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Camp Battles

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3 hours ago, nfreeman said:

I think it’s useful to boil this down to open roster spots and guys competing for them (assuming 13 F and 7 D).

Forward locks:  Eichel, Skinner, Reino, Jojo, Mittsie, Erod, Vesey. 

Forward near-locks: KO, Olofsson

Forwards competing for last 4 spots:  Sheary, Larsson, Zemgus, Wilson, TT,  Sobotka, Asplund, Cozens, Ruotsie, CJ

D Locks:  Dahlin, Montour, Risto, McCabe, Miller 

D competing for last 2 spots:  Bogo, Pilut, Joker, Scandy, Borgen   

So, that would be 10 forwards competing for 4 spots, and 5 D competing for 2 spots.

(NB that a Risto trade will likely result in significant changes to the above.)

Bogo and Pilut won't even factor into the competition in camp, and Borgen doesn't look as ready as Jokiharju. To me on D it comes down to 2 spots between Scandella, Nelson, and Jokiharju. If Jokiharju doesn't beat out Scandella (or Risto isn't traded) I think he's in Rochester, as I'd rather Nelson be scratched as the 7th dman. 

Edited by Thorny

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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

The thing about Scandella is that we are short on LHD, with a surplus on the right. Without PIlut, Scandella is number 3 on the LH depth chart. If Risto is here, even with Bogo injured, Jokiharju or Borgen is likely only getting in the line-up if they are put on their off-hand. 

I think Scandella is very likely to start the season in the top 6, as much as that'll hurt the defense. I would be a little surprised to see them make the gutsy move and demote the veteran in favour of Joki, especially with him being a righty. 

Jbot was very clear that if a vet doesn't cut the mustard he is willing to send him to Roch or elsewhere.  

1 hour ago, Thorny said:

Bogo and Pilut won't even factor into the competition in camp, and Borgen doesn't look as ready as Jokiharju. To me on D it comes down to 2 spots between Scandella, Nelson, and Jokiharju. If Jokiharju doesn't beat out Scandella (or Risto isn't traded) I think he's in Rochester, as I'd rather Nelson be scratched as the 7th dman. 

I agree that I'd rather have Nelson as a healthy scratch and allow Borgen and Joker to play big minutes in the AHL.  I do think it is a very real possibility that we could see 2 RHD as the 3rd pairing.

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5 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Jbot was very clear that if a vet doesn't cut the mustard he is willing to send him to Roch or elsewhere.  

I agree that I'd rather have Nelson as a healthy scratch and allow Borgen and Joker to play big minutes in the AHL.  I do think it is a very real possibility that we could see 2 RHD as the 3rd pairing.

It's probably the right call. Even if Risto is traded, as of now I'd play Borgen over Scandella. Until Pilut is back. Why not, he's looked good and he's turning 23 this year, let him have a shot. 

Edited by Thorny

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2 hours ago, Thorny said:

Bogo and Pilut won't even factor into the competition in camp, and Borgen doesn't look as ready as Jokiharju. To me on D it comes down to 2 spots between Scandella, Nelson, and Jokiharju. If Jokiharju doesn't beat out Scandella (or Risto isn't traded) I think he's in Rochester, as I'd rather Nelson be scratched as the 7th dman. 

Has Jokiharju played on the left side?  Would expect to see Miller slide over before him.  (Pretty sure Miller has been on his off hand in the past.)

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Who is up for each open slot? I’m listing the players in order in which I think the competition plays out. Leader in Bold

1st line RW: Vesey, Olofsson, Johansson and Sheary

2nd Line LW: Johansson, Olofsson, Vesey, Sheary

2nd Line Center: Mittelstadt, ERod

3rd Line LW: Olofsson, Vesey, Erod, Sheary

3rd Line Center: Erod, Mittelstadt, Asplund, Cozens, Routsalainen and Lazar

3rd Line RW: Thompson, Sheary, Okposo, Vesey

4th Line LW: Girgensons, Smith, Wilson, Elie

4th Line Center: Larsson, Sobotka, Lazar

4th Line RW: Okposo, Sobotka, Lazar, Thompson

13th forward: Sheary, Sobotka, Wilson, Smith, and Elie

On defense:  As Long as Risto is here 5 of the 8 jobs are spoken for, but not necessarily which pairing. Top 4 are Dahlin w Montour, and McCabe with Risto.  Miller makes the team on the 3rd pair, but not sure which side he plays

3rd pair LD - Miller, Bogo (is healthy), Scandella, Gilmour

3rd pair RD - Jokiharju, Miller, Bogo (If healthy) and Borgen

4th pair LD - Scandella 

4th pair RD - Bogo (If healthy), Nelson

Backup goalie: Ullmark, Hammond

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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Lol @ Vesey being the leader for a top line position. Not even saying you are necessarily wrong, but, yeeeeeeesh. 

I’m not thrilled with any of the options there unless Olofsson breaks out, but both Johansson and Sheary are better ones given the nature of Jimmy’s black hole defensive game, that I very much do not want to handcuff our top line with. 

It’s one thing if he was added to assist depth, but if Botterill added him to supplement the top 6, it’s a red check mark. The Rangers dumped him on us for a 3rd round pick and we want him on our top line. 

I do find it interesting what Botterill gave up to acquire 3 of the 4 prospective top line right wingers for Jack (Olofsson being a 7th round pick of the previous GM). Vesey was acquired for a 3rd, Sheary for a conditional 4th, and Johansson signed a smaller 2 year UFA deal. He's certainly not investing a lot of capital in trying to fill that spot on the roster. If it works though, great, we won't have given up much to fill it. 

- - - 

More less agree with the rest, though I think Rodrigues is the lesser of two evils at 2C and the job should be his unless Casey beats him out. 

Edited by Thorny

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3 hours ago, Thorny said:

Lol @ Vesey being the leader for a top line position. Not even saying you are necessarily wrong, but, yeeeeeeesh. 

I’m not thrilled with any of the options there unless Olofsson breaks out, but both Johansson and Sheary are better ones given the nature of Jimmy’s black hole defensive game, that I very much do not want to handcuff our top line with. 

It’s one thing if he was added to assist depth, but if Botterill added him to supplement the top 6, it’s a red check mark. The Rangers dumped him on us for a 3rd round pick and we want him on our top line. 

I do find it interesting what Botterill gave up to acquire 3 of the 4 prospective top line right wingers for Jack (Olofsson being a 7th round pick of the previous GM). Vesey was acquired for a 3rd, Sheary for a conditional 4th, and Johansson signed a smaller 2 year UFA deal. He's certainly not investing a lot of capital in trying to fill that spot on the roster. If it works though, great, we won't have given up much to fill it. 

- - - 

More less agree with the rest, though I think Rodrigues is the lesser of two evils at 2C and the job should be his unless Casey beats him out. 

Teams make mistakes on guys all the time.  William Karlsson was dumped by the Ducks to CBJ who let him walk for nothing in Expansion.  The Ducks also gave up on Kyle Palmieri and we (and Calg) never even gave Paul Byron a real chance.  

Some guys just need the right fit and the right system to flourish.  Vesey may be one of those guys.  I think he can be a 20-25 goal scorer for us for the price of a 3rd.  I consider that a bargain, but we’ll see. He also gives us more size and guy willing to go to the net.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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12 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Teams make mistakes on guys all the time.  William Karlsson was dumbed by the Ducks to CBJ who let him walk for nothing in Expansion.  The Ducks also gave up on Kyle Palmieri and we (and Calg) never even gave Paul Byron a real chance.  

Some guys just need the right fit and the right system to flourish.  Vesey may be one of those guys.  I think he can be a 20-25 goal scorer for us for the price of a 3rd.  I consider that a bargain, but we’ll see. He also gives us more size and guy willing to go to the net.

This is true. My issue lies less with the acquisition of Vesey, and more with the fact that we seem to immediately be counting on him to fill a top 6 role. I keep going back to the same thing: our plans are continually based on hope for the best case scenario to achieve success. It's one thing if we brought in Jimmy to fight for a bottom 6 spot. Good stuff, and hey, maybe he surprises! But no, indications are he's being counted on to compete for 1RW. 

It's just bad poker. Low odds bets. 

Edited by Thorny
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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

This is true. My issue lies less with the acquisition of Vesey, and more with the fact that we seem to immediately be counting on him to fill a top 6 role. I keep going back to the same thing: our plans are continually based on hope for the best case scenario to achieve success. It's one thing if we brought in Jimmy to fight for a bottom 6 spot. Good stuff, and hey, maybe he surprises! But no, indications are he's being counted on to compete for 1RW. 

It's just bad poker. Low odds bets. 

I don't think they are relying on him to be in the top 6 but they are giving him that chance to earn it.  There are two top 6 winger positions available, 1st line RW and 2nd line LW.  There are 4 candidates for those jobs.  Johansson is getting one and Vesey, Olofsson and Sheary are fighting for the other.  Olofsson could easily beat out Vesey for the job.  Vesey is my favorite right now because of experience in the NHL and experience playing with Eichel, but HCRK makes the final decision.

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13 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I don't think they are relying on him to be in the top 6 but they are giving him that chance to earn it.  There are two top 6 winger positions available, 1st line RW and 2nd line LW.  There are 4 candidates for those jobs.  Johansson is getting one and Vesey, Olofsson and Sheary are fighting for the other.  Olofsson could easily beat out Vesey for the job.  Vesey is my favorite right now because of experience in the NHL and experience playing with Eichel, but HCRK makes the final decision.

Vesey’s played with Jack? 

Johansson I’m fine with. But I’m nervous for that 1RW competition when all 3 competing have never proven themselves true top line players, with the possible exception of Sheary when paired with Crosby. 

Particularly when we’ve all but ceded another top 6 spot to a non-top 6 player, be it 71 or 37. 

We only know for a fact that half the top 6 spots are adequately filled. We are sitting here on September 10th more less in the same spot as we were last year with our top 6:

Skinner - Eichel - Reinhart 

everyone else

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2 minutes ago, Sabel79 said:

At Boston U.

Don’t think so. Wasn’t Jimmy at Boston College? 

Edited by Thorny
Not even. Harvard.

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Just now, Thorny said:

Don’t think so. Wasn’t Jimmy at Boston College? 

Ha, we're both wrong, he played at Harvard.  I'll just sit back down.

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@thorny there are a lot of teams that have a “passenger” like Vesey in their top six for chemistry reasons. 

Not every team has a Tampa roster. 

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7 minutes ago, dudacek said:

@thorny there are a lot of teams that have a “passenger” like Vesey in their top six for chemistry reasons. 

Not every team has a Tampa roster. 

I’m grudgingly open to the idea of a passenger on the top line as a backup plan to an actual good hockey player. 

But not a detriment. Which is what I believe Vesey would be on the defensive end. It’s a lateral step sideways at best from Pominville when we needed an upgrade. 

Don’t want to upgrade there, fine. But then upgrade line 2. They didn’t do that either. 

Top 6 top 6 top 6. Accumulated depth is a mirage without the top lines adequately filled. 

Bolded is a straw man.

Edited by Thorny

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8 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I’m grudgingly open to the idea of a passenger on the top line as a backup plan to an actual good hockey player. 

But not a detriment. Which is what I believe Vesey would be on the defensive end. It’s a lateral step sideways at best from Pominville when we needed an upgrade. 

 

But the point is Vesey isn’t being gifted the spot. He will have to earn it.

Edited by dudacek

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13 minutes ago, dudacek said:

But the point is Vesey is t being gifted the spot. He will have to earn it.

...in a competition amongst equally ill-suited players. 

People say competition but what they really need/want/expect by saying that is evolution. I’ll throw out the caveat that Olofsson could legitimately earn it, but failing that, none of the competitors for 1RW (Sheary, Vesey) are going to be moulded into a player of the quality you’d expect in that position, through some sort of alchemical competition. 

Too many potential winners would be by way of Homer’s two favourite words: De-Fault. 

Again, it’s built on hope. Hope that Olofsson is ready, or hope that unforeseen chemistry develops that’s mitigates the talent of an otherwise unworthy player. It’s not a situation where we have 2/3 players with bonafide top 6 ability competing for the one spot. Or, failing that, one solid incumbent for the position who could surprisingly be beat out by an up-and-comer. 

It’s open auditions. Hopefully we have our Kelly Clarkson currently lost in the shuffle. 

Edited by Thorny
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39 minutes ago, dudacek said:

@thorny there are a lot of teams that have a “passenger” like Vesey in their top six for chemistry reasons. 

Not every team has a Tampa roster. 

So true. There are many "top six players" in the league like Vesey.

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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I don't think they are relying on him to be in the top 6 but they are giving him that chance to earn it.  There are two top 6 winger positions available, 1st line RW and 2nd line LW.  There are 4 candidates for those jobs.  Johansson is getting one and Vesey, Olofsson and Sheary are fighting for the other.  Olofsson could easily beat out Vesey for the job.  Vesey is my favorite right now because of experience in the NHL and experience playing with Eichel, but HCRK makes the final decision.

True.  There are 4 legit candidates for those 2 open top 6 W slots.  And if Olofsson plays as well as I expect and Johansson plays a little better than I'm expecting, they might luck into both of them being filled with actual top 6 level players.

The problem is, the 2C almost assuredly WON'T be filled by a true top 2C, so any shortcoming in the 2 guys winning the battle (or at minimum the guy winning the 2LW battle) get their shortcomings magnified.

Still expecting a Botterill move in the next 3 weeks, but pisy-Gardiner signing am no where near as confident as before.  And still expecting the trade coming from Winnipeg though would much rather see it be Detroit.

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And best case is that Olofsson is what we'd like, and either Vesey or Sheary demonstrate Pominville (games 1-10) chemistry with Eichel, so we can see 3 offensive lines that are good enough to get by.

As Victor plays on line 3.

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6 minutes ago, Taro T said:

True.  There are 4 legit candidates for those 2 open top 6 W slots.  And if Olofsson plays as well as I expect and Johansson plays a little better than I'm expecting, they might luck into both of them being filled with actual top 6 level players.

The problem is, the 2C almost assuredly WON'T be filled by a true top 2C, so any shortcoming in the 2 guys winning the battle (or at minimum the guy winning the 2LW battle) get their shortcomings magnified.

Still expecting a Botterill move in the next 3 weeks, but pisy-Gardiner signing am no where near as confident as before.  And still expecting the trade coming from Winnipeg though would much rather see it be Detroit.

Same on both counts. I just don't like Winnipeg as a trade partner right now. We have what they need, but they don't really have what we need, at least not likely readily available for what we'd be willing to move. 

My fingers are crossed for Mantha. To me, that's a MOVE. 

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36 minutes ago, Thorny said:

...in a competition amongst equally ill-suited players. 

People say competition but what they really need/want/expect by saying that is evolution. I’ll throw out the caveat that Olofsson could legitimately earn it, but failing that, none of the competitors for 1RW (Sheary, Vesey) are going to be moulded into a player of the quality you’d expect in that position, through some sort of alchemical competition. 

Too many potential winners would be by way of Homer’s two favourite words: De-Fault. 

Again, it’s built on hope. Hope that Olofsson is ready, or hope that unforeseen chemistry develops that’s mitigates the talent of an otherwise unworthy player. It’s not a situation where we have 2/3 players with bonafide top 6 ability competing for the one spot. Or, failing that, one solid incumbent for the position who could surprisingly be beat out by an up-and-comer. 

It’s open auditions. Hopefully we have our Kelly Clarkson currently lost in the shuffle. 

I agree with all of this with the one caveat: this is how it happens.

Eight years ago Kris Letang was Brandon Montour and Tyler Seguin was Casey Mittelstadt. Three years ago, Yanni Gourde was Victor Olofsson and Teuvo Teravainen was Tage Thompson. Why can’t Jimmy Vesey emerge? Jonathan Marchessault did in Vegas.

I’d be willing to bet that more good teams emerged from little moves and internal development than the type of “sure thing” acquisitions you seem to be looking for.

Edited by dudacek
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27 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I agree with all of this with the one caveat: this is how it happens.

Eight years ago Kris Letang was Brandon Montour and Tyler Seguin was Casey Mittelstadt. Three years ago, Yanni Gourde was Victor Olofsson and Teuvo Teravainen was Tage Thompson. Why can’t Jimmy Vesey emerge? Jonathan Marchessault did in Vegas.

I’d be willing to bet that more good teams emerged from little moves and internal development than the type of “sure thing” acquisitions you seem to be looking for.

Vesey's underlying numbers offer no hint or clue that a similar emergence could be possible for him. 

The bolded though is fair. So, again, it comes back to timeline. The Sabres haven't managed to do this for nearly a decade, and this is Botterill's third year. I want the surefire acquisitions because so far all the little moves Botterill has made have amounted to nothing in terms of standings, team performance. And that looks to me to be the case again this coming season. He had no problem trading away one of those "sure things", so I don't have a problem expecting him to add another one or two going into year 3. He created his biggest glaring hole, there's no free pass to be had. 

Don't do it, whatever. But he should be judged then on results. Make the playoffs.

Come on, you know you wanna, JB. Over half the league is doing it!

Edited by Thorny
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33 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Vesey's underlying numbers offer no hint or clue that a similar emergence could be possible for him. 

The bolded though is fair. So, again, it comes back to timeline. The Sabres haven't managed to do this for nearly a decade, and this is Botterill's third year. I want the surefire acquisitions because so far all the little moves Botterill has made have amounted to nothing in terms of standings, team performance. And that looks to me to be the case again this coming season. He had no problem trading away one of those "sure things", so I don't have a problem expecting him to add another one or two going into year 3. He created his biggest glaring hole, there's no free pass to be had

Don't do it, whatever. But he should be judged then on results. Make the playoffs.

Come on, you know you wanna, JB. Over half the league is doing it!

On the bolded, we are in 100 per cent agreement.

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