The trade dam finally broke at One Seymour H Knox III Plaza. It took a couple of months, but Jason Botterill sprung to action this week and flipped one of his defensemen for help at forward.
Botterill grabbed the pick needed to acquire Michael Frolik by shipping Marco Scandella to the Canadiens on Thursday evening. Effectively laundering a defense for forward swap through a third party. It’s a relatively minor trade that sees the Sabres use an area of strength to address a weakness. Why it took this long to execute is another question altogether, but fans can take some solace in seeing the GM spring into action.
A big move is still yet to come. It may not come in-season, either, given the Sabres frustrating injury luck and their precarious spot in the standings. A big move is also what seems to be necessary to lift their forward group to the next level.
At the very least, Botterill has a minimum of two trades to make in order to honor the trade requests of Evan Rodrigues and Zach Bogosian. I suspect he’ll have at least one more addition up his sleeve either in addition to dealing the two wantaway players, or as part of the trade for one. My guess is we see something along the lines of the Brandon Montour trade at last year’s deadline; a deal that brings in a younger player who can fit in with the core and be in Buffalo beyond this year. It may not be as big of a deal as the Sabres only have one first round pick to work with, but there are a few pieces Botterill has at his disposal which I think could (or should) be on the table. Continue reading →
In the spirit of the holiday, now felt like a good time to consider a few resolutions for the Sabres to try on over the next 365 days. They have plenty of room for improvement, I just hope they stick to their resolutions longer than I usually do. Continue reading →
After having a bit of fun on Twitter I felt that I might try out a new feature on the blog. Drawing inspiration from Justin Bourne’s System Analyst series, I’ll pick a play from a recent Sabres game and break it down frame-by-frame to see what exactly went wrong in that given moment.
Sometimes it will be a goal against, sometimes a goal for. Saves will be on the menu as well with my goal to add a little humor and a little clarity to various moments over the rest of Buffalo’s schedule.
The first edition covers Tampa Bay’s lone regulation goal from their 2-1 shootout win on February 21. The Sabres managed to take an advantageous offensive position and turn it into a goal against in roughly nine seconds. Here’s what happened. Continue reading →
Two in the Mailbox, the weekly mailbag on the Sabres, goalie stuff, Buffalo and anything in between, is back. You can submit to the mailbag using #2ITBmailbag on Twitter or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe/@JoeHockeySabres – Who are the Sabres buyout candidates? What are the buyout rules regarding numbers and salaries? Who will they pay?
The Sabres only have one buyout on their books (Cody Hodgson). The other two (Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino) are compliance buyouts, to the Sabres have room to work if they opt for buyouts. Here is a good rundown of the NHL’s buyout rules.
Matt Moulson seems like a pretty safe bet, even though it would probably be wiser to stash him in the AHL again and just eat that final year of his salary. On a buyout, Moulson would carry a $3.667m cap hit next year and $667K the year after. That’s a minimal net savings compared to simply keeping him one more year, but it would free up another contract space.
The most valuable buyout would probably be Zach Bogosian. His run of injuries have been incredibly detrimental to his time in Buffalo and he has two more seasons left at a cap hit over five million. Buffalo would gain a fair bit of flexibility if they chose to buy him out. From a contract perspective, cap perspective and even clearing a roster spot for a player with more availability such as Casey Nelson or perhaps even Will Borgen, depending how ready he is come October. Continue reading →
Two in the Mailbox, the weekly (week and a half this time) mailbag on the Sabres, goalie stuff, Buffalo and anything in between, is back. You can submit to the mailbag using #2ITBmailbag on Twitter or emailing email@example.com.
Jake/@Jvince11 – What do you think the chances are that when Mittelstadt’s season is over that he signs an ELC and at least plays in Rochester? Maybe Buffalo? A Clayton Keller move like he did with PHX last year.Continue reading →
We had a brief holiday layoff and it appears the Sabres did as well. Chris and Tyler are back to discuss the dust-up between Justin Falk and Evander Kane at practice today. We also touch on Jack Eichel’s All Star nomination, Zach Bogosian’s injury and the recall of Brendan Guhle and Linus Ullmark.
Over the past few months I’ve tossed a few phone backgrounds out for anyone who may have been interested. I started with Mr. Eichel (there’s also a Bills Cold Front version) and I’ve slowly added a couple more to the collection. Below you’ll find the newest additions to the 2ITB phone background collection with wallpapers devoted to Rasmus Ristolainen and Zach Bogosian. Enjoy. Continue reading →
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 →
Tim Murray has had the arsenal of assets to make a major play for talent going back to his first trade deadline as the Buffalo Sabres general manager. He will enter his second trade deadline with his second major trade in his rear-view mirror.
Murray shipped an impressive package of Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux and a conditional first round draft pick to Winnipeg in exchange for Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and Jason Kasdorf. It’s a trade the provides the Sabres with not one, but two significant pieces that fit in both the short, and long term plans of the organization.
There is some concern that Murray may have sacrificed too much in order to complete the trade but in a world where you have to pay a premium to obtain premium talent, it lines up as a balanced transaction for both teams. Continue reading →
An easy assessment of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft would be to call it the Year of the Defenseman. Twelve defensemen were taken in the first round with twelve more being taken in the second round. Nearly half of the first 60 picks were spent on players to patrol the blue line.
One of those defensemen was Tyler Myers. The Sabres selected Myers, the number four ranked North American skater, with the 12th selection in the first round. Buffalo actually traded up one spot, to ensure they got Myers before the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings selected Colton Teubert with the next selection. Myers was the fifth defenseman taken in the first round, behind blue chips; Drew Doughty (2, LA), Zach Bogosian (3, Atlanta), Alex Pietrangelo (4, St. Louis) and Luke Schenn (5, Toronto).
As for the six drafted below Myers, only three have seen extended time in the NHL and three have yet to see time in the NHL. Myers is the only one to win an NHL award but isn’t counted on as much as Doughty is. Meanwhile, Schenn and Bogosian both fill top-four roles for their respective clubs but aren’t yet the top defensemen on their teams.
Myers’ contract is one of the best of the bunch, both in terms of length and cost, and he has seen more success than a large fraction of the picks. Of the twelve first rounders, I rank them as follows: Continue reading →