The Instigator Podcast 8.35 – Featuring John Vogl of The Athletic

John Vogl of The Athletic joined the show this week to discuss his recent article on the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. As a topic that’s held my attention in recent years, it was a surprise to learn about the unusual circumstances surrounding the management of the entity. We discuss how the organization which managed the Hall of Fame fell into disarray and how the Sabres have been left in the lurch as a result. Along the way we toss out a few candidates for future induction and hit on some roster-related topics as well.

Sabres History: The Seven Best Deadline Deals in Franchise History

The current state of the NHL has evolved to a state in which there are really only two days when teams make deals to shape their rosters; the draft and the trade deadline. Sure, there are still deals made between those two dates, but they’ve become few and far between in recent seasons.

Both dates are tantamount to holidays for hockey fans with deadline day being particularly significant for fans, pundits and teams. For a club that has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, the Buffalo Sabres have had their fair share of interesting deadlines.

Between another year without the playoffs and the COVID-induced delay, there hasn’t been too much to talk about from a Sabres perspective. A few minor signings and, of course, the hiring of Kevyn Adams, but it’s been a quiet few months on the hockey side. It’s a different story where the Pegulas’ lifestyle is concerned, but from a strictly hockey perspective, it’s been a low key summer.

As a result, I thought I’d spend a little time combing over the club’s history at the trade deadline. Whether or not the 20-21 deadline plays a major role in the shaping of the roster or long-term success of the club can’t be known, but there are 49 deadlines that have played such a role in one way or another.

I’ve compiled what I feel are the seven most notable deadline trades in club history. I worked to rate each deal based on the clout of each player involved and both the short- and long-term effects the pieces had on the organization. I allowed for a few day’s worth of wiggle room from the deadline, but no more than four or five days. The trades are listed in chronological order as opposed to a proper ranking. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 8.19 – Checking Out Buffalo Twenty/20

There’s a new Buffalo sports site in town and it’s taking on a very cool premise. Bill Kenney of Buffalo Twenty/20 joins the show to talk about the new site, some unique stories from the last 20 years of Buffalo sports and to opine on the current state of the Buffalo Sabres.

50 Moments for 50 Years: Part Two

The last 50 49 years of Sabres hockey have been filled with thrilling games, agonizing defeats and a few extremely weird occurrences. In line with some of the work The Buffalo News and The Athletic has done in celebrating the team’s anniversary, I wanted to take a look at some of the most seminal moments in franchise history.

This isn’t a ranking but an attempt to touch on the big benchmarks and memorable moments from the last 50 (49) years. Here is part two of the list: Continue reading

50 Moments for 50 Years: Part One

The last 50 49 years of Sabres hockey have been filled with thrilling games, agonizing defeats and a few extremely weird occurrences. In line with some of the work The Buffalo News and The Athletic has done in celebrating the team’s anniversary, I wanted to take a look at some of the most seminal moments in franchise history.

This isn’t a ranking but an attempt to touch on the big benchmarks and memorable moments from the last 50 (49) years. Here is part one of the two-part list. Continue reading

Reflecting on Some of the Most Noteworthy Trades in Sabres History

In 50 years of hockey, the Buffalo Sabres have swung their fair share of trades. From minor league swaps to marquee blockbusters, the club isn’t lacking when it comes to trade history.

Buffalo’s transaction history provides a beautiful cross section of NHL history. From the 70s and 80s eras where blockbusters came about regularly to the modern era where GMs are loathe to make any waves for fear of immediate retribution. In attempt to celebrate some of the club’s history, I ran down a list of some of the most noteworthy trades in franchise history. This isn’t a proper ranking or numbered list, nor is this meant to be a full accounting of every important trade in club history. Some of these trades in and of themselves are little more than blips on the radar, but they set the stage for bigger things down the road. Meanwhile, others are tried and true blockbusters, noteworthy for all the reasons you’d expect.

One thing that ties them all together is some sort of noteworthy feature or function, whether the inclusion of a franchise cornerstone or setting the wheels in motion for something bigger. Like laying the foundation to acquire a franchise cornerstone.

Continue reading

What’s Next for the Sabres Hall of Fame?

Dominik Hasek was the last person inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame. That came in March of 2014, just a few months before his Hockey Hall of Fame induction and a little over two years since Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jeanneret were inducted.

In the five years since Hasek’s induction, the only major changes on the Sabres alumni landscape was the retirement of his number (one year later in January 2015) and the erection of Tim Horton’s statue in October of 2014. According to the Sabres Hall of Fame listing on the Alumni Association website (which does not yet include Hasek on the list of inductees), the current five-year induction hiatus matches the longest stretch the organization has gone through. They also went five years with no action between 1989 and 1994. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast Interview – Featuring Sabres History and Memorabilia

We will be doing a new feature on The Instigator Podcast on a weekly (or semi-weekly) basis. The interview series will be one-on-one conversations covering a wide range of hockey topics. We’ll touch on Sabres topics and general NHL and hockey fandom as well.

The first Instigator Interview features the men behind the Seymour Knox’s Ghost Twitter account as he and Chris discuss his impressive memorabilia collection the covers one-of-a-kind items from The Aud and beyond. We also discuss whether or not the team has done enough to honor their rich history in recent years. You can catch the interviews in the same places you find our regular episodes.

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