The Instigator Podcast 7.32 – The Seven

We have a game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals. Tyler and I open this episode discussing the deciding game between the Bruins and Blues, determining which team will lift the Cup on Wednesday. Oh by the way, Jeff Skinner’s contract is done, much to the relief of fans throughout Sabres Nation. We discuss the deal and all the criticism and praise it’s received. We also touch on the coming flurry of trade action that’s already been kicked off, in a way, by the Flyers acquisition of Kevin Hayes. This week’s episode explores some trade options for the Sabres and just what might unfold in the coming weeks.

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Sabres Lock Down Skinner with Eight-Year Deal

While the contract may be more than you hoped it would be, Jason Botterill stared down his most important target of the offseason and didn’t miss.

Jeff Skinner agreed to an eight-year, $9 million contract on Friday night, ending a will he or won’t he saga that feels like it stretched on for a decade. It’s the contract most fans had accepted as the going rate months ago, yet the negotiations appeared to drag over the last two weeks, likely due to the last few deal points each side was pulling for. It was an agonizing wait, particularly once Bob McKenzie kicked things off with his report on NBCSN which Jeremy White soon followed with a report of his own later that week. From that point on, fans were left refreshing Twitter waiting for McKezine, Darren Dreger or Elliotte Friedman to confirm the deal was done, only for the reports to continue for another week.

That week led to a fair bit of hand wringing as cryptic updates bred more doubt as it felt like the two sides were speeding towards whatever arbitrary deadline they had set. In the end it all got sorted out, for the term and value we’d all been expecting for months. They could’ve saved some fan frustration by getting the contract done at some point in May, but now that it’s done we can look forward to the next pieces the Sabres will need to acquire. Continue reading

Playing Catch Up on the Last Few Weeks

It’s gotten a little too easy to procrastinate on blog ideas lately. Between the Sabres acting hopeless, new kiddos and other responsibilities, tossing musings up on this site just hasn’t taken precedent. In an effort to remedy that, I wanted to take some time to play catch up on everything that’s gone down over the last month or two.

Jeff Skinner’s contract negotiations have fans running constant vigils on Twitter, the Sabres have a new coach and Ryan O’Reilly remains a talking point for people who don’t have anything better to bring up. In order to play catch up on most of this, I offer you this (hardly) brief rundown of thoughts and reaction to what’s been happening in the world of hockey over the last few weeks. Continue reading

Could First Round Exits Offer Sabres a Trade Partner?

The startling reality that faces the Sabres after yet another season without the playoffs is the club needs yet another round of big roster changes after their maneuvering over the past two summers has gone for naught.

Jason Botterill and Phil Housley’s first year saw ten new faces brought to Buffalo. They were just shy of repeating that figure again this season. While it’s not out of the question that the team they inherited was already heading to the basement before the pair stepped in. The franchise was already suffering in the wake of below average drafting and owned a handful of bad contracts while lacking depth. That they wound up finishing worse than Tim Murray and Dan Bylsma’s final year is perhaps more of an inevitability than a surprise. Regardless, Housley and Botterill will own the results of the last two seasons. It will all rest on Botterill’s feet and it remains to be seen whether he’ll be around to see the team climb back to respectability.

That leaves him will the difficult task of overhauling his roster for the third-straight summer. Last year’s overhaul brought only a minute improvement in the standings, buoyed by the 10-game win streak but destroyed by the January-to-April collapse. Does he have another trick up his sleeve, or will Botterill be resigned to a more conventional path to improvement?

Botterill’s best opportunity for unearthing talent at discount prices may come from targeting the teams run out of the first round of the playoffs. Teams like Pittsburgh who were frustrated at their early exit, or the Jets and Lightning whose cap situations will likely require trades to be made. Between tight cap situations and disappointing exits, there could be room for the Sabres to pounce. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 7.29 – Round One Reax and Sabres Coaching Search Updates

With round one of the playoffs in the rear view, we offer up some thoughts on what transpired in the first round, specifically the questionable officiating which seemed to underscore almost every series. We also touch on some of the talking points coming out of Toronto and what’s next for the Sabres coaching search. More names have surfaced as targets for the Sabres and we run down some of the key candidates as we wrap up the show.

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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The Instigator Podcast 7.26. – The Airing of Grievances

We are a little light on analysis this week as the Sabres inability to function as even a mediocre NHL franchise pushed us to our breaking point. We’re a few months past Festivus but we go in on every facet of the Sabres that has irked us this season and in the past.

Before we haul off on the Sabres poor play we spend sometime discussing the latest in the world of women’s hockey as the NWHL is poised to take another big step forward next season.

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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The Instigator Podcast 7.23 – Dumbfounded by Deployment with Ben Mathewson

Ben Mathewson joins the show this week to discuss the questionable deployment utilized by Phil Housley, the opportunities in front of the coach to optimize his lineup and just what Jason Botterill is doing well (and poorly) in plugging the holes on Buffalo’s roster. On the docket: Casey Nelson’s quality contribution, why they opted not to make more recalls as their slide began, what’s the point of playing Tage Thompson on the fourth line and, yes, Vladimir Sobotka.

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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