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tom webster

The only two reasons the tank didn’t work

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29 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

We also draft like garage.

shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcR_iVYw7J42xWDc0GaKn

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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

It didn't require it. We also draft like garage. Maybe botterill is better but his insistence on ignoring the chl will hurt us.

It absolutely did. How else are you going to be able to lose for that long, just tell your guys to not try? They won’t do that.

The Sabres had to not only get rid of their top talent, but some of their mid-level guys to in order to lose for 2+ years. We’re still recovering from that depletion.

If having to use Pat Kaleta as a center because their was nobody else isn’t proof enough for you, then you will never change your mind.

 

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37 minutes ago, SwampD said:

It absolutely did. How else are you going to be able to lose for that long, just tell your guys to not try? They won’t do that.

The Sabres had to not only get rid of their top talent, but some of their mid-level guys to in order to lose for 2+ years. We’re still recovering from that depletion.

If having to use Pat Kaleta as a center because their was nobody else isn’t proof enough for you, then you will never change your mind.

 

What I am saying is that the Sabres did not have to do what they did with some of the mid level guys. Further if they had not drafted like complete garbage in 2014 and then done what I can only describe as stupidity in 2015 they would have fielded a team with those middle guys by 2017 and 2018 respectively. In the interim they could have supplemented the roster with UFA's.  Instead they took a different path and drafted poorly. 

This entire thing failed because mistakes have been compounded over years. Let's start at the beginning. Regier switched to video drafting and clearly failed miserably at doing that well. The Sabres drafts from 2007-2013 are miserable for the most part. In 2014 we had Murray completely miss on round 2. We somehow  lucked into Olofsson at the end of that draft but everything else is a wash. Those mid level players we didn't have we should have gotten 1 or ideally 2 in that draft. Imagine if we had drafted Donato, Barbashev and Montour instead of Lemiuex, Karabacek and Cornel? There's 2 of those guys we need now. 

We now have Regiers multiple failures and Tim Murray starting us off poorly. Then we compound our stupidity in 2015. We trade Myers, Stafford, Armia, Lemiuex and a 1st for 2 guys. Injured Kane which is actually smart and Bogo. Why trade for Bogo? Did they need the money to match. Either way we dumped 3 assets that could have added that middle lineup depth in Amria, Lemiuex, and that 1st. Sure it helped secure the tank but trading those young assets was the major issue. That 25th overall pick could have been a list of players in which Aho was one, although he was unlikely the pick for us at 25. 

Now let's compound the 3 assets we gave away further. We trade for Lehner. Lehner cost us Boeser. That was such a monumentally bad decision we are still paying for it. Instead of Having Reinhart freed up to move between 1 and 2 we don't have Boeser to slide in there. It was just a terrible decision. That gives us now 1-2 players from 2014 we didn't get because of poor drafting. 3 players from the Bogo/Kane trade that are out of the org. 1 first round pick that should have easily been Brock Boeser and a perfect top 6 player. That's 5 guys we don't have now. 

Let's compound it 1 more time. ROR. On the surface the ROR trade is good because we needed. The problem was we then pissed him away for nothing. The original trade was ROR and McGinn for Compher, 31st overall pick, Zadorov, Grigs. Now let's examine that. We got ROR a piece we needed. We lost out on Compher who is a middle 6 guys, Zadorov who is a bottom 4 defender. Grigorenko was useless (a Regier failure that would have also given us a middle 6 option if he was not rushed and useless). The 31st overall pick in the 2015 draft which IMPO should have netted us Aho, Roy, Fischer or even Stephens. Again that is 1 player in with 3 pieces out. Then we have the complete and utter failure which is the ROR trade with Botterill. A trade so ***** garbage that I think Botterill should be fired unless he was forced into it by ownership. We traded ROR for a pick, 2 cap dumps and a mediocre prospect in Tage. 

That is where I will stop for the moment because I don't think we can accurately judge the drafts that have happened since. 

That is by my count, 4 NHL players added to Buffalo (Kane, ROR, Lehner, and Bogo) at the cost of 8 or 9 players we don't have. To compound that Kane, ROR, and Lehner are all gone and Bogo will be soon meaning we have a net loss of at least 12 NHL players on this team based on decision from 2013-2017. We don't suck because we gutted the franchise and then tanked. We suck because we used all of the extra tank assets on players we got rid of or were not impactful enough for what we paid. Even if we have a minimum of half of those guys hit (6 players) that gives us a plethora of extra depth we currently do not have and probably won't as long at Jason Botterill continues to ignore the CHL in order to draft Defenders out of the USHL. 

We haven't failed because in 2013 we decided to gut our depth, we failed because from 2014-2017 we didn't draft appropriately and wasted assets we needed replace it. 

Edited by LGR4GM
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6 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

What I am saying is that the Sabres did not have to do what they did with some of the mid level guys. Further if they had not drafted like complete garbage in 2014

I want to isolate on this portion of the comment.  Take a look at that draft.  There's a giant black hole of talent that begins in the second round.  Granted the book is not completely written yet, but there's maybe a handful of solid players from that draft.  Now I know some might want to say Brayden Point, but the entire league, Tampa included, swung and missed on that one multiple times. If 165 out of 180 picks turn into garbage, it doesn't matter all that much how many picks you have.  The garbage return is expected. 

I really wonder, for the teams that do find that gem here and there, how much of it is luck as opposed to talent evaluation.  Lately I've been leaning towards the former.  Also, how much of that falls onto your organizations ability to develop talent?  That's my other big sticking point and I have big questions about that part of the organization over the last 10 or so years.

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1 hour ago, shrader said:

I want to isolate on this portion of the comment.  Take a look at that draft.  There's a giant black hole of talent that begins in the second round.  Granted the book is not completely written yet, but there's maybe a handful of solid players from that draft.  Now I know some might want to say Brayden Point, but the entire league, Tampa included, swung and missed on that one multiple times. If 165 out of 180 picks turn into garbage, it doesn't matter all that much how many picks you have.  The garbage return is expected. 

I really wonder, for the teams that do find that gem here and there, how much of it is luck as opposed to talent evaluation.  Lately I've been leaning towards the former.  Also, how much of that falls onto your organizations ability to develop talent?  That's my other big sticking point and I have big questions about that part of the organization over the last 10 or so years.

And in fairness to Murray, he did try to swing a trade of his 3 2nd rounders for a pick that would've netted Larkin.  He also admitted he was swinging for the fences in that draft taking guys with very low floors but also very high ceilings.  In a sparsely talented draft, in isolation, that's not a horrible strategy and it netted Olofsson.  But when the cupboards are truly bare taking SOME guys that are much safer to at least make the NHL as a 3rd or 4th liner would seem to have been a wiser strategy than going for it with every pick.

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17 minutes ago, Taro T said:

And in fairness to Murray, he did try to swing a trade of his 3 2nd rounders for a pick that would've netted Larkin.  He also admitted he was swinging for the fences in that draft taking guys with very low floors but also very high ceilings.  In a sparsely talented draft, in isolation, that's not a horrible strategy and it netted Olofsson.  But when the cupboards are truly bare taking SOME guys that are much safer to at least make the NHL as a 3rd or 4th liner would seem to have been a wiser strategy than going for it with every pick.

When you have as many picks as they did that year, I'd hope for a mix of the two strategies.  Safe pick here, swing for the fences there.  I'm sure this is quite the over-simplification of the process, but it does feel like a good position to diversify a bit.

That said, looking at the 2nd and 3rd round of that draft, I'm not so sure the type of return you suggest was readily available.

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I say… The tank worked beautifully… Sabres stripped the talent away, so they can acquire a top three pick. We got high draft picks for two years in a row. It’s the rebuild that has taken longer than expected. And some would say or call it “Failed“.  
 

Tank ... complete success 

Rebuild ... so far a failure.

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3 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

What I am saying is that the Sabres did not have to do what they did with some of the mid level guys. Further if they had not drafted like complete garbage in 2014 and then done what I can only describe as stupidity in 2015 they would have fielded a team with those middle guys by 2017 and 2018 respectively. In the interim they could have supplemented the roster with UFA's.  Instead they took a different path and drafted poorly. 

This entire thing failed because mistakes have been compounded over years. Let's start at the beginning. Regier switched to video drafting and clearly failed miserably at doing that well. The Sabres drafts from 2007-2013 are miserable for the most part. In 2014 we had Murray completely miss on round 2. We somehow  lucked into Olofsson at the end of that draft but everything else is a wash. Those mid level players we didn't have we should have gotten 1 or ideally 2 in that draft. Imagine if we had drafted Donato, Barbashev and Montour instead of Lemiuex, Karabacek and Cornel? There's 2 of those guys we need now. 

We now have Regiers multiple failures and Tim Murray starting us off poorly. Then we compound our stupidity in 2015. We trade Myers, Stafford, Armia, Lemiuex and a 1st for 2 guys. Injured Kane which is actually smart and Bogo. Why trade for Bogo? Did they need the money to match. Either way we dumped 3 assets that could have added that middle lineup depth in Amria, Lemiuex, and that 1st. Sure it helped secure the tank but trading those young assets was the major issue. That 25th overall pick could have been a list of players in which Aho was one, although he was unlikely the pick for us at 25. 

Now let's compound the 3 assets we gave away further. We trade for Lehner. Lehner cost us Boeser. That was such a monumentally bad decision we are still paying for it. Instead of Having Reinhart freed up to move between 1 and 2 we don't have Boeser to slide in there. It was just a terrible decision. That gives us now 1-2 players from 2014 we didn't get because of poor drafting. 3 players from the Bogo/Kane trade that are out of the org. 1 first round pick that should have easily been Brock Boeser and a perfect top 6 player. That's 5 guys we don't have now. 

Let's compound it 1 more time. ROR. On the surface the ROR trade is good because we needed. The problem was we then pissed him away for nothing. The original trade was ROR and McGinn for Compher, 31st overall pick, Zadorov, Grigs. Now let's examine that. We got ROR a piece we needed. We lost out on Compher who is a middle 6 guys, Zadorov who is a bottom 4 defender. Grigorenko was useless (a Regier failure that would have also given us a middle 6 option if he was not rushed and useless). The 31st overall pick in the 2015 draft which IMPO should have netted us Aho, Roy, Fischer or even Stephens. Again that is 1 player in with 3 pieces out. Then we have the complete and utter failure which is the ROR trade with Botterill. A trade so ***** garbage that I think Botterill should be fired unless he was forced into it by ownership. We traded ROR for a pick, 2 cap dumps and a mediocre prospect in Tage. 

That is where I will stop for the moment because I don't think we can accurately judge the drafts that have happened since. 

That is by my count, 4 NHL players added to Buffalo (Kane, ROR, Lehner, and Bogo) at the cost of 8 or 9 players we don't have. To compound that Kane, ROR, and Lehner are all gone and Bogo will be soon meaning we have a net loss of at least 12 NHL players on this team based on decision from 2013-2017. We don't suck because we gutted the franchise and then tanked. We suck because we used all of the extra tank assets on players we got rid of or were not impactful enough for what we paid. Even if we have a minimum of half of those guys hit (6 players) that gives us a plethora of extra depth we currently do not have and probably won't as long at Jason Botterill continues to ignore the CHL in order to draft Defenders out of the USHL. 

We haven't failed because in 2013 we decided to gut our depth, we failed because from 2014-2017 we didn't draft appropriately and wasted assets we needed replace it. 

wasnt the rumour that Samsonov was the pick if they didn't trade for Lehner?

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For the record:

- The purpose of the tank was to end up with a cup contending team led by Eichel -- not just to end up with Eichel.

- Saying "the tank worked but the rebuild failed" is sophistry.  There is no tank in isolation without the post-tank rebuild -- i.e. they are 2 parts of the same strategy.  No one would ever tank just to end up with Eichel and a crappy team that misses the playoffs every year.  You ONLY tank because you think you will end up with a cup contender.

- The reason the tank was a stupid idea is that as a contender-building strategy, it usually fails, and the team usually ends up in the basement for an extended period -- which is exactly what has happened to the Sabres.  The tank has directly resulted in the worst extended period of the team's 50-year existence.

- It's certainly true that GMTM and JB made quite a few mistakes during the rebuild phase -- but as many have pointed out, part of the reason that tanking is a stupid strategy is that mistakes are unavoidable, and burning the team to the ground leaves too small a margin for error.

- As for the OP:  certainly the Sabres would've been better IF Lehner had played to his potential instead of falling apart and IF Pettersson had fallen from #5 to #8 in 2017 (which of course would've required 3 more teams to pass on him) -- but those are 2 big ifs, and I don't think they make the Sabres a contender in any event -- more like a probable 1-and-done playoff team.

 

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4 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

For the record:

- The purpose of the tank was to end up with a cup contending team led by Eichel -- not just to end up with Eichel.

- Saying "the tank worked but the rebuild failed" is sophistry.  There is no tank in isolation without the post-tank rebuild -- i.e. they are 2 parts of the same strategy.  No one would ever tank just to end up with Eichel and a crappy team that misses the playoffs every year.  You ONLY tank because you think you will end up with a cup contender.

- The reason the tank was a stupid idea is that as a contender-building strategy, it usually fails, and the team usually ends up in the basement for an extended period -- which is exactly what has happened to the Sabres.  The tank has directly resulted in the worst extended period of the team's 50-year existence.

- It's certainly true that GMTM and JB made quite a few mistakes during the rebuild phase -- but as many have pointed out, part of the reason that tanking is a stupid strategy is that mistakes are unavoidable, and burning the team to the ground leaves too small a margin for error.

- As for the OP:  certainly the Sabres would've been better IF Lehner had played to his potential instead of falling apart and IF Pettersson had fallen from #5 to #8 in 2017 (which of course would've required 3 more teams to pass on him) -- but those are 2 big ifs, and I don't think they make the Sabres a contender in any event -- more like a probable 1-and-done playoff team.

 

Darcy and Murray both were severely below-average performing GMs when it came to hitting on draft picks.  And Murray traded away half his draft picks for bust trade targets to boot.  I don't think it is fair to say tanking is pointless.  Chicago and Pittsburgh tanked just fine, with their top-picks capping off their runs.  Ours failed because we didn't hit on a single damn prospect until Eichel.

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34 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

For the record:

- The purpose of the tank was to end up with a cup contending team led by Eichel -- not just to end up with Eichel.

- Saying "the tank worked but the rebuild failed" is sophistry.  There is no tank in isolation without the post-tank rebuild -- i.e. they are 2 parts of the same strategy.  No one would ever tank just to end up with Eichel and a crappy team that misses the playoffs every year.  You ONLY tank because you think you will end up with a cup contender.

Good you agree that the rebuild is still on going and any cup win with Eichel on the team means the tank was successful. Excellent. 

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42 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

Darcy and Murray both were severely below-average performing GMs when it came to hitting on draft picks.  And Murray traded away half his draft picks for bust trade targets to boot.  I don't think it is fair to say tanking is pointless.  Chicago and Pittsburgh tanked just fine, with their top-picks capping off their runs.  Ours failed because we didn't hit on a single damn prospect until Eichel.

Chicago and Pittsburgh did not tank.  Pittsburgh was crawling through bankruptcy and Chicago was the victim of a cheapskate owner. They were poorly run teams that finished low for a period if time.  The difference is huge.  Neither one of those teams were burned to the ground to get their top picks, consequently there was no need to go through what the Sabres have been going through.  They had a base to build off.

Chicago and Pittsburgh’s subsequent success was much more predictable given the base they could build off.  MUCH more room for error.

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10 minutes ago, Weave said:

Chicago and Pittsburgh did not tank.  Pittsburgh was crawling through bankruptcy and Chicago was the victim of a cheapskate owner. They were poorly run teams that finished low for a period if time.  The difference is huge.  Neither one of those teams were burned to the ground to get their top picks, consequently there was no need to go through what the Sabres have been going through.  They had a base to build off.

Chicago and Pittsburgh’s subsequent success was much more predictable given the base they could build off.  MUCH more room for error.

Part 1 happened and created Part 2. The Sabres tank worked in reverse for this. We got the base (Eichel) without getting all the other high end guys in development (Seabrook, Toews, Keith etc..). This was why and still is why it is crucial to use our picks wisely. If we had literally not been stupid in 2015 and 2016, Jack would have another 2-3 players at his disposal and this team would be better off. We don't. We don't have Boeser, or Aho, we didn't trade for Kyrou/Fabbri/or similar. We ***** it all up by wasting assets. 

Botterill still has to draft correctly and the ROR trade is still absolute garbage. I only hope that smart trades like Nylander for Jokiharju or the Skinner trade come up again. 

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21 minutes ago, Weave said:

Chicago and Pittsburgh did not tank.  Pittsburgh was crawling through bankruptcy and Chicago was the victim of a cheapskate owner. They were poorly run teams that finished low for a period if time.  The difference is huge.  Neither one of those teams were burned to the ground to get their top picks, consequently there was no need to go through what the Sabres have been going through.  They had a base to build off.

Chicago and Pittsburgh’s subsequent success was much more predictable given the base they could build off.  MUCH more room for error.

Unintentional tanking and Murray style tanking.. Top-3 draft picks after years of picking high before that is still the same result.

 

And yes, Pittsburgh tanked before their drafts.

Edited by triumph_communes

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Liger, Eichel is not the base in this example.  He is functionally equivalent to Toews, Crosby, Kane, Malkin.  The guys I am referring to are the depth and secondary guys that were already there in Chicago and Pittsburgh when the high end guys showed up.  We’re 7 years out and still don’t have them.  You can separate and blame the rebuild but the point remains, if you don’t fully dismantle then you can use the depth and secondary guys moving forward, both as mentors and assets.

Tanking removed all margin for error, and error is inevitable.

5 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

Unintentional tanking and Murray style tanking.. Top-3 draft picks after years of picking high before that is still the same result.

 

And yes, Pittsburgh tanked before their drafts.

Pittsburgh won a weightedlottery after a lockout season to draft Crosby.  How would they have tanked for that?

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14 minutes ago, Weave said:

Liger, Eichel is not the base in this example.  He is functionally equivalent to Toews, Crosby, Kane, Malkin.  The guys I am referring to are the depth and secondary guys that were already there in Chicago and Pittsburgh when the high end guys showed up.  We’re 7 years out and still don’t have them.  You can separate and blame the rebuild but the point remains, if you don’t fully dismantle then you can use the depth and secondary guys moving forward, both as mentors and assets.

Tanking removed all margin for error, and error is inevitable.

Pittsburgh won a weightedlottery after a lockout season to draft Crosby.  How would they have tanked for that?

And we could have built up that area and simply ignored it under Murray 

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1 hour ago, triumph_communes said:

Darcy and Murray both were severely below-average performing GMs when it came to hitting on draft picks.  And Murray traded away half his draft picks for bust trade targets to boot.  I don't think it is fair to say tanking is pointless.  Chicago and Pittsburgh tanked just fine, with their top-picks capping off their runs.  Ours failed because we didn't hit on a single damn prospect until Eichel.

Got any data to support this?

@Weave beat me to it on Chicago and Pittsburgh.

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47 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

And we could have built up that area and simply ignored it under Murray 

With what?  We had nothing left.

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The one reason the tank DID work...

1. They got Jack Eichel.
 

It's that simple. The tank worked. The rebuild after the tank didn't work. That's the difference.

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1 hour ago, triumph_communes said:

Unintentional tanking and Murray style tanking.. Top-3 draft picks after years of picking high before that is still the same result.

 

And yes, Pittsburgh tanked before their drafts.

Pittsburgh tanked for Lemieux.  Most don't tend to think about that one since it was 35 years ago.  Different era, different system, blah blah blah, but yeah, they have a tank on their record.

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I think the biggest issue is we didn't commit enough to the tank.    We traded away good young players that would probably help out our middle six by now.

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2 hours ago, triumph_communes said:

Darcy and Murray both were severely below-average performing GMs when it came to hitting on draft picks.  And Murray traded away half his draft picks for bust trade targets to boot.  I don't think it is fair to say tanking is pointless.  Chicago and Pittsburgh tanked just fine, with their top-picks capping off their runs.  Ours failed because we didn't hit on a single damn prospect until Eichel.

Actually, prior to "video scouting" Regier had a very good record with drafting discounting the 1st round.  And IMHO a big part of that early round failure was due to the Sabres having a team building concept of having incredible goaltending and strong 2 way play.  Again, IMHO, they DIDN'T WANT 50 goal scorers because in a pre- cap world those guys become really expensive.  A single expensive goalie can allow a lot of cheaper players to fill out an effective roster.

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55 minutes ago, Weave said:

With what?  We had nothing left.

With the draft. That's been my point. We've never drafted well. And here we are. 

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30 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

With the draft. That's been my point. We've never drafted well. And here we are. 

and when you trade away young players like compher who would help round out our team.  

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You are all making some very good, insightful arguments but the point I was trying to make is that none of it would be even in conversation if they had an all-star number two center and a true number one, elite goaltender.

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