The Instigator Podcast 7.34 – Draft Breakdown with Joe Yerdon of The Athletic

Good friend of the podcast, Joe Yerdon stopped by Resurgence Brewing to chat with Tyler and I about the Buffalo Sabres draft class, the UFA class and more. We run down the fortunate selections that brought Dylan Cozens to Buffalo, breakdown the pros and cons of the Ryan Johnson pick and ruminate on the later selections the Sabres made. We also reflect on the Sabres pipeline after the draft while attempting to handicap destinations for the biggest names in the UFA class.

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:

iTunes
Spotify
Stitcher
iHeartRadio
TuneIn
Google Play

The Instigator Podcast 7.33 – Draft Week Dealing

The busiest week of the NHL season is here and there’s been a ton of trade chatter ahead of Friday’s draft. We break down the contract extension signed by Erik Karlsson, the Jacob Trouba trade and the moves made by Philadelphia. We also run down potential draft targets for the Sabres at pick seven and 31. We close the show with a brief conversation over Rasmus Ristolainen surfacing in trade chatter in the wake of Karlsson and Trouba’s deals.

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:

iTunes
Spotify
Stitcher
iHeartRadio
TuneIn
Google Play

Two in the Mailbox: Anniversary Jerseys in the Spotlight

Two in the Mailbox, the (sometimes) weekly mailbag on the Sabres, goalie stuff, Buffalo and anything in between, is back. You can submit to the mailbag using #2ITBmailbag on Twitter or emailing 2intheboxbuffalo@gmail.com.

One of my very favorite parts of the hockey schedule is upon us. In addition to the start of the season and the opening of the first round, the time surrounding the draft and start of free agency is an exciting few weeks. You typically have a spate of trades and, of course, the drafting, signing or acquisition of new players. For a team like the Sabres, that’s been dragging through the league’s basement, those new bodies are an opportunity to see things finally get turned around.

This draft week may be particularly exciting as the Sabres 50th anniversary is to officially begin. Kim Pegula noted this at the NFL owner’s meetings and many are expecting to see the team’s third jersey unveiled at the draft. The jerseys have been a point of contention among fans since the team doesn’t appear to be switching to royal blue as so many have clamored for. This week’s first question is regarding the jerseys and the one thing I’ll add regarding the uniforms is that even if they’re terrific, there’s going to be a built-in level of disappointment with the fans since they won’t be royal blue. While I’m happy to wait and see the final product, the team could have avoided at least a little bit of contention by listening to the fans and introducing a royal blue jersey. Although I’m still looking forward to see what they have to offer.

Michael/@michaelparthum – What should #Sabres fans prepare themselves for as far as 50th Anniversary jerseys go?

I’ve gone through a few cycles on the Sabres anniversary jersey. A few people I’m friends with who are in the know on this provided me some preliminary information on the jersey that had me pretty nervous. The reports of a mostly white uniform, Vegas gold and a few odd tidbits on the logo left me preparing for some significant fallout. But I’ve really softened on that stance over the last few days.

Feels like a good spot for the Larry David unsure gif

I’m a big fan of Vegas gold (think metallic gold) and navy blue. Those were my school’s colors and it seems to work pretty well for Notre Dame. Ironically enough, one of the main sets of redesigned jerseys from the Sabres Not Slugs website from back in the day utilized Vegas gold instead of sport gold. So from that perspective, I’m keeping an open mind. Confident even in the potential results. Continue reading

Tyler’s 2019 NHL Mock Draft

The 2019 draft is just a few days away, and with that comes my 2019 Mock Draft. The mock is done with the help of pre-draft rankings and scouting reports from The Athletic (most notably Corey Pronman), ISS Hockey, and the draft team at TSN led by Craig Button and Bob McKenzie, and. The mock was done with no draft floor trades being made, as it’s tough to zero in on what picks are truly in play and what is just hearsay.

  1. New Jersey Devils- Jack Hughes, Center, USNTDP, USHL

While Kaapo Kakko has made discussions about who should go first overall a bit less one sided with his recent play at the World Championships, the Devils still opt for Hughes. The addition of Hughes gives New Jersey a solid 1-2 punch down the middle, as Hughes can team up with 20 year old Nico Hischier to anchor the top two lines in Newark for the foreseeable future; having Travis Zajac for a few more years is an added bonus as it allows Hughes to play some sheltered minutes and see better matchups in his rookie season

  1. New York Rangers- Kaapo Kakko, Left Wing, TPS, Liiga

The Rangers have the easiest decision in the first round as they will gladly scoop up one of Kakko or Hughes at 2nd overall. Kakko was the consensus number two pick behind Hughes for the duration of the ranking process leading up to the draft and his displays in Slovakia at the worlds only reinforced that sentiment. Kakko accelerates the Rangers rebuild with his dynamic scoring ability and allows New York to possibly get creative with their surplus of picks in 2019 and 2020 in an effort to further improve their roster for this season. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 7.32 – The Seven

We have a game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals. Tyler and I open this episode discussing the deciding game between the Bruins and Blues, determining which team will lift the Cup on Wednesday. Oh by the way, Jeff Skinner’s contract is done, much to the relief of fans throughout Sabres Nation. We discuss the deal and all the criticism and praise it’s received. We also touch on the coming flurry of trade action that’s already been kicked off, in a way, by the Flyers acquisition of Kevin Hayes. This week’s episode explores some trade options for the Sabres and just what might unfold in the coming weeks.

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:

iTunes
Spotify
Stitcher
iHeartRadio
TuneIn
Google Play

Sabres Lock Down Skinner with Eight-Year Deal

While the contract may be more than you hoped it would be, Jason Botterill stared down his most important target of the offseason and didn’t miss.

Jeff Skinner agreed to an eight-year, $9 million contract on Friday night, ending a will he or won’t he saga that feels like it stretched on for a decade. It’s the contract most fans had accepted as the going rate months ago, yet the negotiations appeared to drag over the last two weeks, likely due to the last few deal points each side was pulling for. It was an agonizing wait, particularly once Bob McKenzie kicked things off with his report on NBCSN which Jeremy White soon followed with a report of his own later that week. From that point on, fans were left refreshing Twitter waiting for McKezine, Darren Dreger or Elliotte Friedman to confirm the deal was done, only for the reports to continue for another week.

That week led to a fair bit of hand wringing as cryptic updates bred more doubt as it felt like the two sides were speeding towards whatever arbitrary deadline they had set. In the end it all got sorted out, for the term and value we’d all been expecting for months. They could’ve saved some fan frustration by getting the contract done at some point in May, but now that it’s done we can look forward to the next pieces the Sabres will need to acquire. Continue reading

Playing Catch Up on the Last Few Weeks

It’s gotten a little too easy to procrastinate on blog ideas lately. Between the Sabres acting hopeless, new kiddos and other responsibilities, tossing musings up on this site just hasn’t taken precedent. In an effort to remedy that, I wanted to take some time to play catch up on everything that’s gone down over the last month or two.

Jeff Skinner’s contract negotiations have fans running constant vigils on Twitter, the Sabres have a new coach and Ryan O’Reilly remains a talking point for people who don’t have anything better to bring up. In order to play catch up on most of this, I offer you this (hardly) brief rundown of thoughts and reaction to what’s been happening in the world of hockey over the last few weeks. Continue reading