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Defense Next Year - Could we see major change?

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how many minutes does Dahlin get per game next year? in his last 23GP he is avg 22 mins.  Would it be fair to say that he could get up to 25 mins per night next year.  

Oh, he also has 17 points in those 23GP.   As they say - his is only 18 years old.

When he is 23 - are we looking at a 100 point Defenceman?

IMO the D should be 

Dahlin - Bogo

McCabe - Montour

Pilut - Borgen  

UFA Vet - Nelson

 

 

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Before today I would have predicted a trade of McCabe for a forward, but I don't know now.

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Does the addition of Montour reignite those old Klefbom and a forward for Risto and a lesser piece rumours from last summer, withthe idea of sliding Klefbom in next to Dahlin as a Nashville style top pair?

I’m a Risto fan, but when I see him at -31 when no other D is at -10 there is something wrong. Eichel gets tough matchups a ***** ton of ice time and plays when the goalie is pulled and he is -2.

The way I see it, quick zone exits and the ability to dish are essential to Housley’s system and those are Risto’s two weakest areas. I’m going to miss him and think he will excel on a team that better fits what he brings, but I think he gets traded at the draft for pieces that better fit what this team wants to do.

Edited by dudacek

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

Does the addition of Montour reignite those old Klefbom and a forward for Risto and a lesser piece rumours from last summer, withthe idea of sliding Klefbom in next to Dahlin as a Nashville style top pair?

I’m a Risto fan, but when I see him at -31 when no other D is at -10 there is something wrong. Eichel gets tough matchups a ***** ton of ice time and plays when the goalie is pulled and he is -2.

The way I see it, quick zone exits and the ability to dish are essential to Housley’s system and those are Risto’s two weakest areas. I’m going to miss him and think he will excel on a team that better fits what he brings, but I think he gets traded at the draft for pieces that better fit what this team wants to do.

Im a big fan of Risto when he plays with aggression but that's not nearly often enough. 

Hopefully they can get a big time forward in return.

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3 hours ago, dudacek said:

Does the addition of Montour reignite those old Klefbom and a forward for Risto and a lesser piece rumours from last summer, withthe idea of sliding Klefbom in next to Dahlin as a Nashville style top pair?

I’m a Risto fan, but when I see him at -31 when no other D is at -10 there is something wrong. Eichel gets tough matchups a ***** ton of ice time and plays when the goalie is pulled and he is -2.

The way I see it, quick zone exits and the ability to dish are essential to Housley’s system and those are Risto’s two weakest areas. I’m going to miss him and think he will excel on a team that better fits what he brings, but I think he gets traded at the draft for pieces that better fit what this team wants to do.

I would love to get Klefbom and RNH in a deal for Risto but we’d have to add to that significantly (Klefbom probably has similar value to Risto). I’m not sure any other attainable forward from Edmonton interests me. Might be willing to include the lesser of our firsts this year to make it happen (after the Montour first is decided).

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He might be built like a fettuccine noodle, but I forgot how good Casey Nelson’s first pass is.

He also skates well and seems to have a good read on when to go.

Sabres are 12/7/2 when he plays, even after his current five-game losing streak.

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I'm not for trading Risto unless there's a plan in place to replace him with another top three type defenseman. Risto with his flaws is a top 2-4 defenseman and would leave a big hole in our defensive core. 

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2 minutes ago, Radar said:

I'm not for trading Risto unless there's a plan in place to replace him with another top three type defenseman. Risto with his flaws is a top 2-4 defenseman and would leave a big hole in our defensive core. 

He consistently brings down his defensive partners and the forwards he’s on the ice with. I’m not sure he’ll create a hole that isn’t easily fillable. He just looks the part so well.

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Sine the streaked ended we have seen to many defensive collapses.  We shouldn’t have to score 4 goals just to push a game to OT.

We probably need 2 more D who actually play D.  If this means trading Risto, so be it. 

I am ok with the following for next season.

Dahlin new D partner

McCabe Montour

Pilut Bogo

because moving out Bogo Scandella and Risto eliminates our physical back end.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Hoss said:

He consistently brings down his defensive partners and the forwards he’s on the ice with. I’m not sure he’ll create a hole that isn’t easily fillable. He just looks the part so well.

Not sure at all he brings down anyone. No, he's not a #1 but I think in frustration many fans exaggerate his flaws. Because of our overall depth he's forced to play minutes and role not suited for him.

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3 minutes ago, Crusader1969 said:

In new partner, do you mean Borgen?

He’s close but I don’t think he’s ready for full-time next year.

IF free agency is a route taken to add to the d corps (especially if we ship one or two out for forward help) then this year’s crop has very few of note.

Erik Karlsson is the obvious one. I don’t think that’s happening.

Jake Gardiner from Toronto sounds like he will be finding a new home.

Tyler Myers is free.

That’s really it. I do have interest in the first two but their paydays will be large.

Just now, Radar said:

Not sure at all he brings down anyone. No, he's not a #1 but I think in frustration many fans exaggerate his flaws. Because of our overall depth he's forced to play minutes and role not suited for him.

Just about every state related to whether or not a player positively impacts those around them says Risto brings down every player around him. We used to blame that on his defensive partners (which was mostly a denial thing) but that’s not a valid excuse anymore.

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2 minutes ago, Hoss said:

 

Just about every state related to whether or not a player positively impacts those around them says Risto brings down every player around him. We used to blame that on his defensive partners (which was mostly a denial thing) but that’s not a valid excuse anymore.

Every state?? 

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I would be shocked if anything comes of it, but I expect the Sabres to make very serious overtures to Erik Karlsson if he hits free agency. He is the absolute poster boy for everything this franchise wants to be.

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4 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I would be shocked if anything comes of it, but I expect the Sabres to make very serious overtures to Erik Karlsson if he hits free agency. He is the absolute poster boy for everything this franchise wants to be.

Overpaid and not as effective as he used to be? 😁

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3 hours ago, Radar said:

Every state?? 

Yes, the state of statistics included.

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https://buffalonews.com/2019/03/18/buffalo-sabres-jason-botterill-phil-housley-jeff-skinner-lance-lysowski-nhl/

Lance mentions that Hunwick, Scandella and Risto will all be on trading block thus summer.  I’m not sure if there is a market for Hunwick, but I think this is probably correct in general.  Risto’s -37 hurts his value some, but if he is traded we need to get a 2nd line center back as part of the deal.  

Assuming all 3 get traded, what does our group look like and what do we get for the players we trade?

Dahlin ???

McCabe Montour

Pilut Bogo

????  Nelson

Find a mobile but defensively aware partner for Dahlin and we could be on to something.

Risto needs to bring back at least a 2nd line center.  Scandella would hopefully bring back a 2nd rd pick to somewhat replace the late rd 1st given up for Montour.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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I think next year’s Hunwick is this year’s Tennyson - an emergency call-up finishing his career mentoring youngsters in Rochester.

I think Dahlin starts the year as our 1D, with Montour - who I expect to get a big leap in responsibility - and Bogosian joining him in the top four. Nelson is back as the 7.

I think one of Ristolainen, McCabe and Scandella gets moved, the other two will be our 4/5.

Borgen and Pilut compete for the six spot with a new acquisition, with one or both joining Hunwick,, Hickey, Dougherty, MacWilliam and Redmond on the farm.

Bryson and maybe Laaksonen and Fitzgerald will turn pro as well.

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8 hours ago, dudacek said:

I think next year’s Hunwick is this year’s Tennyson - an emergency call-up finishing his career mentoring youngsters in Rochester.

I think Dahlin starts the year as our 1D, with Montour - who I expect to get a big leap in responsibility - and Bogosian joining him in the top four. Nelson is back as the 7.

I think one of Ristolainen, McCabe and Scandella gets moved, the other two will be our 4/5.

Borgen and Pilut compete for the six spot with a new acquisition, with one or both joining Hunwick,, Hickey, Dougherty, MacWilliam and Redmond on the farm.

Bryson and maybe Laaksonen and Fitzgerald will turn pro as well.

Laaksonen is under contract with SHL until the end of 2020/21 season. Can he get out of this some how? just asking.

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I’m not going to debate whether or not to fire PH here.  However, as I watched us getting man handled in our own zone by the hated Loafs, it reminded me what most has to change over the summer and that is the defense.  As top heavy as the forwards are, I think they all get more effective if we can exist our zone quicker and more frequently.  Some of this is on the forwards, but mostly our D sucks at getting the puck.  McCabe absence hurts, but Bogo, Scandella, and Risto, while all physical do a terrible job in our zone when they get possession of the puck.  Bad outlets, bad decisions, taking to long to make a decision all add to the confusion in our zone.  Two of those three must be replaced.

Why none of the above is a big revelation, I think Jbot reached this conclusion weeks ago and it is why he acquired Montour.  I wasn’t sure if Montour was acquired to skate with Dahlin (they have been paired lately) or to replace Risto, but now I’m firmly convinced he is here to replace Risto.  I suspect Jbot received some interesting offers for Risto, especially from teams that need a PP D during the trade deadline. As we were still nominally in the playoff hunt, Jbot deferred until the summer.  

So where does he go?  

1) @dudacek mentioned Klefbom and a forward from Edm.  Interesting idea, but they have Nurse who IMHO is kind of a slightly lesser version of Risto.  

2) TB for Miller, I and others have mentioned, but biggest issues here are that TB gets no cap relief and it’s an inter-division trade which are often very hard to complete.

3) Could Wpg be a destination? They have 3 huge RFA’s to re-sign (Trouba, Laine and Connor) and Myers’ contract is up.  Like the Sabres, they often acquire talent through the trade mkt vs free agency.  Could Risto slide in here as Myers’ replacement?  

4) Others?  Dallas?  Colorado?  What about Stl’s Schenn for Risto?  The Blues have Bouwmeester and Del Zotto as UFA’s.  Edmondson would be a good partner for Risto.  

A funny note: While I was looking on the net for rumors or ideas others have written about Risto, I came across on of the biggest joke ideas (but presented seriously) from an Avs writer.  This genius suggested we’d trade Skinner, UPL and a 1st for ........ wait for it.........Tyson Barrie.  I’m still laughing.  I wouldn’t give them a 1st for Barrie, or UPL for Barrie or Skinner for Barrie, much less all 3. 

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I’ve seen discussion on a Deal with the two main pieces being Risto and Trouba.

Most believe that Trouba has no interest in signing in Winnipeg and is looking for $8 million plus in his new deal so they have to trade him, especially given their cap issues.

The Risto interest is based on their window being now and their desire to replace Trouba with something more immediate than picks.

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13 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I’ve seen discussion on a Deal with the two main pieces being Risto and Trouba.

Most believe that Trouba has no interest in signing in Winnipeg and is looking for $8 million plus in his new deal so they have to trade him, especially given their cap issues.

The Risto interest is based on their window being now and their desire to replace Trouba with something more immediate than picks.

I’m not sure we’d want Trouba for that kind of money.  With Skinner’s new deal and new contract in a year or two for Montour, Dahlin and Reinhart, is Jbot going to willing to sink another $8 on such a player? 

I can see a two step deal in which Wpg trades Trouba to Montreal who has money and are in desperate need for defense and then puts a package together to get Risto from us.

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I started this thread back in February and major changes have begun.  Lots of new faces, but interestingly no one major has yet been voted off the island except Baloo.  AHLers, Tennyson and Daugherty, were also let go.

When I started this thread I had Dahlin and Montour as the only guys written in ink for this coming season and questions regarding everyone else.  All those questions remain except we have added Colin Miller, Henri Jokuharju (38 NHL games), drafted Ryan Johnson, and signed John Gilmour (33 Career NHL games).  To add to the confusion McCabe is going to arbitration for his next contract, and Bogo and Pilut remain injured

The depth chart looks like this IMHO

LHD - RHD

Dahlin* - Montour

McCabe (RFA) - Ristolainen

Scandella - Miller

Pilut (IR)* -  Bogo (IR)

Gilmour - Jokiharju*

Hunwick - Nelson

Bryson* - Borgen*

Of these 14 D - 13 played in the NHL last season.  Nelson, who I have listed as our 6th RHD, actually played the 6th most games for a Sabres D last season (38); the same number rookie Jokiharju played for Chi.  Borgen, listed as our 7th RHD, played 4 NHL games last season and some articles said he’d be Bogo’s injury fill-in to start the season. 

It would be interesting to do a fancy stat comparison between the 2 (Nelson and Jokiharju).

* waiver exempt - Dahlin, Pilut, Jokiharju, Borgen and Bryson.

Things don’t get easier in Rochester.  Right now the Amerks have prospects Stephens, Hickey, Borgen, Bryson and Fitzgerald and possibly Gilmour, Pilut and Jokiharju depending on how things shakeout in Buffalo.  Now add vets Redmond (who will be playing every night), MacWilliam and Paetsch.  

That’s 20 D under contract between the Sabres and the Amerks for probably 16 slots.

On paper 4 of these guys need to go.  Stephens will probably be returned to the ECHL, and Bogo and Pilut likely start the season on IR. 

Seems like this is setting up for Risto to be traded to get us the 2C we need, but I’m not sure this will happen in the off-season.  

 

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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https://theathletic.com/1094587/2019/07/25/with-a-sudden-abundance-of-defensemen-which-combos-make-the-most-sense-for-the-sabres-top-six/

Here is the Athletic's analytical take on the Sabres pairings for next season.

Quote

 

The Candidates

Left Defense             Right Defense

Rasmus Dahlin         Rasmus Ristolainen

Lawrence Pilut*       Brandon Montour

Jake McCabe            Colin Miller

Marco Scandella      Zach Bogosian*

Matt Hunwick           Henri Jokiharju

John Gilmour            Casey Nelson

(* – injured)

 

Quote

 

Player5-on-5 CorsiFor % 2016-2019

Colin Miller56.82

Henri Jokiharju54.1

Lawrence Pilut53.22

Rasmus Dahlin51.91

Casey Nelson50.25

Brandon Montour49.39

Matt Hunwick49.07

Zach Bogosian48.71

John Gilmour48.12

Jake McCabe47.53

Marco Scandella47.51

Rasmus Ristolainen46.45

 

Quote

 

If Ristolainen isn’t traded, the value of having a physical player who can do most of the things you’re looking for, albeit perhaps with fewer minutes or more specialized usage in special teams, you can work out a different lineup like this. Please hold your groans for after:

Dahlin – Jokiharju

McCabe – Montour

Pilut – Ristolainen

According to NaturalStatTrick.com, setting up Ristolainen with Pilut, and in turn McCabe with Montour, would lead to potentially strong possession numbers based on their play together last season. McCabe-Montour were 57.14 in nearly 70 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time together while Pilut and Ristolainen were 55.48 percent in nearly 230 minutes. There are possibilities to be had there, but it would seem strange for Jason Botterill to acquire Miller (or Jokiharju) to have them not play games.

 

Quick thought:

If Risto isn't traded this could very well be the lineup but with Miller in for the injured Pilut, except we'd have the $4 mill man Scandella on the bench and Bogo waiting to come off IR depending on his recovery.  I'd be just fine never seeing Scandella or Bogo again (although I think Scandella can rebound after a tough last season), but Jbot would need to do something to get rid of one or both to save as much of their cap hits as possible.

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