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Category: Buffalo-Sabres

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

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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Remembering Rene Robert

from Jourdon LaBarber of Sabres.com,

Danny Gare was awestruck the first time he met Rene Robert. Gare was a wide-eyed rookie attending his first training camp with the Sabres in 1974 after watching the exploits of Robert and his "French Connection" linemates for two seasons on television.

Gare says he spoke to Robert just about every other day by the end of Robert's life, a testament to a friendship formed during their five years as teammates and decades spent as proud and active ambassadors for the Sabres. 

"He was just a great person, a special teammate, a special friend," Gare said.

Gare and fellow Sabres alumni Don Luce and Gilbert Perreault each joined The Instigators on Wednesday to remember their former teammate Robert, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 72.

Perreault centered Robert and Rick Martin on the French Connection line. The three remained friends after their careers, with Martin having passed away in 2011.

continued

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What Are The Buffalo Sabres Going To Do With Jack Eichel

Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News answers a few questions, the first one is about Jack Eichel,

My prediction is that the Sabres will grant Eichel permission to talk to teams that are interested in trading for him. This dialogue will be necessary because any team acquiring Eichel must feel comfortable with his preference to have the particular surgery he is seeking to repair his injured neck. Allowing those sides to talk is a sign of good faith, and the Sabres also should provide all available medical information.

Then it will be time to field substantive trade offers. This process will need to move quickly, or the Sabres will find themselves in a hearing in which Eichel's camp can state its case to an independent arbitrator. It's better to pass the problem on to another team if the Sabres decide Eichel isn't part of their future.

If another team supports Eichel's decision and offers the appropriate trade package, the Sabres will complete the deal. If not, you might see this drag on for a while. Neither side is going to change its mind. In the end, an exit seems inevitable.

more Q & A

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Jack Eichel Could Be A Fit In Boston

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

Turning talk into trade, when it comes to a potential Eichel-to-Boston deal, is another matter.

Can the Bruins afford the cost of one of the game’s premier centers? From a cap-space perspective, sure. The 24-year-old Eichel has been hurt much of this season, but is paid like a player who put up 36 goals and 78 points in 68 games last season on a struggling team. He carries a $10 million hit for the next six years.

One way to afford him: let unrestricted free agents David Krejci ($7.25 million), Jaroslav Halak ($2.25 million), and Sean Kuraly ($1.275 million) walk, which would free up $10.775 million in cap space. That’s without considering a Hall extension, and other UFAs (Mike Reilly, due a raise on his $1.5 million AAV). The Bruins will also shed David Backes’s $1.5 million retained cap hit this summer. Money doesn’t have to be the holdup.

Do they have a need for Eichel? Certainly not at this moment. The Capitals entered Saturday’s Game 1 against the Bruins trying to find ways to stop Patrice Bergeron’s line and the Hall-Krejci-Craig Smith connection, both firing with equal fury. Imagine if that continues this postseason, Krejci takes a haircut ($5 million on a short-term deal) and Hall falls a bit behind Brad Marchand ($6.125 million) on the salary scale. That’s one formidable top six entering 2021-22.

Given the ages of Bergeron (36 in July) and Krejci (35) and their mileage, it wouldn’t last forever. Bergeron’s contract expires after next season. Krejci, if he returns, could be year to year. Bringing in a 24-year-old, all-world talent from North Chelmsford, and showing him how Bergeron and Marchand operate (see: Hall, Taylor), could be ideal.

Whether they want to ante up for Eichel, the Bruins do need centers.

more plus other topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Larry Brooks

That's thinking outside the box.

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

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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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