For Your Consideration: Bringing Back Shoulder Patches

Are the Sabres blue uniforms to blame for their struggles on home ice? Most definitely yes (read: no).

It hasn’t gone unnoticed just how different things have gone for the Sabres when they’ve worn their black and red alternate jerseys compared to their standard home uniforms. The Sabres enter Friday’s game against the Devils with an 8-1-1 record in the goatheads and a dismal 5-19-2 in anything else on home ice.

Even though the real solutions to their home ice woes (goaltending, team defense, better luck in general) will have to come from the general manager’s office, it couldn’t hurt for the Sabres to consider a few tweaks to their home uniform to make the team look a tiny bit better when they take the ice at KeyBank Center.

Buffalo’s blue jerseys have long been fairly bland and unforgettable. There’s a little too much blue and not much else to break it up. The white stripes the team chose to add to their 2021 uniform redesign didn’t help much as they just look like the silver stripes so many fans wanted removed in the first place. I’m not sure why the Sabres avoided shoulder patches on their home and away jerseys, but reintroducing a shoulder patch would be a cool starting point for sprucing up the home uniforms. Pulling out the white trim from the socks and jersey stripes and resurrecting the pants striping from the pre-1996 jersey redesign would be two other items I’d like to see considered.

Interestingly, the Sabres haven’t won a playoff series since they removed shoulder patches from their jerseys. Of course, they still had shoulder patches in 2010 when they lost to Boston, but that’s of little importance to the larger conversation (what makes the jerseys look cool). The Sabres have had shoulder patches on their jerseys for 39 of their 53 seasons and it seems high time to bring them back.

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The Instigator Podcast 11.27 – Playoff Race Skids to a Halt

A combination of poor goaltending, injuries and some more poor goaltending has all but dashed Buffalo’s hopes for a playoff push. With the team falling out of the race, and doing so in astonishing fashion, we talk about how this run of play could affect the team’s plans for the offseason. We also discuss how the utterly dismal goaltending performances of late could cause Devon Levi to see a bit more action than previously anticipated, or perhaps get his first look at an NHL game earlier than previously believed. We also have a brief Matthew Savoie update as the Sabres’ prospect has remained red hot for the Winnipeg Ice and ought to be a hot topic of conversation this offseason.

Rick Martin Trade Tree Grows with Rasmus Asplund Trade

Slowly but surely, the branches on the Rick Martin tree are thinning out. There are only a few areas left where additional trades could extend the tree even further. Rasmus Asplund was one of those few players and his move to Nashville keeps the trade tree going until at least 2027, if not longer depending on the outcome of the seventh round pick they received. The updated version of the trade tree is below. Open the image in a new window if you want the high-res version.

The Instigator Podcast – Levi Watch Goes Full Throttle

Devon Levi’s season at Northeastern is over and the waiting over when he signs his Sabres contract has begun. We talk about Levi’s impressive two seasons with the Huskies and dig in to what the next steps for Levi will look like between now and the end of the NHL season. We also reflect on the Sabres recent losing streak and how this skid affects the outlook on the playoff race ahead of Monday’s victory over Toronto.

The Instigator Podcast 11.25 – Sabres Face a Serious Stretch Run

We recap the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline and reflect on the busiest deadline for the Sabres since 2015. Each deal the Sabres made over the last week is analyzed as we discuss how Kevyn Adams’ roster tweaks can aid Buffalo’s push for a playoff position. How the Sabres stretch run will shape up ties into our deadline conversation as the team faces a difficult run in to end the season with a tough hill to climb to sneak into the playoffs.

We also give a rundown of some of the most notable deals that were made at this year’s deadline, offering up our favorite, least favorite and biggest surprise.

The Instigator Podcast 11.24 – Sabres Trade Deadline Primer

With just a few days to go until the trade deadline, the Sabres made their first move of the season. We run down the deal Buffalo made to acquire Riley Stillman and offer up some deeper insight on which other players the Sabres may target before Friday afternoon. We also break down the trades that saw Timo Meier, Jake McCabe and Tanner Jeannot move over the weekend and asses where the market stands after many of the most notable names have been gobbled up.

The Instigator Podcast 11.23 – Deadline Fits and Misses

With the deadline just over a week away, we dig into some of the players who have been most commonly brought up in trade rumors and determine which would be a fit for the Sabres and which would be best left for another team to acquire. We also revisit the approach the Sabres should be taking ahead of the deadline given their place in the standings, trade assets and prior comments made by Kevyn Adams. Buffalo’s opportunity to serve as a broker was another topic we touched upon as there are a number of high profile targets who would be easier to acquire with an additional team to retain salary along the way.

The Instigator Podcast 11.22 – Time to Get Back on Track

Buffalo’s play after the All Star break has been suspect as the team has dropped four-straight and face two key contests to close out their West Coast trip. We talk about what we feel to be overreactions to the teams’ most recent skid and how things look in the bigger picture for the club. We also touch on the latest trade chatter, including two defensemen who could be of interest to the Sabres ahead of the March 3 deadline.

Score A Bruce Smith FOCO Bobblehead

Tracking down cool, unique memorabilia for your collection isn’t always easy. Often it seems like the stuff you’ll find at local stores or national chains are either too hokey or generally low quality.

Having low faith that a high quality collectible is out of reach can be extremely frustrating. Especially if you’re like me and you find yourself wanting to expand your collection but are unsure where to turn.

If you find yourself in that sort of situation, the place to turn to is FOCO. They have an impressive collection of Bills memorabilia that includes bobbleheads, apparel and other assorted items. They have everything from LED bar signs to flip flops. I think their best items are the bobbleheads. They have really good detail and accuracy and come in different colorways as well. So you can snag a Stefon Diggs bobblehead in a blue jersey, a white jersey or color rush. It’s a nice touch.

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The Instigator Podcast 11.21 – Cozens Inks Extension

Dylan Cozens has signed long-term with the Sabres, inking a seven-year deal on Tuesday. We talk about the deal and how the structure helps the Sabres and how it posiitons Cozens with other recently signed centers around the league. Before that we talk about Jessica Pegula’s article in The Player’s Tribune which gives an encouraging update over her mom’s health, along with some other notable peices of information as it pertains to the Bills and Sabres.