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Category: Buffalo-Sabres

The Jack Eichel Situation

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

The Sabres deserve the criticism they are getting for not making the playoffs in 10 consecutive seasons. But there's not enough talk about how much responsibility Eichel bears for the last six seasons. And he bears some of it, even for all the good moments he's produced in the face of so much chaos and bad play around him.

Your star players get all the plaudits in good times and the heavy arrows in times of trouble. Eichel should not be exempt from that. No one is trashing Zach Bogosian for yet another playoff failure in Toronto in May. All the talk is about Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner not coming through for the Leafs against Montreal. That's life as a star.

This theory that Eichel can't be here because he'll poison the room has merit but if he wants out, he can't be a toxic captain. Who is trading for that? He needs to shut up and play. And play well. Every team in the league will be paying attention. He'll enjoy playing for Don Granato, too.

And with five years left on his deal, we're not talking a long stretch. Just play for a month or two and people will rethink offers and ring Adams' phone again. How can any GM trade for Eichel now? What GM can tell his owner he just traded for a $50 million contract when he has no idea how or when the player will return from surgery?

more

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Imagine Being A Fan Of The Buffalo Sabres

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

They say the term “empathy” is the feeling that describes putting yourself in the shoes of another and trying to see things their way.

But when it comes to fans of the Buffalo Sabres, how can you truly have empathy when they’re experiencing one of the worst win-droughts in modern professional sports history? How do you explain away year after year of letdowns, underwhelm and flat-out heartbreak?

As if the past decade weren’t abysmal enough – and lo, it certainly has been abysmal, with the Sabres failing to make the playoffs in any of the past 10 years; and with the team finishing either sixth, seventh or eighth in the Atlantic or East Division in each of the past eight straight seasons – imagine how it must feel knowing the upcoming, 2021-22 campaign is going to be sheer awfulness, from Game 1 likely through Game 82. Sabres GM Kevyn Adams already has dealt away one of his team’s better defenseman (Rasmus Ristolainen, traded to Philadelphia), lost his starting goaltender (Linus Ullmark, who signed with Bruins Atlantic rivals in Boston), and shipped out his top goal-scorer and point-getter (Sam Reinhart, again, to an Atlantic rival in the Florida Panthers) last season.

continued

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A Statement From Jack Eichel’s Agent

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Afternoon Line- Kevyn Adams

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The Goaltending For The Buffalo Sabres

from the Buffalo News,

When most of the top free agents were signed by playoff contenders, and the game of goalie musical chairs appeared to be over, Buffalo Sabres Kevyn Adams was left standing on the sidelines with an empty net.

A difficult day for the rebuilding franchise was made worse late Wednesday afternoon when Adams learned that the goalie he hoped to retain, Linus Ullmark, rejected the Sabres’ contract offer in favor of joining the Atlantic Division’s Boston Bruins.

The Sabres' next steps were unclear until they found two replacements: veteran goalies Craig Anderson and Aaron Dell.

Anderson, a 40-year-old with 18 years of NHL experience, and Dell, a 32-year-old who started 32 games for San Jose in 2019-20, are joining Buffalo on 1-year contracts worth $750,000.

Two goalies were needed because the Sabres plan to have Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Dustin Tokarski in Rochester. There was plenty of money to spend – CapFriendly.com projects Buffalo with a league-high $31.766 million in cap space – but Adams was unable to sell top free agents on the idea of being part of a rebuild. Even Ullmark wasn’t willing to stick around unless the Sabres met his asking price.

continued

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Would You Trade Mitch Marner For Rasmus Dahlin?

from Travis Yost of TSN,

One of the biggest challenges they have right now is a top-heavy roster on the cap front – not an issue for teams winning through their stars, but again, that hasn’t been the case in Toronto. Although Auston Matthews appears worth every penny, players like Mitch Marner ($10.9-million AAV) continue to be evaluated.

Top-pairing defenceman Morgan Rielly’s contract is another issue. The deal expires at the end of next season and he is looking at a raise, one he probably can’t get in Toronto, which would put another hole in the blueline....

Even on an expensive deal, few teams have the assets to trade for a player like Marner. That’s where Sabres defenceman Rasmus Dahlin comes into play. The former first-overall pick (2018) has shown signs of brilliance in Buffalo, but it’s been rather inconsistent, and the 2020-21 season was particularly ugly. The offensive playmaking and distributing ability is there in spades; so too, unfortunately, was shoddy off-the-puck play.

What’s hard to tell is how much the Sabres acted as an anchor on Dahlin’s production versus how much Dahlin contributed to Buffalo’s struggles – though just 21 and clearly still developing, it cannot be discounted that Dahlin (who averaged nearly 22 minutes a night last season) was contributory on that front.

more and perhaps a few more parts...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Sam Reinhart Trade From Buffalo To Florida Is Official

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Philadelphia/Buffalo Trade

via the Philadelphia Fyers,

The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for the club's first round pick (13th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft, the Flyers' own second round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and defenseman Robert Hagg, according to President of Hockey Operations & General Manager, Chuck Fletcher.

Continue Reading »

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Don Granato Named Head Coach Of The Buffalo Sabres

from the Buffalo Sabres,

The Buffalo Sabres have named Don Granato as the 20th head coach in franchise history.

Granato, 53, joined the Sabres as an assistant coach prior to the 2019-20 season. He was elevated to interim head coach on March 17 of last season.

Granato used the 28-game showing to invest in the organization's future by leaning on young players to take on high-leverage minutes and matchups. Players who enjoyed career-best stretches under his watch included first-round picks Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, and Tage Thompson.

continued

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The Asking Price For Jack Eichel And The New York Rangers May Have Interest

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

The Blueshirts have been linked to Eichel since last summer, when then-GM Jeff Gorton had pre-draft discussions with his Buffalo counterpart Kevyn Adams. The talks are believed to have broken down when Gorton refused to part with the first-overall selection that became Alexis Lafreniere. 

Eichel, who has been diagnosed with a herniated disk in his neck, is just coming off 12 weeks of rest and rehab as prescribed by the Sabres team physicians. The next step is unclear, but the 24-year-old center may be in line for surgery to replace the disk with an artificial one. That type of surgery is typically followed by a recovery period of up to three months.

We’re told that the Sabres have not yet granted permission for inquiring clubs to gain access to Eichel’s medical records. That would be expected to accompany latter-stage trade discussions.

Per sources, the Sabres are asking for at least four pieces that would be equivalent of first-rounders in exchange for Eichel, who left the lineup for good following his 21st game of the season on March 7, and has five years remaining on his contract that comes with an annual $10 million cap charge.

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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