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Roster Off-Season Gameplan


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Obviously we need more help in the front office.  However there are pressing roster questions.  The team is fading some with goalie injuries and 6 recent games against at vastly superior Bruins team.  Those games revealed to me how much we miss some veteran leadership on D and how we need more physicality on our top 9. 

1) Goaltending:  This is our most pressing problem.  When Ullmark was healthy we are competitive.  Without him we aren’t.  However given his injury history, we need more then just him.  UPL showed long term promise until he got hurt and Tokarski is a solid AHL vet. Those two will be a fine AHL tandem next season and showed they can spot start but that’s not enough.  If Ullmark walks we need two goalies.  My thought is re-sign Ullmark 4 year 4.5 per season and then sign one of Bernier, Raanta or Mrazek. 

2.  Young D group needs serious help as well.  I love the future on the backend.  With the 5 kids up and Laaksonen and Johnson coming the future looks secure.  However they are also showing they aren’t ready as a group to carry us without more vets. If we lose Miller to expansion,  McCabe walks and Risto ends up getting trading, KA will need to find at least two solid vet D who play well in the D zone and are also physical players.  This is a tough asks.  Signing McCabe is a priority for me, especially if Risto is traded to supplement the forwards or goaltending. Luke Schenn for depth interests me as does Oleksiak for a top 4 role. 

3. Wingers - We have plenty of wingers but no one who can play in the middle six who also plays a physical game.  Acquiring such a player is the 3rd priority for me after goaltending and vet D. I’m not worried so much about scoring as I think Asplund, R2, Cozens, and Thomspon have more to give and the return of Z should also help.  No idea  who we should target for the middle six role but I think a trade is the most likely way we are going to get such a player.

4. Center -  This has been our biggest worry since ROR was traded.  However this is my least worry now.  Reinhart, Mitts and Cozens have stepped up since RK was dumped and have given us 3 possible guys to anchor lines behind Eichel.  I’m signing Reinhart for 6 years at 6.5 to 7 and moving forward with him as the long term 2c. He has earned the job. Mitts is my 3C.  He to has earned that opportunity and a contract at least as big as the one Thompson got. Cozens might have to wait his turn but knowing he is there for injuries is a great problem to have.

That leaves the 4c job.  We need Larsson (or similar) back with Lazar now gone and Eakin crapping out.  Eakin needs to be sent to the A to clear half his cap and remove him from the depth chart. Haula is a perfect UFA option IMHO.  

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Well I think it all depends on whether or not they're trading anyone away . If they are not, and Granato is coach, the make up of the team is pretty much as is, you just add Eichel to a line 1.  The goalie becomes the only question but if it's Ullmark resigned then that's it too. It'll be Ullmark and UPL. Not suggesting it's the right plan, but without trades and FA signings this is it (or thereabouts).

R2- Eichel - Cozens

Skinner-Reinhart-Olofsson

Asplund-Mitts-Thom,pson

 Zemgus between-Okposo + Sheahan or Reider or whoever gets signed or called up. 

Same D as now.

( and it won't be good enough. )

 

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19 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Well I think it all depends on whether or not they're trading anyone away . If they are not, and Granato is coach, the make up of the team is pretty much as is, you just add Eichel to a line 1.  The goalie becomes the only question but if it's Ullmark resigned then that's it too. It'll be Ullmark and UPL. Not suggesting it's the right plan, but without trades and FA signings this is it (or thereabouts).

R2- Eichel - Cozens

Skinner-Reinhart-Olofsson

Asplund-Mitts-Thompson

 Zemgus between-Okposo + Sheahan or Reider or whoever gets signed or called up. 

Same D as now.

( and it won't be good enough. )

They have got to get 2 or 3 sage defencemen to mentor the youngsters.  I like the young defencemen a lot, but they are way too young for my blood.

I would like at least 1 experienced goaltender even if Ullmark is re-signed.

If Sheahan and Reider are here, I want them to be reserves.  And I want forwards 15-21 on the depth chart to be a mix of NHL-ready prospects with high-end AHLers and tweeners.  If they are here next season, this is where I want Eakin and Caggiula.

I think that we need a greater variety of forwards in that top 9.  Having said that, the top-9 as-is isn't bad IF the 4th line can be like the LOG line the last few years because all the roughest minutes are accounted for and you could just have the other three lines take the offencive minutes.  But unless you are raiding the 3rd lines of contenders for that 4th line, it would be crass stupidity to count on that.

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1 hour ago, Marvin, Sabres Fan said:

They have got to get 2 or 3 sage defencemen to mentor the youngsters.  I like the young defencemen a lot, but they are way too young for my blood.

I would like at least 1 experienced goaltender even if Ullmark is re-signed.

If Sheahan and Reider are here, I want them to be reserves.  And I want forwards 15-21 on the depth chart to be a mix of NHL-ready prospects with high-end AHLers and tweeners.  If they are here next season, this is where I want Eakin and Caggiula.

I think that we need a greater variety of forwards in that top 9.  Having said that, the top-9 as-is isn't bad IF the 4th line can be like the LOG line the last few years because all the roughest minutes are accounted for and you could just have the other three lines take the offencive minutes.  But unless you are raiding the 3rd lines of contenders for that 4th line, it would be crass stupidity to count on that.

So the follow up question is do you (they) have enough money for that wish list without trading away one or more of Risto, Eichel, Reinhart? I don't think they do, and they need money for Dahlin etc. This is part of the problem with dumping a huge contract Reinhart's way. Too much money spent on too few.

Otherwise I don't really disagree with the idea. Just don't think it's possible without changes. 

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1 hour ago, PerreaultForever said:

So the follow up question is do you (they) have enough money for that wish list without trading away one or more of Risto, Eichel, Reinhart? I don't think they do, and they need money for Dahlin etc. This is part of the problem with dumping a huge contract Reinhart's way. Too much money spent on too few.

Otherwise I don't really disagree with the idea. Just don't think it's possible without changes. 

They have about $31 million in cap space next year with 10 forwards and 4 defencemen under contract.

High-end scenario with their RFAs: Reinhart 8, Mittelstadt 3, Dahlin 8, Jokiharju 2, Asplund 1, Borgen 1

Low end scenario with their RFAs: Reinhart 6, Mittelstadt 2, Dahlin 4, Jokiharju 1, Asplund .75, Borgen .75

So ballpark, you'll have 13 F, 7D (minus the guy Seattle takes) and between $8-15 million (plus the contract Seattle takes) to spend on two goalies, as well as whatever upgrades you want to make

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32 minutes ago, dudacek said:

They have about $31 million in cap space next year with 10 forwards and 4 defencemen under contract.

High-end scenario with their RFAs: Reinhart 8, Mittelstadt 3, Dahlin 8, Jokiharju 2, Asplund 1, Borgen 1

Low end scenario with their RFAs: Reinhart 6, Mittelstadt 2, Dahlin 4, Jokiharju 1, Asplund .75, Borgen .75

So ballpark, you'll have 13 F, 7D (minus the guy Seattle takes) and between $8-15 million (plus the contract Seattle takes) to spend on two goalies, as well as whatever upgrades you want to make

$8 million might get you the goalies, and that's about it. Have to wait and see I guess. 

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This is subject to change in 3-4 weeks, since I don't know who'll get upset in the 1st round and make talent available yet. 

 

Right now, I wouldn't really touch forward at all. Find a 4th line checking center, and a 4th line depth pugilist, but that's about it. Also, retain Sheahan.

 

Skinner Eichel Bjork

Olofsson Reinhart Cozens

Asplund Mittelstadt Ruotsalainen

Girgensons Boyd/Cizikas/Copp/VETERAN Thompson/Face-puncher

Sheahan

 

Defense, that'll need work. First, TRADE RISTO. IT IS TIME. Try to shake off Miller to Seattle, and let's add a few vets. I'll listen on retaining McCabe, but injuries are a big concern. I don't have names to chase, yet, still working on it.

Dahlin Jokiharju

VETERAN VETERAN

Samuelsson Borgen

Bryson

 

Goalie is equal parts luck and also where your most work should be part of. Ullmark should be retained, but a legit backup also needs to be found, and if there's a starter better than Ullmark available, definitely listen.

 

Ullmark

VETERAN

 

 

It's a polarizing off-season. Adams has to score at least 90% on this test. There is hope though. Get Reinhart signed long term, and let this young group grow.

Edited by Gabrielor
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57 minutes ago, Gabrielor said:

This is subject to change in 3-4 weeks, since I don't know who'll get upset in the 1st round and make talent available yet. 

 

Right now, I wouldn't really touch forward at all. Find a 4th line checking center, and a 4th line depth pugilist, but that's about it. Also, retain Sheahan.

 

Skinner Eichel Bjork

Olofsson Reinhart Cozens

Asplund Mittelstadt Ruotsalainen

Girgensons Boyd/Cizikas/Copp/VETERAN Thompson/Face-puncher

Sheahan

 

Defense, that'll need work. First, TRADE RISTO. IT IS TIME. Try to shake off Miller to Seattle, and let's add a few vets. I'll listen on retaining McCabe, but injuries are a big concern. I don't have names to chase, yet, still working on it.

Dahlin Jokiharju

VETERAN VETERAN

Samuelsson Borgen

Bryson

 

Goalie is equal parts luck and also where your most work should be part of. Ullmark should be retained, but a legit backup also needs to be found, and if there's a starter better than Ullmark available, definitely listen.

 

Ullmark

VETERAN

 

 

It's a polarizing off-season. Adams has to score at least 90% on this test. There is hope though. Get Reinhart signed long term, and let this young group grow.

To the bolded, to put more emphasis on it, the Sabres need to be looking towards a goalie as good as Ullmark, if not on paper better than him, and if they have to settle for someone that's even a healthy Hutton the off-season will be IMHO a fail.

The good thing is, the Sabres have one of the best goalie coaches in the league so whomever they get should not be expected to drop off if he stays healthy.  Adams should be able to pull that off whether it be through traditional trade, FA, or pre-Seattle maneuvering.

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3 hours ago, Gabrielor said:

This is subject to change in 3-4 weeks, since I don't know who'll get upset in the 1st round and make talent available yet. 

 

Right now, I wouldn't really touch forward at all. Find a 4th line checking center, and a 4th line depth pugilist, but that's about it. Also, retain Sheahan.

 

Skinner Eichel Bjork

Olofsson Reinhart Cozens

Asplund Mittelstadt Ruotsalainen

Girgensons Boyd/Cizikas/Copp/VETERAN Thompson/Face-puncher

Sheahan

 

Defense, that'll need work. First, TRADE RISTO. IT IS TIME. Try to shake off Miller to Seattle, and let's add a few vets. I'll listen on retaining McCabe, but injuries are a big concern. I don't have names to chase, yet, still working on it.

Dahlin Jokiharju

VETERAN VETERAN

Samuelsson Borgen

Bryson

 

Goalie is equal parts luck and also where your most work should be part of. Ullmark should be retained, but a legit backup also needs to be found, and if there's a starter better than Ullmark available, definitely listen.

 

Ullmark

VETERAN

 

 

It's a polarizing off-season. Adams has to score at least 90% on this test. There is hope though. Get Reinhart signed long term, and let this young group grow.

The bold - So is this one of those tests where the teacher tells the class to carefully read the instructions before beginning, and the last instruction reads "DON'T DO ANYTHING" to emphasize a point about reading instructions thoroughly? 

I mean, at least in regards to the forwards

Edited by Thorny
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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

The bold - So is this one of those tests where the teacher tells the class to carefully read the instructions before beginning, and the last instruction reads "DON'T DO ANYTHING" to emphasize a point about reading instructions thoroughly? 

I mean, at least in regards to the forwards

For sure. Unless something ridiculous is available (I'd hypothetically be interested in Matthew Tkachuk, for instance), leave forward alone. It needs to be supplemented (checking center, and a pugilist), but those are orbit adds. Leave this new core to blossom into whatever it's going to turn in to.

 

On that topic, no deals more than 2 years for any young player not named Dahlin. We don't truly know what's what yet, so cheap bridges everywhere!

 

Lastly, some cuts. Eakin/Okposo need to go. Eakin especially, but Okposo....it's over man. It's been sad to watch for a while. I'd prefer to waive both.

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8 minutes ago, Gabrielor said:

For sure. Unless something ridiculous is available (I'd hypothetically be interested in Matthew Tkachuk, for instance), leave forward alone. It needs to be supplemented (checking center, and a pugilist), but those are orbit adds. Leave this new core to blossom into whatever it's going to turn in to.

 

On that topic, no deals more than 2 years for any young player not named Dahlin. We don't truly know what's what yet, so cheap bridges everywhere!

 

Lastly, some cuts. Eakin/Okposo need to go. Eakin especially, but Okposo....it's over man. It's been sad to watch for a while. I'd prefer to waive both.

I'm not sure that strategy is going to have served us well with Reinhart. I'd be open to longer extensions when they become available depending on the player. The key is getting the evaluation right, as always. 

I wouldn't run back the same top 9 because I have playoff aspirations, but I understand the desire to slow play. To me counting on a player who's had 1 or two good games as a Sabre, who Boston actively demanded we take for salary reasons so they could complete a trade, to fill a spot on our top line, as well as counting on an unproven Ruotsalainen (AND Olofsson) in the top 6, is asking for trouble. 

Even Cozens has done nothing on the whole this season to prove he's ready for top 6 duty next season for the duration, full stop, never mind the quality we'd need to fight for the playoffs. I think he may end up ready for top 6, but it's just another "hope" in a long list of hopes in the lineup you detailed. If Skinner doesn't bounce back our wings are probably bottom-5 level. We have a 2 certainties slotted into that top 6. 

I'm looking for at least 1 top 6 addition at this point, still 

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6 minutes ago, Gabrielor said:

For sure. Unless something ridiculous is available (I'd hypothetically be interested in Matthew Tkachuk, for instance), leave forward alone. It needs to be supplemented (checking center, and a pugilist), but those are orbit adds. Leave this new core to blossom into whatever it's going to turn in to.

 

On that topic, no deals more than 2 years for any young player not named Dahlin. We don't truly know what's what yet, so cheap bridges everywhere!

 

Lastly, some cuts. Eakin/Okposo need to go. Eakin especially, but Okposo....it's over man. It's been sad to watch for a while. I'd prefer to waive both.

Waive as in buy out or waive as in play them in Ra-cha-cha?

Okposo has a $6MM cap hit in Buffalo, just under $5MM in Ra-cha-cha, and $4MM bought out next season.  Buying him out and having his contract on the books for 4 seasons doesn't seem to do anything for the Sabres.  Better to keep him in Buffalo or Ra-cha-cha & then try to trade him to a cap floor team his final year (if it fits w/ his modified NMC) so they pay $2MM for a $6MM cap hit & a serviceable 4th liner.

Eakin only has 1 year left on his deal.  Bury him in Ra-cha-cha and be done with him after next year.

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How would our top 6 wingers compare to those in division next year competing for the same playoff spots?

Buffalo - Bjork, Ruotsalainen/Cozens, Skinner, Olofsson

Boston - Marchand, Pastrnak, Smith, Hall

Tampa - Palat, Goodrow, Coleman, Barre-Boulet

Toronto - Marner, Nylander, Foligno, Galchenyuk

Florida - Huberdeau, Denishenko, Tippett, Duclair

Montreal - Anderson, Toffoli, Caufield, Armia

Ottawa - Tkachuk, Formenton, Batherson, Paul

Detroit - Vrana, Filppula, Erne, Zadina 

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9 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Waive as in buy out or waive as in play them in Ra-cha-cha?

Okposo has a $6MM cap hit in Buffalo, just under $5MM in Ra-cha-cha, and $4MM bought out next season.  Buying him out and having his contract on the books for 4 seasons doesn't seem to do anything for the Sabres.  Better to keep him in Buffalo or Ra-cha-cha & then try to trade him to a cap floor team his final year (if it fits w/ his modified NMC) so they pay $2MM for a $6MM cap hit & a serviceable 4th liner.

Eakin only has 1 year left on his deal.  Bury him in Ra-cha-cha and be done with him after next year.

THIS is how it works.

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I will use Gabrielor's high end salary estimates with a trade of Ristolainen as my base.  (IMHO, Dahlin and Reinhart will be $7M rather than 8, but let us plan for the harder scenario.)  I make additions and changes from here.  I expect Girgensons to be taken by Seattle.  

1. Forwards

Skinner-Eichel-Cozens

Ruotsalainen-Reinhart-Olofsson

Asplund-Mittlestadt-Thompson 

Bjork-Sheahan-Okposo

Reider-Eakin-Caggiula

2. Defence

Dahlin-Bryson 

Borgen-Jokiharu 

Samuelsson-Miller

Laaksonnen-Fitzgerald

3. Goal

Ullmark

Pekka-Lukkonen

Tokarski

Houser

Lekkas

When I include injuries, I expect to need 5 forward lines, 4 defencive pairs, and 5 goaltenders for this team just to be safe.  With that as my base,  I have $8M from @Gabrielor, $5M from Ristolainen, and $2M from Girgensons, which leaves us $15M to spend.  Knocking off, say, $7M for goaltenders leaves $8M overall.

We must acquire at least 1 veteran defenceman for the youth.  Ideally, Miller ($3M) is replaced and we have at least 1 veteran D on each side.  I would prefer boring, stay-at-home types to cover for jaunts by Dahlin and Jokiharu because the are needed and are cheaper.   By my estimate of higher-end middle-pairing defencive defenceman (2×3.5M), that leaves $4M for the forwards.

Here, I need a creative hockey trade.  I want to be locked in with Eichel and Reinhart.  Skinner and Okposo are not going anywhere -- no matter how much people wish it.  I would prefer to force Eakin and Caggiula into Rochester, whence they come up only in an emergency.  I need hockey trades to replace some wingers to get a better mix of players in the top 9.  In this salary structure, ideally the 4th line has interchangeable parts and plays like the LOG line.  I think this can be done with the room left.

7 minutes ago, Thorny said:

How would our top 6 wingers compare to those in division next year competing for the same playoff spots?

Buffalo - Bjork, Ruotsalainen/Cozens, Skinner, Olofsson

Boston - Marchand, Pastrnak, Smith, Hall

Tampa - Palat, Goodrow, Coleman, Barre-Boulet

Toronto - Marner, Nylander, Foligno, Galchenyuk

Florida - Huberdeau, Denishenko, Tippett, Duclair

Montreal - Anderson, Toffoli, Caufield, Armia

Ottawa - Tkachuk, Formenton, Batherson, Paul

Detroit - Vrana, Filppula, Erne, Zadina 

I wonder how Asplund-Mittlestadt-Thompson would fare against other 3rd lines.

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16 minutes ago, Marvin, Sabres Fan said:

I will use Gabrielor's high end salary estimates with a trade of Ristolainen as my base.  (IMHO, Dahlin and Reinhart will be $7M rather than 8, but let us plan for the harder scenario.)  I make additions and changes from here.  I expect Girgensons to be taken by Seattle.  

1. Forwards

Skinner-Eichel-Cozens

Ruotsalainen-Reinhart-Olofsson

Asplund-Mittlestadt-Thompson 

Bjork-Sheahan-Okposo

Reider-Eakin-Caggiula

2. Defence

Dahlin-Bryson 

Borgen-Jokiharu 

Samuelsson-Miller

Laaksonnen-Fitzgerald

3. Goal

Ullmark

Pekka-Lukkonen

Tokarski

Houser

Lekkas

When I include injuries, I expect to need 5 forward lines, 4 defencive pairs, and 5 goaltenders for this team just to be safe.  With that as my base,  I have $8M from @Gabrielor, $5M from Ristolainen, and $2M from Girgensons, which leaves us $15M to spend.  Knocking off, say, $7M for goaltenders leaves $8M overall.

We must acquire at least 1 veteran defenceman for the youth.  Ideally, Miller ($3M) is replaced and we have at least 1 veteran D on each side.  I would prefer boring, stay-at-home types to cover for jaunts by Dahlin and Jokiharu because the are needed and are cheaper.   By my estimate of higher-end middle-pairing defencive defenceman (2×3.5M), that leaves $4M for the forwards.

Here, I need a creative hockey trade.  I want to be locked in with Eichel and Reinhart.  Skinner and Okposo are not going anywhere -- no matter how much people wish it.  I would prefer to force Eakin and Caggiula into Rochester, whence they come up only in an emergency.  I need hockey trades to replace some wingers to get a better mix of players in the top 9.  In this salary structure, ideally the 4th line has interchangeable parts and plays like the LOG line.  I think this can be done with the room left.

I wonder how Asplund-Mittlestadt-Thompson would fare against other 3rd lines.

Boston - Kuraly, Ritchie, Coyle

Tampa - Cirelli, Killorn, Johnson

Toronto - Kerfoot, Mikheyev, Simmonds

Florida - Vatrano, Marchment, Heponiemi

Montreal - Kotkaniemi, Lehkonen, Evans

Otttawa - Stutzle, Pinto, Brown

Detroit - Svechnikov, Veleno, Gagner

- - - 

Maybe we are in the middle? Don't think we make up any ground, there, anyways. And our current 4th line would be below average. So losing ground in the bottom 6 overall?

So if we are well behind in the top 6, on the wings, and don't make up ground in the bottom 6, how are we making up the ground we need to, to get to even average? In net? On D? D would be the best hope, I'd guess, but even that requires substantial growth. 

We should probably upgrade at F if we can. 

- - - 

I mean you didn't add any forwards, and stood pat in goal, as well. So one vet D add does the trick?

Basically it looks like we'd be defaulting to the "do it, Jack! (and Sam)" thing again, for the most part.

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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

How would our top 6 wingers compare to those in division next year competing for the same playoff spots?

Buffalo - Bjork, Ruotsalainen/Cozens, Skinner, Olofsson

Boston - Marchand, Pastrnak, Smith, Hall

Tampa - Palat, Goodrow, Coleman, Barre-Boulet

Toronto - Marner, Nylander, Foligno, Galchenyuk

Florida - Huberdeau, Denishenko, Tippett, Duclair

Montreal - Anderson, Toffoli, Caufield, Armia

Ottawa - Tkachuk, Formenton, Batherson, Paul

Detroit - Vrana, Filppula, Erne, Zadina 

IMO, if you factor in cap hit, Buffalo would rank only ahead of Detroit.

Skinner has negative value
Cozens has a bright future
Olofsson is a one trick pony
Bjork is a JAG

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7 minutes ago, LabattBlue said:

IMO, if you factor in cap hit, Buffalo would rank only ahead of Detroit.

Skinner has negative value
Cozens has a bright future
Olofsson is a one trick pony
Bjork is a JAG

I wonder if Adams is internally wrestling over how much he believes in his ability to upgrade this roster enough, over 1 offseason, to make keeping Eichel his prudent course of action. If there isn't any real smoke to the Eichel rumors the point is irrelevant, but if that looming NMC for Eichel, in one year, really is a factor on Adams' mind - perhaps he decides playing the long game and moving Jack for a young player/picks haul this offseason represents his best chance at achieving long term job security. 

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6 minutes ago, Thorny said:

Boston - Kuraly, Ritchie, Coyle

Tampa - Cirelli, Killorn, Johnson

Toronto - Kerfoot, Mikheyev, Simmonds

Florida - Vatrano, Marchment, Heponiemi

Montreal - Kotkaniemi, Lehkonen, Evans

Otttawa - Stutzle, Pinto, Brown

Detroit - Svechnikov, Veleno, Gagner

- - - 

Maybe we are in the middle? Don't think we make up any ground, there, anyways. And our current 4th line would be below average. So losing ground in the bottom 6 overall?

So if we are well behind in the top 6, on the wings, and don't make up ground in the bottom 6, how are we making up the ground we need to? In net? On D? D would be the best hope, I'd guess, but even that requires substantial growth. 

We should probably upgrade at F if we can. 

I can agree with this.  I think Eichel makes the team 1 line better.  That's not trivial, but IMHO that still puts us about middle of the pack for the top 9 forwards -- assuming normal growth of the youth and normal declines for the veterans.

The defence clearly needs 2 solid veterans.  There will be a lot of growth there -- and a lot of mistakes.  But with development and chemistry, the should become solid before long.

We probably need to rely more than other teams on goaltending.  That is why Ullmark's and UPL's play has been heartening for me.  Add a solid veteran and we should be OK.

Our 4th line has got to be better.  We need to be at least solid there.  Ideally, that line is like the LOG line and drive the opponents' top lines crazy.  This need not cost much, but chemistry is so very important.  The easiest thing would be to make an analogue to our 1998-9 bottom line.

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Part of me would like to see Oloffson traded. He doesn't belong on the top 6 and is allegedly a powerplay specialist but since Granato took over the PP has seemed to not actively set him up for one-timers.

The other part of me realizes that for a team starved for goals you shouldn't trade a cost-controlled player who is 2nd on goals on the team.

If KA gets a great deal for him, I'd take it, else you hope Jack can stay healthy and keep feeding him on the PP.

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22 minutes ago, Marvin, Sabres Fan said:

I can agree with this.  I think Eichel makes the team 1 line better.  That's not trivial, but IMHO that still puts us about middle of the pack for the top 9 forwards -- assuming normal growth of the youth and normal declines for the veterans.

The defence clearly needs 2 solid veterans.  There will be a lot of growth there -- and a lot of mistakes.  But with development and chemistry, the should become solid before long.

We probably need to rely more than other teams on goaltending.  That is why Ullmark's and UPL's play has been heartening for me.  Add a solid veteran and we should be OK.

Our 4th line has got to be better.  We need to be at least solid there.  Ideally, that line is like the LOG line and drive the opponents' top lines crazy.  This need not cost much, but chemistry is so very important.  The easiest thing would be to make an analogue to our 1998-9 bottom line.

To the bold - the easiest thing would have been to keep Larsson, but I digress. Eakin was what they wanted, I guess. Agree they need to upgrade L4 now.

What do you mean by solid vet add re: goalie? Behind UPL on the depth chart or above? I'm thinking a 1A to Ullmark's 1. 

Agree on the D, I think.

Does Eichel bump up the forward unit to average (provided the L4 addition)? We'd need the top 6 wingers to come out significantly on the positive end of all possible outcomes for that to happen, in my personal estimation. Skinner, Olofsson, Bjork and Ruotsalainen all have serious question marks regarding their viability as top 6 players, at all, never mind whether they can be "league average" ones. 

Making a few of those bets seems reasonable to me - a successfully identified top 6 winger addition would go a long way towards playoffs looking like a realistic outcome to me. Without that, I think it leaves a fair bit to hope. 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Mustache of God said:

Part of me would like to see Oloffson traded. He doesn't belong on the top 6 and is allegedly a powerplay specialist but since Granato took over the PP has seemed to not actively set him up for one-timers.

The other part of me realizes that for a team starved for goals you shouldn't trade a cost-controlled player who is 2nd on goals on the team.

If KA gets a great deal for him, I'd take it, else you hope Jack can stay healthy and keep feeding him on the PP.

I guess it depends on how far back we want the perspective to go. Is Reinhart a one-trick pony? He has less assists than VO

VO leads the team in assists 

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I would probably look to enter next season like this:

Skinner Eichel ????

???? Reinhart Cozens

Asplund Mittelstadt Thompson

Girgensons ???? Okposo

 

Dahlin Jokiharju

???   ???

Samuelsson Bryson Borgen

 

If those ??? are Eakin, Olofsson, Bjork, Miller and Risto we probably didn't do enough, even with two strong goalies.

But the off-season will absolutely be a failure if we do not at least acquire two strong goalies and a top 6 physical winger.

Edited by dudacek
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