Chris and Tyler spend far too much time discussing the fallout from Jack Eichel’s harmless comments following the Sharks victory in addition to hitting on Buffalo’s You Can Play Night and the fast approaching NHL trade deadline. We also focus in on the continued rumors surrounding the Coyotes and Islanders while hitting on a few more trade deadline storylines as Brian Gionta, Dmirty Kulikov and Cody Franson are starting to come up on watch lists.
With Evander Kane’s name still floating around trade chatter in Sabres Nation, Chris and Tyler discuss whether or not moving Kane in exchange for a defenseman serves Buffalo’s short and long term needs. Also on the program: the sudden trouble for the Islanders and Hurricanes and the new news on Vegas’ options at the trade deadline.
It was a slow deadline but a few interesting trades were made, including one by the Sabres. Chris and Tyler look back at today’s deadline and look forward from the Sabres perspective.
Some of Buffalo’s struggles this season can be traced to their man games lost and the general lack of depth through the pipeline which enhanced the losses caused by various injuries.
That lack of depth has been pointed to as a side effect of Tim Murray’s efforts to add NHL talent to Buffalo roster. In some cases it’s being seen as a primary fault of the general manager. However, despite the number of bodies that moved out of the Sabres organization since last February, the overall impact those moves have had on the organization’s depth maybe isn’t as harmful as you may believe.
In acquiring Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn, Murray surrendered a pair of draft picks (a first and second in the 2015 draft), Tyler Myers, Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux and JT Compher. Drew Stafford was also part of the trade with Winnipeg but as a pending unrestricted free agent who appeared to have no future in Buffalo, it’s hard to count him as a direct loss due to those trades. Continue reading
Tyler and Chris discuss Buffalo’s 7-4 loss to the Panthers and whether or not their failure to climb out of the league basement should be the only barometer for success this season.
The 2014-15 trade deadline was much different for Tim Murray than the 2013-14 deadline when he was just a few months into his new job.
Entering last year’s deadline, Murray was tasked with finding a home for pending UFA goaltender Ryan Miller, pending UFA Steve Ott along with other pieces. Most notably, Matt Moulson, who was also set to enter free agency.
Last year’s deadline saw Murray make four separate deals and acquire a total of six players and four draft picks. He also claimed Cory Conacher on waivers on deadline day. Murray was not facing the same steep challenge at this year’s deadline. He did not have a franchise talent like Miller to deal, while sporting three pending UFAs who held varying levels of average value. The deadline closed with the Sabres having made four trades (again) while acquiring a goaltender, a prospect and four picks.
You certainly can’t give Murray a strong grade for this year’s deadline alone. None of the four deals he made were blockbusters and he wasn’t dealing from a position of power like in 2014. However, looking at the big picture, Murray has positioned himself very well to take the next big step in the rebuild of the Sabres franchise. Continue reading
With precisely 20 games left on the schedule, the Sabres have worked their way deeper into the divide in the fanbase following a 6-3 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks.
The Sabres capitalized, once again, on substandard goaltending as Eddie Lack turned in a .783 SV% on a night in which he was only tested 23 times. Tonight’s win marked the third time this season the Sabres managed to shoot better than 20% in a game – the other two coming against San Jose and Calgary. Lack was strong early in the game, getting hung out on an early two-on-one and getting some unwanted assistance from Adam Clendening on Stewart’s breakaway. But he made a few impressive stops, including a dazzling glove save on Cody Hodgson in the second.
The wheels fell off for the Canucks in the third as Andrej Meszaros cleaned up a sloppy no-look pass from Nick Bonino and put the puck through a screen for Buffalo’s third, while Mitchell cleaned up some garbage in front to put the Sabres ahead for good. Brian Flynn’s security marker at 18:28 came after Lack misplayed a loose puck badly and Stewart found Flynn to cash on the empty net. Continue reading