career where he has played 40+ games; Luukkonen has had two such seasons. I think they see Comrie as a guy who is ready to take the next step and that the only thing that has prevented him from doing so earlier is playing behind a Vezina level goalie. Who knows how it plays out, but my guess is the plan would be for Comrie to start 45+, Anderson the rest with Luukkonen coming up when needed. I know people don’t like Tokarski as a goalie, but I wish we had retained him over Subban. Tokarski is simply better. Maybe he was not interested in being an org#4.
  15. I’m mildly disappointed in this. A couple of the vibes guys, Anderson and Hinostroza, were rewarded with one year deals that I don’t think they would have received from another team. With that as a backdrop, it seemed Pysyk was worthy of a similar deal to serve as our 7th D. OK, I’m over it. Still…
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