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Tage Thompson- Champion of Justice, Doer of Good, Enemy of Evil, Nurturer of Sick Puppies


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46 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Some people maintain both teams can't "win a trade."  An important aspect of any trade though is the time phasing.  The Sabres weren't ready to win when they dealt ROR.  We thought the were but they weren't.  The Blues were and ROR filled a critical need.  So yes they won the trade; they got exactly what they wanted from it.  But as it turned out, so did the Sabres... they got a foundational player who was not yet mature, and who is maturing just as the team is also maturing as a team.  Perfect for us too.  Win-..........Win.

One thing being neglected in this entire discussion is that by re-retooling Botterill laid the foundation to having 5,000 paying fans in the building last night.   Yes, the team now seems to be on the right track, thankfully.  But how much of the negative intangibles that have been pervasive around this team could've been avoided having all of Eichel, O'Reilly, Dahlin, Reinhart, & a recovered from his injury Okposo?  Expect a lot of it could've been avoided if the Sabres had actually brought in a quality coach rather than dumping a Selke candidate for 2 futures and trash.  Of course, that supposes that Botterill could identify a quality coach - not exactly a given.

Three, & arguably 4, fully lost years are the other thing the Sabres got in that trade.  It shouldn't be discounted when evaluating it.  That trade was NOT Niewendyk for Iginla though revisionists might try to cast it as such.

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4 hours ago, Taro T said:

But how much of the negative intangibles that have been pervasive around this team could've been avoided having all of Eichel, O'Reilly, Dahlin, Reinhart, & a recovered from his injury Okposo?  Expect a lot of it could've been avoided if the Sabres had actually brought in a quality coach rather than dumping a Selke candidate for 2 futures and trash.  Of course, that supposes that Botterill could identify a quality coach - not exactly a given.

On paper what you say make sense.  And the right coach could have helped the situation.  But by the time Kevyn did his retooling the Sabres locker room was a hot mess of cliques and personalities.  I think everyone from the fan base through the ownership felt that viewing Jack as the team's centerpiece and building around him was the way to go.  That was exactly wrong. 

Let's just say for the sake of a thought experiment that Kevyn Adams was the GM in 2015 and Granato was the coach.  Would the team dynamics have worked out differently, or was it still going to be a shitshow of cliques and personalities?  I don't know the answer to that and I'm not sure anyone does.  If they had Eichel, O'Reilly, Dahlin, Reinhart and Okposo, but they still had brought in Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian, would the toxicity in the room still have formed?  I think so.

BUT if KA and DG were the GM & coach maybe they wouldn't have brought in those two, maybe they would have focused on character from the start, maybe they wouldn't have treated Jack like some sort of god.  I dunno.  Too many variables.

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Just now, Doohickie said:

On paper what you say make sense.  And the right coach could have helped the situation.  But by the time Kevyn did his retooling the Sabres locker room was a hot mess of cliques and personalities.  I think everyone from the fan base through the ownership felt that viewing Jack as the team's centerpiece and building around him was the way to go.  That was exactly wrong. 

Let's just say for the sake of a thought experiment that Kevyn Adams was the GM in 2015 and Granato was the coach.  Would the team dynamics have worked out differently, or was it still going to be a shitshow of cliques and personalities?  I don't know that answer to that and I'm not sure anyone does.  If they had Eichel, O'Reilly, Dahlin, Reinhart and Okposo, but they still had brought in Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian, would the toxicity in the room still have formed?  I think so.

BUT if KA and DG were the coach maybe they wouldn't have brought in those two, maybe they would have focused on character from the start, maybe they wouldn't have treated Jack like some sort of god.  I dunno.  Too many variables.

You are missing a ####ton of externalities and focusing on only one in an apparent attempt to ignore them all.  Which is ignoring the intent of the post you are kind of responding to.  And you are completely messing w/ the timeline.  There's no keeping Bogosian & Kane off the roster.  BUT, rather than dump the Selke candidate, they COULD have dumped those 2 (AND the idiot coach that led them to a last place finish).  And if they were both excised only 3 years in rather than just 1, why couldn't their effects have been mitigated?  Especially if they had a coach w/ his head out of his bippy (which given the GM, could very well have been an unrealistic expectation) and still had O'Reilly because that team would've been much better than what they had. Not sure why you're imagining having Adams in his role at that time when looking at the merits of the O'Reilly trade?  Remember, this team would actually have had TWO elite C's in '18-'19 as Eichel became a better than a PPG player that year which probably wasn't enough to get into the playoffs but they should've been able to at least get into the mix.  Heck, the team they actually iced had a 10 game winning streak.  And that team was significantly worse than what they could've iced w/ ROR.  And if they're in the mix &/or improving over what they were Housley's 1st year, a lot of the toxicity can be mitigated.  People that aren't constantly failing aren't nearly as miserable as those that are.

Also, it wasn't Adams that dumped O'Reilly.  It was his predecessor.  It was Adams coach who had the idea to move Thompson to center.  NOBODY else saw that, including Tage himself.  Without that move, the trade might very well have turned out to be a Selke candidate for two scrubs, a 3rd/4th line winger and a late 2nd round pick FIVE years later.  That was setting up to be a disaster.  Fortunately, it's shaping up to not be on the ice four years later.  But that's a lot of wasted years to get to this point. 

Adams didn't come into the picture until 2 years after the trade.  Not sure why you're making the hypothetical into stuff 5 years before he stepped into the role.  He would NEVER have gotten the job then as he was an assistant coach (and pretty sure at the youth level, no longer at the NHL level).

Again, by dropping O'Reilly for nothing and a good player 4 years later (because they lucked into Botterill falling on his sword rather than gutting the scouting staff enabling a GM that could identify a good coach to take over) caused a lot more losing than was necessary and it seriously hosed the fan base.  The people looking at the trade only as a shift of the timeline are ignoring all of that and the Sabres and their fans bought all of that with the trade.

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13 minutes ago, Taro T said:

You are missing a ####ton of externalities and focusing on only one in an apparent attempt to ignore them all.  Which is ignoring the intent of the post you are kind of responding to.  And you are completely messing w/ the timeline.  There's no keeping Bogosian & Kane off the roster.  BUT, rather than dump the Selke candidate, they COULD have dumped those 2 (AND the idiot coach that led them to a last place finish).  And if they were both excised only 3 years in rather than just 1, why couldn't their effects have been mitigated?  Especially if they had a coach w/ his head out of his bippy (which given the GM, could very well have been an unrealistic expectation) and still had O'Reilly because that team would've been much better than what they had. Not sure why you're imagining having Adams in his role at that time when looking at the merits of the O'Reilly trade?  Remember, this team would actually have had TWO elite C's in '18-'19 as Eichel became a better than a PPG player that year which probably wasn't enough to get into the playoffs but they should've been able to at least get into the mix.  Heck, the team they actually iced had a 10 game winning streak.  And that team was significantly worse than what they could've iced w/ ROR.  And if they're in the mix &/or improving over what they were Housley's 1st year, a lot of the toxicity can be mitigated.  People that aren't constantly failing aren't nearly as miserable as those that are.

Also, it wasn't Adams that dumped O'Reilly.  It was his predecessor.  It was Adams coach who had the idea to move Thompson to center.  NOBODY else saw that, including Tage himself.  Without that move, the trade might very well have turned out to be a Selke candidate for two scrubs, a 3rd/4th line winger and a late 2nd round pick FIVE years later.  That was setting up to be a disaster.  Fortunately, it's shaping up to not be on the ice four years later.  But that's a lot of wasted years to get to this point. 

Adams didn't come into the picture until 2 years after the trade.  Not sure why you're making the hypothetical into stuff 5 years before he stepped into the role.  He would NEVER have gotten the job then as he was an assistant coach (and pretty sure at the youth level, no longer at the NHL level).

Again, by dropping O'Reilly for nothing and a good player 4 years later (because they lucked into Botterill falling on his sword rather than gutting the scouting staff enabling a GM that could identify a good coach to take over) caused a lot more losing than was necessary and it seriously hosed the fan base.  The people looking at the trade only as a shift of the timeline are ignoring all of that and the Sabres and their fans bought all of that with the trade.

Okay, let me try a different response:  at this point, the last decade of Sabres futility all blends together so sure, I probably got my timelines messed up.  Your post was well supported, mine was not.  I'm not really looking to pick a fight at this point.

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9 hours ago, Sabres Fan in NS said:

🍺

André and Denis are not brothers.

Oh? 

"The first game Denis ever played was at Notre-Dame de Lourdes school when he was seven years old," says Andrè Savard, one of Denis's three older brothers. 

 

https://vault.si.com/vault/1990/10/08/return-of-the-native-better-late-by-10-years-than-never-denis-savard-is-right-where-he-belongs-with-his-hometown-canadiens

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7 hours ago, Taro T said:

You are missing a ####ton of externalities and focusing on only one in an apparent attempt to ignore them all.  Which is ignoring the intent of the post you are kind of responding to.  And you are completely messing w/ the timeline.  There's no keeping Bogosian & Kane off the roster.  BUT, rather than dump the Selke candidate, they COULD have dumped those 2 (AND the idiot coach that led them to a last place finish).  And if they were both excised only 3 years in rather than just 1, why couldn't their effects have been mitigated?  Especially if they had a coach w/ his head out of his bippy (which given the GM, could very well have been an unrealistic expectation) and still had O'Reilly because that team would've been much better than what they had. Not sure why you're imagining having Adams in his role at that time when looking at the merits of the O'Reilly trade?  Remember, this team would actually have had TWO elite C's in '18-'19 as Eichel became a better than a PPG player that year which probably wasn't enough to get into the playoffs but they should've been able to at least get into the mix.  Heck, the team they actually iced had a 10 game winning streak.  And that team was significantly worse than what they could've iced w/ ROR.  And if they're in the mix &/or improving over what they were Housley's 1st year, a lot of the toxicity can be mitigated.  People that aren't constantly failing aren't nearly as miserable as those that are.

Also, it wasn't Adams that dumped O'Reilly.  It was his predecessor.  It was Adams coach who had the idea to move Thompson to center.  NOBODY else saw that, including Tage himself.  Without that move, the trade might very well have turned out to be a Selke candidate for two scrubs, a 3rd/4th line winger and a late 2nd round pick FIVE years later.  That was setting up to be a disaster.  Fortunately, it's shaping up to not be on the ice four years later.  But that's a lot of wasted years to get to this point. 

Adams didn't come into the picture until 2 years after the trade.  Not sure why you're making the hypothetical into stuff 5 years before he stepped into the role.  He would NEVER have gotten the job then as he was an assistant coach (and pretty sure at the youth level, no longer at the NHL level).

Again, by dropping O'Reilly for nothing and a good player 4 years later (because they lucked into Botterill falling on his sword rather than gutting the scouting staff enabling a GM that could identify a good coach to take over) caused a lot more losing than was necessary and it seriously hosed the fan base.  The people looking at the trade only as a shift of the timeline are ignoring all of that and the Sabres and their fans bought all of that with the trade.

I would summarize by saying it was a bad trade that looks like it may weirdly workout in the end. 
 

There is an argument that had Botterill hired a better coach and had they placed leadership in the hands of O’Reilly and Okposo instead of Eichel that things would have worked out better. There was no chance of that though because Botterill was not a good GM. 

Edited by Archie Lee
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37 minutes ago, Archie Lee said:

it was a bad trade that looks like it may weirdly workout in the end. 

It only worked out for the Sabres because Granato moved Tage back to center.  If he was still on the wing he would still suck.  Also a happy coincidence (for Tage at least) that Mitts got injured as the season started which thrusted Tage to the top line.

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18 hours ago, Taro T said:

One thing being neglected in this entire discussion is that by re-retooling Botterill laid the foundation to having 5,000 paying fans in the building last night.   Yes, the team now seems to be on the right track, thankfully.  But how much of the negative intangibles that have been pervasive around this team could've been avoided having all of Eichel, O'Reilly, Dahlin, Reinhart, & a recovered from his injury Okposo?  Expect a lot of it could've been avoided if the Sabres had actually brought in a quality coach rather than dumping a Selke candidate for 2 futures and trash.  Of course, that supposes that Botterill could identify a quality coach - not exactly a given.

Three, & arguably 4, fully lost years are the other thing the Sabres got in that trade.  It shouldn't be discounted when evaluating it.  That trade was NOT Niewendyk for Iginla though revisionists might try to cast it as such.

5 hours ago, Archie Lee said:

I would summarize by saying it was a bad trade that looks like it may weirdly workout in the end. 
 

There is an argument that had Botterill hired a better coach and had they placed leadership in the hands of O’Reilly and Okposo instead of Eichel that things would have worked out better. There was no chance of that though because Botterill was not a good GM. 

 

And a goalie!  Don't forget the goalie!

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On 11/2/2022 at 8:48 AM, Doohickie said:

It only worked out for the Sabres because Granato moved Tage back to center.  If he was still on the wing he would still suck.  Also a happy coincidence (for Tage at least) that Mitts got injured as the season started which thrusted Tage to the top line.

I don't know that he would "still suck" as a wing.  

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49 minutes ago, Drag0nDan said:

I don't know that he would "still suck" as a wing.  

I don't know it either, but I strongly suspect that he would.  Putting him at center really kickstarted him.  Making him the 1C launched him.  If you moved him to wing now, he might be fine.  But I think without the transition to center he'd still be struggling to find his game.

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On 11/2/2022 at 8:10 AM, Archie Lee said:

I would summarize by saying it was a bad trade that looks like it may weirdly workout in the end. 
 

There is an argument that had Botterill hired a better coach and had they placed leadership in the hands of O’Reilly and Okposo instead of Eichel that things would have worked out better. There was no chance of that though because Botterill was not a good GM. 

Or maybe it could be said the Sabres simply needed a coach who could actually develop young talent to come along for him to succeed?  Is there a single player that doesn't look light years better under Granato than any of the other coaches?  That says a lot about both Granato and the other coaches.

Edited by matter2003
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Here's a question we were all scared to broach even a few weeks ago: "What if Tage Thompson can actually fill the role of legit 1st line centre every team needs to be a contender?"

Is it something we can talk about yet? The sample size continues to grow.

In the calendar year of 2022 Tage now has 33 goals and 62 points in 56 games. In Eichel's best year he had 36 goals and 78 points in 68 games.

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On 11/2/2022 at 3:36 AM, matter2003 said:

Oh? 

"The first game Denis ever played was at Notre-Dame de Lourdes school when he was seven years old," says Andrè Savard, one of Denis's three older brothers. 

 

https://vault.si.com/vault/1990/10/08/return-of-the-native-better-late-by-10-years-than-never-denis-savard-is-right-where-he-belongs-with-his-hometown-canadiens

That article is wrong.  

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5 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Here's a question we were all scared to broach even a few weeks ago: "What if Tage Thompson can actually fill the role of legit 1st line centre every team needs to be a contender?"

Is it something we can talk about yet? The sample size continues to grow.

We can talk about it. I think TT is a legitimate and capable 1C at this point. If we're going with the ESPN mantra of "EvErY TEaM NeeDS aN ELiTe 1C to WiN THe cUP" then no. He is not one, but you also don't need one to win a cup. There's realistically like 5 of those in the entire league and two of them are on the Cup-less Oilers and one is in a Cup-less Toronto.

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15 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

I like TT a lot, but let's see how he does against the stepped-up competition the Sabres are about to encounter.

Not really disagreeing, but at it's heart, this is a "when do you believe" question.

Down the stretch last year he put up 15/8/23 in 23 games against Vegas, Colorado, St. Louis, Boston Toronto, Tampa, Florida, Carolina, the Rangers, Nashville, Washington Pittsburgh, Calgary, Edmonton, Minnesota and Dallas.

If he gets just a goal and an assist in the next 5 games, does that mean he's not there yet?

How many times do we have to see something before it's real?

 

Edited by dudacek
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