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Theory: The Sabres are Buying Goals


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4 minutes ago, I-90 W said:

Sorry I wasn’t trying to be snarky to you I thought you were joking/ poking fun of that sheet. 

No.  The screenshot of that paper is from the office wall in that “Embedded “ episode.  I’m sure that they take it very seriously.

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On 10/17/2020 at 9:09 AM, Leaf Blower said:

So, in theory, we've purchased all these goals.

Inquiring minds want to know the exchange rate whence we play in the Canadian division.

 

.2 about what it always is...

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1 hour ago, Curt said:

Capfriendly isn’t a depth chart.  It just lists the players under contract in order of AAV.

No but it does provide position data. As of right now we have 3 LHDs - Dahlin, McCabe and Davidson and 5 RHD - Risto, Montour, Jokiharju, Miller and Irwin.  That’s your depth chart.  If the season started today odds are that one of Miller Montour or Jokiharju would be moved to the other side.  That experiment had limited success with Montour last season and I don’t want to repeat it. 

The solution is, as I stated before is move one of your 3 well paid RHD and get, in the same or separate deal(s), a LHD.  Hopefully saving some cap in the process.

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19 hours ago, Broken Ankles said:

Except this years Western conference champions, Dallas.  Only two teams in the entire league scored less, and one was Detroit.  And they played almost the entire playoffs with a backup goalie.  Better than most teams # 2, but average nonetheless.  The point is there are many ways to achieve success.  Not just scoring, not just a dominant goaltender, not just speed, Not just strength, etc. 

Dallas ranked 26th in goals for. They were 2nd in goals against. The Sabres don't believe they can upgrade their goaltending to reach that split so they decided to fix the goals for side of the equation. Sure there are many ways, I am just theorizing the Sabres way under this GM. 

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44 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

No but it does provide position data. As of right now we have 3 LHDs - Dahlin, McCabe and Davidson and 5 RHD - Risto, Montour, Jokiharju, Miller and Irwin.  That’s your depth chart.  If the season started today odds are that one of Miller Montour or Jokiharju would be moved to the other side.  That experiment had limited success with Montour last season and I don’t want to repeat it. 

The solution is, as I stated before is move one of your 3 well paid RHD and get, in the same or separate deal(s), a LHD.  Hopefully saving some cap in the process.

You are right that moving at least one of our well paid RHD is a good response in saving cap space and rebalancing the unit. But the stringent financial environment for the Sabres is the same for most teams. Even the Leafs are shedding more talented and costly players in order to contend with their cap challenges and priority of maintaining the elite core. Montour is on a one year deal that leads him to UFA next year. Because of his contract status his value on the market doesn't come close to matching his talent level. What's the value of Miller? Because he didn't get much playing time under Krueger and with the size of his contract his value has been severely diminished. (If Miller plays on a regular basis his contract is reasonable but if he regularly sits as he did last year then his contract is a drag.)

The issue comes down to are you willing to keep a player like Montour and play him or another defenseman on his offhand side or move the player for much less than value? I'm starting to lean toward keeping your imbalanced players and work out it as best you can. With a compressed schedule where injuries lead to more missed games what you believe to be an overloaded unit can quickly become a depleted unit. 

 

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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

No but it does provide position data. As of right now we have 3 LHDs - Dahlin, McCabe and Davidson and 5 RHD - Risto, Montour, Jokiharju, Miller and Irwin.  That’s your depth chart.  If the season started today odds are that one of Miller Montour or Jokiharju would be moved to the other side.  That experiment had limited success with Montour last season and I don’t want to repeat it. 

The solution is, as I stated before is move one of your 3 well paid RHD and get, in the same or separate deal(s), a LHD.  Hopefully saving some cap in the process.

Ohh!  Interesting that Irwin is listed as a RD.  He shoots left and I think he is described as a LD other places.

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3 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

 

The solution is, as I stated before is move one of your 3 well paid RHD and get, in the same or separate deal(s), a LHD.  Hopefully saving some cap in the process.

Here is the problem. NOBODY really wants anyone that is already well paid.  Reading a few message board from other teams..and the biggest topic on most of them is what players on those teams that are highly paid can be traded to someone else who wants them.

Listen to 590 out of Toronto..and multiple times per day...the hosts and 'experts' talk about how the leafs need to unload salary and move players who are making money.

More so this year than any I can remember..MORE teams want to move those $3-$5 million dollar players off their roster...there is little demand for them and a LOT of supply.

I'm not saying to not even try....but the reality is, if someone is on your payroll now for more than $3 per year...it is likely you are stuck with them until their contract runs out...there will be very little moving of those mid-tier contracts.

 

Maybe the Sabres and Adams have the right idea now...load up on 'usable' players making the league minimum....if those guys have any NHL talent....they might be the ones who have more trade value at the deadline to fill in other teams injury holes than your 'better' players making $4 million.

A contending team might actually give you a better draft pick for a $700,00 per year depth guy (13th forward, 7th d-man) than they will for a better player making a ton more money.

Edited by mjd1001
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Yep, I think the best we can hope for on the blueline is a straight hockey trade: an RHD for a LHD at a similar contract.

 

44 minutes ago, mjd1001 said:

Here is the problem. NOBODY really wants anyone that is already well paid.  Reading a few message board from other teams..and the biggest topic on most of them is what players on those teams that are highly paid can be traded to someone else who wants them.

Listen to 590 out of Toronto..and multiple times per day...the hosts and 'experts' talk about how the leafs need to unload salary and move players who are making money.

More so this year than any I can remember..MORE teams want to move those $3-$5 million dollar players off their roster...there is little demand for them and a LOT of supply.

I'm not saying to not even try....but the reality is, if someone is on your payroll now for more than $3 per year...it is likely you are stuck with them until their contract runs out...there will be very little moving of those mid-tier contracts.

 

Maybe the Sabres and Adams have the right idea now...load up on 'usable' players making the league minimum....if those guys have any NHL talent....they might be the ones who have more trade value at the deadline to fill in other teams injury holes than your 'better' players making $4 million.

A contending team might actually give you a better draft pick for a $700,00 per year depth guy (13th forward, 7th d-man) than they will for a better player making a ton more money.

 

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6 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Dallas ranked 26th in goals for. They were 2nd in goals against. The Sabres don't believe they can upgrade their goaltending to reach that split so they decided to fix the goals for side of the equation. Sure there are many ways, I am just theorizing the Sabres way under this GM. 

I'm not saying your theory of trying to improve GF is inaccurate.  I obviously think KA is trying to improve other area's (like PK) with his trades/UFA signings but yes 'goals for' was lacking and he brought in players who should elevate last years goals per game.  I'm also still optimistic they can correct the GA problem as the same time   I think one of the ARI goalies and possibly more moves on D can improve GA. 

2018 - Sabres  ranked 24 in both GF/GA.   Last year, improvement to rank 21 GF/20 GA, however their differential was bad.  Not surprising the lowest 7 in differential missed the playoffs.  So yes they need to jump into the upper half of GF if they plan to make the playoffs (not a modified version).  

1876212445_goaldiff.thumb.png.3783aec0d9f5ebc3382665518d492a39.png

The only thing I will disagree on is the contention that Dallas was 26th in GF.  Third last is 29th.  

Capture.thumb.JPG.966ec4f41c939ade8a69a3707f968b44.JPG

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14 hours ago, dudacek said:

Interesting. Irwin is the guy our management team has referred to in post free agency interviews. Looks like they will be in competition, along with Borgen for the 7D slot.

Davidson is 29 and has played 174 NHL games, 12 last year and never more than 51 in a season. Last year was the first time he's played in the minors since 2015.

Irwin is 32 and has played 359 NHL games, 36 last year and hasn't played in the minors since 2016.

Last I checked, Cap Friendly doesn't determine the Sabres line combos, either. 

6 hours ago, Curt said:

Ohh!  Interesting that Irwin is listed as a RD.  He shoots left and I think he is described as a LD other places.

Cause he's a Left D. And Davidson plays the right. 

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7 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

No but it does provide position data. As of right now we have 3 LHDs - Dahlin, McCabe and Davidson and 5 RHD - Risto, Montour, Jokiharju, Miller and Irwin.  That’s your depth chart.  If the season started today odds are that one of Miller Montour or Jokiharju would be moved to the other side.  That experiment had limited success with Montour last season and I don’t want to repeat it. 

The solution is, as I stated before is move one of your 3 well paid RHD and get, in the same or separate deal(s), a LHD.  Hopefully saving some cap in the process.

Goaltender a bigger priority. We'll need to move a RHD to get/make room for a goalie, after that they can look to add a LHD, but the imbalance won't really be there anymore if we move a RHD in pursuit of a goalie. 

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17 hours ago, Thorny said:

I'm glad you mentioned career highs, cause that's exactly what Botterill continuously banked on. A problem compounded by the fact he asked it of players in combination with them being required to succeed in a role beyond what they've shown themselves capable. 

He banked on Johansson to match his career high, and did so while asking him to play a position he hadn't consistently in years. In this way what we are asking of Eakin is different. We are asking Staal to be what he was last year, rather than what he did at his best. 

And that reasonable ask fulfills a big need. 

No excuse to not upgrade in net, I agree. Or risk torpedoing the season. 

 

16 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

He wasn't asking moJo to match career highs, he was asking MoJo to play out of position.  Had he got 40 pts out of MoJo he'd have been happy.  He was asking both Sheary and Vesey to produce similar to their seasons prior 15-20 goals and 35 pts.  None of it happened and that is why he's gone.  KA is asking Hall to rebound like Skinner did his first season here and asking a 36 year old center to have one more 40+ pt season in the tank.  He is also asking Eakin to rebound to being a 30-35 pt guy.  Honestly he is asking alot.  The good news here is that Eakin and Staal are being asked to play their natural positions and the ask isn't unreasonable.   He is also asking Staal to re-ignite Skinner.  

Honestly this could all go up in flames just as it did to Jbot.  That said, I'm more optimistic then I've been in a while.  I'd like to see 4 more moves.  An upgrade to Hutton, the move of one of Risto, Montour or Miller, an upgrade of Davidson as the 3rd LHD and a flyer on a young versatile forward like Galchenyuk, Kahun or some other bargain out there.

I'd start by trading Hutton for Raanta straight up (cap cost 1.75).  I'd then trade Risto to Philly for Robert Hagg and other assets (Cap savings - 3.8) and then I'd sign Kahun for 1.5.  

So, we agree, in terms of the biggest spot on the roster Botterill had to fill, Adams approach is significantly different from Botterill's cause Adams is asking Staal to do WHAT HE DID THE PREVIOUS YEAR, whereas Botterill was asking Johansson to do something (position being the biggest part) he hadn't done in several years. 

There's a massive difference there. 

16 hours ago, Curt said:

But Johansson was on pace for 40 points over a full season and Sheary did produce similar to the year before he arrived, in 18-19 at least.  Also, isn’t Irwin the 3LD, not Davidson?

 

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4 hours ago, mjd1001 said:

Here is the problem. NOBODY really wants anyone that is already well paid.  Reading a few message board from other teams..and the biggest topic on most of them is what players on those teams that are highly paid can be traded to someone else who wants them.

Listen to 590 out of Toronto..and multiple times per day...the hosts and 'experts' talk about how the leafs need to unload salary and move players who are making money.

More so this year than any I can remember..MORE teams want to move those $3-$5 million dollar players off their roster...there is little demand for them and a LOT of supply.

I'm not saying to not even try....but the reality is, if someone is on your payroll now for more than $3 per year...it is likely you are stuck with them until their contract runs out...there will be very little moving of those mid-tier contracts.

 

Maybe the Sabres and Adams have the right idea now...load up on 'usable' players making the league minimum....if those guys have any NHL talent....they might be the ones who have more trade value at the deadline to fill in other teams injury holes than your 'better' players making $4 million.

A contending team might actually give you a better draft pick for a $700,00 per year depth guy (13th forward, 7th d-man) than they will for a better player making a ton more money.

I'd rather not think about being in a sell-off position again. 

4 hours ago, dudacek said:

Yep, I think the best we can hope for on the blueline is a straight hockey trade: an RHD for a LHD at a similar contract.

 

 

Be tough to upgrade in goal if we fire our last real bullet on that swap

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I think the theory our brass is running with is the system Ralph ran with last year has/will largely addressed the team’s 2018-19 defensive shortcomings and the expected goal charts seem to support that.

But the offensive shortcomings have been based largely on talent.

In theory, Thompson and Cozens replace the prorated 25 goals we got from Vesey and Sheary, while Hall, Staal, and Eakin for Johansson, RodrIgues/Mittelstadt and Larsson will jack our offence by 30-40 goals. And they’re probably counting on an additional 10 from Skinner.

In theory, having Linus Ullmark level-goaltending for all 82 games would shave off about 15-20 goals against over the season.

Edited by dudacek
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28 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I think the theory our brass is running with is the system Ralph ran with last year has/will largely addressed the team’s 2018-19 defensive shortcomings and the expected goal charts seem to support that.

But the offensive shortcomings have been based largely on talent.

In theory, Thompson and Cozens replace the prorated 25 goals we got from Vesey and Sheary, while Hall, Staal, and Eakin for Johansson, RodrIgues/Mittelstadt and Larsson will jack our offence by 30-40 goals. And they’re probably counting on an additional 10 from Skinner.

In theory, having Linus Ullmark level-goaltending for all 82 games would shave off about 15-20 goals against over the season.

Agree with all, and as for the goaltending, it definitely does seem like their vision can be potentially successful without any real change to the D core, for the reasons you stated, PROVIDED they upgrade in net. The addition, at once: makes the roster vision/re-mold quite sound, and, sets itself up as an unavoidable move to make considering the path they've chosen. 

Talking about moves they must make gets me nervous, when we've said such things about 2C and navigating the RHD surplus before, but we've got a different guy at the helm now. 

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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

Agree with all, and as for the goaltending, it definitely does seem like their vision can be potentially successful without any real change to the D core, for the reasons you stated, PROVIDED they upgrade in net. The addition, at once: makes the roster vision/re-mold quite sound, and, sets itself up as an unavoidable move to make considering the path they've chosen. 

Talking about moves they must make gets me nervous, when we've said such things about 2C and navigating the RHD surplus before, but we've got a different guy at the helm now. 

I'm just happy we're at this point already.

I think 2C was overwhelmingly the biggest problem, with 2ndary scoring clearly the next.

Goaltending was number 3 on my list (I see the PK as almost as crucial, but inextricably tied to this) and honestly didn't think we'd have the bullets to address it this off-season.

But we have addressed the first two priorities in overwhelming fashion, IMO, without using any of the bullets we thought we'd have to: #8, Mittelstadt or an RHD.

So there remains both the need and the ammunition. However, we have to keep in mind the flat cap may block the opportunity.

***

Related, I'm of the opinion that if Linus plays 2/3s of the games and our blind goalie really got his eyes fixed we can make the playoffs.

Id just rather not chance it.

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13 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I'm just happy we're at this point already.

I think 2C was overwhelmingly the biggest problem, with 2ndary scoring clearly the next.

Goaltending was number 3 on my list (I see the PK as almost as crucial, but inextricably tied to this) and honestly didn't think we'd have the bullets to address it this off-season.

But we have addressed the first two priorities in overwhelming fashion, IMO, without using any of the bullets we thought we'd have to: #8, Mittelstadt or an RHD.

So there remains both the need and the ammunition. However, we have to keep in mind the flat cap may block the opportunity.

***

Related, I'm of the opinion that if Linus plays 2/3s of the games and our blind goalie really got his eyes fixed we can make the playoffs.

Id just rather not chance it.

I'd argue the need became greater, though, after the moves we made - that's the key. Hall and Staal are as of now only 1 year moves. It doesn't make sense to not address the goaltending now after going through that kind of change upfront. Basically those are win-now moves. 

In effect, I'd argue they now have a duty to upgrade in net so as to not sully or mitigate the solid upgrade at F. The goalie upgrade, that we do need, is not really something we have the luxury of waiting on, now, considering the timeframe of those deals. 

Edited by Thorny
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The goalie scenario you propose is tough. Isn't it less likely Linus would be able to play that high of a % in a condensed and compacted season? And if he did, and we even did get the Hutton of two seasons ago, I'm not sure that would even be enough: that Hutton was still a noteworthy step down from the Ullmark of last year. Not when the D would be seeing likely zero outside improvement, IMO.

And don't forget, we did lose our best defensive forward.

My honest opinion is it would probably take some rose-colored glasses to predict a playoff berth as being likely without a goalie add, or potentially a D upgrade. Not out of the realm of possibility, but my gut feeling is, with the top 6 we've assembled, it would be a shame to go into the season on more of a hope, when going in on a solid expectation is very much in reach.

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5 minutes ago, Thorny said:

My honest opinion is it would probably take some rose-colored glasses to predict a playoff berth as being likely without a goalie add, or potentially a D upgrade. Not out of the realm of possibility, but my gut feeling is, with the top 6 we've assembled, it would be a shame to go into the season on more of a hope, when that could easily be a pretty solid expectation. 

I agree with this. More importantly, I think Adams does too.

I'm not sure the league logjam under the cap is going to allow us the flexibility to do what we would ideally do (effectively trade a RHD and futures for a LHD and a goalie, without adding cap.)

Would Arizona take cap back? Do we want to pay the futures price Columbus would demand? Are there any other goalies out there?

Kuemper for Miller and a protected first? Merzlikins (with retention) for Mittelstadt and a pick?

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48 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I agree with this. More importantly, I think Adams does too.

I'm not sure the league logjam under the cap is going to allow us the flexibility to do what we would ideally do (effectively trade a RHD and futures for a LHD and a goalie, without adding cap.)

Would Arizona take cap back? Do we want to pay the futures price Columbus would demand? Are there any other goalies out there?

Kuemper for Miller and a protected first? Merzlikins (with retention) for Mittelstadt and a pick?

Re: that strike-out: Don't think a D upgrade could be enough? Ya, probably not with Hutton as the backup..

As for the bolded, I'm not sure we'd have the cap even in a regular year regardless of other teams, to add two roster players and subtract only one. Unless the cap had gone up I guess - or if you meant the D and G would take up the same cap as the D going out. But in that case it would be feasible to the other team even now. 

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5 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Re: that strike-out: Don't think a D upgrade could be enough? Ya, probably not with Hutton as the backup..

As for the bolded, I'm not sure we'd have the cap even in a regular year regardless of other teams, to add two roster players and subtract only one. Unless the cap had gone up I guess - or if you meant the D and G would take up the same cap as the D going out. But in that case it would be feasible to the other team even now. 

Re: The bolded. Actually, sorta the opposite. I don't think we need a D upgrade to make the playoffs. I realize I might be in the minority, but when I look at the teams that made the playoffs, I think our best six defencemen are good enough to get us there, full stop. Forwards that can stretch the ice, keep the puck in the offensive zone and finish their chances are going to result in significantly better charts for all of them.

As to the other, all I meant by the cap part is that most teams want trades in order to dump cap and we aren't in a position to really take any on.

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16 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Re: The bolded. Actually, sorta the opposite. I don't think we need a D upgrade to make the playoffs. I realize I might be in the minority, but when I look at the teams that made the playoffs, I think our best six defencemen are good enough to get us there, full stop. Forwards that can stretch the ice, keep the puck in the offensive zone and finish their chances are going to result in significantly better charts for all of them.

As to the other, all I meant by the cap part is that most teams want trades in order to dump cap and we aren't in a position to really take any on.

Right makes sense. I think I agree on the D, too. Honestly it's just that one piece more. 

It's very important but after that I don't think we can reasonably ask for more of an offseason upheaval. 

Represents a big change. 

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Dylan Cozens, Taylor Hall, Toby Reider and Cody Eakin are going to accelerate the Sabres breakaway potential this year.

Jokiharju, Miller and Dahlin will be part of the cause and the effect.

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On 10/17/2020 at 4:40 PM, JohnC said:

Outscoring your opponent. Who would have thought? 

Rayzors 3 Keys To The Game:

1: Score more goals than the opponent

2: Save more shots than the opponent

3: Stay out of the box 

 

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