The Instigator Podcast 11.36 – Big Change in Toronto

A BIG week of news saw the Toronto Maple Leafs move on from Kyle Dubas, rumors of move upheaval in the Leafs front office, more movement on the ownership bids for the Senators and continued trdouble in Arizona. We break down each of those stories, speak on the new entry level contract for Nikita Novikov, Matthew Savoie’s assignment to Rochester and more on this week’s episode. 

Mock Stadium – What Features Can Be Pulled for New Bills Stadium

Soon enough we will get our first look at the renderings for the new Bills stadium. We’ve gotten some hints of what to expect already. Open air with a partially covered seating bowl, natural grass surface. How the rest of the stadium comes together remains to be seen.

While we wait, I thought it would be fun to cobble together some examples of cool or unique features from around the world of sports that might be fun to see incorporated into Buffalo’s new digs.

What will follow is a combination of pipe dreams and more realistic suggestions from football, soccer and other stadiums throughout North America and the rest of the world. Think of this as stadium a la carte.

Covered Stand

We know the new stadium will have a covered stand of some sort. A wise choice with a full roof ruled out. Covered seats will make for a more comfortable fan experience if the weather turns nasty while still allowing the game to be played in the elements. Covering the seats will add a prominent visual feature to the stadium. So the design of the partial roof will have a lot to do with the overall look of Buffalo’s new digs.

Think about the roof on Hard Rock Stadium. It’s a recent addition and it’s painfully unattractive. It looks ridiculous. Full stop. Meanwhile, Seattle’s Lumen Field also features covered seats, but theirs was part of the original design of the building. Both are effective in their function but Seattle’s integrates into the building so much better. The 70% coverage in Seattle would be a good figure to aim for here in Buffalo and the sound amplifying design would be a nice fringe benefit.

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The Instigator Podcast 9.29 – Recapping the Stanley Cup Final

We’re back on the heels of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, breaking down what helped power the Tampa Bay Lightning to their second-straight title and what went wrong for the Montreal Canadiens. We discuss what’s next for the Habs as whether or not they can capitalize on their unexpected run. We also touch on the Lightning’s cap overage and whether or not the outrage over it is deserved.

The Instigator Podcast 9.24 – Cooking Up Eichel Packages

This is a little outside the norm for the podcast but knowing what this summer is bound to hold, it seemed wise to discuss potential landing spots and packages in a potential Jack Eichel trade. We also discuss Wayne Gretzky joining the TNT NHL broadcast and some of the current playoff results.

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 9.39 – Offseason Update with Joe Yerdon

Joe Yerdon joins the show yet again as we discuss the Sabres work at the draft and free agency. We touch on how Taylor Hall will impact the roster and whether or not his acquisition gives the Sabres enough fire power to take the next step. Jack Quinn is on the table as well as we run through the draft and the tepid reaction to Quinn’s selection.

The Instigator Podcast 8.23 – Kahuna Matata: NHL Trade Deadline Review

In one of the most eventful trade deadlines in years, the Sabres made a pair of moves as they attempted to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Jason Botterill acquired Wayne Simmonds and Dominik Kahun ahead of Monday’s deadline, picking up a rental and a potential long-term addition for his club. We discuss some of the larger moves made around the league on Monday along with what the larger implications are for the Sabres after acquiring Simmonds and Kahun.

The Instigator Podcast 8.17 – Waiting for Movement with Jeremy White

In a way, this is a little bit like a two week late version of the airing of grievances. Jeremy White joins the show as we look back on the deals that effectively saw Marco Scandella swapped for Michael Frolik and what else may be on tap as Jason Botterill attempts to keep the Sabres afloat in the Eastern Conference. We run through a number of topics as it pertains to the team’s roster construction and hit on just about every issue that’s come up as Botterill has struggled to turn the Sabres into a competitor.

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Botterill Will Need to Break Some Trends to Improve Roster Now

When is Jason Botterill going to make a move? That’s the common refrain among hockey fans in Buffalo as the calendar creeps towards January with the Sabres in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Unlike last year, the Sabres have managed to right the ship after their post-win streak regression. They’ve turned in a solid December and sit five points shy of a wild card spot but only one point out of third in the Atlantic coming out of the Christmas break and holiday roster freeze. Like last year, they’re reliant on a single line to produce results, even still they’re firmly in the race at the New Year.

The time for action was prior to the roster freeze. It’s evident the Sabres are in need of help up front. Ideally a center but it’s probably more realistic for them to find a winger capable of buoying their output. They’ve had a surplus of defensemen since July and one of those guys just explicitly asked to be traded.

It’s not unfair to want to see Botterill spring into action. The Sabres have been spinning their wheels for the better part of a decade and frustration over Buffalo’s on-ice success is high. After watching the 2018-19 season circle the drain, you’d understand why fans are antsy to see additional improvements.

There are two threads to follow for Botterill and the Sabres. The first is the cap situation and the surplus on defense. Zach Bogosian has requested a trade and it seems as if Marco Scandella is likely to be traded as well. Without any salary retention, moving the pair accounts for over $9m in cap. The second aspect is just what type of trade might Botterill make in order to actually improve the forward corps. Continue reading