The Instigator Podcast 10.29 – Quiet Trade Deadline for the Sabres

Kevyn Adams stood pat at this year’s trade deadline, only moving out Robert Hagg on Sunday. We talk about what the lack of action means for the team as they prepare for the stretch run, how they might fit key youngsters into the lineup and whether or not Adams made the right call by not making additional moves.

We also touch on moves from around the league. Who we felt were the big winners of this year’s deadline and even discuss that wacky Evgenii Dadonov deal.

Projecting a Hypothetical Post-Deadline Roster

Once again, the Sabres will be sellers at the deadline. While they aren’t overflowing with pending UFAs or highly sought after talent, there will be a few faces missing from Buffalo’s lineup after Monday.

It’s hard to say exactly how many of Buffalo’s trade chips will find their way out the door, but I’ll be surprised if Kevyn Adams doesn’t make at least one or two moves. The Sabres have nine unrestricted free agents who could arguably be available via trade. But the more realistic number is five, maybe six players who are truly available. That list includes Craig Anderson, Cody Eakin, Robert Hagg, Vinny Hinostroza, Colin Miller and possibly Will Butcher. That doesn’t mean all of those players will be on the move, but they each have a profile of a deadline rental.

Players with term or RFA status could also be shipped out, but aside from some whispers about Victor Olofsson’s availability, it doesn’t sound like there would be any imminent moves from the non-UFAs on Buffalo’s roster.

What’s interesting is that while Adams could easily trade away five players on Monday, Buffalo’s roster might not look all that different. The injury bug that ran through Buffalo’s roster shifted the lineup to the point that the Sabres are only now sending players back to Rochester, with Mark Jankowski returned on Wednesday. So, while Hagg and Miller could both gone on Monday, Hagg is the only one of the two with a roster spot that would need to be filled. With Anders Bjork a healthy scratch and Zemgus Girgensons ready to return, the same could be said of Cody Eakin and Vinny Hinostroza.

I think the initial reaction to the Sabres potentially shipping out three or more players would mean a distinct impact to their competitiveness. But things might look pretty similar to how they look now. Right now, the Sabres are +200 underdogs against the Oilers at Betway. Not the greatest odds, but I don’t think you’ll be seeing much longer odds for the club once their work at the deadline is complete.

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The Instigator Podcast 10.28 – Good Vibes and Sabres Trade Targets

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 Instigator Podcast 10.27 – Laying Out the Sabres Deadline Options

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 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.

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Two in the Mailbox: Hall Trade on the Horizon

It looks as if Taylor Hall has played his last game with the Sabres. As of this writing, Hall has been ruled out of Buffalo’s game against the Devils on Tuesday, April 6. With only six more days until the trade deadline, the odds that he’s seen in a Sabres jersey again sit somewhere between slim and none.

I meant to run this mailbag a few days earlier than it’s being dropped, so a couple of these questions may not seem as timely as they otherwise would have. The news of the week is Hall being scratched for the Devils game in anticipation of a trade being finalized. It seems unlikely that he even makes it to the deadline at this point, with a quicker conclusion to a trade benefiting any team that acquires him, especially those in Canada.

I’m not sure there’s any other way to describe Hall’s tenure in Buffalo as anything other than a huge disappointment. Luckily, the one-year deal the team signed him to mitigated any sort of long-term damage to their cap or depth chart, but two goals and 19 points over 37 games isn’t what you’re expecting from a former MVP. It’s certainly a far sight from Terry Pegula’s “We sign this guy, we’re not only trying to make the playoffs, we’re trying to win the Cup.”

Chasing Hall, like acquiring Eric Staal made for an exciting and promising offseason for the team. Not only was Hall a former MVP but he was the type of top-tier talent that could have helped take the Sabres to another level. Instead, he suffered through an abysmal stretch of shooting that tanked his stats and made him look like a passenger instead of the dynamic contributor he’d been earlier in his career.

We’ll wait to see what sort of trade return Kevyn Adams gets for Hall and whether or not that can help provide either short or long-term assistance to this club. Now, for your questions.

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The Instigator Podcast 8.23 – Kahuna Matata: NHL Trade Deadline Review

In one of the most eventful trade deadlines in years, the Sabres made a pair of moves as they attempted to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Jason Botterill acquired Wayne Simmonds and Dominik Kahun ahead of Monday’s deadline, picking up a rental and a potential long-term addition for his club. We discuss some of the larger moves made around the league on Monday along with what the larger implications are for the Sabres after acquiring Simmonds and Kahun.

Sabres at the Deadline: Time for the First Step

Jason Botterill and the Sabres have hit another deadline season no nearer to the playoffs that the year before. Once again, the Sabres aren’t quite sellers but they aren’t quite buyers either.

It’s been a rough season for the club, as a summer of anticipation over improving the forward corps came and went. The lack of action at the tail end of the summer carried all the way to January when Botterill finally acquired a forward, flipping a pick to Calgary for Michael Frolik.

That deal has played out about how you would have expected. Frolik has been forgettable during his time in Buffalo as he was a player better acquired in the wake of a larger acquisition. But instead of Frolik supplementing the roster after a move for a top six forward, he’s slotted into an already crowded and forgettable bottom six. That bottom six accounts for the list of deadline rentals the Sabres have to offer. Cheap rentals, but still rentals.

Frolik, along with Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson, Conor Sheary and Jimmy Vesey are Buffalo’s pending unrestricted free agents. As a restricted free agent who previously requested a trade, Evan Rodrigues could still be on the move as well. Add in trade rumor regular Rasmus Ristolainen and Buffalo’s other defensemen, specifically Brandon Montour, Colin Miller and possibly Jake McCabe, Botterill could have a busy Monday. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 8.22 – Trade Deadline Preview

The trade deadline is just days away and there have been a host of moves made in the week leading up to the 24th. We discuss Buffalo’s handful of UFAs, who they should look to move and what might be necessary to bring back in order to preserve Rochester’s roster wherever possible. We also discuss whether or not the Sabres are in a position where they need to make a trade in order to earn back their fanbase and to truly strengthen the roster.