After Scandella, What Does Jason Botterill Have Left to Offer?

The trade dam finally broke at One Seymour H Knox III Plaza. It took a couple of months, but Jason Botterill sprung to action this week and flipped one of his defensemen for help at forward.

Botterill grabbed the pick needed to acquire Michael Frolik by shipping Marco Scandella to the Canadiens on Thursday evening. Effectively laundering a defense for forward swap through a third party. It’s a relatively minor trade that sees the Sabres use an area of strength to address a weakness. Why it took this long to execute is another question altogether, but fans can take some solace in seeing the GM spring into action.

A big move is still yet to come. It may not come in-season, either, given the Sabres frustrating injury luck and their precarious spot in the standings. A big move is also what seems to be necessary to lift their forward group to the next level.

At the very least, Botterill has a minimum of two trades to make in order to honor the trade requests of Evan Rodrigues and Zach Bogosian. I suspect he’ll have at least one more addition up his sleeve either in addition to dealing the two wantaway players, or as part of the trade for one. My guess is we see something along the lines of the Brandon Montour trade at last year’s deadline; a deal that brings in a younger player who can fit in with the core and be in Buffalo beyond this year. It may not be as big of a deal as the Sabres only have one first round pick to work with, but there are a few pieces Botterill has at his disposal which I think could (or should) be on the table. Continue reading

Sabres New Year’s Resolutions

Welcome to 2020. New decade, same Sabres.

In the spirit of the holiday, now felt like a good time to consider a few resolutions for the Sabres to try on over the next 365 days. They have plenty of room for improvement, I just hope they stick to their resolutions longer than I usually do. Continue reading

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

The Instigator Podcast 8.16 – World Junior Preview with Kris Baker

Kris Baker joins this week’s show as we look ahead to the World Junior Championship and the various Sabres prospects who will be participating in this year’s tournament. Also on tap is a look at the decision to send Casey Mittelstadt to Rochester and how Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has looked since returning from injury.

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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50 Moments for 50 Years: Part Two

The last 50 49 years of Sabres hockey have been filled with thrilling games, agonizing defeats and a few extremely weird occurrences. In line with some of the work The Buffalo News and The Athletic has done in celebrating the team’s anniversary, I wanted to take a look at some of the most seminal moments in franchise history.

This isn’t a ranking but an attempt to touch on the big benchmarks and memorable moments from the last 50 (49) years. Here is part two of the list: Continue reading

50 Moments for 50 Years: Part One

The last 50 49 years of Sabres hockey have been filled with thrilling games, agonizing defeats and a few extremely weird occurrences. In line with some of the work The Buffalo News and The Athletic has done in celebrating the team’s anniversary, I wanted to take a look at some of the most seminal moments in franchise history.

This isn’t a ranking but an attempt to touch on the big benchmarks and memorable moments from the last 50 (49) years. Here is part one of the two-part list. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 8.15 – What to do with Mittelstadt

Joined by Sabres Twitterer @ntrider825, we discuss the struggles of Casey Mittelstadt and why a spell in Rochester is maybe the only logical step left to explore. Kevin and I run through a few other topics as it pertains to the Sabres finding opportunities to improve their roster as they sit in an advantageous position in the standings.

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