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Locker Clean Out Days


Brawndo
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As I’ve said before, a former Sabre intimated to me, without saying it ( I said it), tha Sam wasn’t a great team guy. The fact those 3 core guys are gone and now this team loves each other, shows me GMKA made the right decisions to make those trades. As he said, he wants guys who WANT to be Sabres. Sam didn’t want to be a Sabre anymore. 
 

Onwards and upwards. The culture is shifting and the future is looking brighter. Love it!

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On 4/30/2022 at 4:03 PM, Taro T said:

Am really coming around towards Adams.  He likes to talk about his own willingness to ask questions & learn; let's hope for all our sakes he asks the right people the right questions to figure how to get quality goaltending in the fold today (well, this sumer) and not just be set up for it 3 years from now.

Also regarding Adams:  I think the Eichel trade forged him into a GM.  Prior to that he was a hockey guy.  In the lead up to the trade I think he made some mistakes, but the trade itself was the best trade by a Sabres GM during the Pegula era.  One thing I strongly disagreed with at the time was publicly removing the captainship from Eichel but in retrospect I think it communicated two things to the team:  Eichel was never going to play for the Sabres again, and that it was time for the team to move on.  It wasn't PR to the outside world and it was a dig at Eichel, it was a move for the team.

Edited by Doohickie
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On 4/30/2022 at 5:05 PM, RangerDave said:

The thing I noticed with each of the interviews is that every player is smiling!  How different is that this year?

Except for Olofsson.  He's a very intense dude.  He was not happy with his own performance and said as much.  He knows he did well at times and his challenge to himself is to make that full time.  He also said something to the effect of he's still trying to prove to himself he belongs in the NHL.  That's some pretty intense self-motivation.

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On 4/30/2022 at 3:45 PM, dudacek said:

If Johnson, Portillo and Levi don’t want to be part of this (for the record, I’ve seen no sign that’s the case) we probably don’t want them anyway.

I'll turn that around:  I would say the trend is that UFAs will begin to gravitate to Buffalo, especially those of the undrafted college player variety.  Among the skaters, they have three skaters that are over 25:  Skinner, Okie & Girgs (well Bjork too but I'll get to that in a sec).  If I'm a 22-year-old UFA forward coming out of college, where do I think I would sign and make the team this year?  If I think I can outplay Bjork, I would look at the Sabres for sure.  If I'm a RHD and think I can outskate Bryson, I'd look hard at the Sabres as well.

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8 hours ago, mjd1001 said:

You are taking a chance that can reward you big time if it works out, but can set you back with cap issues if it doesn't.  The concept is to pay a player more, earlier than you normally would have to..in exchange for them taking a longer deal that at the end of it they are ok with being 'underpaid'.   They really aren't underpaid because they got more money early...just it has to be the right player to do this. What you do not want is a guy to take more money early, than at the end of the deal grumble and go to the press because he isn't making enough.  The Sabres have cap room the next 2 or 3 years where they can do that..'overpay' some key players now but on long term deals so they aren't up against the cap in 5 years or so, but will they take that chance? and do they have the right kind of players to take those deals?

Here are the latest contracts between 5-8 years, with an AAV of $6.25m and $7.5m.  Should be an interesting summer.  I can see Tage taking a long term extension on a team friendly deal as long as TPegs gives him a nice signing bonus.  Tage is due to make only $1.6m next year.  (Pains me to write that).  Seems like both parties would be interested to get something done. Tage as he is newly married and it might give him solace to have certainty so he can buy a home and settle in to the community.  Happy wife-happy life.  KA would love to have Pasternak like contract to pay dividends in a few years. 

https://www.capfriendly.com/signings/all/all/forwards/5-8/6250000-7500000/0-0/1-way

 

Git r done

pixar animation lol GIF by Disney Pixar

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20 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Also regarding Adams:  I think the Eichel trade forged him into a GM.  Prior to that he was a hockey guy.  In the lead up to the trade I think he made some mistakes, but the trade itself was the best trade by a Sabres GM during the Pegula era.  One thing I strongly disagreed with at the time was publicly removing the captainship from Eichel but in retrospect I think it communicated two things to the team:  Eichel was never going to play for the Sabres again, and that it was time for the team to move on.  It was PR to the outside world and it was a dig at Eichel, it was a move for the team.

I have a little different understanding/interpretation of the Eichel situation. Stripping Eichel of the captainship wasn't so much a defining moment as much as it was a public statement that clarified to the public that the divorce between the player and organization was not simply inevitable but was already in effect. (The players already knew what the situation was.) I recall that Jack privately made it known to the organization before he publicly made it known that he wanted out and wasn't coming back to the team. Supposedly, he proposed to the GM the option of getting his preferred surgery in which theoretically the return time would be quicker and thus possibly help the GM get a better return for him. The GM wasn't accepting that option because he, on the advice of the medical staff, was steadfast that the organization was not going to approve of Jack's surgery preference.   

There was no secret that the GM wasn't intimidated by the prospect of trading Jack because he preferred moving Jack and the old core (Risto & Reinhart) in order to reconfigure the roster with a new younger core. KA kept repeating the mantra in almost every interview that he wanted people here who wanted to be here. At this point there was no need for subtlety or diplomacy because the course of action had already been set. 

Looking back, I believe that the GM dealt with the situation in a masterful manner. With Risto and Reinhart he got what he could get because each of them were going to become UFA players. There is a chance that in the long run the trade with Florida for Reinhart may be the most consequential if Levi becomes the player that many of us hope he becomes. And in handling the Jack situation the GM acted with fortitude in not making a Jack deal out of desperation but instead biding his time and waiting for a fair return for him. 

I'm not as harsh as many are in my view of Jack. Sometimes the change in circumstances dictate a change in direction. Overall, I'm more than pleased with how the novice GM handled the situation. 

 

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1 hour ago, JohnC said:

Looking back, I believe that the GM dealt with the situation in a masterful manner... And in handling the Jack situation the GM acted with fortitude in not making a Jack deal out of desperation but instead biding his time and waiting for a fair return for him. 

I agree with your post for the most part; you're disagreement with my statement is more about interpretation and judgment than fact anyway.  But the part I quoted I think is spot on.  I think he was determined to get that trade right and if it took patience he was prepared for that. 

I don't hate Jack as such, I hate the caricature of Jack I've built in my head.  Since I'll never meet him or have meaningful dealings with him, it serves me as well as any reality that's more accurate.  To me, he's a talented Masshole who was ruined by XGMTM's acquisitions (Bogo, Kane and the rest) who chews up way too much cap space.

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After listening to these guys yesterday and today and comparing their exit pressers to previous years, I can only say again how glad I am that those miserable pukes are gone. We had no chance with those ex-players; none at all. Must have been difficult for some of the players that remained who had to live with that miserable vibe every day at the rink. I don’t recall any of them expressing gratitude for the city or love for their teammates; not once. Nothing but woe is me misery. What a breath of fresh air these current players are to listen to. 

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I don’t have any venom for Risto or Sam and not much for Jack.  My venom is reserved for TM has his parade of damaged goods he brought into our team to “accelerate” the rebuild.  

As to our current guys, the exit interviews are much more pleasant when you improve and then start winning.  It’s amazing what happens when you rebuild properly and let the kids grow together.

Bold prediction:  Assuming KA acquires some goaltending and a partner for Power, this team will make the playoffs next season with 97 points. 

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7 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

Remember when Adams, prior to his role as GM, traveled with the team on road trips?   He certainly figured out what needed to change and was willing to make some very hard decisions to improve the culture off a woeful team.  
 

His best moves were: (1) sticking with Granato; (2) trading the old core; and (3) setting a positive environment for the new core - repeating the mantra “wanting players who want to be here”.   

Think about this, we traded Eichel, Reinhart, Risto, and  McCabe and Ullmark left.  The result is we improved by 8 slots in the standings and players keep repeating their love for the game, the team, and the city.  

Vets like Kyle, Zemgus, Anderson were the right ones to work with the youth. 

Tage is a critical piece.  Now with a wife and a baby on the way, he will be very key guy.  A quiet leader by example.  Tuch is another solid leader.  

Dahlin says coming to Buffalo will not be an easy game for teams.  Kyle is saying look out for 37 next year.  Krebs is talking about a career in Buffalo, a house surronded by trees and an ice rink in his yard.  You have gotta love youthful exuberance.     Cozens is improving and  he plays the way Buffalo fans like.   Power got to experience the RJ love and he knows only good vibes in his Sabres jersey.     

The Sabres see the Bills success and fan support.  They can have that too with hard work.  Buffalo can be a great destination for players that want a stable, family and community oriented life style.  Just like the players of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s that are still loved there. 

This was the best season in a long time.  Adams has more work to do to improve the Sabres roster, restock Rochester, and challenge for the playoffs next year.   Adams has to make a few more good moves that help the young core. 

And all this is why there's hope that Adams will actually fix the netminding.  If next season doesn't top Murray's best year (a low bar, but one that's been unsurmountable for 6 year) a lot of that good will and positive vibes get tested severely.

This team did what it needed to do as a 1st step towards winning - they became a TEAM.

But now they have to move up.  Without goaltending, getting to 90 will be a very tough slog & even an NHL 0.500 isn't a given w/out GTing if guys we expect to take another step don't or injuries wrack the team again.

But w/ GTing, NHL 0.500 is a given; 90 points is not a stretch goal; and the playoffs are a realistic stretch goal.  Heck, 100 points & being ahead of the 2nd WC becomes the stretch goal.

PLEASE let Adams find a way to fix the GTing.  They don't get Berard.  They get something better, a team that not only believes in itself, but that others have to account for, & they might even get some REAL playoff experience.  All far more valuable at this stage.  MHO, YMMV.

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15 hours ago, Doohickie said:

he's a talented Masshole who was ruined by XGMTM's acquisitions (Bogo, Kane and the rest)

I believe the first part.  However, I don't think he was ruined by the lousy acquisitions.  If he didn't have Masshole tendencies to begin with, he would've gravitated to the "good guy" acquisitions like Gionta rather than the "bad boys" you mention.  I have played on teams and stayed away from those who were not good influences on me.  Eichel could have done the same.  Eichel, being able to be influenced by these guys, showed what underlying character he really had.

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Oh absolutely.  But imagine if Adams and Granato had been in their current positions in 2015.  I doubt we bring players like that into the room to begin with.  Instead they would have brought in more Gios and Gorges.  And if Granato saw the cliques and factions forming he would have addressed that.  Would have been enough?  Not sure.  But the previous GM-coach tandems just let it go.  They were so convinced Jack was the answer they didn't even bother to wonder what the question was.

Edited by Doohickie
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I really love the mindsets of our guys, what a change from the head dragging Eichel, Reinhart and Rustolainen all basically saying they don't want to be here. These guys played like a cohesive unit and although I like the feel good stories they really need to upgrade G Craig Anderson, RHD Mark Pysyk, fill the RHD Colin Miller role at the very least. 

I don't think it will be easy at all getting a goalie to play here even how we played down the stretch, I think we're going to seriously need to overpay one, just my opinion. Probably the same with Colin Miller's replacement as well. Jack Quinn will definitely help us so will UPL, Another scoring winger would be nice also. 

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7 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Oh absolutely.  But imagine if Adams and Granato had been in their current positions in 2015.  I doubt we bring players like that into the room to begin with.  Instead they would have brought in more Gios and Gorges.  And if Granato saw the cliques and factions forming he would have addressed that.  Would have been enough?  Not sure.  But the previous GM-coach tandems just let it go.  They were so convinced Jack was the answer they didn't even bother to wonder what the question was.

I can see this possibility but I'm not sure that is what it was. I think Jack had too much power here and Adams and Granato came in to a different situation and so they could do things differently. Previously the coaches were guys who had to prove themselves and they had to please Jack. Remember Kreuger had to meet Jack and have dinner and get on his good side and all that before coaching (or whatever it is he did). Adams was hired by an owner fed up with Jack's demands. Adams was given the power to move on from him. Granato got a locker room with all the star players removed. Much easier situation for him to be the guy listened to. 

Regarding Bogo, it's likely pain meds for his hips messed him up. I can't fault the thought process in bringing him in. Didn't work out, and as a team we do seem to have failed on recognizing addiction issues and player problems. Perhaps they needed a sports psychologist on staff (or a better one if they have one) who could have helped Lehner and maybe Bogo and maybe things would have gone better. Kane? Well, I get the thought process there, and it was a gamble that failed miserably. Thought he'd learn and redeem himself but underestimated how deep things went and it was an obvious mistake. See though it sort of proves how everything was about Jack. Kane, Skinner, Hall, always just get a star winger for Jack, that's the answer. Jack, Jack Jack.   So now we can move on and replace that with Sabres, Sabres, Sabres. 

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On 5/1/2022 at 10:15 AM, mjd1001 said:

You are taking a chance that can reward you big time if it works out, but can set you back with cap issues if it doesn't.  The concept is to pay a player more, earlier than you normally would have to..in exchange for them taking a longer deal that at the end of it they are ok with being 'underpaid'.   They really aren't underpaid because they got more money early...just it has to be the right player to do this. What you do not want is a guy to take more money early, than at the end of the deal grumble and go to the press because he isn't making enough.  The Sabres have cap room the next 2 or 3 years where they can do that..'overpay' some key players now but on long term deals so they aren't up against the cap in 5 years or so, but will they take that chance? and do they have the right kind of players to take those deals?

Are you talking about signing young guys to long term deals early instead of using 2-3 bridge contracts?

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Kyle Okposo is a really thoughtful and insightful guy with a huge heart.  He has been through the wringer both as a Sabre, and as a person.  He has seen the lowest of Sabres lows and is hopefully part of a major team turn around.  He probably only has a couple more seasons of hockey left in him but he and his family live in Buffalo year round.

When he is done playing, Okposo needs to be kept in the organization in whatever capacity he is interested in pursuing.  He could be a Sabre for the next 25 years.  I can’t overstate how important I believe this is.

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8 minutes ago, Curt said:

Kyle Okposo is a really thoughtful and insightful guy with a huge heart.  He has been through the wringer both as a Sabre, and as a person.  He has seen the lowest of Sabres lows and is hopefully part of a major team turn around.  He probably only has a couple more seasons of hockey left in him but he and his family live in Buffalo year round.

When he is done playing, Okposo needs to be kept in the organization in whatever capacity he is interested in pursuing.  He could be a Sabre for the next 25 years.  I can’t overstate how important I believe this is.

I don't disagree with this but the Sabres don't have a history of treating ex players and alumni all that well. 

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8 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

I don't disagree with this but the Sabres don't have a history of treating ex players and alumni all that well. 

I understand that, unfortunately.  Exactly why I think it’s so important that that starts to change.  I want the Buffalo Sabres to feel a little less like a business and a little more like a family.  My hope is that the mentality that GMKA is pushing right now and is being expressed by the players kind of radiates through the whole organization.  It’s a hope.

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23 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

I don't disagree with this but the Sabres don't have a history of treating ex players and alumni all that well. 

Not sure this is 100% true, they did at one time have s good history of treating alumni well and they can have it again.  Everything starts now.  History is the past.  Pegula’s can control the future in this regard. They just need to stop gutting the FO and build what they did with the Bills.  

Edited by Pimlach
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28 minutes ago, Pimlach said:

Not sure this is 100% true, they did at one time have s good history of treating alumni well and they can have it again.  Everything starts now.  History is the past.  Pegula’s can control the future in this regard. They just need to stop gutting the FO and build what they did with the Bills.  

For some, yes, and for others, not so much.

They've populated the front office & broadcasting wings w/ alumni quite often through the years.  But they've also famously alientated alums such as all 3 members of the French Connection.  They've repaired a lot of those frayed ties.

Agreed that the Pegulas have tried to keep alumni in the fold & can do so moving forward.  And the key to that, IMHO, is keeping someone that cares about the little things in charge.  Adams sweats the details & things seem to be improving on that front.  Should he fail at his main task, the next leader might not be so receptive.  Though the success the Bills & Bandits have had would suggest the person in charge of the team will be expected to care about sweating the little things.

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1 hour ago, Curt said:

Kyle Okposo is a really thoughtful and insightful guy with a huge heart.  He has been through the wringer both as a Sabre, and as a person.  He has seen the lowest of Sabres lows and is hopefully part of a major team turn around.  He probably only has a couple more seasons of hockey left in him but he and his family live in Buffalo year round.

This just jumped out of my brain:

Kyle Okposo : Sabres : : Kyle Williams : Bills

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1 hour ago, PerreaultForever said:

I don't disagree with this but the Sabres don't have a history of treating ex players and alumni all that well. 

Tell that to Marty Biron, Rob Ray, Matt Ellis, Patrick Kaleta, Adam Mair, Tim Kennedy, Nathan Paetsch, Larry Playfair....

They have lots of ex-Sabres on staff.

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