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Old
04-28-2011, 11:03 PM
  #176
SabresFanNorthPortFL
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Originally Posted by joechip View Post
So, your definition of a little culture change is turning over 2/3 of the roster?

If things hold true to form you'll see 4-5 new regular faces next season. No more than that, especially given how they finished the year.

This team, healthy, could have taken any team in the eastern conference, warts and all. That's how close it is. We weren't close to healthy and so we lost. That's it.

With 2 upgrades in the forward corps and more seasoning on defense and we beat Philly even weakened.

That's not a team you dismantle, regardless of one's opinion of specific players.

Ta,
Where in the world did you see I wanted to change over 2/3rds of the roster?????

The only thing I said was that I do not want back our 4 regular players who are UFAs: Connolly, Montador, Grier and Neids, hardly anyone who is a difference maker. Neids and Grier are only because they are just plain old, and yes, Neids played very well down the stretch. I want no part of Connolly ever again, in my eyes he is a cancer. Mancari, Morrison and Lalime are nothing.

The other guys I mentioned, Stafford for one, I said deserved a little respect for the season he had, as well as I mentioned Gausted having a specific role and played it well. I would not be opposed to trading them for needs and upgrades.

I see the sabres as a team within a few players of contention. The 4 I mention are addition by subtraction, in my opinion. None of them are difference makers but at multiple times during the season were issues. I'm pretty sure I pointed out that a culture change would need roster spots and those 4 spots could be used for that culture change.

You put Mark Recci, Jarett Stoll and a Christian Ernhoff in three of those spots and we are legit contenders. None of those 3 are unrealistic targets and would change the culure of this team. And the funny thing is, the salaries are not that far off.

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04-28-2011, 11:18 PM
  #177
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And thus begins the nonsense offseason posting wanting to sign big name free agents and get rid of everyone else.

I wish we were still in the playoffs just so I wouldn't have to think about this yet.

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04-29-2011, 12:11 AM
  #178
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Stafford is a tough, tough call. He scored at a great clip, but as some have pointed out, his shooting percentage was high, he had a ton of goals on garbage shots on garbage goalies, he's been plagued by inconsistency, prone to disappearing, and doesn't do enough when he isn't scoring to make people not hate him. My guess was between 3.5M and 4M per.

We have four contracts that are just bad in Connolly, Hecht, Pominville, and Gaustad. Unfortunately only one of them is in a position to leave this year. Those are the guys that are supposed to play great two way hockey and do the little things that win you playoff series...and they don't.

Then the only defensemen we have under contract are Leopold, Myers, and Morrisonn leaving three spots to fill, and Enroth is a RFA as well.



Personally I'd like to bring Stafford back at 3.5-4, offersheet oshie/berglund at 4.5ish and see if we can't move one of the bad contracts. Some iteration of

Vanek - Roy - Stafford
Ennis - Oshie/Berglund - Pominville
Gerbe - Hecht - Boyes
Kaleta - Niedermayer/Gaustad - McCormick

would look pretty good to me. Those contracts royally screw the defense though, especially with management looking to lock Myers up fairly soon.

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04-29-2011, 07:06 AM
  #179
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Originally Posted by joechip View Post
If Stafford settles into a solid 25-30-55 (his shooting % was off the charts this year, so regression can be expected. To hit 30 consistently he'll have to shoot a lot) guy who can play in all situations ala Poms but with a bigger frame who uses it smartly would he really be overpaid at say $4.5 mil with a cap of $62-$63 million?

I don't think so.

The cap ain't $44 million anymore... it's a lot higher than that. You have to adjust prices on a percentage of total cap basis.

If we can get Stafford at 4 years $18-19 million with a rising cap (that only goes higher thanks to the big TV deal(that's $6 million in cap space right there, btw), I'm okay with that.

If you can put him on a longer deal at a similar cap number I'd do it in a heartbeat. 6 years $27 million? That's a good deal for a 25 YO power RW whose got upside left.

Ta,
The bolded is key. People get so wrapped up in cap hit numbers without considering that, with the exception of one year, the cap has been steadily rising. With the players expected to exercise their 5% escalator, the cap will be at or around $62.2m next season. Assuming Buffalo starts the season with $60m--saving money for callups and a deadline acquisition--a $4m cap hit for Stafford would represent 6.7% of our cap. Guys like McCormick, Gragnani, Butler, and Weber are going to cost relative peanuts to re-sign. Further, there's always great values still hanging around on the UFA market in late-July that can be snatched up for cheap (think Dom Moore, Sean Bergenheim, and Eric Belanger last year). Stafford will not be a cap-crippling contract.

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Old
04-29-2011, 07:13 AM
  #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CriminallyVu1gar View Post
Stafford is a tough, tough call. He scored at a great clip, but as some have pointed out, his shooting percentage was high, he had a ton of goals on garbage shots on garbage goalies, he's been plagued by inconsistency, prone to disappearing, and doesn't do enough when he isn't scoring to make people not hate him. My guess was between 3.5M and 4M per.
Disagree with the bolded. He was an excellent PKer down the stretch. One of our best, in fact. With the likely departures of Grier and Connolly, as well as the injury history of Kaleta, Drew will be a key performer on next season's PK. I think he's good at closing down the shooting lanes and quick to loose pucks. The PK also looked like it may even score a shorty (*gasp*) at times when he was out there. I also think his board play is much improved. Also, he hasn't been a minus in any of his five seasons. Can we say that about any other player on the roster who has been a pro as long as Stafford?

Quote:

We have four contracts that are just bad in Connolly, Hecht, Pominville, and Gaustad. Unfortunately only one of them is in a position to leave this year. Those are the guys that are supposed to play great two way hockey and do the little things that win you playoff series...and they don't.
How does Hecht get lumped in there? He's played in one playoff game in the last four seasons, and he was rougly 80% for that game.

Regarding Pominville, it bears noting that our goal differential vs Philly was +2 with him in the lineup and -6 once he was injured. Our PK also started getting scored on when he went down. Coincidence? I'd argue it isn't considering how poor it was when he was injured in October.

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04-29-2011, 08:00 AM
  #181
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Originally Posted by joechip View Post
Really? You think that? When everyone interviewed (and that doesn't include Connolly himself) said they were proud to be a part of this team and proud of every member of it.

I think removing Golisano and Quinn have gone a long way to changing the culture of this team. Everyone responded to that change. Players don't make the culture, the front office does. The players respond to the workplace conditions and the quality of the leadership of the organization, just like any other business. The best employees in the world will fail if the leadership makes poor decisions with capital and resources.

I think it's crystal clear that the change in front office style and attitude made an immediate impact on the players themselves. I don't think Connolly's presence makes or breaks that.

As for what Connolly can bring to the table for this team, well, I'm in agreement that if he's brought back as a 3rd line center/PK'er for less money[1] behind Roy and another legitimate top 2 center then I'm all for bringing him back.

There's a good chance that Poms is out long term and may never be the same player again. Achilles injuries are nothing to sneer at. Like this year losing our top 2 PK'ing d-men cost us dearly both at the beginning of the season and at the end, losing 2 of our top 3 Pk'ing forwards[2] could be devastating until someone else steps into the role. Stafford? Looks very promising.

Ta,

[1] - ... and I'm thinking around $3 million with the cap going to $62+ million, not $2 which is plain silly and given that his current injury is not a concussion, then I want no part of him.

[2] - and Connolly now has to be considered an elite PK'er in this league, given Ruff's ability to coach it and his place in Ruff's hierarchy.
I guess what I mean to say is I think that if they bring Connolly back to be a top six center again and don't do anything meaningful to upgrade the position, then no I don't see much about this team changing. It may not be a change in the team's culture per se, but I think it would go a long while to changing the way people look at this team.

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04-29-2011, 08:13 AM
  #182
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Originally Posted by SabresFanNorthPortFL View Post
Where in the world did you see I wanted to change over 2/3rds of the roster?????

The only thing I said was that I do not want back our 4 regular players who are UFAs: Connolly, Montador, Grier and Neids, hardly anyone who is a difference maker. Neids and Grier are only because they are just plain old, and yes, Neids played very well down the stretch. I want no part of Connolly ever again, in my eyes he is a cancer. Mancari, Morrison and Lalime are nothing.

The other guys I mentioned, Stafford for one, I said deserved a little respect for the season he had, as well as I mentioned Gausted having a specific role and played it well. I would not be opposed to trading them for needs and upgrades.

I see the sabres as a team within a few players of contention. The 4 I mention are addition by subtraction, in my opinion. None of them are difference makers but at multiple times during the season were issues. I'm pretty sure I pointed out that a culture change would need roster spots and those 4 spots could be used for that culture change.

You put Mark Recci, Jarett Stoll and a Christian Ernhoff in three of those spots and we are legit contenders. None of those 3 are unrealistic targets and would change the culure of this team. And the funny thing is, the salaries are not that far off.
We really wouldn't be though. If those are the only three guys you adding to the current roster we'd be better, but those moves do not make us legit contenders. Stoll is not good enough to be counted on to be a regular top six center. Our center depth would still be an issue. While Stoll may be more physical than TC he only had one more point than Connolly last year. And he also only had 3 assists in the Kings first round exit when he as pretty much the best center they had left, only one more than Connolly had. I agree he'd be an upgrade, but not much of one offensively.

Recchi would be a solid acquisition, but he isn't an elite offensive talent by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't see him leaving Boston. Erhoff is a guy I'd love to have, but I'm not sure if he'll even hit free agency seeing how he's one of the Canucks' best dmen, but who knows.

Bottom line is that if they want to be a contender they need to add more significant offensive pieces up front than Stoll and Recchi. I wouldn't mind trading for Stoll, but if we did I would certainly hope Regeir's planning on adding another guy who can be at least be a 2b/3rd line center. I do not want to really on Stoll to be our 2nd best center when were fully healthy.

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04-29-2011, 08:19 AM
  #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CriminallyVu1gar View Post
Stafford is a tough, tough call. He scored at a great clip, but as some have pointed out, his shooting percentage was high, he had a ton of goals on garbage shots on garbage goalies, he's been plagued by inconsistency, prone to disappearing, and doesn't do enough when he isn't scoring to make people not hate him. My guess was between 3.5M and 4M per.

We have four contracts that are just bad in Connolly, Hecht, Pominville, and Gaustad. Unfortunately only one of them is in a position to leave this year. Those are the guys that are supposed to play great two way hockey and do the little things that win you playoff series...and they don't.

Then the only defensemen we have under contract are Leopold, Myers, and Morrisonn leaving three spots to fill, and Enroth is a RFA as well.



Personally I'd like to bring Stafford back at 3.5-4, offersheet oshie/berglund at 4.5ish and see if we can't move one of the bad contracts. Some iteration of

Vanek - Roy - Stafford
Ennis - Oshie/Berglund - Pominville
Gerbe - Hecht - Boyes
Kaleta - Niedermayer/Gaustad - McCormick

would look pretty good to me. Those contracts royally screw the defense though, especially with management looking to lock Myers up fairly soon.
Wait so your talking about bad contracts but would want to throw a $4.5 million offersheet at TJ Oshie who only played in 49 games this past season? His other two seasons he played in 57 and 76 games. Yet Pominville who is usually always healthy, plays a solid two way game, is a pretty good PKer, and can get you 20-25 goals 50-60 points regularly is overpaid according to you. But you want to throw $4.5 mil at a guy whose only played in almost one full season, and whose offensive numbers aren't hugely impressive yet either. And were gonna count on this guy to be our next best center after Roy? Right that makes sense.

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Old
04-29-2011, 11:00 AM
  #184
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On what may have been his last day in the Buffalo Sabres' dressing room, Tim Connolly had nothing to say about his latest injury, his streak of playoff games without a goal or his NHL future.

Several inquiring minds in HSBC Arena wanted to hear his answers Thursday, but Connolly did not oblige. He ducked out of the arena without speaking to the media as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers.

While the other players packed their gear in the dressing room, Connolly sent two assistant equipment managers to stow his belongings. Connolly was briefly spotted coming out of an equipment room, but he quickly ducked back into a restricted area when he noticed the media waiting by his locker.

Reporters waited 90 minutes after the rest of the players had completed interviews to talk to Connolly, but a team spokesman said he had left the building.

The team has yet to confirm whether the injury was another in a long line of concussions or if it was a shoulder/collarbone problem, but coach Lindy Ruff said after the series that Connolly would have been out for about six weeks.

Connolly, who turns 30 on May 7, is the Sabres' longest-tenured player, acquired from the New York Islanders in 2001 for Michael Peca.
http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/sa...icle406545.ece

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04-29-2011, 11:11 AM
  #185
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Montador is now an unrestricted free agent and the Sabres have yet to approach him or his agent about a contract extension. Early in the year, a two- or three-year deal seemed like a good fit. Now the picture is murky.
http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/sa...icle406528.ece

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Old
04-29-2011, 11:36 AM
  #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADoubleD View Post
I guess what I mean to say is I think that if they bring Connolly back to be a top six center again and don't do anything meaningful to upgrade the position, then no I don't see much about this team changing. It may not be a change in the team's culture per se, but I think it would go a long while to changing the way people look at this team.
If they bring Connolly back in the role I outlined I will be happy with it only if they also get a true #1 center or perfect compliment to Roy. Connolly still has enough skills/ability to thrive in a 3rd line role on a deep team where he can exploit a mismatch. With the cap at north of $60 million I don't see him being a liability at 2.5 to $3million.

It's about building the right mix of players not what those players are capable of individually. Connolly's issue was his contract size relative to Golisano's budget, primarily, injuries notwithstanding.

Add in the fact that TBN's staff hates him with a passion, fanning the flames of discontent and there's little rational discussion wrt him in play.

Ruff wants 3 offensive lines. If you stick Connolly on a line with Hecht and Boyes/someone else as your 3rd line I think you have a winning combination if it's following up two stronger offensive lines.

This is not to say there are not other ways to skin this cat, but that is one possible direction to go. Is it the right one? Let's discuss it, but it should not be rejected out of hand b/c Connolly is 'a symbol of all things that are wrong with the Sabres' b/c that **** just isn't true.

Ta,

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04-29-2011, 12:01 PM
  #187
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Originally Posted by SiriusBizinuez View Post
To me that list is hardly "core", and but ymmv I guess. It's really not that far off from what most people in this thread are saying, with a few arguments here and there. I thought you had something much more dramatic in store for us.
lol maybe overblown but i was angry and still am. i just thought connolly, pominville, stafford, and maybe hecht would be considered "core" players.

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04-29-2011, 12:43 PM
  #188
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Originally Posted by CriminallyVu1gar View Post
We have four contracts that are just bad in Connolly, Hecht, Pominville, and Gaustad. Unfortunately only one of them is in a position to leave this year. Those are the guys that are supposed to play great two way hockey and do the little things that win you playoff series...and they don't.
Pominville definitely plays great two way hockey and I think a case could be made for Hecht as well

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04-29-2011, 01:09 PM
  #189
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I don't want Connolly back. Bring in any other center to play on the 3rd line. Time to turn the page and burn the book.

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04-29-2011, 08:05 PM
  #190
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Originally Posted by joechip View Post
If they bring Connolly back in the role I outlined I will be happy with it only if they also get a true #1 center or perfect compliment to Roy. Connolly still has enough skills/ability to thrive in a 3rd line role on a deep team where he can exploit a mismatch. With the cap at north of $60 million I don't see him being a liability at 2.5 to $3million.

It's about building the right mix of players not what those players are capable of individually. Connolly's issue was his contract size relative to Golisano's budget, primarily, injuries notwithstanding.

Add in the fact that TBN's staff hates him with a passion, fanning the flames of discontent and there's little rational discussion wrt him in play.

Ruff wants 3 offensive lines. If you stick Connolly on a line with Hecht and Boyes/someone else as your 3rd line I think you have a winning combination if it's following up two stronger offensive lines.

This is not to say there are not other ways to skin this cat, but that is one possible direction to go. Is it the right one? Let's discuss it, but it should not be rejected out of hand b/c Connolly is 'a symbol of all things that are wrong with the Sabres' b/c that **** just isn't true.

Ta,
Hecht-Connolly-Boyes

or perhaps more preferably,
Hecht-Connolly-Pomminville

micht be as potent an offensive checking line since
Ramsay-Luce-Gare [1]

Pomms would get the PP minutes Gare got,
Hecht & Connolly the PK minutes Ramsay & Luce got.

Staff & Boyes (Pomms) would be the #1/#2 RW ahead of them, or, if one is moved, slide Vanek back to RW if he's centered by Roy or another leftie like Richards.

Also, something is to be said for Connolly being a perrenial fan / media whipping boy, and by (I assume) all accounts, not lashing out publicly about it.

[1] I'm either intrigued, or should stop drinking...

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04-29-2011, 08:21 PM
  #191
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Originally Posted by Sabretip View Post
Two or three??

That was close...

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Originally Posted by DUDDY View Post
I don't want Connolly back. Bring in any other center to play on the 3rd line. Time to turn the page and burn the book.
I totally agree. Sign Handzus or Belanger, trade for Stoll or Pahlsson... there are multiple other options.

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04-29-2011, 10:07 PM
  #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_griffin View Post
Hecht-Connolly-Boyes

or perhaps more preferably,
Hecht-Connolly-Pomminville

micht be as potent an offensive checking line since
Ramsay-Luce-Gare [1]

Pomms would get the PP minutes Gare got,
Hecht & Connolly the PK minutes Ramsay & Luce got.

Staff & Boyes (Pomms) would be the #1/#2 RW ahead of them, or, if one is moved, slide Vanek back to RW if he's centered by Roy or another leftie like Richards.

Also, something is to be said for Connolly being a perrenial fan / media whipping boy, and by (I assume) all accounts, not lashing out publicly about it.

[1] I'm either intrigued, or should stop drinking...
I'm not sure I want to go from Connolly-as-symptom-of-all-things-Wrong to Connolly-as-Jesus though.

Have another whiskey.

Ta,

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