Two in the Mailbox – Buyout Candidates, Team Speed and Bad Trades

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 2intheboxbuffalo@gmail.com.

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 – What to do with Mittelstadt?

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 2intheboxbuffalo@gmail.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

The Instigator Podcast 6.18 – New Year, Same Sabres

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.

Sabres phone backgrounds featuring Ristolainen and Bogosian

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

Murray active in second deadline 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. deadline

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

Kane acquisition represents the next step in Buffalo’s rebuild

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

Where does Myers rank among his draft mates?

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).

Myers signed a seven-year $38 million extension this summer. This preempted the massive eight-year $56 million contract given to Doughty by the Kings and the five-year $18 million deal that Schenn got. Bogosian is on his second contract (two years, $10 million) and Pietrangelo will get a new deal in two summers.

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