Despite Early Movement, Sabres Aren’t Shut Out of Goalie Market (yet)

As the wheels got turning on the goalie market at the draft, the Sabres have yet to complete a move to round out their crease for the coming season. It’s a subject that’s caused some consternation throughout the fanbase, though I’m not sure theirs is cause for concern just yet.

There are still a few notable names left on the list I laid out last week. Of those remaining options, a few are truly viable targets for the Sabres to pursue in the coming days. Most notably, Eric Comrie and whoever may be available via trade from the Sharks. In the meantime, I think it’s important to consider that the goalie market isn’t completely shuttered because Alex Georgiev and Vitek Vanacek got traded. Combing through the league, you can quickly find another tier of goalies who could almost certainly be had via trade given their respective team’s outlook in net.

Continue reading

Rapid Reactions to the Sabres 2022 Draft Picks

The 2022 NHL Draft is in the books and the Sabres made all 11 picks they entered the draft with. Their trio of first rounders are the crown jewel of the Sabres 2022 class, but the latter rounds saw Kevyn Adams fill some thinner areas of the team’s pipeline.

I think there’s a lot to like about the Sabres picks and I’d like to offer up some instant reaction to all 11 selections the Sabres made. If you’re looking for more in-depth scouting reports on these guys, the likes of Kris Baker, Corey Pronman and Chris Peters will have you covered. These are just some quick, off the cuff thoughts on the players the Sabres have brought in.

Continue reading

Pros and Cons for a Busy Goalie Market

The talk of the offseason in Buffalo will be over who Kevyn Adams finds to form a goaltending tandem with Craig Anderson. The goalie market is expected to be pretty hot as upwards of eight teams could be on the hunt for a starting caliber netminder. The Sabres will be among that group with Anderson expected to continue to lend a veteran presence in the locker room while playing somewhere around 25-30 games in the 2022-23 season.

Who the Sabres opt to acquire – or perhaps more fittingly, who they’re able to acquire – will give a strong indication on how the season will go. Land a primary target and the good vibes from the end of 21-22 will keep rolling with optimistic expectations for the coming season. Strike out and repeat the UFA day scramble of a year ago and suddenly the outlook on next can shift dramatically.

We’ve seen plenty of reporting that points to Buffalo’s desire to keep the tracks clear for Devon Levi, Erik Portillo and even Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. That indicates that a long-term, big-money acquisition is probably off the table. It seems likely to me that the Sabres will find something akin to Carter Hutton this offseason. A veteran goalie willing to sign a middle-term deal who offers some promise as a starter but lacks a more prestigious resume.

With that in mind, I’ve laid out the pros and cons of signing or trading for some of the goaltenders who are UFAs or have been rumored to be available via trade and whether or not the Sabres could realistically land each goalkeeper.

Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 10.43 – Final Prep for the 2022 NHL Draft

It’s a big draft episode as we look ahead to Thursday’s first round and the three picks the Sabres hold. We spend time talking about Ivann Fedotov’s situation in Russia and how it could affect teams considering Russians in the first round of the draft. Specifically, Danila Yurov and the smoke surrounding him and the Sabres. We also talk about potential fits at the ninth pick, 28 and even pick 41. All that and more on this week’s episode of the podcast.

The Instigator Podcast featuring Chris Peters of Daily Faceoff

Chris Peters of DailyFaceoff.com joins the show to offer up a preview of this week’s NHL draft. We talk about the wide variance of opinions on virtually every facet of this year’s first round. From the first pick through 32, we touch on how wide the range of rankings can be for numerous players. We also touch on Buffalo’s trio of first round picks and the players Chris sees as ideal fits at each of those selections.

The Instigator Podcast 10.42 – Mogilny’s Hall of Fame Snub and Listener Questions

This week we tackle the 2022 Stanley Cup Final and offer up our thoughts on the postseason. We move on to discuss Alexander Mogilny missing out on induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame once again and whether his resume is enough to get into the Hall in the future. We wrap up with listener questions which go heavy on Buffalo’s options in net this offseason.

The Instigator Podcast 10.41 – The Best Pick in Sabres History

For some lighter offseason content we decided to dig into who we deem to be the best draft pick in Sabres history. We considered a few permutations for our discussion as Gilbert Perreault is an obvious and easy answer to lead with. Our conversation meanders through a number of fan favorites and franchise legends as we assess various picks from a number of angles.

The show kicks off with a quick discussion of the latest in the NHL coaching carousel as Peter DeBoer and John Tortorella became the latest coaches to land new jobs.

The Instigator Podcast 10.40 – Featuring Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic

The newest Sabres beat writer joins the show as we welcome Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic to discuss a host of Sabres offseason topics. Matthew offers his thoughts on where the Sabres stand with regard to their rebuild and what moves he expects to see made this summer. We spend some time talking about the key vacancies in net and offer up a few potential targets that the Sabres could pursue. Matthew also provides some insight on what it’s been like stepping into a new beat and some of the differences between his previous work covering the Patriots and what he’s looking forward to covering the NHL.

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.

Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 10.39 – Can McDavid Snag Conn Smythe Votes

Despite their Western Conference ouster, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl put on one of the most memorable playoff performances of recent memory. We discuss whether or not their play would be strong enough to garner attention for the Connn Smythe despite not reaching the Cup Finals.

We also touch on the waves rocking the boat in Boston as Bruce Cassidy was fired earlier this week, three key veterans will miss the start of the season and now rumors are swirling that David Pastrnak may be dealt in the summer. We analyze Boston’s outlook in the wake of this news and even find time to talk about Chris Osgood in the Hall of Fame as part of Chris’ 11 Day Powerplay fundraiser.