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2023-24 Sabres Early Thoughts


GASabresIUFAN
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10 minutes ago, Marvin said:

Thank you.

First things first: if possible, sign Cozens long-term to a Tage-style contract plus inflation; call it 8 years x $8M.  Yes, I think he's that valuable.

Okposo, Girgensons, Asplund, Jost, and Clague will get a maximum total of $10M between them.

I would hope to add a medium-term top-4 defenceman.  Call that $4M.

I come up with about $46M for Thompson, Skinner, Tuch, Mittlestadt, Olofsson, Quinn, Peterka, Krebs, Lyubushkin, Bryson, Jokiharu, Power, Samuelsson, and Dahlin.  Add about $5M for goalkeepers in Comrie and Pekka-Luukkonen.

So next season will probably still be far below the Cap with a max of $73M.  We will need to give Power a big contract and Dahlin a bigger contract the year after.  My estimate is that, with no changes, the salary for the current team in that season will pass $85M.  Then Quinn, Peterka, Krebs, and the goaltenders get paid.  Thus, we will need turnover at the bottom of the roster if the top 6 forwards and top 4 defencemen stay the same throughout.

So conservative spending next year looks likely.  It looks like 2024-5 is when the Sabres' salary will explode.

Which coincidentally corresponds to a modest rise in the cap followed by an explosion there as well.

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10 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Which coincidentally corresponds to a modest rise in the cap followed by an explosion there as well.

That is why I think KA should weaponize their cap space at this year’s deadline.

The cap should go up slightly next year and then really take off. The Sabres need the cap space going forward and other teams will gain room as it goes up.

A 4-5 Dman must be available for Bryson and taking an expiring contract off of someone’s hands.

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On 1/22/2023 at 9:23 AM, GASabresIUFAN said:

I listened to  KA on Ray Ferraro's podcast and came away with the impression that he isn't going to make any major moves at the deadline or even this summer.  He is set on letting the guys mature and will only fill holes as they naturally occur.

From that standpoint the status quo team looks like it will return in 2023-24

In goal (2) - UPL and Comrie - UPL's play has convinced KA to let him become the starter.  (Cost 2.638)

Defense (6) - Power, Dahlin, Samuelsson, Jokiharju, Lyubushkin and Bryson.  They are all under contract.  Only question is RFA Clague.  This is a huge mistake imho.  Jokiharju isn't good enough for the 2nd pairing and Bryson isn't good enough to be an everyday player.  (Cost 18.302)

Forwards (8) - Tnt, Tuch, Skinner, Mitts, VO, JJP, Quinn and Krebs are all under contract.  Jost, Cozens and Asplund are all RFAs and both will be re-signed.  KA was clear on the podcast how happy he was with Jost and how he is a guy who can grow with the group.  That leaves Z and KO, both UFAs as the only points of possible change.  (Cost 30.726)

Capwise - The 16 players cost 51.166.  Add about 10.5 for Cozens ($8?) and Jost (2.5?) and we are at approx 61.5 for 18 players. 

Basically KA's biggest offseason question is what to do about KO and Z.  Re-sign or not and if re-signed for how long.  How do you replace them if not re-signed.  Cap space is not an issue for next year, but the year after Power, Dahlin, Mitts, Joki and UPL will all need new deals.  VO will also if KA thinks he is part of the core.  30+ goal scorers are hard to replace.   

Prospects looking for jobs

1) Forwards - Savoie is NHL or CHL only next year.  Kulich is prospering at 18 in the AHL (17 pts in 29 games).  Older prospects Bio (24) 29 pts in 30 games, Weissbach (24) 26 pts with 13 goals in 36 games and Rousek (23) 25 pts in 36 games are the Amerks leading scorers.  

2) Defense - Only former 1st rd pick Johnson is possibly NHL ready assuming KA signs him once Minn's season ends.  

3) Goalie - None, but KA was gushing over Levi.  He was clear that Levi won't be rushed to the NHL.  KA was also happy with Portillo, but his words were very measured.  

After listening to the podcast, I now doubt Kulich or Savoie will be Sabres next year.  No need to rush either, but I still don't like the idea of Savoie returning to the CHL.  I think it's a waste of his time.  Might he go to Europe for a year to play against older competition?  

If I'm honest, I think this is the wrong strategy for next season.  It's now time to start moving on from some of the former prospects, now players, who aren't contributing how they should.  Asplund, Bryson, Jokiharju, and even Mitts and VO should all be discussed.  For me I'm ok with Mitts and Vo for another season especially if the chemistry with Jost continues to improve.  However allowing 3+ goal a game against is not acceptable. If I were KA I'd be looking for a partner for Power.  My thought would be, in keeping with the status quo theme, to drop Bryson and Bush to the 7/8 roles, move Joki to the 6, find a RHD partner for Power and a LHD partner for Jokiharju. 

 

 

 

I think they’ll look to add a defender. I doubt he does nothing. What would the total cap space be under your formulation? 

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On 1/22/2023 at 10:45 AM, PASabreFan said:

We're not there yet (missing the playoffs). We've been so conditioned to look to the future.

It's a tone deaf topic IMHO.

I mean, why not Anticipated 24-25 Opening Night Roster?

I will be *highly* disappointed if the messaging pre-season isn’t clearly pointed towards making the playoffs being the focus. The messaging this past offseason clearly pointed towards evaluation/development year for this current season, so I’d like to see that specific change. It’s definitely time. 

21 hours ago, dudacek said:

Agreed, plus I don’t see many better 4th-liners around the league.

Ya the “he’s here if he wants to be” thinking only makes sense to me because of the above. 

It wouldn’t be very feasible if he wasn’t pretty good at what he does 

Edited by Thorny
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On 1/22/2023 at 10:23 AM, GASabresIUFAN said:

Capwise - The 16 players cost 51.166.  Add about 10.5 for Cozens ($8?) and Jost (2.5?) and we are at approx 61.5 for 18 players. 

 

31 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I think they’ll look to add a defender. I doubt he does nothing. What would the total cap space be under your formulation? 

Forwards (Cost 41.225)

TNT, Skinner, Tuch

JJP, Cozens, Quinn

Mitts, Jost, VO

????  Krebs ????

Defense (Cost 18.302)

Samuelsson Dahlin

Power ?????

???? Jokiharju

Bryson Lyubuskin

Goalies (Cost 2.638)

UPL Comrie

This group is 61.5 with 5 opening

So how would I fill those openings?  On defense I’d start with Nick Jensen (2 years 3.5 per season) for Power’s partner.  I’d also make a run at Conor Clifton who Boston can’t afford to keep. (3 yr 2.5 per season) for Jokiharju’s partner.  At forward, I’d bring back Z (2 yr 2.5 per season) and I’d like to see if Rousek is ready.  I’d bring in a vet for the 13 F in case Rousek isn’t ready.  This would cost about 11.3 for the 5 guys bringing the team to about 72.8.  I am interested in Miles Wood, but I doubt KA would spend the money.  

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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2 hours ago, Thorny said:

I will be *highly* disappointed if the messaging pre-season isn’t clearly pointed towards making the playoffs being the focus. The messaging this past offseason clearly pointed towards evaluation/development year for this current season, so I’d like to see that specific change. It’s definitely time. 

Ya the “he’s here if he wants to be” thinking only makes sense to me because of the above. 

It wouldn’t be very feasible if he wasn’t pretty good at what he does 

Am going to be very disappointed if the messaging isn't geared towards legitimately competing for the Stanley Cup.

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I think what’s slipping a little through the cracks is the Sabres philosophy of building from within is not likely to change next season, or any season.

This is an organization that believes it’s current pattern is not only the path to becoming good, it is also the path to staying good.

I don’t really expect them to start making a habit of big-name win-now trades or signings this summer or ever.

What I am curious about is whether Adams will eventually be willing to move on from “his guys” the way Darcy wasn’t and Punch wasn’t.

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16 hours ago, dudacek said:

I think what’s slipping a little through the cracks is the Sabres philosophy of building from within is not likely to change next season, or any season.

This is an organization that believes it’s current pattern is not only the path to becoming good, it is also the path to staying good.

I don’t really expect them to start making a habit of big-name win-now trades or signings this summer or ever.

What I am curious about is whether Adams will eventually be willing to move on from “his guys” the way Darcy wasn’t and Punch wasn’t.

Expect he will be.  He's been able to do the dispassionate canning of most of the front office and also got rid of guys he brought in that 1st year though it can be argued they weren't really "his" guys as they were brought in to support a structure he thought needed to be torn down.

That said, until a Quinn or Krebs or Power do get moved, we won't know if he will or won't do so.  (And there is no rush at all on any of those guys moving so we literally might not know the answer to that definitively for years.)

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Serious question:  I know Anderson is as old as the hills, and everyone thinks the plan next year is UPL and Comrie in Buffalo, Levi in Rochester and Portillo signing elsewhere and getting booed whenever he comes here with his new team -- but what if Anderson keeps delivering gems like the other night vs Dallas, which was a no-BS elite NHL goaltending performance, and he wants to come back for another year?

There's a very real possibility that both of those contingencies will prove out -- i.e. that Anderson will play about once per week for the rest of this season and will play very well in those outings, and that he loves playing in the NHL and, since he can still bring it, will want to do so again next year.

Would KA say no thanks?  What if UPL loves Anderson as a mentor and source of calm and advice and begs KA to bring him back?  And what if Comrie stinks for the rest of this season?

It seems unlikely, but maybe?

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48 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Serious question:  I know Anderson is as old as the hills, and everyone thinks the plan next year is UPL and Comrie in Buffalo, Levi in Rochester and Portillo signing elsewhere and getting booed whenever he comes here with his new team -- but what if Anderson keeps delivering gems like the other night vs Dallas, which was a no-BS elite NHL goaltending performance, and he wants to come back for another year?

There's a very real possibility that both of those contingencies will prove out -- i.e. that Anderson will play about once per week for the rest of this season and will play very well in those outings, and that he loves playing in the NHL and, since he can still bring it, will want to do so again next year.

Would KA say no thanks?  What if UPL loves Anderson as a mentor and source of calm and advice and begs KA to bring him back?  And what if Comrie stinks for the rest of this season?

It seems unlikely, but maybe?

What if Anderson only brought that energy he had vs Dallas because it was a milestone game for him?  He lost his 3 previous starts against other also rans and only had 1 decent outing out of those 3.

They can not rely on Anderson being back next year.

They need to know what they have in Comrie before it becomes time to set next season's roster.

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1 hour ago, nfreeman said:

Serious question:  I know Anderson is as old as the hills, and everyone thinks the plan next year is UPL and Comrie in Buffalo, Levi in Rochester and Portillo signing elsewhere and getting booed whenever he comes here with his new team -- but what if Anderson keeps delivering gems like the other night vs Dallas, which was a no-BS elite NHL goaltending performance, and he wants to come back for another year?

There's a very real possibility that both of those contingencies will prove out -- i.e. that Anderson will play about once per week for the rest of this season and will play very well in those outings, and that he loves playing in the NHL and, since he can still bring it, will want to do so again next year.

Would KA say no thanks?  What if UPL loves Anderson as a mentor and source of calm and advice and begs KA to bring him back?  And what if Comrie stinks for the rest of this season?

It seems unlikely, but maybe?

I don’t see saving a roster spot for a once per week player being viable when this team is under expectations to win.

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3 hours ago, nfreeman said:

Serious question:  I know Anderson is as old as the hills, and everyone thinks the plan next year is UPL and Comrie in Buffalo, Levi in Rochester and Portillo signing elsewhere and getting booed whenever he comes here with his new team -- but what if Anderson keeps delivering gems like the other night vs Dallas, which was a no-BS elite NHL goaltending performance, and he wants to come back for another year?

There's a very real possibility that both of those contingencies will prove out -- i.e. that Anderson will play about once per week for the rest of this season and will play very well in those outings, and that he loves playing in the NHL and, since he can still bring it, will want to do so again next year.

Would KA say no thanks?  What if UPL loves Anderson as a mentor and source of calm and advice and begs KA to bring him back?  And what if Comrie stinks for the rest of this season?

It seems unlikely, but maybe?

I’d take him back before Comrie to a certainty if he continues to perform better than Comrie. The stats don’t lie 

Guys who have 28 nhl starts 10 years after being drafted are, believe it or not, dime a dozen. 

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On 1/25/2023 at 1:49 PM, nfreeman said:

Serious question:  I know Anderson is as old as the hills, and everyone thinks the plan next year is UPL and Comrie in Buffalo, Levi in Rochester and Portillo signing elsewhere and getting booed whenever he comes here with his new team -- but what if Anderson keeps delivering gems like the other night vs Dallas, which was a no-BS elite NHL goaltending performance, and he wants to come back for another year?

There's a very real possibility that both of those contingencies will prove out -- i.e. that Anderson will play about once per week for the rest of this season and will play very well in those outings, and that he loves playing in the NHL and, since he can still bring it, will want to do so again next year.

Would KA say no thanks?  What if UPL loves Anderson as a mentor and source of calm and advice and begs KA to bring him back?  And what if Comrie stinks for the rest of this season?

It seems unlikely, but maybe?

I’ve been gone for a few days so I’m just catching up with topics now.

I think he is done after this year but, if he wants to stick around, KA may find a way.

Instead of “sending” the kids to Rochester and playing that game, he “sends” Anderson down after his weekly game. Anderson comes out and tells other teams that if they pick him up on waivers he will retire, kind of like what Spezza did with the Leafs in his last season.

Maybe he does report to Rochester but only to mentor Levi and get a bit of practice in.

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On 1/23/2023 at 5:51 PM, GASabresIUFAN said:

 

Forwards (Cost 41.225)

TNT, Skinner, Tuch

JJP, Cozens, Quinn

Mitts, Jost, VO

????  Krebs ????

Defense (Cost 18.302)

Samuelsson Dahlin

Power ?????

???? Jokiharju

Bryson Lyubuskin

Goalies (Cost 2.638)

UPL Comrie

This group is 61.5 with 5 opening

So how would I fill those openings?  On defense I’d start with Nick Jensen (2 years 3.5 per season) for Power’s partner.  I’d also make a run at Conor Clifton who Boston can’t afford to keep. (3 yr 2.5 per season) for Jokiharju’s partner.  At forward, I’d bring back Z (2 yr 2.5 per season) and I’d like to see if Rousek is ready.  I’d bring in a vet for the 13 F in case Rousek isn’t ready.  This would cost about 11.3 for the 5 guys bringing the team to about 72.8.  I am interested in Miles Wood, but I doubt KA would spend the money.  

Next year, I think Kulich>Rousek

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When you are approaching 2.5mil cap hits for players like Jost and Girgs, you are approaching dangerous territory with all the kids contracts coming up, but I guess as long as they are 1 year deals and not anything crazy like 3 for 7.5 or 4 for 10, it should not be painful at least for next year. 

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Thanks for all the above posted figures going forward. 

 Cozens must stick. I don't pretend to know how certain Forwards are viewed by KA and Granato but Kyle O and his linemate ZG are probably done here. They need to add more youth and scoring somewhere.  Who is stepping up will be determined. Jost and Krebs can take their spots. 

 Andersons wife and kids are in Florida. He, being 42, will join them. UPL and Cromrie in Goal with hopefully Levi in Rochester.  

 Agree with some thoughts on D. That could be the spot KA is looking outside to improve. Don't pretend to know the names. They still need to play better in their zone and cut down on the giveaways. Yet the D core needs to improve moving people out in front of the net and clearing the puck. 

 Would be surprised to see any major trade happen in the next month. Seems to counter what they are doing. 

 

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Just now, Night Train said:

Thanks for all the above posted figures going forward. 

 Cozens must stick. I don't pretend to know how certain Forwards are viewed by KA and Granato but Kyle O and his linemate ZG are probably done here. They need to add more youth and scoring somewhere.  Who is stepping up will be determined. Jost and Krebs can take their spots. 

 

 

But they are the youngest, highest-scoring team in the league.

I think they need more experience and the reliability that come with it — especially if Girgs and Kyle aren't back

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3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

But they are the youngest, highest-scoring team in the league.

I think they need more experience and the reliability that come with it — especially if Girgs and Kyle aren't back

Don't disagree at all. I just view a veteran presence more on the back end (D). I think that's where we need it more.

 Scoring is no problem right now and Jost,Krebs are energizer bunnies with a bit more ability to score over ZG and Kyle O, in my view. But may points above are solid. 

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What might an aggressive  (or at least semi aggressive) off-season look like.  I’m assuming Meier isn’t traded at the deadline. The goal is to get more physical at forward and to add a better defensive D.  
 

1) We trade Bryson and Asplund for whatever we can get

2) We re-sign Clague for the 7th slot

3) We let Andy and KO walk in the off-season, but re-sign Girgensons, Cozens and Jost.

4) We trade VO for solid assets

5) We trade for Meier to play with Cozens

6) We sign Jake Walman from Det - LHD to play with Bush

7) We sign Hathaway from Washington to take KO’s roke.

8.) We sign a veteran D fir the 8th role.  

 

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6 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

What might an aggressive  (or at least semi aggressive) off-season look like.  I’m assuming Meier isn’t traded at the deadline. The goal is to get more physical at forward and to add a better defensive D.  
 

1) We trade Bryson and Asplund for whatever we can get

-Agree

2) We re-sign Clague for the 7th slot

-Agree

3) We let Andy and KO walk in the off-season, but re-sign Girgensons, Cozens and Jost.

-Disagree/KO should retire as a Sabre. He’s more than earned it. Keep the fourth line in tact for the sake of Krebs’ development.

4) We trade VO for solid assets

-If it’s a package deal to get a second pairing DMan, I agree.

5) We trade for Meier to play with Cozens

-Trade what to get him? They’ll want Quinn in return and that’s a hard no.

6) We sign Jake Walman from Det - LHD to play with Bush

-I’d scrap this. Use VO in a package for a second pair guy (stay at home DMan) to play with Power. Joker moves to third pairing with Lybushkin. 

7) We sign Hathaway from Washington to take KO’s roke.

8.) We sign a veteran D fir the 8th role.  

-Agree/Short contract.

 

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I wonder if Jordan Greenway is available. Wild need space, he's having a down year (shooting % is about half of his career%). Brings size, and scoring would replace KO or Zemgus should either leave. Also wonder about Miles Wood as a UFA....

 

I'd like to see if SJ, Adams and Meier could reach an agreement. Would you trade this year's 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks if Timo signed an extension below his qualifying offer? I would be tempted.

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7 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

What might an aggressive  (or at least semi aggressive) off-season look like.  I’m assuming Meier isn’t traded at the deadline. The goal is to get more physical at forward and to add a better defensive D.  
 

1) We trade Bryson and Asplund for whatever we can get

2) We re-sign Clague for the 7th slot

3) We let Andy and KO walk in the off-season, but re-sign Girgensons, Cozens and Jost.

4) We trade VO for solid assets

5) We trade for Meier to play with Cozens

6) We sign Jake Walman from Det - LHD to play with Bush

7) We sign Hathaway from Washington to take KO’s roke.

8.) We sign a veteran D fir the 8th role.  

 

Except the VO move I could go with this... interesting thoughts.

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2 hours ago, steveoath said:

I wonder if Jordan Greenway is available. Wild need space, he's having a down year (shooting % is about half of his career%). Brings size, and scoring would replace KO or Zemgus should either leave. Also wonder about Miles Wood as a UFA....

 

I'd like to see if SJ, Adams and Meier could reach an agreement. Would you trade this year's 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks if Timo signed an extension below his qualifying offer? I would be tempted.

Can people please stop dreaming of Miles Wood becoming a Sabre?

His dad was very unhappy w/ the way he was dealt from the Sabres and really expect the kid likes the Sabres as much as Randy does.  Which is roughly as much as Josh Georges likes the Loafs.

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