The Instigator Podcast 9.18 – Deadline Recap

The deadline has passed and while Kevyn Adams checked off the boxes he needed to, he hardly gets a passing grade after a pretty underwhelming deal for Taylor Hall. We run through Buffalo’s work at today’s deadline and touch on some of the bigger deals swung at the 2021 deadline.

The Instigator Podcast 9.17 – NHL Trade Deadline Primer

The NHL trade deadline is upon us and the Sabres are poised to be sellers. We run through the list of players the Sabres could move by Monday afternoon and even target a couple of potential additions who could step in to close out the season and looking towards 2021-22. We also discuss the Kyle Palmieri trade and the implications that may have on the Sabres’ ability to move Taylor Hall.

The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

Instigator Podcast listeners can get 2500 free coins when they download the Vig It sports app and use our promo code 2ITB when you register. Bet on the NHL, NBA, MLB and win real prizes with Vig It. The app is free to download and free to play which means you can start earning coins to win prizes today.

The Instigator Podcast 9.16 – Pipe Cleaning

This week we discuss some of the rumors swirling about Buffalo’s front office and how the various names connected to the Sabres could affect their future. We touch on the trade that sent Eric Staal to the Montreal Canadiens and the potential positive impact of the return. We wrap up the show analyzing some college free agents who could help in goal.

The Hockey News link on draft lottery changes:https://www.si.com/hockey/news/which-recent-nhl-draft-lottery-outcomes-led-to-the-new-rule-changes

The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

Instigator Podcast listeners can get 2500 free coins when they download the Vig It sports app and use our promo code 2ITB when you register. Bet on the NHL, NBA, MLB and win real prizes with Vig It. The app is free to download and free to play which means you can start earning coins to win prizes today.

Staal Trade Sets the Table for an Interesting Stretch Run

Spring cleaning started in earnest for Kevyn Adams and the Sabres with Friday’s trade of Eric Staal. There’s almost certainly more to come for the four-plus UFAs expected to be shopped ahead of the April 12 deadline.

The Staal move works on a number of levels for the Sabres. The most obvious being the return on an expiring contract and a player who hadn’t performed to expectation this season. Getting a 3rd and 5th round picks for Staal feels appropriate given his play this season, but perhaps slightly underwhelming given the player he’d been for the Wild over the last few seasons.

Buffalo has had some poor results at recent deadlines, particularly in seasons where they had opportunities to sell expiring assets. Tim Murray notably made zero moves in what would be his final deadline and Jason Botterill only made one move at his first deadline; trading Evander Kane to San Jose in a year the Sabres finished dead last.

Botterill’s subsequent deadlines featured a mix of buying and selling, meaning this year might be the first the Sabres sell on a number of players for the first time since 2015. An odd consideration given their results in the interim but the sad reality the organization is facing.

I suppose Jonas Johansson was really the first domino to fall but Staal is one of Buffalo’s three big(ish) tickets for this year’s deadline. Taylor Hall is the big prize while Brandon Montour is rumored to be on the block as well.

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Sabres Goaltending Pipeline Needs a Boost

It may seem odd that a team so badly in need of help in goal would opt to trade away one of the few goaltenders they had left. But that’s exactly what the Sabres did in dealing Jonas Johansson to Colorado last week.

Things got dicey for the Sabres in the wake of that decision as Carter Hutton went down with a friendly fire injury just two days later. Of course, that’s the sort of season the Sabres are having. Fairly innocuous decisions turn into catastrophes in the blink of an eye.

In the big picture, of course, not having Johansson to rotate in with Hutton, even in the wake of his injury is practically irrelevant. Johansson recorded a singular win for the Sabres over the course of 13 appearances and both this year and last, sported a save percentage under .900. The difference between what he and Dustin Tokarski are capable of providing is minimal.  

The stark reality for the Sabres is that without Linus Ullmark in net, their chances at victory are slim. Carter Hutton has failed to regain the form that earned him his contract, Johansson didn’t display enough pro traits and Tokarski has looked very much like a goalie who hasn’t seen an NHL game in four years. If it isn’t Ullmark between the pipes, it really makes no difference who is playing in his place these days.

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The Instigator Podcast 9.15 – Tim Peel, Lotteries and Don Granato

There was a whole lot to talk about this week as Don Granato and Matt Ellis each entered COVID protocol prior to Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh and that came on the heels of Tim Peel’s hot mic extravaganza earlier in the week. We touch on both stories, the utter insanity that is this Sabres’ season and the changes made to the NHL Draft Lottery.

The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

Instigator Podcast listeners can get 2500 free coins when they download the Vig It sports app and use our promo code 2ITB when you register. Bet on the NHL, NBA, MLB and win real prizes with Vig It. The app is free to download and free to play which means you can start earning coins to win prizes today.

The Instigator Podcast 9.14 – Stalled Development

It seems like every season there’s at least one or two prospects you wish the Sabres would take a longer look at and inevitably a couple of seasons later the player is gone without ever getting a serious audition at the NHL level. We talk about a number of players the Sabres should be working harder to get into the lineup rather than continually running out the tired veterans they seem to insist on playing.

We also discuss this week’s 31 Thoughts and the implications the Pegulas decisions on thinning out the hockey department may have in both the short and long term. Video scouting, shortsighted decision making and the need to capitalize on draft capital were among the big points we touched on with regard to some of Buffalo’s questionable decision making.

The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

 

Firing Krueger is Only Starts to Solve the Sabres Problems

What’s left to say at this point?

I started this blog in the summer of 2010 as a way to keep writing and it quickly became another outlet for staying connected to hockey. It’s always been an enjoyable endeavor, but I guess I underestimated the Sabres’ ability to ruin a good thing.

I’ve never had all that much trouble finding a reason to write about the Sabres, but here we are. There’s only so many ways you can look at this car wreck and form a different opinion. Last year I wrote a post questioning what sort of standard the organization is run with. When you see teams around the league fire their coaches while in a playoff position, it’s hard to see how the Sabres operate on the same level of their peers.

Another season has been flushed, the players have very clearly quit on their coach and there’s no sign that anything will make things better. Ralph Krueger has been a dead man walking for weeks, probably going as far back as February 25 when Jeff Skinner was scratched for the third-straight game. Despite the 11-game losing streak and the horrific display the team has put out each night, it’s hard to see Krueger being fired any time soon. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 9.13 – The NHL is Back on ESPN

It’s been a long time coming, but the NHL and ESPN are working together again. The NHL will be back on ESPN this fall after the two sides came to a new television deal in the United States. We discuss what the new deal means for the NHL from a financial and exposure standpoint. Especially interesting is the significant streaming aspect to the deal and just what that might mean for getting the league in front of new fans.

With more drama surrounding Ralph Krueger, we also weigh in on the latest with Buffalo’s head coach. Including whether or not Krueger is on the verge of being fired and just who might be on tap to replace him if it comes to that.

The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.

The Instigator Podcast 9.12 – Hot Seats and New Breweries

The Sabres spiral has continued and with each loss, Ralph Krueger’s seat appears to get hotter. We talk about the strange decisions made by Krueger on and off the ice along with some of the other news surrounding the team from the past week.

The Instigator Podcast is supported by Manscaped. You can get 20% off and free shipping by using the code 2ITB at www.manscaped.com.