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Would a Top Free Agent Actually Sign Here?

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13 minutes ago, Thorny said:

It's low, but how many ELITE FAs went to great organizations? Usually elite players don't go to UFA.  

Okposo was the best FA available in the off-season we signed him. I think it's cause we were willing to pay the most.  

Well, there is some truth to your point about KO, but 2016 was a pretty skinny year for UFAs, and the Sabres seemed poised for an upswing at that point.  Since then, they've backslid in year 2 of DDB, gotten GMTM and DDB fired, finished DFL under Howie, then run for the bus at New Year's and gotten Howie canned.

The best UFAs may not go to the best organizations, but I think they tend to avoid the teams that stink every year.

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3 minutes ago, Thorny said:

It's low, but how many ELITE FAs went to great organizations? Usually elite players don't go to UFA. 

Okposo was the best FA available in the off-season we signed him. I think it's cause we were willing to pay the most. 

This.

If we are talking elite guys, then probably not coming here, the same as 90 per cent of the league. The Tavares sweepstakes don’t happen often so very few teams can sign them. There aren’t many elite players and their teams do what they can to keep them.

But If you define “top” as among the top 5 or 10  players available in a given year, then sure. They get to UFA every year, they will sign pretty much anywhere there is a team willing to spend and most of them get overpaid: Leino, Ehrhoff, Moulson and Okposo all fit that profile. 

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7 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Well, there is some truth to your point about KO, but 2016 was a pretty skinny year for UFAs, and the Sabres seemed poised for an upswing at that point.  Since then, they've backslid in year 2 of DDB, gotten GMTM and DDB fired, finished DFL under Howie, then run for the bus at New Year's and gotten Howie canned.

The best UFAs may not go to the best organizations, but I think they tend to avoid the teams that stink every year.

I agree with that. I just think if we get rid of the stink, we still aren't close to being on even footing. Look at Winnipeg. 

The Sabres have also been "poised for an upswing" every year seemingly since after the tank. We were voted the most likely to improve this past season by the players. 

It's ok that we'll never be at the top of the list in a general sense, because if the drafting and trade fronts are managed properly, if we are are looking to supplement through UFA for only a couple key guys, there should be enough takers for a succeeding franchise that will pay. There will be outliers. But the Sabres are always a franchise that needs to "show something more", whereas a place like Tampa Bay speaks for itself from the get-go. 

The "all else being equal" (money, success, etc) scenario isn't a favourable one for the Sabres. 

One thing where propensity for success is King is trade deadline. If we are in a position to make a run, guys will waive their no-trades to come here, have a chance at winning, and up their UFA $ in the process. 

Edited by Thorny

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9 minutes ago, dudacek said:

This.

If we are talking elite guys, then probably not coming here, the same as 90 per cent of the league. The Tavares sweepstakes don’t happen often so very few teams can sign them. There aren’t many elite players and their teams do what they can to keep them.

But If you define “top” as among the top 5 or 10  players available in a given year, then sure. They get to UFA every year, they will sign pretty much anywhere there is a team willing to spend and most of them get overpaid: Leino, Ehrhoff, Moulson and Okposo all fit that profile. 

And honestly, I think Tavares was location based. 

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Here’s the thing, if we are so unattractive why were we among the four teams that had a chance to talk to Stamkos?

There are attractive and unattractive things in every market and what they are vary from player to player. Given the opportunity, I would never sign in Toronto (too much scrutiny) or New York (too busy and crowded), even if they offered more, but that’s just me.

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2 hours ago, nfreeman said:

Well, there is some truth to your point about KO, but 2016 was a pretty skinny year for UFAs, and the Sabres seemed poised for an upswing at that point.  Since then, they've backslid in year 2 of DDB, gotten GMTM and DDB fired, finished DFL under Howie, then run for the bus at New Year's and gotten Howie canned.

The best UFAs may not go to the best organizations, but I think they tend to avoid the teams that stink every year.

We've had our issues, but you, sir, know your verb tenses.

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7 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

I think the braintrust came to the conclusion of "no" in 2012 and 2013 and hence the tank, the only viable way of getting top-end talent. If so, how much bigger is the "no" after the last six-seven years?

That's possible.  Been real curious for a long time as to how the Pegulas arrived at the decision to tank.

Regardless of the cause, we're still suffering from Regier's always trying to work withn whatever constraints management gave him.  They said they wanted a tank, so he gave us SUFFERING.  Which was ultimately what did him in; he tanked too well.  That Rolston coached team coming out of camp was absolutely unwatchable.  Had he playedit like Murray did, getting a roster JUST bad enough to be worse than anybody else; he might STILL be employed here.  And 2/3's of the team would've been drafted in '14 or more recently.  Good luck getting any 27 yo's to agree to come to Buffalo in that case.  Of course, there'd be parallels to the early '80's Eulers, so maybe they'd just be a couple years away from luring big name FA's as Eichel, Reinhart, the 2 other 1st rounders from '15 and the top 4 pick from '16 would be just about ready to come into their own.  Might even still have lucked into Dahlin as the Sabres would've been coming off their 4th consecutive DFL finish, but they probably would finally been up & coming last year.

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We have a good shot at Skinner because of Eichel and our close proximity to his home.  

After that I sure hope we can do better than the Benoit Poulliot’s of the world. 

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This is a really tough question to answer actually. Obviously we have a shot at Skinner for the close to home thing, but it still comes down to how important is it for him to be "close to home?"  

I suspect most top tier free agents would have to be overpaid to come here and you don't want to do that. Certainly no one looking to go to a winner/contender is going to come so you can only attract the mercenaries in it for the money alone, and those aren't really the type of guys you want to build on.

So I would be targeting tier 2  guys anyway. imo they are always the best value and they are the guys you can maybe slightly overpay to get them here and build up your roster and fill the holes. Maybe change the character.  Tough though. Can't imagine too many players have Buffalo on their short wish lists at this point. Not until we show definite signs of being better anyway. Makes it a catch-22.  

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18 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

This is a really tough question to answer actually. Obviously we have a shot at Skinner for the close to home thing, but it still comes down to how important is it for him to be "close to home?"  

I suspect most top tier free agents would have to be overpaid to come here and you don't want to do that. Certainly no one looking to go to a winner/contender is going to come so you can only attract the mercenaries in it for the money alone, and those aren't really the type of guys you want to build on.

So I would be targeting tier 2  guys anyway. imo they are always the best value and they are the guys you can maybe slightly overpay to get them here and build up your roster and fill the holes. Maybe change the character.  Tough though. Can't imagine too many players have Buffalo on their short wish lists at this point. Not until we show definite signs of being better anyway. Makes it a catch-22.  

He mentioned it multiple times during interviews, so hopefully it’s really important 

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49 minutes ago, Taro T said:

That's possible.  Been real curious for a long time as to how the Pegulas arrived at the decision to tank.

Regardless of the cause, we're still suffering from Regier's always trying to work withn whatever constraints management gave him.  They said they wanted a tank, so he gave us SUFFERING.  Which was ultimately what did him in; he tanked too well.  That Rolston coached team coming out of camp was absolutely unwatchable.  <snip />

You are being overly generous.  That was the first time I actually laughed out loud at the team during a game (The Conga Line).

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Would a person holding seasons for 10 years actually renew might be more the question.  With out a coach or staff for that matter, would you. 🧐

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To answer the OP's question, yes, I think we can attract top FAs in some instances, depending on who the person is.

There is always going to be a type of athlete who will go anywhere if the price is high enough.  Those guys aren't worth acquiring however, as a general rule.

I would think that generally, we will have trouble attracting players to the team.

I also have no idea why Skinner would come back to Buffalo.  He will be able to get max term and the same pay from a variety of places; why choose to stay at a place where this weird funk and losing culture hangs in the air and makes everything seem "down"?  

I keep hearing he likes that it's close to home and his parents can come see him play and all that.  I have no idea if that is a genuine factor.  If it is, I have no idea why it would be, but that's Jeff's business not mine.

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, spndnchz said:

Would a person holding seasons for 10 years actually renew might be more the question.  With out a coach or staff for that matter, would you. 🧐

For quite a long time now, I haven't been able to understand why anyone would go to Sabres games at all, let alone pay for 41 of them.  They are, for the most part, an extremely boring team that plays losing hockey in a very boring manner.  The stuff actually qualifies as "entertainment" maybe 10 times out of 82 games per season, and that's being generous.  And some of those games are on the road.  

However, this is Buffalo we are talking about and the folks who pay for their Sabres season tickets are going nowhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, nfreeman said:

I agree that location and $$ are very important, but I think winning organization is just as important.

When was the last time an elite UFA went to a lousy organization?

Remember back when Brad Richards was a big free agent?  2011 I think.  He was perceived, at the time, as a pretty big star player and there were a number of teams in the running to get him.  One of those was the Sabres.

He ended up signing with the Rangers.  Now and again a player like that comes along--big name--big dollars--lots of interest and competition for him. 

That guy is not coming to Buffalo, probably 9 out of 10 times.  

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Kruppstahl said:

 

That guy is not coming to Buffalo, probably 9 out of 10 times.  

 

 

Or Ottawa, Montreal, Islanders, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Columbus, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Minnesota, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Arizona, Anaheim...

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12 hours ago, E4 ... Ke2 said:

(The Conga Line)

Get your terms right.  The official name for that was Sabrepede.

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5 hours ago, Doohickie said:

Get your terms right.  The official name for that was Sabrepede.

Duly noted.

I just remember "Conga line" from something like TSN's worst plays of the year.  (IIRC, it was #2 behind the Edmonton Oilers "crease demolition derby".)

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You haven't taken the formal SabreSpace New Poster Training yet, have you?  I think it's covered in there.

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On 5/7/2019 at 9:32 AM, Skibum said:

No. It's been too hopeless for too long, and the prospect pool is not compelling enough to provide excitement for the future. 

Years and years of poor drafting have put us in a terrible place, and it's going to take a while to dig out of it. They will have to rely on the current roster to develop and show a glimmer of hope before anyone would want to come to Buffalo. 

I hope they can move the needle this year, otherwise we are going to be looking at a trade Eichel, blow it up and start over kind of scenario next year. 

Really? Dahlin and Eichel seem to be pretty damn good prospects

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So here is Sportsnet list of their top 12 UFAs

Karlsson, Panarin, Duchene, Bob, Skinner, Pavelski, Myers, Gardner, Hayes, Lee, Stralman, Dzingel. 

Other then Skinner, do we really have any legit chance of landing any of these guys?

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43 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

So here is Sportsnet list of their top 12 UFAs

Karlsson, Panarin, Duchene, Bob, Skinner, Pavelski, Myers, Gardner, Hayes, Lee, Stralman, Dzingel. 

Other then Skinner, do we really have any legit chance of landing any of these guys?

Skinner, Myers (if we even want him), Hayes/Lee “money talks,” Stralman (Dahlin + money), Dzingel (opportunity)

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54 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

So here is Sportsnet list of their top 12 UFAs

Karlsson, Panarin, Duchene, Bob, Skinner, Pavelski, Myers, Gardner, Hayes, Lee, Stralman, Dzingel. 

Other then Skinner, do we really have any legit chance of landing any of these guys?

Nope

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23 hours ago, dudacek said:

Or Ottawa, Montreal, Islanders, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Columbus, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Minnesota, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Arizona, Anaheim...

i would say Montreal, Pittsburgh, St Louis, Calgary and Vancouver are attractive spots for free agency, based either on great hockey towns or quality teams and some semblance of being properly managed.

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If letters come out to renew before a coach is named 😡😡😡😡😡😡 they can F off 

Get it done. NOW

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