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The new Core

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On 6/23/2020 at 9:24 AM, Drag0nDan said:

This is my thoughts on gutting it.  Eichel could fetch the most in a trade, but he's by far the best player we've had here in a very long time.  I dont need to look at jersey sales to say that he's #1 by a long shot.  Skinner's value is super low... so why move him for pennies on the dollar.  Dahlin and Joki are on ELCs, I wouldn't move them when i can likely add years of team control after next year. If they're smart they lock up oloffson for like a 5ish mil cap hit, thats fairly palatable.  

Everyone else?  I'm listening to offers.  Reinhart, Montour, Risto are the big 3.  It's probably a bit early to give up on mittelstadt and Thompson - but you can't also go into a season fully expecting them to contribute more than they have.  If packaging them in gets you a better return, I'm for it.  But this team has like no forward prospects, so its hard to consider moving the ones they do have.  

I just have no idea who's ready to come up from AHL, because so few players have come up in the last several years that i just assume they'll suck when they're here.  Can Borgen play at the NHL?  He's played 2 years at AHL- when else does he get a shot?  What about Bryson?  3 year starter in college, played real well last year. Hickey?  4 years.  Do we have any forwards who can play?  

Great post.  The biggest job for GMKPAP (General Manager Kim Pegula-Adams-Pegula) is to get a proper return on any trades for the players you mentioned in paragraph 2 (Reinhart, Montour, Risto, Casey, Tage) so the team is stronger, not just different.

With regards to which forwards from the AHL may make sense to bring up, I think that depends on how the first 2 lines look after trades and RFA signings happen.  I would be ok with Cozens playing with Kahun and Tage/Casey if we are only looking to fill a third line out.  But if any of those players are expected to see time on the 2nd line, I don't know if I bring Cozens, Tage, or Casey up without a crazy good camp.  I think the guys that win spots out of camp are guys that will fill a need in Krueger's system, and it's hard to consider who that may be with so many question marks on the roster right now...

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2 hours ago, dudacek said:

That and the “bad in traffic” thing. 

There is not a winger in Buffalo who makes more plays along the boards than Sam - getting pucks and moving them to the right places. It’s not even close.

That’s what it’s all about. Not who gets knocked down.

The elephant in the room that isn't just flat out said enough is that, Sam Reinhart doesn't look like an appealing hockey player. Aside from the times his subtle sweet feeds will be commented on, his skating usually looks mediocre (he's not actually slow), he seems to fall/get disheveled a lot/win battles in the corner awkwardly (but he still wins them), and his shot doesn't look great most of the time (there were actually more range laser's this past season but most of his goals seem to be within a foot, if not skilled deflections). 

He looks a bit lanky with a base not close to resembling the power a Crosby exudes, or even a Skinner. He doesn't just not have flash (which was his pre-draft M.O.) he actively looks a bit...unique out there. But he's also really, really good. 

Edited by Thorny

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49 minutes ago, SHAAAUGHT!!! said:

Great post.  The biggest job for GMKPAP (General Manager Kim Pegula-Adams-Pegula) is to get a proper return on any trades for the players you mentioned in paragraph 2 (Reinhart, Montour, Risto, Casey, Tage) so the team is stronger, not just different.

With regards to which forwards from the AHL may make sense to bring up, I think that depends on how the first 2 lines look after trades and RFA signings happen.  I would be ok with Cozens playing with Kahun and Tage/Casey if we are only looking to fill a third line out.  But if any of those players are expected to see time on the 2nd line, I don't know if I bring Cozens, Tage, or Casey up without a crazy good camp.  I think the guys that win spots out of camp are guys that will fill a need in Krueger's system, and it's hard to consider who that may be with so many question marks on the roster right now...

I think you set a realistic timeline with cozens.  You can earn your spot, but you're guaranteed nothing - unlike what they did with casey.  If he starts in the AHL, i expect him to center the best line there for 30-40 games, and to essentially play his way onto the big club. 

I see Tage making the team outright as a big forward who can shoot.  There's a need for a guy like this on the PP as well.  If he can play a bit more physical, backcheck a bit more, play more responsibly, he should be fine. 

Mittelstadts the one who was looking lost last year and I see him as likely to start in the AHL - the goal being if cozens gets called up, he's now on that top line playing top o-zone minutes.  He may also benefit from a shift in position, which will need time at the AHL level.  His game needs a lot of seasoning, he was struggling at pretty much everything - struggling with the speed, the physicality, transition, faceoffs, backchecking.  

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4 minutes ago, Drag0nDan said:

I think you set a realistic timeline with cozens.  You can earn your spot, but you're guaranteed nothing - unlike what they did with casey.  If he starts in the AHL, i expect him to center the best line there for 30-40 games, and to essentially play his way onto the big club. 

I see Tage making the team outright as a big forward who can shoot.  There's a need for a guy like this on the PP as well.  If he can play a bit more physical, backcheck a bit more, play more responsibly, he should be fine. 

Mittelstadts the one who was looking lost last year and I see him as likely to start in the AHL - the goal being if cozens gets called up, he's now on that top line playing top o-zone minutes.  He may also benefit from a shift in position, which will need time at the AHL level.  His game needs a lot of seasoning, he was struggling at pretty much everything - struggling with the speed, the physicality, transition, faceoffs, backchecking.  

Cozens cannot start in the AHL this season. NHL or juniors. 

So if tage can improve his entire game, he will be good? That is essentially what you are saying. 

Edited by LGR4GM

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1 minute ago, LGR4GM said:

Cozens cannot start in the AHL this season. NHL or juniors. 

So if tage can improve his entire game, he will be good? That is essentially what you are saying. 

Haha - i guess so?  Playing with a bit of an edge we'll say, I have no idea how he fits in and he was injured last year so he didn't even get a chance to play up under krueger.  TT and CM both seemed like they were just gripping their sticks tight and trying to remember what they're supposed to do, instead of just playing hockey.  

I think with the amount of UFAs and RFAs cozens probably starts here.  I just hope there are players brought in to like, complement them?  Not just sign our RFAs and just plug 3 youngsters in and just hope for the best.  

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1 minute ago, Drag0nDan said:

Haha - i guess so?  Playing with a bit of an edge we'll say, I have no idea how he fits in and he was injured last year so he didn't even get a chance to play up under krueger.  TT and CM both seemed like they were just gripping their sticks tight and trying to remember what they're supposed to do, instead of just playing hockey.  

I think with the amount of UFAs and RFAs cozens probably starts here.  I just hope there are players brought in to like, complement them?  Not just sign our RFAs and just plug 3 youngsters in and just hope for the best.  

I don't foresee them sending Cozens back to Juniors unless he looks completely out of it in the first 9 games.

Mitts like bad. He is terrible away from the puck and very slow with his decisions with the puck. He needs a full year of AHL seasoning because he isn't NHL ready. His development was rushed and he should have stayed in college at least another year. His entire game needs work from skating, positioning, stick handling, shot, to passing. 

Edited by LGR4GM

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28 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Cozens cannot start in the AHL this season. NHL or juniors. 

So if tage can improve his entire game, he will be good? That is essentially what you are saying. 

Thing is people seem to be talking about the Tage of December 2018.

Even then, he didn’t really need to work on his skill; his hands, shot and skating were NHL calibre.

And he may have already dramatically improve his strength. Dude added 20 pounds and looked a lot stronger on his skates this fall and will be two years older than his Sabres struggles when he next takes to the ice.

The key thing, and the thing I worry about most, is the speed at which he can process the game. From what we saw in the fall, he wasn’t all the way there yet and not playing for a year isn’t going to help that. On the plus side, he was pretty effective and noticeably skilled at the AHL level.

It will be interesting to see how much different the man of January 2021 is from the boy of December 2018.

22 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I don't foresee them sending Cozens back to Juniors unless he looks completely out of it in the first 9 games.

Mitts like bad. He is terrible away from the puck and very slow with his decisions with the puck. He needs a full year of AHL seasoning because he isn't NHL ready. His development was rushed and he should have stayed in college at least another year. His entire game needs work from skating, positioning, stick handling, shot, to passing. 

Again, how much improvement will Casey have made from the 20 year old who was sent to the minors to the 22 year old who will come to the Sabres next camp?

The fired Sabres staff were unanimous that he made big strides in the little things on the ice in Rochester. Were they right? How much maturing can/will he do off the ice this summer and fall?

This kind of window between viewings is unprecedented. I don’t think you can predict what you are going to get with either of these guys any more than you can or should with guys like Cozens or Jokiharju, or any other young player over two years.

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I feel a bit more confident expecting good things from Cozens than someone like Mittelstadt because of how strong his pre-draft and D1 stuff looks. And his style of gameplay. He's always looked fast to me, whereas Casey too me has always looked a little slower than I'd expect, hearing about how he's got "wheels". I'm sure more factors into that perception than pure straight line speed. 

I have however seen flashes from Casey to the point where I wouldn't be shocked if that gap (and space for potential improvement) @dudacek speaks of shows itself to be well utilized. 

Honeslty, I've seen eff all from Tage lol. Maybe I'm the only one. I saw a giraffe on skates. I'd be pleasantly surprised if he becomes an NHL player. I think it's a joke Botterill fancied him the best piece in the ROR deal and that obviously also colors my opinion and feeds a bias. 

Edited by Thorny

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On 6/24/2020 at 1:54 PM, nfreeman said:

Serious question:  do you think saying "there is NFW that XYZ happens" is the same as calling someone a fool or saying that something he/she said is stupid?

Yes.  NFW puts your estimation of possibility of someone's idea at a solid 0%.  I would think that's the equivalent of saying, "What a stupid idea" or "you are a fool to suggest that".

Examples:
There's NFW the Sabres <...>.
Why would you think the Sabres would <...>? That's just stupid.
You're being quite stupid if you think the Sabres <...>.
You are a fool for thinking the Sabres <...>.

I read all of those similarly and would argue that saying NFW implies stupidity and foolishness in even making the suggestion. 

I wish I had been able to respond sooner to your question as much conversation has passed and I'd prefer to not head back that part of it, but I felt it would be good to respond.

Has there been a core?.  It's more like a concept at this point... and mostly because I don't think anyone considers anyone to have a core until the team actually wins.  

 

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^ I dunno, man. 

If someone says "NFW" I read that as "NFW in my opinion that blah blah blah". The implication isn't necessarily that having an OPINION on the completely other side is "stupid". When it comes to opinion, things can be wildly different and neither stupid. 

To actually come out and say something is, objectively, stupid, is another matter.

My 2 cents. 

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Not to mention "NFW" is a deliberate bypassing of the filter.

I have to agree with @LTS on this one.  

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I know this has probably been talked about already, but unless Jack Eichel storms into Kevyn or TP or KP's office and said 'There is no way I will ever play another game for you ever again' I see ZERO reason to ever consider trading Jack Eichel. Most of not all of you know this but we all saw what a monster Jack was this year, and the best is still yet to come.

The Sabres would never, ever get real value for Jack, when you also consider the cap hit and term left on his deal. If a GM trades Eichel just to trade Eichel, he might as well resign on the spot. Franchise players are very rare and hard to come by. You keep that player at all costs. Figuring out the rest is 'easier' then finding players like Jack.

Here is to some big time lottery luck coming our way tomorrow night and we land in the Top 3: If the Sabres could ever land Alexis Lafrenière, Tim Stützle or Quinton Byfield, couple that with the excitement I and many have about Dylan Cozens, and now we are cooking with gas. On top of that Rasmus Dahlin is just scratching the surface, that would be an very strong Top 3-4 players to work with.

More realistically, if the Sabres pick from 7-9, there is still going to be a great opportunity to land a Top 6 forward: It will probably just take a little more time to see that payoff.

And I'm not including Sam Reinart (if he stays) and Skinner. I do feel Skinner was playing above himself with the 45 goal season, doubt anyone can bank on that ever showing itself again, but feel confident he can settle into that 25-35G range with the right #2 center. And Casey Mittlstadt, he is a wait and see approach.

UPL being what we think he can be as very critical as well.

The cupboard is far from bare folks.

Edited by Ruff Around The Edges
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12 minutes ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

Not to mention "NFW" is a deliberate bypassing of the filter.

I have to agree with @LTS on this one.  

Interesting, especially since you agreed with me on this up this very thread.

How did it go so wrong between us?

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On 6/24/2020 at 10:54 AM, nfreeman said:

Serious question:  do you think saying "there is NFW that XYZ happens" is the same as calling someone a fool or saying that something he/she said is stupid?

Depends on how you use it. If you told a valley girl 2+2=4 she would say “Like NFW”. In that case it’s used to express her own surprise at how dumb she is not how dumb someone else is. 

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13 hours ago, nfreeman said:

Interesting, especially since you agreed with me on this up this very thread.

How did it go so wrong between us?

Not really that interesting.  I admit that when you first posed the comparison I did agree that there was a difference.  After reading the reply of @LTS I thought there is another way to look at this and this actually makes more sense.  

I never really liked your use of NFW.

Your sarcasm shines on your last point and there is nothing wrong between us.

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16 hours ago, nfreeman said:

Interesting, especially since you agreed with me on this up this very thread.

How did it go so wrong between us?

For what it's worth.. I don't find any of them to be all that terrible.  But if the intention is to bring discourse up a notch, I think they are on equal footing with regards to not achieving the goal.

Overall I find dismissive language to be off-putting. It doesn't invite conversation.  If someone says something I'd like to think they had reasons for saying it, even if they didn't provide them.  I mean, except when its a clear case of trolling.

No big deal overall.

Also.. the core.  To me it's Eichel, Skinner, Reinhart, Dahlin, Ullmark, Okposo, and I hope Larsson.  Okposo is undoubtedly making more money than his role on the team but I don't see an argument for him not being well respected and a leader on the team.

 

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Larsson staying got a lot more likely with Nightengale and Adams making decisions. 

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1 minute ago, LGR4GM said:

Larsson staying got a lot more likely with Nightengale and Adams making decisions. 

To me, Larsson staying remains all about Larsson wanting to stay.

I just don’t see it.

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5 minutes ago, dudacek said:

To me, Larsson staying remains all about Larsson wanting to stay.

I just don’t see it.

On the downside you have never having been in the playoffs.

On the upside you have playing with Eichel & Dahlin - 2 true building blocks & you have the #1 PK forward cemented along with ALWAYS playing C.  If he buys Krueger's koolaid, he could be back.  The Sabres would be fools not to try to retain him.

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21 hours ago, Thorny said:

I feel a bit more confident expecting good things from Cozens than someone like Mittelstadt because of how strong his pre-draft and D1 stuff looks. And his style of gameplay. He's always looked fast to me, whereas Casey too me has always looked a little slower than I'd expect, hearing about how he's got "wheels". I'm sure more factors into that perception than pure straight line speed. 

I have however seen flashes from Casey to the point where I wouldn't be shocked if that gap (and space for potential improvement) @dudacek speaks of shows itself to be well utilized. 

Honeslty, I've seen eff all from Tage lol. Maybe I'm the only one. I saw a giraffe on skates. I'd be pleasantly surprised if he becomes an NHL player. I think it's a joke Botterill fancied him the best piece in the ROR deal and that obviously also colors my opinion and feeds a bias. 

Not that it means a heck of a lot but Tage looked a lot closer to Olofsson in Rochester than any prospect of recent memory.  Dominant.  

Mittlestadt looked like Nylander.  Thompson may never become much but if my life depending on one of these guys making it, Tage is gonna be my guy.  

I see the on ice desire and passion from Tage (wish he'd be more physical but I digress)

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Letter from Linus to fans 

 

One of the most difficult parts about being injured is being away from your teammates. You miss the camaraderie when the team is on the road and you are home rehabbing, and recovery can begin to feel like a marathon at times. 

I fell into that slump while I rehabbed following my injury this season. The interactions I had with fans during that time made a world of difference to me. 

It happened everywhere. I could be at the grocery store and people would come up to me, wishing me good luck with my rehab. If felt great to receive that sort of kindness during a stressful time. It goes to show how people go above and beyond to show they care in this town. 

That mentality has stuck out to me and my family ever since we came to Buffalo. I have never had a negative interaction with a fan. It could be out in public or after practice, I'm always struck by how genuine people are about the Sabres. They are 100-percent bought in. 

Sabres fans are authentic. I might talk to an older fan, and the conversation always comes back to the fact that they have loved this team since the '80s or since the franchise started. No matter what happened in a game the night before, the conversation always ends on a positive note.

At the end of every conversation, I walk away feeling like they care about Linus Ullmark the person, not the hockey player. I'm thankful for that.

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On 6/26/2020 at 12:12 PM, inkman said:

Not that it means a heck of a lot but Tage looked a lot closer to Olofsson in Rochester than any prospect of recent memory.  Dominant.  

Mittlestadt looked like Nylander.  Thompson may never become much but if my life depending on one of these guys making it, Tage is gonna be my guy.  

I see the on ice desire and passion from Tage (wish he'd be more physical but I digress)

You seem to watch a lot of Amerks games as well as Sabres games. So do you think it's time to give up on Casey? Can he still work himself into a second-line NHL winger or third-line center? He'll be 22 in November, has played 114 NHL games, and 36 AHL games. Give him 1 more year maybe?

 

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1 minute ago, ManyRasmusFewWins said:

You seem to watch a lot of Amerks games as well as Sabres games. So do you think it's time to give up on Casey? Can he still work himself into a second-line NHL winger or third-line center? He'll be 22 in November, has played 114 NHL games, and 36 AHL games. Give him 1 more year maybe?

 

I'd give him until the next trade deadline. If he hasn't shown improvement, trade him for someone else's project of a draft pick.  

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4 hours ago, ManyRasmusFewWins said:

You seem to watch a lot of Amerks games as well as Sabres games. So do you think it's time to give up on Casey? Can he still work himself into a second-line NHL winger or third-line center? He'll be 22 in November, has played 114 NHL games, and 36 AHL games. Give him 1 more year maybe?

 

I watch a lot of Amerks games. 
 

No, he doesn’t have it. Just my opinion based on what I’ve seen. 

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