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LGR4GM

Casey Mittelstadt, what should we make of him

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What should we make of him?  A trade package, that's what.

Seriously, I still think the jury is officially OUT on him for a bit longer, but it doesn't look good.

If he was going to pan out, his career would not look the way it currently does.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Ducky said:

Roslovic for Casey?

 

Absolutely.  Do you really think the Jets would do that?

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2 hours ago, Broken Ankles said:

Who’s to say Larsson wouldn’t have been a bust if he stayed in Minnesota?

You’re a big Boston organization guy correct?  Tell me how they are developing players so much better than the Sabres? Not drafting well, developing well.  They’re top flight players like Pasta, Hamilton, Carlo and McAvoy, had Zero to minimal time in the minors just like many of the Sabres i.e. Reinhart, Eichel, Risto and Dahlin.  I just don’t see a slew of players “developed” in Providence.  In the last 12 years they have....Spooner, Grzelcyz, and Heinen?  If we go back 12 years you can add Marcus and Pysyk to the previous list for the Sabres.   The best and most complementary thing I can say about their GMs is they convinced all those players and Donato to stay in college.  And I give less credit for that in terms of development.  I give more to the individual coaching staffs at these universities.  Bringing this back to Casey, it seems in hindsight he would have been better served staying all four years at U of M to develop physically and more so mentally.

Not following them too closely I can't speak in depth on Boston other than to say they all seem to want to be there, many take hometown discounts, they all try hard, they all pull in the same direction. The culture is strong, the team is strong, they get the most out of what they have. How exactly they do it I have no idea, hence why i say we should hire a Boston guy as our guy and let him bring it here. 

Look at Vancouver. Their run and character seems to be now building the same way. Boston guy in charge. Right now, wouldn't you rather we had that other 50 year old team as ours?

I will say one thing for sure about Boston. They have nights to honour their veteran stars and they spell their alumni names right.Maybe it's that simple? 

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6 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

It was not. The rebuild was bad because of poor decisions both from Murray and Botterill. 

The problem rests with over a decade of poor and stupid draft decisions ranging from trading a first for Lehner instead of getting Boeser to drafting Johnson instead of Kaliyev et al. 

If this team could find even 1 player per draft outside of round 1, they would be a much better team regardless of the tank. They. DO. NOT. DRAFT. WELL.

We disagree on many things as you know (especially stats and analytics) but on this point 100% dead on agreement. It's always hard to tell as a fan if failures were poorly developed or just never had it, but it doesn't really matter, we traded away too many good picks and we squandered many of the ones we had with poor choices. Bad drafting, simple as that. 

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3 hours ago, Weave said:

Ugh.  The Tank was a strategic decision.  The rebuild was a succession of tactical decisions.  But they are very much linked.  Tactics require strategic guidance.  The strategic decision in 1941 of a 2 front war determined the tactical decisions that followed.  They were NOT separatable events.  And neither are the Sabres tank and rebuild, for the same reason.

The Tank years of '13-14 and '14-15 required the team to to make the strategic decision to decimate the roster at all levels.  There was no way to ensure at least a top 2 pick in those years without decimating the roster.  It was absolutely required to guarantee a last place finish.  The depth of the roster destruction was such that only perfect tactical decisions and a modicum of luck would result in a successful rebuild.  It was an unrealistic task even for the absolute best GM's.  Given flawed, rookie GM's and the totality of the rebuild required, (another failed tactical decision) it was inevitable that the rebuild would fail.  And it was linked DIRECTLY to the decision to tank.

Let's not forget that Tank fanboi teams Pittsburgh and Chicago did NOT tear down their teams.  They had a base of NHL caliber players to build from, not a collection of never was.  And that is because those two teams didn't tank.  They were bad teams, for sure, but they never sold off the organization so they had a foundation to plant elite talent on top of.

Buffalo GMs plan post  tank....

george w bush strategy GIF

1 hour ago, PerreaultForever said:

Right now, wouldn't you rather we had that other 50 year old team as ours?

Uh-yeahhhh. 

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The Sabres really have been an overall planning, strategic, tactical, and analytical failure in myriad ways for multiple years.  Here's my 1/50 of a dollar.

I was philosophically opposed to The Tank.  It is one thing to rebuild and accept a couple of down years, as long as you acquire your next generation of players in large enough quantity that you can afford the odd miss, the losses due to injury, the learning curves, and the like while filling the NHL team with high character veterans who will take pride in teaching the youth.  (Think the 1995-6 Buffalo Sabres.) It is quite another to underman the team with Benoit, Meszaros, and Strachan and then undermine it by trading away players who cause, heaven forfend, wins.  That makes the team a joke internally to the veterans you brought in.  The youth who make the team (Girgensons, Larsson, Grigorenko) may be permanently stained by this stink and may never recover until they leave.  I consider this a broad strategic and tactical failure.

Even if I am correct, this is not fatal if your planning and execution afterward are solid.  Once you have made the decision to rebuild, you should plan on their being a lot of youth.  You can't hire a youth-averse coach like Dan Bylsma.  When you have a lot of high-end skill, you should not get a coach whose system de-emphasises possession like Dan Bylsma's.  And, with an all-out tank, you have so little talent in the system that you need to husband all your draft picks and other resources so that you can tolerate injuries, the odd bust, etc. and not spend them on players I like in ROR and Kane until they can put you into the playoffs.  Nor can you spend assets like a misbegotten youth just because you can.  Moreover, as defence takes longer to develop, you need to field complete defences to help the youth break in more gradually.  On all these points, Murray failed.

But just because you make a commitment to a modern system does not mean that the previous regime's evaluations were useless; it just means that you need to take it with a grain of salt.  In any event, there is still no excuse for failing to have 4 lines of actual NHL-quality players in the NHL 3 years running.  You can't be behind the 8-ball on goaltending ever.  And whatever you do, you can't trade away proven players for scraps, no matter how you and/or your owner feel.  It would also have been nice to not force your coach to have 4 of the bottom 10 Corsi forwards in the league on the roster at once.  And when he manages to win anyway nd then keep the team in playoff contention for months, you can't undermine the team by failing to use your assets to fill in the gaping hole you yourself had created at 2C.  So Botterill failed across-the-board.

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I know how others view the ineptitude of this franchise , the reason for the sad sackism 😳can be explained dozens of different ways. And has been. For me it all comes down to ownership. And ***** runs downhill. And most of the decisions ownership makes continue to be questionable. The list is long. Many of the people they hire are in way over their heads. Rarely do the successful franchises make these same fundamental mistakes. Whats worse is they never seem to learn from said mistakes and somehow pass the buck when its time for accountability. And then they do it again. Its maddening. Anyways rant over. 

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5 hours ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

Absolutely.  Do you really think the Jets would do that?

I would...Scheif was drafted 7th and didn't play with the Jets until 2013-2014 and we could have used a center.

Roslo is a RWer and he is in the same boat as Armia was...he isn't going to beat out Wheeler or Laine. 

He's done well when moved up to the top 6 wing spot when there has been injuries but he is no a 1C or 2C. He played on a line with AM and Tkachuk before they were drafted so he has played aand showed well with better players (he's fast) but he isn't a line driver and won't get a chance in the top 5 here unless there is an injury.

I'd do the trade straight up. Some Jets' fans would crucify me though!

Edited by Ducky
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2 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Not following them too closely I can't speak in depth on Boston other than to say they all seem to want to be there, many take hometown discounts, they all try hard, they all pull in the same direction. The culture is strong, the team is strong, they get the most out of what they have. How exactly they do it I have no idea, hence why i say we should hire a Boston guy as our guy and let him bring it here. 

Look at Vancouver. Their run and character seems to be now building the same way. Boston guy in charge. Right now, wouldn't you rather we had that other 50 year old team as ours?

I will say one thing for sure about Boston. They have nights to honour their veteran stars and they spell their alumni names right.Maybe it's that simple? 

Well, the Bruins are indeed a good organization, but it should be noted that Edmonton tried hiring their GM and he crashed and burned there, leaving McD's teams to this point in his career only marginally more successful than the Sabres have been.

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1 hour ago, Marvin, Sabres Fan said:

It is one thing to rebuild and accept a couple of down years, as long as you acquire your next generation of players in large enough quantity that you can afford the odd miss, the losses due to injury, the learning curves, and the like while filling the NHL team with high character veterans who will take pride in teaching the youth. 

This is the fundamental dichotomy that made the Tank a near certainty to require 7+ years to recover the damage.  Everyone recognizes that you need to stream a supply of high level prospects to build the talent level back up.  But you also need to fill the team with veterans that can capably play and create a positive developmental environment.  The dichotomy is because both of those items require assets to obtain, and every asset you spend on prospects is a veteran who isn't on the team.  You cannot have both.  To his credit, Murray recognized this and went after Gionta, Moulson, Kane, Bogozian, ROR, etc.  And even then, a GM that gets pilloried around here for trading futures for now still ended up filling out the team with nobodies.  And he had no choice but to fill the team with nobodies.  There were no more assets to acquire somebodies.  This is how we end up with situations like Girgensons at 1C, Mittlestadt and Berglund at 2C, or Taylor Fedun or Justin Falk on the team at all.

So, if we overcorrect and focus our assets solely on draft picks we likely have a team that was even worse than what it has been over the last 5 seasons, but lots of youth.  And unfortunately they all would have been in worst case scenario situations for their development, too much reliance on them at too young an age and no veteran leadership.  And if we move even more assets for vets instead then our prospect pool is even shallower than it is now, but maybe the development environment is better for the few that prospects that we do retain.

This situation was a close to no win as it gets, tank and rebuild.  Strategic and tactical.

 

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4 hours ago, nfreeman said:

Well, the Bruins are indeed a good organization, but it should be noted that Edmonton tried hiring their GM and he crashed and burned there, leaving McD's teams to this point in his career only marginally more successful than the Sabres have been.

One small difference there. That was a Bruins GM who was fired because, although he helped create a good team, totally screwed up their salary cap. Doubled down on Lucic no less. A guy who the Bruins fire isn't quite the same as a guy moving up their organization and looking for advancement. 

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On 9/6/2020 at 1:36 PM, SwampD said:

Something isn’t right with this.

How many players on that list that have established as good NHL players did Casey have comparable numbers to? 1? Tuch?

Zegras is in trouble as a prospect too, it doesn't mean anything that Casey's numbers are comparable.

Edited by Thorny

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On 9/6/2020 at 2:57 PM, rakish said:

regarding Connor, his 1.87 pts per game is fairly close to Eichel's 1.78, though Eichel was a full year younger. Connor, even more than Eichel, was playing with a handful of future NHL players.

If you don't all delete this thread before Liger shows up, that's on you.

Ya, Eichel's season was definitely the more impressive between the two. I've heard the opposite argued far too often where I live. 

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11 minutes ago, Thorny said:

How many players on that list that have established as good NHL players did Casey have comparable numbers to? 1? Tuch?

Zegras is in trouble as a prospect too, it doesn't mean anything that Casey's numbers are comparable.

Wait a minute. If Casey's college numbers were a red flag, then all of these numbers mean something.

Are you are saying that Zegras and Turcotte and Farabee and Norris are likely not going to make it, or that his Minnesota numbers (compiled on a mediocre team with no help) are meaningless?

(Schmaltz is certainly an NHL player: averaging about 50 points per 80 games played)

Edited by dudacek

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On 9/7/2020 at 12:14 AM, PerreaultForever said:

I think it safe to say you can always name one success and one failure and so on but overall, in terms of aggregate numbers, we have either drafted poorly or developed poorly or more likely both. A decade of futility proves it. Several times we are supposed to have had a full cupboard of prospects and not many of them amounted to anything. Now, despite the failure, the cupboard is considered fairly empty.

JBot's hand was only forced (in all instances) because the team allows it, the culture allows it. The ill planned desperation rather than following a proper building plan. There are also no consequences in this organization for bad behaviour, be it fortnite playing or partying or whatever. No leadership, no accountability, it's a losing culture. Having grown up on a Sabres team in the 70s that was very different from that in all ways its very very frustrating. 

As for the successes, 2 of those blossomed outside this organization and who's to say Larsson (a very average player) wouldn't have been better developed elsewhere? Ullmark, I give you that cause they kept him in the minors so he might be ok. Not convinced he's a #1 or will ever be consistent, but it's possible. Borgen etc, well lets talk about them when they make the NHL. 

We tanked, but also traded away draft picks and players like Armia. The tank was ok, the rebuild was rushed and flawed.

Which had a very high likelihood of happening considering the amount of significant holes a tank creates, by design. 

Yes, the rebuild failed, but we can't keep ignoring a big part of the reason it did is because THAT particular move had a high degree of difficulty to pull off.

Edited by Thorny

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5 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Wait a minute. If Casey's college numbers were a red flag, then all of these numbers mean something.

Are you are saying that Zegras and Turcotte and Farabee and Norris are likely not going to make it, or that his Minnesota numbers (compiled on a mediocre team with no help) are meaningless?

(Schmaltz is certainly an NHL player: averaging about 50 points per 80 games played)

Wasn't sure about Schmaltz, thanks. 

Yes, the numbers are meaningless, in the sense that I don't care how Casey's numbers compare to other prospects that haven't amounted to anything - his numbers don't compare favourably to established NHL players who reached the first line projection Casey was annointed with as the "best prospect outside the NHL" above even Pettersson.

Is the fact that he compares to Zegras supposed to mean anything? I haven't argued Casey was a bad pick, or that he can't be a serviceable NHLer. 

The argument has always been that his numbers were a disappointment relative to inflated expectations and you are distorting that. 

Edited by Thorny

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11 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Wasn't sure about Schmaltz, thanks. 

Yes, the numbers are meaningless, in the sense that I don't care how Casey's numbers compare to other prospects that haven't amounted to anything - his numbers don't compare favourably to established NHL players who reached the first line projection Casey was annointed with as the "best prospect outside the NHL" above even Pettersson.

Is the fact that he compares to Zegras supposed to mean anything? I haven't argued Casey was a bad pick, or that he can't be a serviceable NHLer. 

The argument has always been that his numbers were a disappointment relative to inflated expectations and you are distorting that. 

Well that may be your argument...😜

My argument has been that Casey is a disappointment relative to his hype, but that his performance to date doesn't rule out him becoming a useful, or even good, NHL player.

It is in response to the many on here have already declared him a bust. I don't think those numbers are meaningless Nearly a point a game is a very respectable total for a first-year college player, but not one who is supposed to be "special."

Edited by dudacek

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13 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Well that may be your argument...😜

My argument has been that Casey is a disappointment relative to his hype, but that his performance to date doesn't rule out him becoming a useful, or even good, NHL player.

It — and those numbers, which I don't think are meaningless — is in response to the many on here have already declared him a bust. Nearly a point a game is a very respectable total for a first-year college player, but not one who is supposed to be "special."

I agree with all this.

Edited by Thorny

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On 9/7/2020 at 11:52 AM, Weave said:

Ugh.  The Tank was a strategic decision.  The rebuild was a succession of tactical decisions.  But they are very much linked.  Tactics require strategic guidance.  The strategic decision in 1941 of a 2 front war determined the tactical decisions that followed.  They were NOT separatable events.  And neither are the Sabres tank and rebuild, for the same reason.

The Tank years of '13-14 and '14-15 required the team to to make the strategic decision to decimate the roster at all levels.  There was no way to ensure at least a top 2 pick in those years without decimating the roster.  It was absolutely required to guarantee a last place finish.  The depth of the roster destruction was such that only perfect tactical decisions and a modicum of luck would result in a successful rebuild.  It was an unrealistic task even for the absolute best GM's.  Given flawed, rookie GM's and the totality of the rebuild required, (another failed tactical decision) it was inevitable that the rebuild would fail.  And it was linked DIRECTLY to the decision to tank.

Let's not forget that Tank fanboi teams Pittsburgh and Chicago did NOT tear down their teams.  They had a base of NHL caliber players to build from, not a collection of never was.  And that is because those two teams didn't tank.  They were bad teams, for sure, but they never sold off the organization so they had a foundation to plant elite talent on top of.

You already said it better. 

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5 hours ago, Thorny said:

Which had a very high likelihood of happening considering the amount of significant holes a tank creates, by design. 

Yes, the rebuild failed, but we can't keep ignoring a big part of the reason it did is because THAT particular move had a high degree of difficulty to pull off.

The problem to me with the tank is the timeline or length of the plan. I don't know if Murray was arrogant and impatient or if he was rushed by ownership, but whichever it was, that's the problem. You can't tank AND at the same time dump your draft picks and attempt some sort of instant rebuild (which is what Murray attempted). You get your superstar with the tank, but you also have to keep all those #1 and #2 picks to fill out a young roster in the form you envision it. If they'd held onto the picks and used them wisely think of all the talent we'd have? It's a lot.   One superstar draft pick and a couple big name vets does not a team make.

Compare our tank to Ottawa. There's wasn't really a tank, but they did end up gutting that roster. Loaded up on draft picks though and I wouldn't be surprised if they finish ahead of us this year. Maybe it takes another couple years, but they look to be on the right track. 

You just shouldn't trade away first round picks. drafting wisely and frequently is how you build a good franchise. It's really not rocket science. It's always been the same and it's even more important than ever in a free agency + cap league since rookie contracts are so comparatively cheap. It's really the only way. 

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