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What do you expect from: #4 Will Butcher?


dudacek
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Will Butcher  

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  1. 1. 1. Which of these best describes what you think the Sabres will get from Butcher this year?

    • A solid top 4 defenceman who bounces back to the level shown his 1st three years in Jersey
    • A mediocre bottom 4 defenceman who mostly plays regularly but is generally disappointing, like Colin Miller or Brandon Montour have been the past two years
    • An extra defenceman who bounces in and out of the bottom pairing like he was last year in New Jersey


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 A 2013 Colorado 5th-rounder, Butcher was apparently told by the Avalanche two years into his college career that he wasn't likely to be signed. It backfired.

Butcher blossomed into a stud during his 3rd year at the University of Denver, then won the Hobey Baker captaining the team to a national title as a senior. He became the subject of a rather large bidding war as a UFA, eventually choosing the Devils over the Sabres.

He was an early success story, a power play force who put up 44 points and made the NHL all-rookie team in his first season, followed with more middling numbers his next two years in a less-sheltered role.

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=132666

Last year was a disaster for Butcher. He clearly was not a fit with Lindy Ruff. He was a frequent healthy scratch and basically served as the team's 7th defencemen. The Devils ate $1 million in salary and a 5th round pick to get the Sabres to take him off their hands.

Heading into the last year of his contract, he told the Buffalo News he was excited for the chance to be reunited with Don Granato, his coach at the USNDP.

“A lot of familiarity, a lot of respect for him,” Butcher said of Granato. “I was really excited when he got the job and that I’m getting the chance to play for him again.  … He loves smart hockey players. He loves playing fast, having the puck and being on the attack. Those are all strengths of my game. That’s why I think that when he was my coach we jelled well together because I think we see the game very similarly.”

What do you expect from Butcher this season?

Edited by dudacek
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Colin Miller 2.0.

Paying 6.7 mill for Butcher and Miller.  No wonder the team stinks.

Top paid D right now - Miller and Butcher

Top paid Forwards right now (w Eichel on IR) - Skinner and Okposo (15 mill).

That's nearly 22 mill (38% of our cap) for 4 players no one in the league wants out of our 58 mill in cap spent so far.  No wonder this team stinks.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Colin Miller 2.0.

Paying 6.7 mill for Butcher and Miller.  No wonder the team stinks.

Top paid D right now - Miller and Butcher

Top paid Forwards right now (w Eichel on IR) - Skinner and Okposo (15 mill).

That's nearly 22 mill (38% of our cap) for 4 players no one in the league wants out of our 58 mill in cap spent so far.  No wonder this team stinks.

This seems like a really narrow lens to view this through. Almost like you thought the team would be good this year.  

Edited by LGR4GM
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1 hour ago, mjd1001 said:

I want him to be a 'quality' second pair d-man. I think he is bordering on that 3rd pair and 2nd pair in terms of ability. Hopefully by being paired with the right partner, he can execute at a 2nd pair level.

and then in March we can trade him for something useful

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2 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

This seems like a really narrow lens to view this through. Almost like you thought the team would be good this year.  

Lol, I never thought this team would be good this year without upgrades in goal, without upgrades for defensive D and a first line center.  Absent these improvements we had no chance.  KA did none of the above and we are worse for it.

I was just pointing how we are spending money in the wrong places.

I do think Miller and Butcher could be useful with the right partners.  Sadly those partners aren’t on our roster unless Pysyk can play 20 minutes a night of solid in zone defense.  

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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15 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Lol, I never thought this team would be good this year without upgrades in goal, without upgrades for defensive D and a first line center.  Absent these improvements we had no chance.  KA did none of the above and we are worse for it.

I was just pointing how we are spending money in the wrong places.

I do think Miller and Butcher could be useful with the right partners.  Sadly those partners aren’t on our roster unless Pysyk can play 20 minutes a night of solid in zone defense.  

What we spend this year does not matter. We aren't even at the cap floor currently. I don't care what Miller and Butcher or Pysyk do because none of them will be here next year. 

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7 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

What we spend this year does not matter. We aren't even at the cap floor currently. I don't care what Miller and Butcher or Pysyk do because none of them will be here next year. 

You should care if you think they’ll bring back assets at the deadline.  The better they play the better the return.  Also Pysyk if he plays well could easily return given out lack of RHD

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35 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

You should care if you think they’ll bring back assets at the deadline.  The better they play the better the return.  Also Pysyk if he plays well could easily return given out lack of RHD

Britney Spears What GIF

... literally what I said 2 posts up about butcher. 

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9 minutes ago, thewookie1 said:

To be honest what I'd expect isn't listed. I fall between Options 1 & 2.

I expect him to bounce back and look good again but not be what he was his rookie season.

3-5 Dman with about 30 pts would be my guess.

If we have 5 defenders with 30 points, we are a playoff team

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I don’t have very high expectations of Butcher (I picked 2) but I do think he’s one of the savvier moves Adams made this summer.

The door is wide open for him to play on the 2nd pair and get significant PP time for a coach who knows how to maximize his skills. And he should be highly motivated.

Motivation and opportunity often lead to good things.

The thing is, I’m not so sure Butcher is good enough to fully take advantage. I see him as an Olofsson type in that he can take advantage of playing with good players at the NHL level, but he can’t do nearly as much away from them. And I don’t see the talented forwards and the savvy stay-at-home partner he needs most to thrive.

I hope I’m wrong because I suspect we will be seeing a lot of him.

Edited by dudacek
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New baby. Playing for a coach he knows and  his NHL life.

I'd say odds are he plays better than he has lately.

He'll make some plays and he'll make some people mad but in the end it'll be one and done in Buffalo. 

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I see him giving everything he has in a contract year with a coach he hopes puts him in the position to get the most use and best use out of him. The real question that should have been asked is what we think his return will be before the trade deadline happens. That is his best asset he will give this team come 2022.

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5 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

If we have 5 defenders with 30 points, we are a playoff team

Well I'd guess we'll have 2

 

Dahlin with 40+

Butcher with 25 to 30 due to 2nd PP time

Jokiharju, Miller will land in the high teens low 20's

Pysyk, Hagg in the 10's

The rest will put up under 10.

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21 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

This seems like a really narrow lens to view this through. Almost like you thought the team would be good this year.  

Lol shame on him! A good team now? We don't care about trivial things like that

- - - 

I might have gone with option 2 @dudacekbut you said Steve so I went with option 3

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19 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Lol, I never thought this team would be good this year without upgrades in goal, without upgrades for defensive D and a first line center.  Absent these improvements we had no chance.  KA did none of the above and we are worse for it.

I was just pointing how we are spending money in the wrong places.

I do think Miller and Butcher could be useful with the right partners.  Sadly those partners aren’t on our roster unless Pysyk can play 20 minutes a night of solid in zone defense.  

I understand people want you to drop it because "this season was never about winning anyway" but there's nothing wrong with taking issue with the strategy that informs that line of thinking. Like Taro says a lot, it didn't have to be this way. 

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