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darksabre

2020-2021 Lineup Thread

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I know I know. But I really don't think we can talk about the Sabres lineup this season without talking about the lineup next season.

The Sabres currently have the following roster players under contract or with RFA status for the 2020-21 season:

Eichel
Skinner
Okposo
Johansson
Reinhart
Mittelstadt
Rodrigues

Ristolainen
Miller
Dahlin
Montour
McCabe

There are depth players at Forward and D that we might consider, but I wouldn't necessarily pencil them in as definites:

Cozens
Ruotsalainen
Asplund
Olofsson
Thompson

Pilut
Jokiharju
Borgen
Fitzgerald

Obviously a lot hinges on things that happen this season with respect to players who make the jump. It's possible that the top 9 in the forwards fills out all on its own by October 2020. I would expect, after RFAs like Reinhart and Montour sign, that we're still looking at a good 20k in Cap space.

Summer of 2020 could be wild and be a huge opportunity for Botterill to build off of any progress that happens this season.

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Psh they aren't gonna play hockey in 2020-2021

The good thing about that list of forwards is that it's largely composed of solid hockey players or guys we could reasonably hope to become solid hockey players in the next year or so 

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2 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

Psh they aren't gonna play hockey in 2020-2021

The good thing about that list of forwards is that it's largely composed of solid hockey players or guys we could reasonably hope to become solid hockey players in the next year or so 

I'm optimistic!

I think this season and next off-season are going to be interesting (fun?) for people who really enjoy roster analysis and trade speculation. The Sabres are in a very unique spot at this exact moment.

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13 minutes ago, darksabre said:

I'm optimistic!

I think this season and next off-season are going to be interesting (fun?) for people who really enjoy roster analysis and trade speculation. The Sabres are in a very unique spot at this exact moment.

They are basically in the same spot as the Toronto Blue Jays. 

18 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

Psh they aren't gonna play hockey in 2020-2021

The good thing about that list of forwards is that it's largely composed of solid hockey players or guys we could reasonably hope to become solid hockey players in the next year or so 

At least a half season, you'd think?

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2021 ('cause the 2020 portion of that season is played at a conference table somewhere in NYC or TO 😞 ) Sabres Roster

Skinner/Olofsson Eichel New guy/Reinhart

Olofsson/Skinner Mittelstadt Reinhart/New guy

Johansson Rodrigues/New guy 4 Thompson/New guy 2

Girgensons Asplund New guy 3 (Davidsson on call up towards season's end)

 

Dahlin Montour

McCabe Jokiharju

Pilut/Borgen Miller

 

Ullmark

Hutton

Expecting Reinhart & Olofsson to be on the same line.  Not positive they would be the 2nd wing pair, but that's the expectation.  If Vesey catches lightning in a bottle playing with Eichel & Skinner's, he is "New guy" and Sam & Victor slide to 2nd pairing.

Cozens has a legit shot at being "New guy 4" .

Not expecting Luukkonnen to be with the big club on a regular basis until after the Seattle draft.

[Edit: if "New guy 4" or Cozens pan out, E-Rod could take "New guy 3"'s spot.]

[Edit 2: if Gardiner shows up this off-season, slide McCabe into 3LD for next year.]

Edited by Taro T

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7 minutes ago, Taro T said:

2021 ('cause the 2020 portion of that season is played at a conference table somewhere in NYC or TO 😞 ) Sabres Roster

Skinner/Olofsson Eichel New guy/Reinhart

Olofsson/Skinner Mittelstadt Reinhart/New guy

Johansson Rodrigues/New guy 4 Thompson/New guy 2

Girgensons Asplund New guy 3 (Davidsson on call up towards season's end)

 

Dahlin Montour

McCabe Jokiharju

Pilut/Borgen Miller

 

Ullmark

Hutton

Expecting Reinhart & Olofsson to be on the same line.  Not positive they would be the 2nd wing pair, but that's the expectation.  If Vesey catches lightning in a bottle playing with Eichel & Skinner's, he is "New guy" and Sam & Victor slide to 2nd pairing.

Cozens has a legit shot at being "New guy 4" .

Not expecting Luukkonnen to be with the big club on a regular basis until after the Seattle draft.

[Edit: if "New guy 4" or Cozens pan out, E-Rod could take "New guy 3"'s spot.]

If Vesey catches lightning in a bottle on the backs of Skinner and Eichel this season we'll have to pay Jimmy handsomely to keep him here. Not sure I like that idea. 

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1 minute ago, Thorny said:

If Vesey catches lightning in a bottle on the backs of Skinner and Eichel this season we'll have to pay Jimmy handsomely to keep him here. Not sure I like that idea. 

If Vesey does get a big paycheck, really expecting it to fall on a 2-3 year deal.  And expecting it to be significantly smaller than any of the Core's big deals.

You don't give the Sheary 's of the world big paydays simply because they DON'T #### up the feeds Crosby gives them. 😉

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5 hours ago, darksabre said:

Obviously a lot hinges on things that happen this season with respect to players who make the jump. It's possible that the top 9 in the forwards fills out all on its own by October 2020. I would expect, after RFAs like Reinhart and Montour sign, that we're still looking at a good 20k in Cap space.


Summer of 2020 could be wild and be a huge opportunity for Botterill to build off of any progress that happens this season.

20k? Dayum, I was hoping it'd be a lot more! At least in the millions 😛

I agree, 2020 is gonna be a great offseason for us. We'll have our core in place, our young prospects will have another year of seasoning & a few of the bad contracts or players will be gone with a bunch of cap space for Botts to play with. We'll have the opportunity to really upgrade our roster. Which in turn should let us field the best roster we've had here in many years. It's just funny because here we are saying again: 'the following year we'll be better'. Seems every year my friends laugh at me for saying that again & again about the Bills & Sabres. "Next year guys, next year." But it really is true in this case.

Compete for the playoffs this year. Compete for the Cup next one!

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If there's a lockout and we lose the full season, Eichel will be 25 for the next season played after this one. So we'll have what, 3-4 seasons left of Eichel prime? We tanked for him, and the resulting window for contention may be as small as a few seasons. 

It's all well and good to say "next year", but there's a steep cost, and it's the prime of our best forward, by far. 

I'm not saying that window can't be extended (and Dahlin becoming our best player would help with that), but it's likely to be in spite of not having the "best Eichel possible", if it is. 

Edited by Thorny

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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

If there's a lockout and we lose the full season, Eichel will be 25 for the next season played after this one. So we'll have what, 3-4 seasons left of Eichel prime? We tanked for him, and the resulting window for contention may be as small as a few seasons. 

It's all well and good to say "next year", but there's a steep cost, and it's the prime of our best forward, by far. 

I'm not saying that window can't be extended (and Dahlin becoming our best player would help with that), but it's likely to be in spite of not having the "best Eichel possible", if it is. 

There's a reason why my posts have gradually gained a frantic, stressed out edge to them over the last couple of years with the decisions that have been made. I think about this five times per day if I'm lucky to think about it that little

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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

If there's a lockout and we lose the full season, Eichel will be 25 for the next season played after this one. So we'll have what, 3-4 seasons left of Eichel prime? We tanked for him, and the resulting window for contention may be as small as a few seasons. 

It's all well and good to say "next year", but there's a steep cost, and it's the prime of our best forward, by far. 

I'm not saying that window can't be extended (and Dahlin becoming our best player would help with that), but it's likely to be in spite of not having the "best Eichel possible", if it is. 

If Jack Eichel is the player half the board says he is, he will be elite well into his 30s, easily 7+ more seasons after the lockout. 

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IMO a cardinal sin of GMing is assuming you have years ahead of you to play with your franchise toys. Especially when they're 23 already (for 99% of this coming season) and haven't sniffed playoffs, and the roster doesn't look primed to change that this season.

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I get where you’re coming from guys but it’s a little much.

Jack is 22 and Dahlin 19. Ovie was 32.

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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I get where you’re coming from guys but it’s a little much.

Jack is 22 and Dahlin 19. Ovie was 32.

Thank you. I don't see why everyone is so worried about Jack. He'll be fine into his 30s. 

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3 minutes ago, darksabre said:

Thank you. I don't see why everyone is so worried about Jack. He'll be fine into his 30s. 

Ask Pat LaFontaine about that.

Or Eric Lindros.

Hell, if it wasn;t for super human abilities, Mario Lemieux.

Edited by Weave

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6 minutes ago, darksabre said:

Thank you. I don't see why everyone is so worried about Jack. He'll be fine into his 30s. 

Ovechkin's best stretch of hockey was 2007-2010, and this was a clear tier or two above what he's hummed at the last few seasons. The team the Caps had to build around him to finally win it was ridiculously good, better than any Sabre team I've ever seen (started watching with the 2005-06 Sabres). 

We're not saying Eichel's going to die at 27, but it will be easier to win games with 24 year old Jack than with 32 year old Jack. 

Building a championship team is hard always - it's harder the older your stars get, and most of the young star champ teams I've seen recently (Hawks and Pens, namely) were already well underway at the juncture we're sitting. We haven't sniffed playoffs yet. 

To fit in a Kings timeline, a team that had their 1C in 2006-07 and their 1D start two seasons later, we'd basically have to win the cup next season or the one after (their gap is off of Jack/Dahlin's which throws the comparison off a bit). Everyone already thinks the Kings are old and fried, and Doughty and Kopitar have each already logged a garbage season or two. 

Coupled with Jack's three straight injury-plagued seasons (I know he missed 5 games, but whatever happened against Boston in December, that negatively affected his game for weeks), well, it illustrates why a GM should never assume years of rope. 

Edited by Randall Flagg
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It'd be one thing if we were just starting, but 4 years are in the trash, this coming one has a low ceiling at this point, and year six might not even happen.

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4 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

It'd be one thing if we were just starting, but 4 years are in the trash, this coming one has a low ceiling at this point, and year six might not even happen.

You can only piss away so many seasons and still have enough time to make some magic.  *Success is fleeting.  How often is patience truly rewarded in the NHL?

 

*Unless you are Tom Brady.

Edited by Weave

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6 minutes ago, Weave said:

You can only piss away so many seasons and still have enough time to make some magic.  *Success is fleeting.  How often is patience truly rewarded in the NHL?

 

*Unless you are Tom Brady.

You don't understand, the prospects are different this time!! Just you wait until they're up here 3 years from now!

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59 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

You don't understand, the prospects are different this time!! Just you wait until they're up here 3 years from now!

With all due respect, I call BS on this.

Jason Botterill doesn’t owe anyone instant gratification because Tim Murray’s rebuild failed.

You are smart enough to see that his plan involved tearing Murray’s team apart and rebuilding it from the ground up with a strong development program and a clean slate under the cap that he could re-allocate, sustainably, the way he sees fit. And you are smart enough to know that is not the kind of plan that will usually bear instant fruit.

It is the sort of plan that has worked and continues to work elsewhere. 

Whether or not he is capable of pulling it off is a different story.

But I don’t want him to rush things because “I want it now!”

When has that ever worked?

Edited by dudacek
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23 minutes ago, dudacek said:

With all due respect, I call BS on this.

Jason Botterill doesn’t owe anyone instant gratification because Tim Murray’s rebuild failed.

You are smart enough to see that his plan involved tearing Murray’s team apart and rebuilding it from the ground up with a strong development program and a clean slate under the cap that he could re-allocate the way, sustainably, the way he sees fit. And you are smart enough to know that is not the kind of plan that will usually bear instant fruit.

It is the sort of plan that has worked and continues to work elsewhere. 

Whether or not he is capable of pulling it off is a different story.

But I don’t want him to rush things because “I want it now!”

When has that ever worked?

You can simultaneously grow your prospects and build your NHL roster. 

Ours is half-patched together, was unceremoniously gutted in a very particular way last summer, was laden with garbage depth hurting the precious young pieces set above it the summer before, and we're already talking ourselves into being okay with another middle six nightmare this season while we wait again, because of The Plan. 

There was no plan in 2017 that involved the likely playoff miss in 19-20 among any rational fan that decided to flesh out their expectations for this organization on this site. Much less in 2016, 2015, or 2013, or 2012. Each and every season along the way, the prospect conversation has been completely and utterly identical. Each and every season, we enter with our empty roster, leave with our tails between our legs, pick something new to blame, and shoot ourselves in the foot in one way or another. Botterill has been just as bad with this as anyone else. 

I don't think we're talking about the same thing. I'm not asking to trade our prospects for middling 29 year old hockey players. I'm not saying we should have done this last year or the year before. I'm the one calling BS here, and it's on the new post-tank status quo that is going to spin our trek from 79 points to 80 points over a three year span as acceptable because Casey Mittelstadt exists as a reasonable offensive prospect in the mold of Tyson Jost, and Dylan Cozens scores 93 points in the WHL next year, and because we got incredibly lucky in a lottery. Go anywhere else to neutral fans that are knowledgeable of hockey prospects, and flaunt our situation to them, emphasizing both Casey and Dylan, the defensive prospects, the culture, whatever else you'd like, and see how they react to the roadmap of our entire organization, top to bottom, the last three years, and going forward into this one. They will have heard the same thing from fans of almost every other team, and every other team will have more of the important tangible NHL stuff to show for it along the way. 

The last four years, yes, including Jason's two and especially Jason's two, have been a ***** mess, even if it winds up okay soon because Samuelson is a "pillar" on some team whose existence I have no clue the nature of, and Ryan Johnson, who nobody heard of until we said his name at the draft, was in that Cole Caufield highlight clip. When we climb out of this, there will be entire years of step-backs that didn't need to happen, that everyone will pretend were critical steps along the way. These include typical GM errors you'd expect from even the best, and many things on top of that. 

It's the fact that as a fanbase we've been calling out these mistakes as they happen, in real time, for years along the way, that makes it so frustrating. It's this fact that makes the call to just please be reasonably digestible to watch most of the season, please rejoin the rest of the NHL, please get out of last place in wins since the tank ended four years ago, more anguished each passing year. And the reaction to patience, prospects, and The Right Way stronger and more sarcastic as they tick by. 

There is no right way that doesn't involve the NHL team winning tonight, and last night too. Much less losing, and losing much more than everyone else. 

Edited by Randall Flagg
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Next Next year's lineup?  Hummmm

Jeff Jack Olofsson

Johnsson Mitts Reinhart

Vesey Cozens Thompson

Erod Asplund KO

Larsson

Dahlin Montour

McCabe Jokiharju

Pilut Miller

Hutton

Hammond

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Tim Murray was fired before he was allowed to rebuild.

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13 minutes ago, SwampD said:

Tim Murray was fired before he was allowed to rebuild.

Tim Murray had no idea what was going on with his team. 

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5 minutes ago, darksabre said:

Tim Murray had no idea what was going on with his team. 

That’s what we’ve been told.

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