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Deadline 2023 primer


GASabresIUFAN
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The Sabres are in an interesting situation.  We are on the border of playoff contention, have some lineup holes, and millions of cap space to take on contracts if interested. We also have 8 players on expiring contracts divided evenly between 4 UFAs and 4 RFAs. UFAs - Anderson, KO, Vinnie and Z; RFAs - Cozens, Clague, Jost and Asplund.

We also have a large group of players with one remaining including core RFAs Dahlin and Power, plus RFAs Krebs, Jokiharju, Bryson, Mitts, and UPL and UFAs Olofsson, Comrie and Lyubushkin.  3rd line players Mitts and Olofsson are trending toward career highs in production.  

Will KA be a seller or a buyer or possibly both?  Vinnie is already in the trade rumors and I expect him to be moved sooner then later.  This will enable KA to stop playing roster roulette with the kids.

The biggest roster issues remain D depth and some who can win a faceoff.  Imho the forwards also need to be more physical and try to score more dirty area goals.

Step 1 - Decide whether the team wants keep Z and KO beyond this season and talk to the to determine if they are even interested in returning.  Depending on how those conversation go, I’d either re-sign them or trade them at the deadline.  It may even be possible to trade them and then bring them back in the off-season.  I’d probably trade one of the two for sure to get Asplund in the lineup to see if he’s worth keeping beyond this season.

Step 2 - Trade Anderson if he is willing.  I hate a 3 goalie circus and I’d love to give Anderson a chance at a Cup if someone is interested in him.  Trading Anderson would also give management more opportunities to evaluate both Comrie and UPL

Step 3 - See what the market is offering for VO and Mitts.  If someone is offering a 1st or a package which includes a good to excellent D prospects, I think KA would have to consider it.

Step 4 - Kick the tires on acquiring a parter for Power with term.  Chychrun is the obvious answer, but maybe even Luke Schenn if he is willing to sign and extension.

Step 5 - See if you can upgrade Bryson.

Step 6 - trade Bishops contract, especially if we take a contract back in another deal.  Assets are assets.  

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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I can't see the Sabres realistically being a strong buyer unless things turn around right now. After yesterday, they can only lose 12.5 games for the rest of the season and hit 98 points. I get all the feels of not selling this deadline and making a run at the playoffs, but it's getting so unlikely that not making moves for next year and beyond is foolhardy.

I don't disagree with any of your points above, other than I'm not sure what the concept is for #6. It's not like a team is going to magically get a bunch of cap space by trading for Bishop's contract and it's done this year so it won't hinder the Sabres in the furture.

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2 minutes ago, MattPie said:

I can't see the Sabres realistically being a strong buyer unless things turn around right now. After yesterday, they can only lose 12.5 games for the rest of the season and hit 98 points. I get all the feels of not selling this deadline and making a run at the playoffs, but it's getting so unlikely that not making moves for next year and beyond is foolhardy.

I don't disagree with any of your points above, other than I'm not sure what the concept is for #6. It's not like a team is going to magically get a bunch of cap space by trading for Bishop's contract and it's done this year so it won't hinder the Sabres in the furture.

Actually it would help cap strapped teams by giving them a player on LTIR, essentially creating more cap room.  What’s the harm of adding a late round pick if someone wants Bishop’s deal.

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29 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Actually it would help cap strapped teams by giving them a player on LTIR, essentially creating more cap room.  What’s the harm of adding a late round pick if someone wants Bishop’s deal.

I'm not expert, so I don't think it works that way. I think the team would have to fit Bishop's contract under their cap, and they get pro-rated credit for the same amount to bring in a player while he's on LITR. But in this situation, they could just bring in a player with that same space. (I'm not explaining this well, I think)

The teams that have exploited this have already had a player on LITR, used up that credit during the season, and then have both players for the playoffs. I think Bishop only helps teams that need to hit the cap floor since he's never going to play again.

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Interesting post.  Hard to answer without knowing if 2023 is the year they will try to be "good" and spend more money.  I can't believe I am typing those word but it is a factor.  I will assume we will spend more money next year, get off the floor, but still not very close to the ceiling either.  

Based on the premise that we miss the playoffs and are sellers at the deadline: 

 Step 1 -  I would like to keep Zemgus unless we have a line on a better 4th line player (doubtful).  Extend KO for 1 year.   Mainly because I don't trust what kind of veterans that they will be able to bring in that will be better players or teammates than these two are.   

4 UFAs  -  Anderson gone (trade at deadline if we are out of it).  Z you try to sign for cheap 4th line role.  KO extend 1 year if possible, if not then goodbye.  Vinnie gone, not needed, he is a blocker.  

4 RFAs -  Cozens you pay.  Jost you pay (but not too much)  Asplund - depends on KO and Z.  I would sign for vet min.  He is spare forward kind of player.  Clagge is a minor league player that can move up to #7 or #8.  

Step 2 - Andy is gone next year so trade at deadline if you can get anything.  

Step 3 - Trade Mitts, move on from this guy.  VO is better and brings scoring but he is tradable too.  Both are tradable and remnants of the losing teams must be purged (like Beane did).  

Step 4 - A solid partner for Power is a must.  That moves Joker to 5 and improves two pairings with one move.  Spend $$ and assets to do this right.  

Step 5 - if too do step 4 then Bryson is gone.  He is a gamer, and has skills, but he is too dam small and will be abused in playoffs. He is s 6 on a losing team, move on.  

Step 6 - if you can trade Bishops contract you should.  I am tired of these kind bull$hit tricks related to the cap  and want to actually improve. 

To win next year we still need:

1.  Goalie - maybe it is UPL?  maybe. 

2  Top 4 veteran RDH - preferable someone with physical presence.   This gets rid of Bryson and below and improves multiple spots.  

3.  Get another skilled power forward type for the Jost line to make this team harder to play.  Get rid of Mitts, or VO, or both - its time to get better.  

4.  Get a two way center that can help us close out a game by not sucking in the defensive zone dot.  Everyone tells me this is Cozens, ok, then they should play him to do that.  Maybe it can be Jost but I think we add the 3rd line C and then move Jost to 4th line to battle Krebs.    We have to get better in the middle and not settle on status quo.  

5.  Add something to the 4th line that make this team meaner and better.  I don't care who's spot it takes.  

6  Add a vet 6/7 defenseman to push Loobey.  Good teams have interchangeable 6/7 players.  

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Actually it would help cap strapped teams by giving them a player on LTIR, essentially creating more cap room.  What’s the harm of adding a late round pick if someone wants Bishop’s deal.

Actually, it wouldn't add cap space for another team, it might even in actuality reduce their capspace.

He currently doesn't count against any other team's cap.  Adding his salary & then having it immediately go onto BF-LTIR (and going over the cap were he not on BF-LTIR, would set a new effective cap the team couldn't exceed which could very likely be lower than the actual cap.

It is very unlikely a team like AZ will make a move requiring them bump up the overall salary, but it is possible.  A team on the same boat the Sabres feared being in is the only potential buyer for Bishop's contract/cap hit.

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I know this probably goes against most on this board, but I'm "OK" if the Sabres don't do much at all.

Sure, if you can find a team that really, REALLY wants a player that you don't see a big future here, and the return is obviously better than what you have planned for that future for that player than make that deal. Those deals DO happen sometime but not that often.   But moving players around because 'it might be time for a change of scenery' and getting another teams 'change of scenery player' back, I don't need that. Also, i'm still not there on trading prospects and/or picks for a veteran guy who isn't good enough to stick round his current team, OR a guy who his current team doesn't want to pay the askig price (you have Dahlin and Cozens big deals coming soon, and you want to have enough money in the next 2-4 years for any other young guys that work out...I do NOT want a guy who might be good but wants top dollar and will squeeze out money for what you need in the near future)

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14 minutes ago, mjd1001 said:

I know this probably goes against most on this board, but I'm "OK" if the Sabres don't do much at all.

Sure, if you can find a team that really, REALLY wants a player that you don't see a big future here, and the return is obviously better than what you have planned for that future for that player than make that deal. Those deals DO happen sometime but not that often.   But moving players around because 'it might be time for a change of scenery' and getting another teams 'change of scenery player' back, I don't need that. Also, i'm still not there on trading prospects and/or picks for a veteran guy who isn't good enough to stick round his current team, OR a guy who his current team doesn't want to pay the askig price (you have Dahlin and Cozens big deals coming soon, and you want to have enough money in the next 2-4 years for any other young guys that work out...I do NOT want a guy who might be good but wants top dollar and will squeeze out money for what you need in the near future)

Have resigned myself to that as well.

Truly don't expect any big move and could easily see them not make a small one either though a move for a 5/6 to bump Bryson out of the lineup on a nightly basis could be in the cards.

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11 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Have resigned myself to that as well.

Truly don't expect any big move and could easily see them not make a small one either though a move for a 5/6 to bump Bryson out of the lineup on a nightly basis could be in the cards.

I don’t see big moves coming either. KA is a playing the patient approach. If a 4D shakes loose somewhere I hope he pounces on that.

Even though there are tons of prospects and picks, I hope he weaponizes the cap space by being the third party in some deals. They can acquire more assets that are currency just by taking on salary for a few months. This currency can be used at the draft to get a 4D, G or 3C from another team.

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3 minutes ago, French Collection said:

I don’t see big moves coming either. KA is a playing the patient approach. If a 4D shakes loose somewhere I hope he pounces on that.

Even though there are tons of prospects and picks, I hope he weaponizes the cap space by being the third party in some deals. They can acquire more assets that are currency just by taking on salary for a few months. This currency can be used at the draft to get a 4D, G or 3C from another team.

Would love to see him use that cap space to add more prospects & picks.  In mid-April that cap space is gone & never to be seen again.  Get some value that lasts beyond April for it.

Take on $15MM worth of cap hits & waive it all to Ra-cha-cha.  Either other teams take the defective assets off Adams hands & he gets futures for nothing more than a single day's salary or the Amerks are stocked w/ NHLers and the question becomes which 6 to dress on any given night.

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KO and Z will be here through the rest of the year and Z longer.

The decision they have is if they think Quinn, JJP and Krebs benefit more by playing or just being around. If the answer is playing, the only players they think of upgrading are VO, Mittts and 4-6 defenseman and a goalie. Since goalies almost never move at deadline, that leaves only Mitts and VO and a whole bunch of prospects as trade chips.

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Not bad enough to sell. Not good enough to buy. Of course if someone wants Oloffson or Skinner or Okposo or even Anderson you listen. I think you can trade Oloffson for a different type of player to the Sabres benefit. Not sure the trade deadline is going to find us other ‘hockey deals’ unless someone covets a cheap Mittelstadt contract.  

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48 minutes ago, PASabreFan said:

Great. Always such a fun day.

This is funny because deadline day, more often than not, is very ho hum in Buffalo.  Outside of dumping everyone for the McDavid sweepstakes, when have they made trades of note at the deadline? Bogo & Kane in 2015?  

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53 minutes ago, inkman said:

This is funny because deadline day, more often than not, is very ho hum in Buffalo.  Outside of dumping everyone for the McDavid sweepstakes, when have they made trades of note at the deadline? Bogo & Kane in 2015?  

We've grown apart since the kids left. I don't know what happened. You don't listen to me anymore. Sometimes I think if your calves ever shrunk I'd be out the door.

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1 hour ago, inkman said:

This is funny because deadline day, more often than not, is very ho hum in Buffalo.  Outside of dumping everyone for the McDavid sweepstakes, when have they made trades of note at the deadline? Bogo & Kane in 2015?  

Besides the trades of Staal, Hall and Montour two seasons ago?

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19 minutes ago, Weave said:

There is no fun to be had as sellers.

Oh come on, wasn't there at least some fun in seeing Hall and Staal sent packing.

We got Montour for Guhle in 2019 and a 1st.  Bogo and Kane in 2015.  My favorite TM trade in 2014 of 2 2nds and McNabb for Fasching and Delo.

Honestly I don't remember when we were ever a major buyer at the deadline this century.  Even in the 2 great years, DR didn't do much (thanks Quinn).  In 2007 we shipped out Biron and added Conklin and Zubrus.  I don't think we did anything in 2006 except dump Noronen.  We got Grier in 2004, but dumped Curtis Brown.

Maybe the most improved deadline acquisition for Briere in 2003 for Chris Gratton. After that deal, maybe getting Dumont and Gilmour for Michal Grosek?

DR went for it in 1999 getting Barnes, Juneau and Warrener for Mike Wilson, Alexei Tezikov, Plante and Barnaby.  We also got Satan at the deadline.

Dumont, Grier, Briere, Warraner and Satan are the type of deadline deals I like.  Deals where the guys acquired fill holes beyond the season they were acquired.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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23 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Actually it would help cap strapped teams by giving them a player on LTIR, essentially creating more cap room.  What’s the harm of adding a late round pick if someone wants Bishop’s deal.

I wouldn't trade cap space for a late round pick.  It would have to be far more tempting than that to bail out another team.

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28 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Oh come on, wasn't there at least some fun in seeing Hall and Staal sent packing.

We got Montour for Guhle in 2019 and a 1st.  Bogo and Kane in 2015.  My favorite TM trade in 2014 of 2 2nds and McNabb for Fasching and Delo.

Honestly I don't remember when we were ever a major buyer at the deadline this century.  Even in the 2 great years, DR didn't do much (thanks Quinn).  In 2007 we shipped out Biron and added Conklin and Zubrus.  I don't think we did anything in 2006 except dump Noronen.  We got Grier in 2004, but dumped Curtis Brown.

Maybe the most improved deadline acquisition for Briere in 2003 for Chris Gratton. After that deal, maybe getting Dumont and Gilmour for Michal Grosek?

DR went for it in 1999 getting Barnes, Juneau and Warrener for Mike Wilson, Alexei Tezikov, Plante and Barnaby.  We also got Satan at the deadline.

Dumont, Grier, Briere, Warraner and Satan are the type of deadline deals I like.  Deals where the guys acquired fill holes beyond the season they were acquired.

Zubrus had one of the most memorable plays for me in that years playoffs where they wre down 1-0 to the Rags with like 8 seconds left in the 3rd and he went to the corner and took out 2 players by himself and allowed the puck to come free for the feed to Connolly which got blocked and went to Drury and he buried it to tie the game then they won on Afinigenov's OT winner...

 

Just had to goi watch that highlight of those 2 goals again on YouTube...RJ still gives me chills with that call...while you see the building and Party in the Plaza going crazy.

Edited by matter2003
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We haven't utilized cap space over the last couple seasons, despite having tons and tons of it.  Utilizing cap space costs money and unfortunately the bottom line is still the most important factor to Kevvy and Terry.  Hopefully that ends after this season, but I'm not holding my breath.  

They may sell vets if they can, but they're very happy being (artificially) at the cap floor and conducting the slowest rebuild possible.  It lets them sell hope with less responsibility for the outcome and save money.  Pretty good gig they've set up for themselves.  No wonder there's no management urgency even while enduring the longest playoff drought in NHL history.

Edited by Thwomp!
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6 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Oh come on, wasn't there at least some fun in seeing Hall and Staal sent packing.

We got Montour for Guhle in 2019 and a 1st.  Bogo and Kane in 2015.  My favorite TM trade in 2014 of 2 2nds and McNabb for Fasching and Delo.

Honestly I don't remember when we were ever a major buyer at the deadline this century.  Even in the 2 great years, DR didn't do much (thanks Quinn).  In 2007 we shipped out Biron and added Conklin and Zubrus.  I don't think we did anything in 2006 except dump Noronen.  We got Grier in 2004, but dumped Curtis Brown.

Maybe the most improved deadline acquisition for Briere in 2003 for Chris Gratton. After that deal, maybe getting Dumont and Gilmour for Michal Grosek?

DR went for it in 1999 getting Barnes, Juneau and Warrener for Mike Wilson, Alexei Tezikov, Plante and Barnaby.  We also got Satan at the deadline.

Dumont, Grier, Briere, Warraner and Satan are the type of deadline deals I like.  Deals where the guys acquired fill holes beyond the season they were acquired.

You forget that in 2006 that there were a LOT of pundits and hockey people who said that the enforcement of the rules in the playoffs would revert to Dead Puck Era levels because you could not have, as one Toronto-based pundit put it, "the pond hockey pansies devaluing playoff hockey."  Recall that said moniker referred to the Buffalo Sabres.  So why buy when the roster as constructed would have needed to have been shredded had these guys been right?

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On 1/19/2023 at 1:23 PM, matter2003 said:

I wouldn't trade cap space for a late round pick.  It would have to be far more tempting than that to bail out another team.

Why not if it's on an expiring contract?

The cap space, which the Sabres have in spades, will have 0 value before April is a memory.

A 7th rounder might become the next Olofsson and a 5th rounder might become the next Miller.  (Neither is likely, but there's value in either draft pick that will remain beyond the next 90 days.)

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So I can see KA gaining picks utilizing the cap space by being the 3rd team with a Chicago move involving either Kane or Toews.  

Sabres can send Bishop to Chicago to help keep them above the floor. Then retain half of either Kane or Toews salary in exchange for a decent pick

Scenario is Kane or Toews to NYR.  

Rangers send Chicago 2023 1st rd pick and young player, (Kravtsov or Gauthier).

Rangers send Buffalo 3rd rd pick, (Colorado pick), for 50% retention.

Buffalo sends Chicago Bishop contract to help keep them above the cap floor.

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1 hour ago, sweetlou said:

So I can see KA gaining picks utilizing the cap space by being the 3rd team with a Chicago move involving either Kane or Toews.  

Sabres can send Bishop to Chicago to help keep them above the floor. Then retain half of either Kane or Toews salary in exchange for a decent pick

Scenario is Kane or Toews to NYR.  

Rangers send Chicago 2023 1st rd pick and young player, (Kravtsov or Gauthier).

Rangers send Buffalo 3rd rd pick, (Colorado pick), for 50% retention.

Buffalo sends Chicago Bishop contract to help keep them above the cap floor.

Why would we help the Rags when were still competing for a playoff spot?  This scenario only comes into play if the Sabres significantly fall off the table in the next 4 weeks.  I don't that happening.  

In the last 13 games that Sabres have given up 3 or more goals 12 times, including 7 games of 4 or more.  Despite that they still have won 7 of those game although 4 in OT.  They are 7-5-1.  GF 45 GA GA 45.  Honestly, even with Bush healthy, if KA is serious about trying to make the playoffs this year (I don't think he is serious about it however), he needs to upgrade the defense sooner then later. 

At this point with the improved play from the 3rd line, I don't expect any real change at forward unless KO says he wants to be traded to a legit contender.  

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