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This Sabres losing culture nonsense needs to go, it's BS

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

The organization is where it is because of a series of mistakes by different people. Darcy frittered away his assets and failed to replace them, the tank dug a huge talent deficit that essentially made us an expansion team, Tim Murray overspent his asset base and failed to consider the human element of an organization, and Jason Botterill went for a full reset and has so far failed to accumulate enough talent to pull it off.

An expansion team with a young superstar but yes, essentially true. 

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10 hours ago, Sabre Dance said:

Hmm...impatient? So, I've been a Sabres' fan since day one. That's 50 years, y'all. I watched an expansion team in 1970 make it to game six of the Cup Finals in 1975. We're now in year 9 of (what should have been) a 5 year rebuild. Patience? How much more should I have...or need? 

Fortunately, I have plenty of other (and more important) interests than NHL hockey. When the Sabres finally get around to working out all of their issues and become relevant again, let me know. 

Yeh i guess you dont know sarcasm and maybe I wasnt clear but I agree with you.

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5 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

I think we've reached some common ground here and we basically agree. 

What I meant about not meeting expectations was in regards to a longer timeline though. Not just about last year to this year but over the whole decade of futility. For example, Pierre McGuire in the broadcast was saying he liked where we were at and we were "closer than people think." and last year I remember him saying we were going to be a playoff team this year. and the year before he said we were very close. Our prospect cupboard was supposed to be full years ago. Then it was empty suddenly. If you just go from bottom/tank forwards, we're supposed to be a lot better by now.

Anyway, can't disagree with the overall sentiment. We share two key points. The culture is not as good as it should be or needs to be and the talent is insufficient. The question then becomes why is this still the case? Lots and lots and lots of bad decisions.

Yes, the Sabres have not met expectations for an NHL franchise over the past decade.  I don’t know of anyone who would disagree with that.

Just because I say that they are lacking the talent, doesn’t mean that I’m completely handwaving away the idea of culture.  It can be hard to say exactly what a culture is like from the outside looking in, but in years past especially, it often hasn’t looked great.  I also think it can be hard to improve the culture a great deal without also addressing the talent deficiencies.

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On 2/11/2020 at 3:07 PM, Randall Flagg said:

You're talking about the season in which they constructed the worst slate of depth forwards a non-tank Sabres team has likely ever seen, with all of Nolan, Wilson, Josefson, Griffith, Moulson, injured/bad Zemgus and Larry, Bailey/Baptiste, Pouliot, Rodrigues, and Criscuolo got serious minutes throughout the season, while Beaulieu, Falk, Gorges, Antipin, and Nelson were key parts of the defense, to say nothing of the Tennyson disaster, coupled with their starting goalie's mental health unraveling and their backup goalie's sub-replacement level stats giving the team bottom-of-the-barrel goaltending? Combined with the fact that Eichel was not ready for the competition he was seeing, so that even though he scored a lot, he was scored on a lot more than that? 

It's nowhere near as simple as "well we sukked when these guys were here soooo" no matter what you're arguing. 

I feel like that argument is easily dismissed with, "We're bad with Eichel, should be trade him too?"

On 2/11/2020 at 4:01 PM, dudacek said:

And that is a reasonable counter argument for Botterill: that the organization was completely bereft of depth and he was going to rebuild it the right way, through drafting and development, and that was going to take three years minimum to rebuild to just a non-expansion  level while he flushed “the culture and the bad contracts” (Lehner, O’Reilly, Kane, Bogosian, Nylander) out of the organization.

It would hold more weight if so many of his stop-gaps (Vesey, Sheary, Hutton, Sobotka, Berglund) hadn’t failed so thoroughly, his key pick-ups (Skinner, Montour, Miller, Housley) were contributing more, and his  touted kids (Thompson, Mittelstadt and to a lesser extent Dahlin) had shown more significant development.

Dahlin to no extent. 

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On 2/11/2020 at 11:09 PM, Curt said:

If they can get to 85 points, then that would exceed my preseason expectations.  It would also likely mean that they fought through this season until the end.  That’s what I want to see.

I'm looking for the same thing, a strong finish. But 85 points was too low of an expectation for this team coming into the season. Maybe looking at the roster it makes sense, but three years into a GM's term the expectation should be higher on it's face. As he's making his own bed. 

Edited by Thorny

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On 2/12/2020 at 10:41 PM, dudacek said:

It may have added up to a decade of failure, but it actually is four distinct periods lumped together that don't have a lot in common with each other except for the losing: the dying days of Darcy, the tank, the failed Murray rebuild, and the (failing?) Botterill reset

  • In 2012 and 13 it was Darcy flailing around trying and failing to replace the depth that made the late 2000's Sabres so good. Those teams had no centremen and basically met expectations as mediocre bubble teams that just missed the playoffs.
  • In 2014 and 15, Darcy and Murray stripped the roster of virtually every legitimate NHL player and lost on purpose. They met expectations as some of the worst teams ever assembled.
  • In 2016 and 2/3s of 2017, The team added a handful of key players and took a quantum leap forward from awful to almost competitive before imploding down the stretch of '17 amidst suggestions of culture problems.
  • 2018 Instead building off of what Murray had assembled, Botterill chose to rebuild the organization off ice and see what he had on it. The team fell through the floor again.
  • 2019 Botterill hit the reset button hard dumping Kane O'Reilly and Lehner along with Murray's heavy hockey vision and the team improved by 14 points.
  • 2020 The team looks poised to finish in the 80-90 point range most predicted.

I'd say based on the roster at the start of the season, the team finished below expectations in 2017 which led to Murray's firing and in 2018, which might have been based on the false impression that Botterill was going to work with the good parts of what Murray left for him.

The organization is where it is because of a series of mistakes by different people. Darcy frittered away his assets and failed to replace them, the tank dug a huge talent deficit that essentially made us an expansion team, Tim Murray overspent his asset base and failed to consider the human element of an organization, and Jason Botterill went for a full reset and has so far failed to accumulate enough talent to pull it off.

Agree. Good post. Murray was fired in 2017, but yes. 

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5 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I'm looking for the same thing, a strong finish. But 85 points was too low of an expectation for this team coming into the season. Maybe looking at the roster it makes sense, but three years into a GM's term the expectation should be higher on it's face. As he's making his own bed. 

Yes.  That is based on looking at the roster and what I thought those players could accomplish.  I’m not saying that is what should be considered acceptable for the team.  There are obvious roster holes that the GM needs to address.  He bares the responsibility for doing that.

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