We are bathing in the good vibes surrounding the Sabres this week as we discuss how things have seemingly started to gel for the team and its young core. We discuss the impressive win over the Maple Leafs in the Heritage Classic, touch on the impressive impact that the likes of Alex Tuch and Jeff Skinner have on the club and look ahead to next week’s deadline.
Our deadline discussion focuses on players the Sabres could attempt to target as acquisitions at the deadline, in hopes of finding another key piece to help build this new core around.
The trade deadline is two weeks away and we spend this week’s episode discussing where Buffalo’s pending UFAs could go and how the Sabres can leverage this year’s deadline into even more draft capital for the club. We also touch on Kevyn Adams’ public statements about the Sabres ability to weaponize their cap space at the deadline.
Also on the show is a quick chat about the returns of Sam Reinhart, Jack Eichel and Sunday’s Heritage Classic.
The main focus of this week’s show is Alex Tuch and the impressive impact he’s had since arriving in Buffalo. We talk about the underlying numbers he’s carrying, the incredible point production and simply how good he’s looked taking a step up in the lineup and helping to anchor Buffalo’s top line.
We add some thoughts about how Tuch’s emergence can help fuel the next moves the Sabres make in terms of free agent or trade acquisitions, and how he’s become a cornerstone of the young core they’re building with.
Prior to that, we touch on the trade between the Montreal Canadians and Calgary Flames that saw Tyler Toffoli head to Alberta. We discuss Jack Eichel’s impending return and the disappointment in not seeing Devon Levi receive any action for Team Canada at the 2022 Olympic Games.
Kevyn Adams pulled out the final piece of his rebuild in dealing Jack Eichel to Vegas on Thursday. The move the entire hockey world had been waiting on since the spring was finally completed, ending a months-long saga once and for all.
The Sabres come away with Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, a first round pick and a second in exchange for their wantaway star. It’s a package that on the heels of Thursday’s deal, feels mostly adequate, if not slightly underwhelming. Of course, you’re always going to want more when you’re trading a player of Eichel’ stature. That’s just par for the course.
Overall, I think Adams did well here. If a deal with Vegas was going to be made, Krebs was the piece they needed to get. Add in the first-round pick with fairly minimal protections (pick pushes to 2023 if Vegas is picking in the top 10) and two key futures that were believed to be q requirement for the deal were included. Tuch comes over on a team-friendly deal with plenty of term. At 25 he’s right in the window the Sabres should be looking for as they build out the roster. Maybe an additional mid-level prospect like Lucas Elvenes would have moved the needle a bit more. Or perhaps building a condition on to the 2023 second rounder that would make it a first based on Eichel reaching some basic games played benchmarks beefs this up a bit. But given the circumstances and the leverage each side had; I don’t think Adams deserves too much heat for this deal. At least in the short term.
The real value of this deal will play itself out in the long term for both sides. Particularly the Sabres. At best the first-round pick will be a year from contributing, if not longer. The second rounder will require more than that. Which is fine. The Sabres have wisely stockpiled picks and prospects over the last six months, an effort that has started to replenish a depleted pipeline. Krebs also represents a great deal of long-term value for the club. He’s only seen action in 13 NHL games between last spring and the start of this year. What he has to offer as an NHL player is still an untapped well and given his pedigree as a prospect, should be exciting for Sabres fans to track.
We went into emergency pod mode to offer up our reaction to the trade that sent Jack Eichel and a 2023 3rd round pick to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, a 2022 1st round pick and a 2023 2nd round pick. We offer up our thoughts on the quality of the return the Sabres got and what sort of players you can expect to see in Krebs and Tuch.
Perhaps the most significant update in the Jack Eichel saga dropped on Wednesday as Kevin Weekes reported an apparent trade package offered by the Calgary Flames for the Sabres former captain. We touch on some of the context surrounding the Weekes tweet, and the likelihood that Matthew Tkachuk would be involved in a deal for Eichel. We also discuss how things could be framed from the Vegas perspective, as the Golden Knights are believed to be the other front runner for Eichel along with Calgary.
But we start the show with further discussion of the Blackhawks case and the newest developments in the wake of Gary Bettman’s press conference on Monday afternoon.
The hope tank is pretty empty around Western New York as the Sabres open another season. Going headfirst into a rebuild, the season isn’t expected to be much to write home about but there are still storylines worth tracking. Here are 10 big questions worth asking ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Joe Yerdon is back for another guest appearance and to discuss all of the fallout from the first press availability of Sabres camp. On the docket is the decision to remove the captaincy from Jack Eichel and how the continued lack of a deal affects the Sabres in both the short and long term. We also run down the camp roster and the players we’re most excited to see battle through camp and the preseason.
We’re back in the podcast saddle and tackling the news of Jack Eichel’s agency switch. We discuss the implications of Eichel switching agents to NHL power broker Pat Brisson last week. Also on the docket is the Carolina Hurricanes offer sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi and how the Canadiens may handle that situation. We wrap up with a Bills stadium update as more news broke on that front as we recorded.
There was another twist in the Jack Eichel saga this past week as his agents issued a fairly strong statement and his doctor made an appearance on the 31 Thoughts Podcast. We dive in on where the trade winds are pushing Buffalo’s captain and try and handicap the current teams thought to be in the race.
We also look into Buffalo’s free agency spending and what sort of outlook the team has in the wake of a fairly active, but low-spend opening day of free agency.