The Instigator Podcast 9.25 – Draft Lottery Rewind

We’re back from a brief break to offer up analysis of the Sabres nabbing the top pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and the prospect who Kevyn Adams may be looking at with the first selection. We also discuss the second round of the NHL Playoffs and enjoy a bit of comic relief thanks to our friends up the QEW. All that and more on this week’s episode.

Sabres Get First Pick in 2021 NHL Draft

The Buffalo Sabres haven’t made the postseason since the 2010-2011 season. They hit rock bottom this past season with the worst record in the league at 15-34-7. With the best chance at the first overall pick at nearly 17 percent, the Sabres hit the jackpot, when the lottery set the draft order.

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The Instigator Podcast 9.23 – Assessing the Sabres Coaching Search

It’s about time that we give Don Granato his own episode and even our best efforts to discuss his merits as the next Sabres head coach were partially interrupted by our NHL playoff preview. But we do spend a lot of time on the Sabres coaching search and on whether or not Granato is the best candidate for the job in Buffalo. We do offer up a few alternatives along the way as we do differ on whether Granato is the best hire the Sabres can make.

The Instigator Podcast 9.22 – Locker Cleanout Meltdown featuring Joe Yerdon

It was quite the day for the Sabres as Jack Eichel’s comments at locker cleanout day made headlines throughout the hockey world as he was extremely transparent about the disconnect between his camp and the organization. We discuss the potential fallout from Monday’s interview as Eichel certainly sounded like a player who was on his way to being dealt. Not to mention to similarly negative outlook portrayed by Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen.

The Instigator Podcast 9.21 – Miller Time

Ryan Miller’s career is coming to an end and we attempt too give him a proper send off, celebrating his career with the Sabres and discussing just how much of an impact he made on the ice and in the community. We also touch on Tom Wilson, the Department of Player Safety and the fallout from Monday’s incident in New York.

The Instigator Podcast 9.20 – The Eichel Episode

There has been a whole lot said about Jack Eichel over the last few years – and this year in particular. We try and encapsulate some of that conversation related to the Sabres star as we analyze how badly the Sabres miss him on the ice, some of the questionable opinions that exist about him publicly and also the potential that he could be traded. Not only do we discuss the idea that Eichel could be moved but what a trade would look like and how it could affect the club in both the short and long term. Also on this week’s show is a discussion on Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and his NHL debut.

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The Instigator Podcast 9.19 – The Kids are Alright

Buffalo’s young players have been getting plenty of attention since Don Granato took over, playing key roles in the Sabres’ stretch run. We discuss the impact some of the prospects and young players have had this spring and the potential that exists for that group to have a significant impact in the future as well. We also place focus on Don Granato and whether or not he should be the first choice as the long-term head coach of the team. There’s also bonus conversation on the European Super League and the fallout of the apparent failure of some of soccer’s biggest clubs to break off and make their own competition.

The Instigator Podcast 9.18 – Deadline Recap

The deadline has passed and while Kevyn Adams checked off the boxes he needed to, he hardly gets a passing grade after a pretty underwhelming deal for Taylor Hall. We run through Buffalo’s work at today’s deadline and touch on some of the bigger deals swung at the 2021 deadline.

The Instigator Podcast 9.17 – NHL Trade Deadline Primer

The NHL trade deadline is upon us and the Sabres are poised to be sellers. We run through the list of players the Sabres could move by Monday afternoon and even target a couple of potential additions who could step in to close out the season and looking towards 2021-22. We also discuss the Kyle Palmieri trade and the implications that may have on the Sabres’ ability to move Taylor Hall.

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Two in the Mailbox: Hall Trade on the Horizon

It looks as if Taylor Hall has played his last game with the Sabres. As of this writing, Hall has been ruled out of Buffalo’s game against the Devils on Tuesday, April 6. With only six more days until the trade deadline, the odds that he’s seen in a Sabres jersey again sit somewhere between slim and none.

I meant to run this mailbag a few days earlier than it’s being dropped, so a couple of these questions may not seem as timely as they otherwise would have. The news of the week is Hall being scratched for the Devils game in anticipation of a trade being finalized. It seems unlikely that he even makes it to the deadline at this point, with a quicker conclusion to a trade benefiting any team that acquires him, especially those in Canada.

I’m not sure there’s any other way to describe Hall’s tenure in Buffalo as anything other than a huge disappointment. Luckily, the one-year deal the team signed him to mitigated any sort of long-term damage to their cap or depth chart, but two goals and 19 points over 37 games isn’t what you’re expecting from a former MVP. It’s certainly a far sight from Terry Pegula’s “We sign this guy, we’re not only trying to make the playoffs, we’re trying to win the Cup.”

Chasing Hall, like acquiring Eric Staal made for an exciting and promising offseason for the team. Not only was Hall a former MVP but he was the type of top-tier talent that could have helped take the Sabres to another level. Instead, he suffered through an abysmal stretch of shooting that tanked his stats and made him look like a passenger instead of the dynamic contributor he’d been earlier in his career.

We’ll wait to see what sort of trade return Kevyn Adams gets for Hall and whether or not that can help provide either short or long-term assistance to this club. Now, for your questions.

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