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How can the Sabres upgrade in goal?


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A lot of us are of the opinion that with Hall and Staal and Montour and McCabe set to walk next summer, the Sabres need to maximize their chances this year by acquiring an upgrade in goal.

Our @tom webster has been pretty adamant that it is a priority for the Sabres management team, and it will happen.

With Taylor Hall here, I'm less certain. Here's why:

  • The absolute best case scenario will see the Sabres exit arbitration with $2 or $3 million in wiggle room under the cap.
  • It's just as likely that they come out of the process right up against the cap.
  • The goalie market at the moment is basically limited to three teams
  • Columbus has no incentive to trade Korpisalo (2x$2.8) for anything other than full value
  • Arizona would ship out either Raantaa (1x$4.2) or Kuemper (2x$4.5) in order to cut costs but therefore do not want to take salary back in return
  • Vegas has said it is not intending to trade Fleury (2x$7 million), although it is still over the cap
  • the Sabres only real position of depth to trade from right now is RHD, but trading one for a goalie leaves them with only 5 "real" NHL defencemen
  • the value of $4 million defencemen is in the toilet right now due to the flat cap
  • up front, their only tradable chips of value are Olofsson, Reinhart, Mittelstadt and Thompson and only to that handful of teams with space.
  • Teams aren't taking cap dumps for anything even resembling fair value

Basically, it seems like the Sabres are limited to trading with a small number of teams with very little cap or roster flexibility, although they can gain an extra $1.1 by burying Hutton or $1.8 by buying him out. Obviously, they will wait on arbitration to determine how much flexibility they have to make a move.

Do you think the Sabres will make a move? How will they make it work?

Edited by dudacek
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Best-case scenario is that the arbitration cases leave us some wiggle room and we can snag Korpisalo for a 2nd. I'm not sure the Jackets do that.

Raantta and Hjalmarsson for Montour and Hutton? Is that enough cap savings for Arizona? Can we squeeze it under the cap? Would Nik waive?

Kuemper for Miller and protected 1st? Too much?

Are there other options out there?

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I would like us to make a move for Marc-Andre Fleury. 

Don't know if we are on his 10 team list but it would make sense; with Lehner in Vegas now too they have a lot of cap space tied up in net.

We're in a different conference and he has 3 years at 21m. 

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7 minutes ago, I-90 W said:

I would like us to make a move for Marc-Andre Fleury. 

Don't know if we are on his 10 team list but it would make sense; with Lehner in Vegas now too they have a lot of cap space tied up in net.

We're in a different conference and he has 3 years at 21m. 

He has two years @ $7 million each year.

His contract would probably put the Sabres $5-7 million over the cap. How would you make that work?

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You just have to trade Montour or Miller for pennies on the dollar to a team that isn't up against the cap. You'll get a future or two, people will say the deal is bad, but we'll have to space to take on a goalie from say Arizona without having to give up salary. 

If you consider them to be second pair players, just remember they are going to more less be playing third pair roles here - the value we alot to them on the team is that of third pair so we gain in the scenario merely by upgrading to a more valuable position. 

And imagine the difference from Kuemper to Hutton vs from Montour/Miller to Borgen. 

Edited by Thorny
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8 minutes ago, dudacek said:

He has two years @ $7 million each year.

His contract would probably put the Sabres $5-7 million over the cap. How would you make that work?

I might get a lot of flack for this but I was thinking some type of hockey trade for Sam. Not sure how it would work exactly for both teams but that's what would clear up the cap space on our end for Fleury. 

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7 minutes ago, Thorny said:

You just have to trade Montour or Miller for pennies on the dollar to a team that isn't up against the cap. You'll get a future or two, people will say the deal is bad, but we'll have to space to take on a goalie from say Arizona without having to give up salary. 

If you consider them to be second pair players, just remember they are going to more less be playing third pair roles here - the value we alot to them on the team is that of third pair so we gain in the scenario merely by upgrading to a more valuable position. 

How many teams aren’t up against the cap right now?

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2 minutes ago, Thorny said:

You just have to trade Montour or Miller for pennies on the dollar to a team that isn't up against the cap. You'll get a future or two, people will say the deal is bad, but we'll have to space to take on a goalie from say Arizona without having to give up salary. 

So from the Sabres point of view, Montour and a protected 1st for Kuemper and a 5th, give or take?

And we go into the season with a Dahlin/Risto/McCabe/Joki/Irwin/Miller/Davidson/Borgen D core?

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Just now, Andrew Amerk said:

How many teams aren’t up against the cap right now?

Are there a lot? My impression is there are some dealing with internal caps but it's not like the real cap is low. It's normal. There are plenty of teams below the hard cap, at least. 

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You get rid of 2 of Risto, Montour, and Miller. Use 1 for an LHD and the other for draft picks/prospects

Montour can have salary retained easily and either Miller or Risto can be used to acquire a similar capped LHD.

Lets go with

Ullmark at 2or3x2.8mil

Olofsson at 2x3.7mil

Reinhart at either 1x6mil or 5x6.25mil

 

At this point we have 22 skaters 12 Fs, 8 D, 2 G with 1.145mil cap space.

Trade Hutton at half retained and our 2nd for Raanta. Saves Arizona 2.875 mil in cap space.

Trade Miller to NJ for a 3rd and a 5th in 2021

 

And you sneak under the cap at 162k capspace

The primary negative is Borgen would be playing his offside or we have Davidson as a 5/6 Dman

 

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1 minute ago, Andrew Amerk said:

How many teams aren’t up against the cap right now?

Basically you're talking Ottawa, Detroit and New Jersey, although a few others can make it work if they really wanted to.

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1 minute ago, Thorny said:

Are there a lot? My impression is there are some dealing with internal caps but it's not like the real cap is low. It's normal. There are plenty of teams below the hard cap, at least. 

Surprisingly not many have much in actual cap space; many are similar to us in RFA cap hell.

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5 minutes ago, dudacek said:

So from the Sabres point of view, Montour and a protected 1st for Kuemper and a 5th, give or take?

And we go into the season with a Dahlin/Risto/McCabe/Joki/Irwin/Miller/Davidson/Borgen D core?

Exactly, and I trust the difference in value montour would have provided over the course of third pair minutes to be substantially less than what Kuemper would provide playing at least half the games, 60 mintues. Protected first is totally fine, we will happily give up a mid to late first after making the playoffs.

3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Basically you're talking Ottawa, Detroit and New Jersey, although a few others can make it work if they really wanted to.

I'm sure Winnipeg will have some space after they move Laine. 

Point is - it only takes one. It's going to be enticing to someone BECAUSE of how low the cost is. Yes, we may have to give them away, but someone will bite. If you called Winnipeg and offered them Montour for future considerations they'd take it. 

Edited by Thorny
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Anyone have any idea what cap savings happen on a retained salary if they are buried?

 

Mainly because Hutton at 50% retained would be at 1.375 mil and with the 1.1mil regained through burying him they'd only get a 275k cap hit

Edited by thewookie1
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1 minute ago, thewookie1 said:

Surprisingly not many have much in actual cap space; many are similar to us in RFA cap hell.

Yes, there's still a sense out there that you can just dump a contract like Vegas did with Schmidt, but there's just not enough teams willing to do that.

I mean, a 3rd round pick for a 1st pairing defenceman? That tells you the supply of landing spaces is drying up. The New Jerseys of the world may have better options for their cap space than the Colin Millers of the world. There may be no takers at all.

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5 minutes ago, thewookie1 said:

You get rid of 2 of Risto, Montour, and Miller. Use 1 for an LHD and the other for draft picks/prospects

Montour can have salary retained easily and either Miller or Risto can be used to acquire a similar capped LHD.

If we are moving say Montour, there isn't really much need to trade for a LHD anymore at the expense of a RHD, as we'd be sitting with only 3 RHD NHL defencemen. 

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8 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Basically you're talking Ottawa, Detroit and New Jersey, although a few others can make it work if they really wanted to.

 

5 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Exactly, and I trust the difference in value montour would have provided over the course of third pair minutes to be substantially less than what Kuemper would provide playing at least half the games, 60 mintues. Protected first is totally fine, we will happily give up a mid to late first after making the playoffs.

I'm sure Winnipeg will have some space after they move Laine. 

Point is - it only takes one. It's going to be enticing to someone BECAUSE of how low the cost is. Yes, we may have to give them away, but someone will bite. If you called Winnipeg and offered them Montour for future considerations they'd take it. 

Who can Winnipeg move Laine to, if only a couple teams actually have the room for his contract?

The League seems muddy right now. 

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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Yes, there's still a sense out there that you can just dump a contract like Vegas did with Schmidt, but there's just not enough teams willing to do that.

I mean, a 3rd round pick for a 1st pairing defenceman? That tells you the supply of landing spaces is drying up. The New Jerseys of the world may have better options for their cap space than the Colin Millers of the world. There may be no takers at all.

Schmidt remember was also 5x5.95 mil and is 29 at this moment.

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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

Yes, there's still a sense out there that you can just dump a contract like Vegas did with Schmidt, but there's just not enough teams willing to do that.

I mean, a 3rd round pick for a 1st pairing defenceman? That tells you the supply of landing spaces is drying up. The New Jerseys of the world may have better options for their cap space than the Colin Millers of the world. There may be no takers at all.

If it was going to prevent them from a goalie upgrade I'd imagine they wouldn't have qualified Montour then? It can't be a barrier to success - if they view the G upgrade as necessary they need to find a way to move one player away. 

Can't they just send Hutton to Rochester?

1 minute ago, Andrew Amerk said:

 

Who can Winnipeg move Laine to, if only a couple teams actually have the room for his contract?

The League seems muddy right now. 

I do know they are trying. 

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13 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Point is - it only takes one. It's going to be enticing to someone BECAUSE of how low the cost is. Yes, we may have to give them away, but someone will bite. If you called Winnipeg and offered them Montour for future considerations they'd take it. 

Winnipeg's not going to have cap space to burn if they move Laine. The team acquiring him knows they've gotta keep space open for that fat extension. Cap will be going back.

Or if they do, maybe they'll take Jake Gardiner for free instead? Or Sami Vatanen? Or Alex Killorn?

Edited by dudacek
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1 minute ago, thewookie1 said:

Schmidt remember was also 5x5.95 mil and is 29 at this moment.

And remember the Sabres specifically avoided arbitration with Montour. He is tradeable. 

Just now, dudacek said:

Winnipeg's not going to have cap space to burn if they move Laine. The team acquiring him knows they've gotta keep space open for that fat extension.

Or if they do, maybe they'll take Jake Gardiner for free instead? Or Sami Vatanen? Or Alex Killorn?

They need D. They are going to HAVE to make room, somewhere. Maybe it comes in the Laine trade directly, hard to say. 

I don't think it seems likely that there wouldn't be a single taker, league wide, on Montour. 

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3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Winnipeg's not going to have cap space to burn if they move Laine. The team acquiring him knows they've gotta keep space open for that fat extension.

Or if they do, maybe they'll take Jake Gardiner for free instead? Or Sami Vatanen? Or Alex Killorn?

Montour would also be free. 

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1 minute ago, Thorny said:

And remember the Sabres specifically avoided arbitration with Montour. He is tradeable. 

Yes, I still think Montour is tradeable. Barely. And the landing spots are shrinking.

I agree that the Sabres probably think they have options in terms of getting a goalie, but I also think those options might not be there when push comes to shove. Obviously there are moving parts, or the deal would already be done..

1 minute ago, Thorny said:

Montour would also be free. 

For sure. They just may prefer those other options.

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