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Wrong timing (Buffalo Sabres 1990s)

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10-28-2013, 11:00 AM
  #1
kingdok
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Wrong timing (Buffalo Sabres 1990s)

Starting in 1991, Buffalo was stockpiling some of the best offensive weapons in the league in Lafontaine, Mogilny, Hawerchuk, Andreychuk, Audette and some other decent forwards. Only rivals were the Penguins in that department. In 92-93, it became even more impressive when Lafontaine finished 2nd in points (only behind Lemieux) and Mogilny leading the goal scoring leaders with Selanne.

Problem was the lack of a great first pairing at D, and Hasek, while good (rookie allstar team) wasn't the Hasek of the second half of the 90's.

A year later, Hasek started his domination, winning his first Vezina, even with a so-so D corps (solid but no allstars). That's when the offense started to wither, with the Andreychuk trade, the Lafontaine and Mogilny's injuries, the Craig Simpson experiment, the strike, the Mogilny trade. They added Zhitnik at D but with hindsight, it feels too little too late.

The team became D oriented first, with Hasek and Peca leading the charge, to a Stanley cup final in 99, but lost to Dallas (with circumstances we better not point out).

During those years, there was also lots of other good teams, with Pittsburgh in the early 90's and New Jersey, Detroit and Colorado stealing the spotlight later on.

So this is actually a ''what if?'' question. What if the 91-93 Sabres forward squad would have been couples with the 94-2000 Hasek's peak. Can we talk about 2 Stanley Cups? Was the team just off 1 year for the ultimate goal.


Last edited by kingdok: 10-28-2013 at 12:52 PM.
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10-28-2013, 11:49 AM
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kingdok
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ok, I'll follow up with another question:

Do you have another example of a franchise being one or 2 years off of having their ultimate team assembled?

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10-28-2013, 12:38 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGV View Post
ok, I'll follow up with another question:

Do you have another example of a franchise being one or 2 years off of having their ultimate team assembled?
Yes plenty of teams have this. Washington has Olie Kolzig all those years and never has the team capable of winning the Cup because of their forwards. Ovechkin and co. arrive and the Caps haven't had a solid goalie since. Sort of the same in the 1980s. The goaltending was fine, but the defense was excellent. At one point they had Langway, Murphy, Stevens and Kevin Hatcher. But again, no forwards capable of leading the charge. Mike Gartner, but even then I'm not sure a team wins if he is the best forward.

Buffalo was tied for 6th in goals for in 1993. Not bad. But would their offense have been able to keep up with Pittsburgh's? The Pens also had Barrasso in those years, who wasn't Hasek in the late 1990s, but more than capable of helping them win. No doubt a prolific offense the Sabres had, but even with Hasek in net, you have to wonder how Lafontaine and Mogilny would fare if they were keyed on specifically by a checking line. Neither were anything special in the postseason. I don't think they win a Cup regardless.

Or if they were shifted to the late 1990s do they beat the likes of Colorado, Detroit and Dallas and their complete teams from head to toe?

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10-28-2013, 12:50 PM
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kingdok
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Yes plenty of teams have this. Washington has Olie Kolzig all those years and never has the team capable of winning the Cup because of their forwards. Ovechkin and co. arrive and the Caps haven't had a solid goalie since. Sort of the same in the 1980s. The goaltending was fine, but the defense was excellent. At one point they had Langway, Murphy, Stevens and Kevin Hatcher. But again, no forwards capable of leading the charge. Mike Gartner, but even then I'm not sure a team wins if he is the best forward.

Buffalo was tied for 6th in goals for in 1993. Not bad. But would their offense have been able to keep up with Pittsburgh's? The Pens also had Barrasso in those years, who wasn't Hasek in the late 1990s, but more than capable of helping them win. No doubt a prolific offense the Sabres had, but even with Hasek in net, you have to wonder how Lafontaine and Mogilny would fare if they were keyed on specifically by a checking line. Neither were anything special in the postseason. I don't think they win a Cup regardless.

Or if they were shifted to the late 1990s do they beat the likes of Colorado, Detroit and Dallas and their complete teams from head to toe?
Pittsburgh had Coffey, then Murphy. Bodger was somewhat a capable offensive defenseman, but not in the same category at all.

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10-28-2013, 01:48 PM
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tony d
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Yeah, the Sabres had some good teams back then, I wonder just how good they could of been had Hasek been at his prime in 1991-1992 or 1992-1993.

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10-28-2013, 01:56 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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well, there's no peca without the mogilny trade; and to add zhitnik, who is monstrously underrated, you have to trade fuhr, and there's no fuhr without first trading andreychuk to the leafs.

but in the dream scenario where those two squads overlapped without losing anyone, why not dial it back a little further and add housley? could have been the most lethal non-mario//espo/orr PP of all time.

andreychuk lafontaine mogilny
hawerchuk housley

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10-28-2013, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
well, there's no peca without the mogilny trade; and to add zhitnik, who is monstrously underrated, you have to trade fuhr, and there's no fuhr without first trading andreychuk to the leafs.

but in the dream scenario where those two squads overlapped without losing anyone, why not dial it back a little further and add housley? could have been the most lethal non-mario//espo/orr PP of all time.

andreychuk lafontaine mogilny
hawerchuk housley
Assuming it's a contract year for Mogilny

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10-28-2013, 02:13 PM
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Big Phil
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Yeah, the Sabres had some good teams back then, I wonder just how good they could of been had Hasek been at his prime in 1991-1992 or 1992-1993.
It is worth noting they were barely over .500 in 1993. Hard to believe but a team with their talent was 15th in the NHL. I don't see a Cup for them anywhere.

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10-28-2013, 02:28 PM
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What kind of lineup are we talking about here? I dont have the strenght right now to do it becouse of trades and so forth. Maybe one for 1993-94 to 1996-97 somewhere.

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10-28-2013, 02:34 PM
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The worse what if is whether Pegula (or any other billionaire lifelong fan) had bought the team between 96 and 2010. You're either: keeping Hasek and Peca (and signing Ron Francis for all of the money), giving a blank check to put the Briere/Drury squads over the top, or putting a meaningful defense around Vezina Miller instead of losing your two best defensive defensemen to UFA and your best defensive forward to injury.

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10-28-2013, 02:40 PM
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Talking about the line-up of 92 (pre-Fuhr) with the Hasek of 94 up (post-Fuhr).

Andreychuk - Lafontaine - Mogilny
Wood - Hawerchuk - Audette
May - Sweeney - Presley
Hannan - Corkum - Ray

Bodger - Smehlik
Svoboda - Sutton
Donnelly - Ledyard

Hasek (prime)
Puppa

As a side note: Buffalo gave up a lot for Fuhr, but also got a nice return 2 years later.

Also, they gave up Christian Ruuttu for almost nothing (Beauregard). He was not as good back in 92, but still good depth. Add him in the mix if you want.

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10-28-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
well, there's no peca without the mogilny trade; and to add zhitnik, who is monstrously underrated, you have to trade fuhr, and there's no fuhr without first trading andreychuk to the leafs.

but in the dream scenario where those two squads overlapped without losing anyone, why not dial it back a little further and add housley? could have been the most lethal non-mario//espo/orr PP of all time.

andreychuk lafontaine mogilny
hawerchuk housley
You can't add Housley and keep Hawerchuk. I think the team was better with Hawerchuk in.

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10-28-2013, 02:50 PM
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Okey TGV, it's not possible to get aforemost Peca into the lineup by doing a lineup for say 1996-97? Maybe get some (In this scenario injury free) offensive players into the real defensive era Sabres. Either way i believe Lafontaine had a real good season in 1995-96 so if we just could get Hasek to play elite that year then maybe that is our goal season.

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10-28-2013, 02:55 PM
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kingdok
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Originally Posted by Darth Yoda View Post
Okey TGV, it's not possible to get aforemost Peca into the lineup by doing a lineup for say 1996-97? Maybe get some (In this scenario injury free) offensive players into the real defensive era Sabres. Either way i believe Lafontaine had a real good season in 1995-96 so if just could Hasek playing elité that year then maybe that is our goal season.
While Peca is nice and was huge in the cup run, I don't think he's necessary in my ''what if'' team to made them Cup contender.

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10-28-2013, 03:57 PM
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Darth Yoda
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While Peca is nice and was huge in the cup run, I don't think he's necessary in my ''what if'' team to made them Cup contender.
Allright, but i dont think one can make them a major contender without some major defensive elements from the second half of the nineties. Not that they actually had very many of those then, Hasek took them to the finals almost by himself. But sure with your lineup above, if Hasek could play his A-game, then why not a cup. Question is if he was capable of that in 1993-94 though.


Last edited by Darth Yoda: 10-28-2013 at 04:03 PM.
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10-28-2013, 04:15 PM
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I always felt the Ottawa Senators were really hosed by the timing of the 05 lockout. They had a stud team in their primes. I think they would have won the cup in '05. I realize they went to the finals a couple years later but I felt like they were hurt by that lockout more than most teams.

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10-28-2013, 04:36 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
well, there's no peca without the mogilny trade; and to add zhitnik, who is monstrously underrated, you have to trade fuhr, and there's no fuhr without first trading andreychuk to the leafs.

but in the dream scenario where those two squads overlapped without losing anyone, why not dial it back a little further and add housley? could have been the most lethal non-mario//espo/orr PP of all time.

andreychuk lafontaine mogilny
hawerchuk housley
Quote:
Originally Posted by TGV View Post
You can't add Housley and keep Hawerchuk. I think the team was better with Hawerchuk in.
---------

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10-28-2013, 05:06 PM
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ok, I'll follow up with another question:

Do you have another example of a franchise being one or 2 years off of having their ultimate team assembled?
I may be being a little biased here since I'm a Stars fan and thiese years were a little before my prime, but I would suggest the Minnesota North Stars of the early-mid 1980s.

They went from God-awful in the mid-late 70s to one of the more talented teams in the league with the additions of guys like Bobby Smith; Steve Payne; Dino Ciccarelli; Craig Hartsburg; Tom McCarthy; and Brian Bellows. I think if you added a bit of defense and a bit of toughness that team does a little more damage than just the one run to the Final in 1981.

Of course, two years they bowed out to dynasties in Edmonton (Conf final 1984) and that series vs the Islanders mentioned above.

Unfortunate for them when it comes to timing, much like the Sabres.

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10-28-2013, 11:52 PM
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mrhockey193195
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ok, I'll follow up with another question:

Do you have another example of a franchise being one or 2 years off of having their ultimate team assembled?
Not one or two years, but as a Rangers fan, boy do I wish that I could combine the best of the Jagr-lead team (2005-06) and that offense with the best of the Tortorella-lead teams (2010-2012) and their defense (and prime Lundqvist).

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