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Report Sabres Considering Internal Salary Cap

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5 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Maybe. but maybe he was just Andy Bernard on the Office. A yes man who agreed to work for cheap and do whatever the owners wanted. This seems the more likely possibility but you never know, he might surprise. Wait for some evidence of that I guess.  

The bolded is definitely the case.  But, there is a LOT of latitude in that loaded phrase "do whatever the owners wanted."  And we have to hope that it means he'll be a post-budget cut Muckler who was forced to get rid of all his pets (pretty much purged all the Edmonton East over the hill gang & a bunch of others that still had mileage on the tread) but got useful players for pretty much the entire lot and kept the most valuable pieces of the core to put those other useful pieces around.  (Not his fault LaFontaine continued to get his bell rung.)

Adams clearly is/ will be working within constraints his 2 predecessors didn't have to work under.  But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It simply makes an already difficult job harder.  That the entire league will face constraints this year and almost definitely the following year as well mitigates that to a degree.

The smart money says he won't be successful, but if he can just get 2-4 moves right he will be.  He doesn't have to start from scratch like Murray was forced to and Botterill chose to.  Get the 2C right & get the GT fixed and the team is in the mix.  Maintain the checking C slot (either via Larsson or replacement) & ideally add either 1 more top 6 F or top 4 LHD and they become a dark horse.

The kids (not all, but a majority of: Cozens, Thompson, Kahun, Mittelstadt, Olofsson (not a kid, but still relatively inexperienced), Asplund & Jokiharju, Borgen, the other young D whose name escapes at present) need to step up to make this work; but that was the case regardless of who holds the title of GM.

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1 hour ago, Taro T said:

The bolded is definitely the case.  But, there is a LOT of latitude in that loaded phrase "do whatever the owners wanted."  And we have to hope that it means he'll be a post-budget cut Muckler who was forced to get rid of all his pets (pretty much purged all the Edmonton East over the hill gang & a bunch of others that still had mileage on the tread) but got useful players for pretty much the entire lot and kept the most valuable pieces of the core to put those other useful pieces around.  (Not his fault LaFontaine continued to get his bell rung.)

Adams clearly is/ will be working within constraints his 2 predecessors didn't have to work under.  But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It simply makes an already difficult job harder.  That the entire league will face constraints this year and almost definitely the following year as well mitigates that to a degree.

The smart money says he won't be successful, but if he can just get 2-4 moves right he will be.  He doesn't have to start from scratch like Murray was forced to and Botterill chose to.  Get the 2C right & get the GT fixed and the team is in the mix.  Maintain the checking C slot (either via Larsson or replacement) & ideally add either 1 more top 6 F or top 4 LHD and they become a dark horse.

The kids (not all, but a majority of: Cozens, Thompson, Kahun, Mittelstadt, Olofsson (not a kid, but still relatively inexperienced), Asplund & Jokiharju, Borgen, the other young D whose name escapes at present) need to step up to make this work; but that was the case regardless of who holds the title of GM.

Excellent post and analysis. 

There are a couple of your most cogent points that resonated with me. As you point out the conditions/restraints that will apply to the Sabres are the same conditions/restraints that will apply to most teams. And the second point that even under the tougher conditions what is essential is to get a few critical moves right. The necessity to get a few critical moves right is obvious and it is also doable. The organization has some surplus assets on the blue line and a high draft pick that can be parlayed to address some critical needs on the second line, most notably a credible 2C and maybe another winger. 

I'm not sure what you mean by getting the goaltending fixed because it appears that the organization is invested in Ullmark as their #1 tender and Hutton as the backup. That may be a gamble but that's where we are at. It may turn out that the most important player determining success or failure next season is the play of Ullmark. 

As I have said before whether the organization is lean or fat ultimately success is still going to be determined by the quality of the hockey decisions. And at least for the short term a leaner organization could be more nimble and creative when making those tough decisions. 

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1 hour ago, JohnC said:

Excellent post and analysis. 

There are a couple of your most cogent points that resonated with me. As you point out the conditions/restraints that will apply to the Sabres are the same conditions/restraints that will apply to most teams. And the second point that even under the tougher conditions what is essential is to get a few critical moves right. The necessity to get a few critical moves right is obvious and it is also doable. The organization has some surplus assets on the blue line and a high draft pick that can be parlayed to address some critical needs on the second line, most notably a credible 2C and maybe another winger. 

I'm not sure what you mean by getting the goaltending fixed because it appears that the organization is invested in Ullmark as their #1 tender and Hutton as the backup. That may be a gamble but that's where we are at. It may turn out that the most important player determining success or failure next season is the play of Ullmark. 

As I have said before whether the organization is lean or fat ultimately success is still going to be determined by the quality of the hockey decisions. And at least for the short term a leaner organization could be more nimble and creative when making those tough decisions. 

Thanks.

"Getting the GT fixed" might be as simple as having Hutton fully healthy, but that is a VERY risky proposal as he slumped badly both years in Buffalo after very good starts.  The base assumption should be that he'll follow a similar path.  Which means, even if Ullmark supplants him, they need another guy in the mix that can be the backup in a pinch (and by backup, that means an EFFECTIVE backup) especially when the schedule is likely to be compressed.

IMHO, we need to see at least one Jake Allen quality (or better) guy brought in.  And if somebody decides to waiver claim the 3rd guy coming out of camp, so be it.  Doubt anybody would claim Hutton & if he beats out the new guy, nobody'll snag him either.

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5 hours ago, Taro T said:

  Get the 2C right & get the GT fixed and the team is in the mix.  Maintain the checking C slot (either via Larsson or replacement) & ideally add either 1 more top 6 F or top 4 LHD and they become a dark horse.

The kids (not all, but a majority of: Cozens, Thompson, Kahun, Mittelstadt, Olofsson (not a kid, but still relatively inexperienced), Asplund & Jokiharju, Borgen, the other young D whose name escapes at present) need to step up to make this work; but that was the case regardless of who holds the title of GM.

The kids definitely. That's always the case and nothing new there. Good teams draft well and take leaps forward when a bunch of kids mature at the same time. The downside of that is to make cost cutting easy I think they will rush too many kids (with cheap contracts) into the line up ready or not. 

As far as the GT goes there are goalies available so maybe but the 2C? I just don't see it happening without a big trade but that's been discussed in another thread already. 

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5 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

 I just don't see it happening without a big trade

This didn't age well.

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I know it's not my money, but most of the league is going to be looking to shed salary this year. This isn't the year to go cheap on us. This is the year to plunk your wallet on the table and get some talent at a discount. Use the current situation to hold down your rfa deals, maybe pick up a top shelf ufa on a one year deal who didn't get the money they expected in the market. Take a quality salary dump or two with assets tacked on to make it worth your while. That kind of stuff. This isn't the year to quibble about 5 million dollars.

If you can make a good deal or two or three you better damned well do it and I don't want to hear a word about an internal cap. 

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I like the idea of an internal cap for this season. I thought about it a lot and we "think" the cap will go up again after 1 season or at least stay where it is but what if it needs to go down a couple million bucks? If the real number is 75 million in salary that is a little worrisome but if it is 75mil in cap, I care less because I think that just gives us some maneuverability in uncertain times. 

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FWIW, on KA's media call yesterday (which is in the vault on WGR), Hammy asked him about the internal question.  KA kinda dodged the question as to whether he would spend to the cap, but he emphasized that TP's continued and unchanged directive to KA is to build a cup contender, and that TP will provide whatever resources are needed.  KA also said that he plans to build a roster that retains some flexibility.

So, my takeaway is that they probably won't spend to the cap this summer, but won't kneecap themselves either, and if they look like a real team at the deadline, KA has the freedom to add payroll.

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12 hours ago, Let's Go B-Lo said:

I know it's not my money, but most of the league is going to be looking to shed salary this year. This isn't the year to go cheap on us. This is the year to plunk your wallet on the table and get some talent at a discount. Use the current situation to hold down your rfa deals, maybe pick up a top shelf ufa on a one year deal who didn't get the money they expected in the market. Take a quality salary dump or two with assets tacked on to make it worth your while. That kind of stuff. This isn't the year to quibble about 5 million dollars.

If you can make a good deal or two or three you better damned well do it and I don't want to hear a word about an internal cap.

The internal cap is a reality for the Sabres as well as it is a reality for most teams. Many teams have had this fiscal restraint before the Covid era and will continue to have this fiscal restraint after the Covid era. You don't think that teams such as Carolina or Jersey have already been subjected to this fiscal discipline for years? The cap that Arizona has been subjected to since its entrance into the league has been markedly more onerous than what most teams have been subjected to. When Golisano bought the team out of bankruptcy the first thing he did is clean up the books and establish a hard budget that the hockey people had to adhere to. 

What I'm saying here is that although the hockey financial environment has become more restrictive for almost all teams that doesn't mean that a smart and well run organization can't make smart deals and upgrade the talent base. This recent Staal deal is an example of that. The GM traded a more costly player who was who was playing out of position for a player who is less costly and playing his true position that at least for the short term fills a position of great need. This is a good example of smart financial analytics and performance analytics. What we need is more of that this offseason. 

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12 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

FWIW, on KA's media call yesterday (which is in the vault on WGR), Hammy asked him about the internal question.  KA kinda dodged the question as to whether he would spend to the cap, but he emphasized that TP's continued and unchanged directive to KA is to build a cup contender, and that TP will provide whatever resources are needed.  KA also said that he plans to build a roster that retains some flexibility.

So, my takeaway is that they probably won't spend to the cap this summer, but won't kneecap themselves either, and if they look like a real team at the deadline, KA has the freedom to add payroll.

That adds credence to the view of several of us that the Sabres will likely spend to ~$75MM rather than the "pittance" of $70-72MM.

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34 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

FWIW, on KA's media call yesterday (which is in the vault on WGR), Hammy asked him about the internal question.  KA kinda dodged the question as to whether he would spend to the cap, but he emphasized that TP's continued and unchanged directive to KA is to build a cup contender, and that TP will provide whatever resources are needed.  KA also said that he plans to build a roster that retains some flexibility.

So, my takeaway is that they probably won't spend to the cap this summer, but won't kneecap themselves either, and if they look like a real team at the deadline, KA has the freedom to add payroll.

So no internal cap?

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20 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

So no internal cap?

Maintaining flexibility implies an internal cap.

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22 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

So no internal cap?

Well, KA didn't say anything more specific on this than what I posted upthread, but my guess is that TP wants to see, and KA wants to deliver, a payroll entering the season in the $75MM range -- both to reduce the financial bleeding and to avoid being locked into yet another overpaid, underperforming roster.  I also would guess, as I said upthread, that if the team doesn't poop the bed after New Year's yet again, and KA wants to add a good player at the deadline, that TP will be fine with it.

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