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GASabresIUFAN

The Summer Recap and What’s Next

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Ok so where are we?

1. Montour acquired at the deadline. 

2. Ralph Krueger hired as Head Coach.  Apparently turned down Jbot when hired Phil Housley

3. Re-signed Jeff Skinner to a huge deal

4. Traded for Colin Miller from LV to bolster RHD. Has 3 years left on his deal

5. Acquired Jimmy Vesey for a draft pick.  Vesey has one year left. Goal to add more scoring. One year left

6. Signed Marcus Johansson for two years. Can play any forward position

7. Traded Nylander for RHD Jokiharju.  Huge get.  He made the NHL and played well as a 19 year old.

8. Signed LHD puck moving D Gilmour.  Likely for AHL but has NHL experience. Had 20 goals in the AHL last season.  Don't sleep on this signing.

9. Re-signed RFAs McCabe (2 years), Ullmark (1 year), Elie (1 year), ERod (1 year) and Smith.  All to reasonable deals.

10. Drafted Cozens and Johnson in the first round of the draft. The rest of the draft also seemed pretty solid.  Johnson was very good in the recent Junior showcase. Cozens was injured during D camp but is far and away our top prospect. 

11. EDIT: Signed Lazar for additional forward depth and Hammond as additional goaltending depth.

12. EDIT: Signed Euro FA Routsalainen to a 3 year ELC. The kid is a 21 year old smallish C who scored 20 in the Liiga last season.  May have to return to Finland if he doesn’t make the Sabres.

Other notes: Bogo, Pilut and UPL all had off-season surgery. Bogo and Pilut are unlikely to be ready for opening day.  

NHLnetwork has 3 Sabres prospects in their top 50.  Olofsson at 47, UPL at 44 and Cozens at 24.  Jokiharju would have also made the list but played to many NHL games last season to qualify. 

Capfriendly shows us with 24 players at about $1 mill over the cap, including 9 D.

Questions that remain

1. How will he get us under the cap? Dump/trade/waive some of our bottom 6 depth? Or trade bigger players like Sheary, Scandella or....

2. ... Risto.  Trading Risto opens a NHL slot for Jokiharju, Borgen or Bogo if healthy.  Also our best trade chip to help solve the biggest question.

3 Biggest Question:  Who will be our 2c.  Mitts, ERod or Johansson or will Jbot trade for someone?

4. Roster issues:  I think there are 5 key forward slots up for grabs. Jack’s RW.  LW and Center on Line 2 (although one of the two will go to Johansson).  LW and RW and Line 3.  The 4th is a free for all but I’m betting on Z, Larsson and KO.

5.  What will the D pairings be? 4 of six D slots are locked up with Montour, Dahlin, Miller and McCabe, but who will be the other 2 starts? Who will be the depth defensemen and will we carry one or two?

6. Could there be a surprise or two?

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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I think Jason is going to trade for someone, but i'm not sure if it will be a 2C or a top six winger. Wasn't it said by the Friedmans etc. earlier this offseason that another top six forward, preferably 2C, was high priority on his list? We still have the trade pieces, we have too many players, and we know what all of our players cost now, so I think it's a matter of when, not if. 

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22 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

I think Jason is going to trade for someone, but i'm not sure if it will be a 2C or a top six winger. Wasn't it said by the Friedmans etc. earlier this offseason that another top six forward, preferably 2C, was high priority on his list? We still have the trade pieces, we have too many players, and we know what all of our players cost now, so I think it's a matter of when, not if. 

Agreed.  Will be very surprised if 1-2 real moves (& 1 Amerks move) isn't made by opening night.

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I am to the point where I will be surprised if Risto and at least one other veteran is not traded.

Might take multiple moves, but the net effect will be less bodies on the roster, a bit more wiggle room under the cap, and one more “good” forward.

I’m no @darksabre, but my call is Cirelli and Palat/Killorn for Risto-plus.

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3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I am to the point where I will be surprised if Risto and at least one other veteran is not traded.

Might take multiple moves, but the net effect will be less bodies on the roster, a bit more wiggle room under the cap, and one more “good” forward.

I’m no @darksabre, but my call is Cirelli and Palat/Killorn for Risto-plus.

My heart 

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Excellent OP and I would just add that quite a few good NHL writers expect a number of dominoes to fall once Marner signs.  So let’s hope there is some action and JB is in the middle of it making good decisions (and the same for Josh Allen this year too).  

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30 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Excellent OP and I would just add that quite a few good NHL writers expect a number of dominoes to fall once Marner signs.  So let’s hope there is some action and JB is in the middle of it making good decisions (and the same for Josh Allen this year too).  

Marner probably starts the season holding out. So, I hope it's not holding everything up.

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2 hours ago, dudacek said:

I am to the point where I will be surprised if Risto and at least one other veteran is not traded.

Might take multiple moves, but the net effect will be less bodies on the roster, a bit more wiggle room under the cap, and one more “good” forward.

I’m no @darksabre, but my call is Cirelli and Palat/Killorn for Risto-plus.

That would be nice but if a lesser move is done I would consider going after Kreider. 

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It was a year ago this weekend when Jason Botterill acquired Jeff Skinner in what was probably the team’s best trade since acquiring Danny Briere 16 years ago.

With our contracts now set, I suspect a move could come as soon as this week, depending on whether our prospective trade partners are in a similar place.

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38 minutes ago, dudacek said:

It was a year ago this weekend when Jason Botterill acquired Jeff Skinner in what was probably the team’s best trade since acquiring Danny Briere 16 years ago.

With our contracts now set, I suspect a move could come as soon as this week, depending on whether our prospective trade partners are in a similar place.

General speculation has been a trade with Tampa, Winnipeg,  or Anaheim. None have any pending arbitration so their rosters/salaries are known to the GM's.

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29 minutes ago, dudacek said:

It was a year ago this weekend when Jason Botterill acquired Jeff Skinner in what was probably the team’s best trade since acquiring Danny Briere 16 years ago.

With our contracts now set, I suspect a move could come as soon as this week, depending on whether our prospective trade partners are in a similar place.

Yup, I think if it happens it's this week, just my guess.

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Bravo, @GASabresIUFAN!  Great summary of where we are, and I don't necessarily disagree with your assessments.  I do think @Thorny might be speaking truth on Marner, and I wonder if the rest of the league will eventually forego waiting on that to do anything.

My guess is that several scenarios are likely:

  • Botterill might have been talking to trade partners about some of these recent RFA signings, and now it's a matter of finalizing some pre-discussed deals. IOW, I'm suggesting that contracts for someone like an ERod or McCabe might have been okayed by potential trade partners.  Plan A.
  • Botterill is beholden to the Marner situation like everyone else.  If that does go into the season, then it's actually Plan B time, which is, as others have said in other threads, that we waive some guys to get under the cap and roster limit.

Either way, and I'm speculating, Botterill decided to gamble a little with loading the roster with assets to maximize trade possibilities, knowing that Plan B (above) was his fall-back if things didn't work smoothly.

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4 hours ago, Thorny said:

Marner probably starts the season holding out. So, I hope it's not holding everything up.

The Athletic has an article about Marner the holdups his deal (or lack thereof) is causing for other RFAs.  They figure he's worth 7.5 on a 3 year deal but 9-10 on a longer deal.  It's going to be more then that.  Point and Laine hope so.

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I can't think of any team that would be interested in a pile of our rubbish/mediocre players in exchange for a solid 2C, so if you're talking a 2C it has to be for Risto as the main piece. 

I'm also wondering if JBot is interested in Puljujarvi as he loves the Europeans and as Edmonton's cap is challenging to say the least they are having trouble working something out on money issues. They have to move Puljujarvi though and need D so.............

Puljujarvi AND RNH for Risto AND ? ? ? and maybe somehow get Sobodka in there (they also want a penalty killer forward) and things might look pretty good around here suddenly but figuring the money on something like that is beyond me.

Just can't think of another 2C that might be available.

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5 hours ago, Thorny said:

Marner probably starts the season holding out. So, I hope it's not holding everything up.

This is certainly possible, but I don't think it's generally expected that Marner will hold out to start the season.

If he does, though, there are enough high-end RFAs that one of them will sign and set the market for the others, because very few (if any) will hold out. 

It may take a solid month  before it happens.

(That list of great RFAs though -- Marner, Point, Connor, Laine, Rantanen, Tkachuk, Boeser, McAvoy -- the contrast between what happens every summer in the NBA with RFAs vs what didn't happen this summer or any other summer in the NHL -- freaking infuriating.)

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A couple of random thoughts.

What if we go to camp as is?   

We’ll have 20 forwards battling it out for 13 jobs when you add Routsalainen, Olofsson, Asplund, Thompson, Smith, Elie and Lazar to the mix.  I can think of scenarios where each of the named 7 players make the club.

On Defense the competition is 13 deep with the additions of Pilut, Borgen, Jokiharju and Gilmour.  

I know they want competition for jobs but this is almost chaos. 

At worst we know that the Amerks should be good.  

As to the Cap, I agree with an earlier post that Jbot needs to get at least 2 mill under the cap to have enough wiggle room for the season.  This means that someone like Scandella needs to be traded with his full cap hit OR we’ll have to run without a full compliment of depth and just bring up players for injury fill-ins.  

While many here will be pissed, I can see Risto being traded for futures to get under the cap. This isn’t my first choice either and I’d prefer to keep him at that point, but we must acknowledge the possibility that futures are the best deal possible.

I edited the OP to add Lazar, Hammond and Routsalainen.  

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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14 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

I can't think of any team that would be interested in a pile of our rubbish/mediocre players in exchange for a solid 2C, so if you're talking a 2C it has to be for Risto as the main piece. 

I'm also wondering if JBot is interested in Puljujarvi as he loves the Europeans and as Edmonton's cap is challenging to say the least they are having trouble working something out on money issues. They have to move Puljujarvi though and need D so.............

Puljujarvi AND RNH for Risto AND ? ? ? and maybe somehow get Sobodka in there (they also want a penalty killer forward) and things might look pretty good around here suddenly but figuring the money on something like that is beyond me.

Just can't think of another 2C that might be available.

 

I can't help but feel Botts had panted himself into a corner.

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2 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

A couple of random thoughts.

What if we go to camp as is?   

We’ll have 20 forwards battling it out for 13 jobs when you add Routsalainen, Olofsson, Asplund, Thompson, Smith, Elie and Lazar to the mix.  I can think of scenarios where each of the named 7 players make the club.

On Defense the competition is 13 deep with the additions of Pilut, Borgen, Jokiharju and Gilmour.  

I know they want competition for jobs but this is almost chaos. 

At worst we know that the Amerks should be good.  

As to the Cap, I agree with an earlier post that Jbot needs to get at least 2 mill under the cap to have enough wiggle room for the season.  This means that someone like Scandella needs to be traded with his full cap hit OR we’ll have to run without a full compliment of depth and just bring up players for injury fill-ins.  

While many here will be pissed, I can see Risto being traded for futures to get under the cap. This isn’t my first choice either and I’d prefer to keep him at that point, but we must acknowledge the possibility that futures are the best deal possible.

 

I think it was Tondas that has been banging this drum.

I can live with it if the picks are flipped relatively quickly for a good forward.

I just can’t handle starting the season with a worse NHL lineup than we have now and that would be the case.

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1 minute ago, PromoTheRobot said:

 

I can't help but feel Botts had panted himself into a corner.

How?  He can cut two players like Hunwick and Sobotka to get under the cap and he can let Mitts, Johansson, Erod, Routsalainen and Asplund fight it out for the 2C and 3C jobs.  He therefore doesn’t have to trade Risto unless he gets the right deal.  While having Johansson or Mitts or Erod isn’t ideal, we need to remember the plan is to have Reinhart anchor that line and drive the offense.  We may not need to prototypical 2C. 

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2 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

How?  He can cut two players like Hunwick and Sobotka to get under the cap and he can let Mitts, Johansson, Erod, Routsalainen and Asplund fight it out for the 2C and 3C jobs.  He therefore doesn’t have to trade Risto unless he gets the right deal.  While having Johansson or Mitts or Erod isn’t ideal, we need to remember the plan is to have Reinhart anchor that line and drive the offense.  We may not need to prototypical 2C. 

I meant that teams who might trade with the Sabres will lowball us because they think we are in a bind. 

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Just now, PromoTheRobot said:

I meant that teams who might trade with the Sabres will lowball us because they think we are in a bind. 

But like GA said, we aren’t in a bind, so the lowball is irrelevant; don’t like the offer, we don’t have to make the trade.

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2 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

How?  He can cut two players like Hunwick and Sobotka to get under the cap and he can let Mitts, Johansson, Erod, Routsalainen and Asplund fight it out for the 2C and 3C jobs.  He therefore doesn’t have to trade Risto unless he gets the right deal.  While having Johansson or Mitts or Erod isn’t ideal, we need to remember the plan is to have Reinhart anchor that line and drive the offense.  We may not need to prototypical 2C. 

And though it is FAR from ideal; Kreuger could also give the 2C Skinner along with Reinhart.  Which would likely allow for Johansson to be effective enough as the 2C.

Eichel then ends up with Olofsson and somebody (Vesey, Rodrigues, Sheary, Thompson, or even Ruotsaleinen; or maybe Ristolainen turns into a winger the ends up here)  at the other wing.

Again, not ideal, but there likely isn't a bottom 10 line relatively speaking there.  Though that top line could be pushing it if Victor doesn't pan out.

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17 hours ago, nfreeman said:

This is certainly possible, but I don't think it's generally expected that Marner will hold out to start the season.

If he does, though, there are enough high-end RFAs that one of them will sign and set the market for the others, because very few (if any) will hold out. 

It may take a solid month  before it happens.

(That list of great RFAs though -- Marner, Point, Connor, Laine, Rantanen, Tkachuk, Boeser, McAvoy -- the contrast between what happens every summer in the NBA with RFAs vs what didn't happen this summer or any other summer in the NHL -- freaking infuriating.)

THISSSS.

3 hours ago, dudacek said:

I think it was Tondas that has been banging this drum.

I can live with it if the picks are flipped relatively quickly for a good forward.

I just can’t handle starting the season with a worse NHL lineup than we have now and that would be the case.

This. Unacceptable. 

21 minutes ago, Taro T said:

And though it is FAR from ideal; Kreuger could also give the 2C Skinner along with Reinhart.  Which would likely allow for Johansson to be effective enough as the 2C.

Eichel then ends up with Olofsson and somebody (Vesey, Rodrigues, Sheary, Thompson, or even Ruotsaleinen; or maybe Ristolainen turns into a winger the ends up here)  at the other wing.

Again, not ideal, but there likely isn't a bottom 10 line relatively speaking there.  Though that top line could be pushing it if Victor doesn't pan out.

I really don't want to start talking ourselves into no top 6 additions being ok after what we talked about as a group for a full season.

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6 minutes ago, Thorny said:

THISSSS.

This. Unacceptable. 

I really don't want to start talking ourselves into no top 6 additions being ok after what we talked about as a group for a full season.

Who said that's OK?  I'm just looking for watchable should this be this season's forward group.

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