The Instigator Podcast 8.4 – Accidental Armchair GMs

News broke that Dustin Byfuglien is contemplating his future in hockey and that again sparked discussions over whether or not the Sabres and Jets are good partners in a Rasmus Ristolainen deal. We jump head first into that topic, determining if a fit exists and how last week’s rumors surrounding the Ducks and Justin Faulk could play a role. Somehow our discussion over a potential trade fit turned into a scary impression of a Cap Friendly Armchair GM. So accept our apologies for our silliness with some of the trade proposals we throw out. Prior to that, we touch on the first two preseason games (well, the first one) and which players stood out in each contest.

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A Five Days too Late Look at Sabres Training Camp

The Sabres kicked off training camp on Thursday of last week which doesn’t make this much of a preview since camp is nearly seven days deep.

Even though I’m tardy with this post, I still wanted to put a few thoughts together on the players the Sabres have in camp, particularly after seeing the first group take on the Penguins at Penn State.

Buffalo sent a veteran-heavy roster to Happy Valley and needed overtime despite tripling the Penguins in shot and bottling a 4-1 advantage against a roster that was much lighter on NHL talent. The result really couldn’t matter any less given how lopsided the rosters and the possession was, but there were a few high points to take away from the evening.

Conor Sheary did a few things that should give you confidence he can occupy Jack Eichel’s right wing, Henri Jokiharju and John Gilmour showed off their wheels and each netted a goal to boot. Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin and Jeff Skinner can probably hang out in a suite and eat popcorn for the rest of preseason while Ralph Krueger and Jason Botterill figure out the roster.

In light of Monday’s preseason tilt and the fact that I’m nearly a week late in offering a camp “preview”, I thought I’d try something a little different in terms of this post. I’ll highlight a few players and positions that stand out to me while trying to avoid some of the more traditional training camp storylines. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 8.3 – Sabres Training Camp Primer

While the additions of Colin Miller, Marcus Johansson, Henri Jokiharju and Jimmy Vesey were welcome, the lack of movement off the Sabres roster has become a point of annoyance. We dig in to the overabundance of bodies on Buffalo’s blueline and bottom six, and try to determine what options face the Sabres as they enter camp. We spitball what the team’s lines may look like while taking a quick look back at last weekend’s prospects challenge.

You can listen to The Instigator Podcast on most podcast streaming services, including large providers such as iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and TuneIn and most other third-party podcast streaming apps. You can find links to subscribe and rate the show below:

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The Instigator Podcast 8.2 – Prospect Pipeline Update featuring Kris Baker

This week I’m joined by Kris Baker to run through the Buffalo Sabres’ prospect pipeline and look ahead to this weekend’s Prospects Challenge. We touch on the usual suspects while also highlighting a few names on the Prospects Challenge roster who aren’t focused on as much by the fanbase as a whole. Kris and I also take a deeper dive on a few prospects who are in unique situations (players like Brett Murray and Casey Fitzgerald) while also satiating anyone’s desire for some soundbites on Dylan Cozens.

You can listen to The Instigator Podcast on most podcast streaming services, including large providers such as iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and TuneIn and most other third-party podcast streaming apps. You can find links to subscribe and rate the show below:

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The Instigator Podcast 8.1 – How Much is the RFA Logjam Holding Up?

We’re back for another season of The Instigator Podcast and we kick things off with a quick conversation on the Sabres new alternate jerseys before jumping in to more pressing issues. Namely, how impactful the roster of unsigned restricted free agents has been on business around the rest of the league. We close up with listener questions and yet another discussion on how the Sabres will trim their roster prior to the start of the season.

You can listen to The Instigator Podcast on most podcast streaming services, including large providers such as iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and TuneIn and most other third-party podcast streaming apps. You can find links to subscribe and rate the show below:

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Sharp Alternates Set the Stage for the Sabres Return to Royal Blue

The jersey news Sabres fans have been waiting for finally came this week as the club added a bit of fan service to the unveiling of their alternate jersey, finally confirming they’ll be returning to royal blue uniforms in 2020-21.

Rumors on the third jersey were flying from the minute it was confirmed the Sabres would have an alternate jersey for the 50th anniversary. All white, white and gold logo, no blue, there was a lot floating around with the third jersey. The end product is a sharp jersey that does well to mix the gold color being adopted for the anniversary season and the current navy blue used by the club. I may be biased because my alma mater sported navy blue and vegas gold, but it’s an excellent color combination.

The detail embroidery on the crest is tremendous. It’s not quite chain stitching, but it is just as impressive. Much like the 2018 Winter Classic crest with the felt backing and leather applique bison, this crest is bold enough to be seen from a distance and extremely detailed up close. Thanks to the excellent color scheme, the numbers pop on the sleeve and back of the uniform. Same goes for the crest as the gold dazzle fabric pops against the navy blue. Continue reading

Sabres Pipe Dream: Spitballing 50th Anniversary Promo Items

Details are slowly leaking out regarding the Buffalo Sabres’ 50th anniversary celebration as we creep closer to October. The team appears to have a full slate of celebrations in store for the 50th anniversary and that got my gears turning.

Everything that’s come out so far seems pretty great. A fan fest will return for the first time in a number of years, accompanied by a 5K run. Season ticket holders will receive a handful of additional bonuses, in addition to a commemorative ticket set (more on that later). The team also announced that they will celebrate something referred to as a Journey Through the Decades. Given the set of era-specific 50th anniversary logos that we released, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll get to see jerseys from each era of the team during warm ups on select nights. They’ve also announced a captain’s celebration for the home opener and Founder’s Night for December 2nd.

That seems like just the tip of the iceberg for the team’s anniversary season as we’ve yet to officially see the alternate uniform they’ll wear for select nights, nor have we gotten a glimpse at a promotional schedule with additional giveaways. With that in mind, it appears as if the Sabres are set to devote a lot of time and enerfy to making the 50th season memorable (hopefully the on-ice product cooperates).

Given that a promotional schedule hasn’t been released, I’ll be making some wild guesses, but it wouldn’t be a Two in the Box without wildly speculating giveaways or promotions the team could or should try out. I have a handful of ideas listed below of items I’d love to see incorporated as part of the 50th season – whether via giveaway or for sale in the Sabres Store.  Continue reading