The Sabres Observer
What will the 30th-place Sabres do on Monday?
Part of the fun ahead of time is the speculation, so let's get to it.
Tim Murray has stated that he won't allow unrestricted free agents to leave for nothing, and he has eight of them: Stewart, Neuvirth, Mitchell, Meszaros, Benoit, Strachan, Ellis and Lindback.
Not that it should come as a big surprise, but the agent for Michal Neuvirth says there have been no contract extension talks with the Buffalo Sabres.
While some Sabres fans are ready to pop open their McEichel champagne bottles, be warned that it's still way too soon.
The Sabres trail the Oilers by six points and tonight face a weary Rangers team that's seriously considering giving someone you've never heard of his first NHL start in net.
The "race" for 30th isn't over. Any analytics expert using Buffalo's possession numbers to tell you otherwise is not really an analytics expert.
It's the biggest blockbuster deal the Sabres have made since Turgeon for LaFontaine.
Even if you're in favor of Tim Murray making this trade for Evander Kane, you have to admit it's a risk on quite a few levels.
But the funny thing is, taking some chances and swinging for the fences is often a big part of building a championship team. That's where a lot of naysayers are missing the boat.
In honor of the blockbuster trade that sent Evander Kane to the Sabres today, here is every goal he scored in the 2014-15 season:
In case there was a question of whether or not Tim Murray is going to try to swing a deal to acquire disgruntled but talented forward Evander Kane, some media A-listers have chimed in on the subject.
The answer is 'yes'.
Fourteen-game losing streak got you down, Sabres fan? Feeling like you've been run over by a tank?
History says things are going to get much better. Take comfort from others who have been through it.
The McEichel Bowl is upon us.
Buffalo is in Edmonton tonight as the two worst teams in the NHL meet in what is being hyped as a monumental game for both teams, for no other reason than finishing 30th in the standings guarantees you Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the draft.
But for those who still don't get it, this isn't about the players on the ice. There's a difference between not trying and not being good enough. It's difficult not to cringe every time a reporter asks a guy like Josh Gorges or Ben Scrivens about the theory of throwing games. Players will bite your head off and lecture about pride until they're blue in the face. In the process, they'll even take a shot at fans who want them to lose.
Which leads to something interesting to look for tonight. If these players are half as angry as they seem when questioned about tanking, should this not be their golden opportunity to throw it back in everyone's faces?
Mike Richards has been placed on waivers, and the 30th-place Sabres can have him if they want him.
As is pretty much the case lately when any recognizable player is on waivers, a number of Sabres fans openly campaign for him to be picked up.
Those rumblings are a bit louder today with a guy like Richards available. I say "no thanks".
Well, I promised myself I wouldn't say anything more about yesterday's Puck Daddy piece praying to the hockey gods that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel end up avoiding having to play for Buffalo or Edmonton.
I cringed at the anti-mainstream media blogging crowd grudgingly typing out 1000-word essays on why "The Sabres don't deserve McDavid because they had Gilbert Perreault" is a take hot enough to melt every towering snow drift in Buffalo.
Yet, here I am linking to a piece -- from an Edmonton Journal writer no less -- ripping it apart.
David Staples did criticize the article, but I'm actually calling it to your attention today for a totally different reason. Analytics nerds have already told you this, but it's worth mentioning anyway.
The Oilers are a better team than the Sabres and will almost certainly finish higher than Buffalo in the standings.
About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]