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Your Game Plan For A Full Fledged Rebuild: Buffalo

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Old
03-21-2014, 10:49 AM
  #1
Pheasant the peasant
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Your Game Plan For A Full Fledged Rebuild: Buffalo

It looks to me like the Sabres are about as close to a blank slate as it gets in todays NHL. Loads of cap space, and no immediate expectation to win now. And they look like they are at the start of a complete, top to bottom, rebuild of the roster. So, my question to you would be, what would be your game-plan if you were in charge?

Go ahead and post trade ideas, or UFA targets if you want. Capgeek rosters are welcome. Who gets bought out? Any ideas for scrap-heap reclamation projects / long shot signings?

But I am also interested in overall philosophy, and expectations for the future. Will your plan take 2 years to execute or 5? Let the youth take over early, and learn on the fly? Or bring in stop-gap players until the next generation can take their place? At the draft, best player available, by position or local talent? Finished product, do you want more grit or skill?

What would you do if you were the GM in Buffalo?

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03-21-2014, 10:51 AM
  #2
Schenn
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1. Suck for another year.
2. Draft McDavid
3.????????
4. Profit

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Old
03-21-2014, 10:57 AM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schenn View Post
1. Suck for another year.
2. Draft McDavid
3.????????
4. Profit
You did it wrong.

1. Suck for another year
2. Get all the 2015 1sts you can.
3. Draft McDavid and Eichel
4. !!!!!!!!!!
5. Profit

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Old
03-21-2014, 11:04 AM
  #4
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Originally Posted by TakeThatTootoo View Post
You did it wrong.

1. Suck for another year
2. Get all the 2015 1sts you can.
3. Draft McDavid and Eichel
4. !!!!!!!!!!
5. Profit
The problem with that is that they'll have a hard time selling anyone else left on that roster (outside of Myers) for a 2015 1st.

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Old
03-21-2014, 11:26 AM
  #5
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Young players don't magically become stars. They have to be around guys who know how to go about being a professional hockey player. It also makes them earn their time rather than having it gifted to them.

If Chicago doesn't resign him, Handzus would be a great pick up for them. They would probably be the only team willing to offer him 2 years, so it's not completely far-fetched.

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Old
03-21-2014, 11:30 AM
  #6
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Originally Posted by BrokenFace View Post
SIGN WORTHWHILE VETERANS

Young players don't magically become stars. They have to be around guys who know how to go about being a professional hockey player. It also makes them earn their time rather than having it gifted to them.

If Chicago doesn't resign him, Handzus would be a great pick up for them. They would probably be the only team willing to offer him 2 years, so it's not completely far-fetched.
Agreed to a point. Guys like Ott, Moulson, Ehrhoff, Tallinder and such are needed to keep the ship steady while new kids are inserted in the lineup.

I'll be very interested to see who they replace Moulson and Ott with near term. Callahan perhaps?

Obviously you'll need more vets than that, but the point still stands.

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Old
03-21-2014, 11:40 AM
  #7
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draft the best player available this season, regardless of position. Use following draft picks defenseman with upside preferably a puck mover and some guys with offensive flair, even if they are considered a project.

Hope to tank again next year and draft McDavid. Use 2015 draft to select players that will fill known holes in the organizations depth.

Look for goalies to draft in the late rounds of 2014 and 2015.

Send/keep players like grigorenko and others that need development down in either junior or the ahl. Absolutely no rushing of prospects into the big league.

No signing of free agents for terms longer than three years. Look for established respected veterans to groom the young guys as they come in.

Spend just as much time in educating off the ice as on. Let everyone know what to expect, what their roles will be, everyone pays their dues if they want to play.

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Old
03-21-2014, 11:42 AM
  #8
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I'd like to see one of Ott/Callahan signed during this transition for the reasons stated above. Stafford and Ennis should stick for the long run as well. Stewart is a big question mark for me. He looked good for a short period of time with Hodgson but that's too small a sample size. He still makes for a good trading chip come next year's deadline. It's going to be an interesting year and half for the Sabres' faithful, that's for sure.

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03-21-2014, 11:47 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheasant the peasant View Post
It looks to me like the Sabres are about as close to a blank slate as it gets in todays NHL. Loads of cap space, and no immediate expectation to win now. And they look like they are at the start of a complete, top to bottom, rebuild of the roster. So, my question to you would be, what would be your game-plan if you were in charge?

Go ahead and post trade ideas, or UFA targets if you want. Capgeek rosters are welcome. Who gets bought out? Any ideas for scrap-heap reclamation projects / long shot signings?

But I am also interested in overall philosophy, and expectations for the future. Will your plan take 2 years to execute or 5? Let the youth take over early, and learn on the fly? Or bring in stop-gap players until the next generation can take their place? At the draft, best player available, by position or local talent? Finished product, do you want more grit or skill?

What would you do if you were the GM in Buffalo?
This is a mistake. In order to get the best rebuild, in my opinion you still need to go hard after UFAs and trade a couple of the later round picks for vets. Do NOT let losing be acceptable. Build the mentality that the goal is to always win.

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03-21-2014, 11:50 AM
  #10
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Sabres resign Ott during FA. Bring in Cahallahan. The big splash happens at the draft where Myers is traded to the Oil in a package that involves their top 3 pick coming back.
Sabres take both Sams. SR becomes an immediate Sabre, and SB gets one more year of slow cooking.

With the concerns of a new draft formula. The sabres don't hope on the 2015 draft and "intentionally tank" next year. They still will have 3 first round picks to play with. (Isles which is deffered (just my opinion, not confirmed yet) from this year, the sabres own pick and St Louis's 1st when the reach the WC finals/resign Miller).

Ehroff - Pysyk
Risto - Rud
Weber - McBain

this gives Zadorov another year to marinate.

With this D core and uncertainty in goal, they still will have a top 5 pick. They should also have a top 10 to 15 pick from the Isles. They will also have Drew Stafford and Chris Stewart in play to try and nab an additional 1st in 2015.

Next year is shot but hopefully competitive in 2015-16 season.....

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Old
03-21-2014, 11:56 AM
  #11
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Start the rebuild with the Defense. I would hope for Ekblad because then you are stacked with D-men prospects and then after Ekblad focus on forwards. Next year you have to accept being bad and trade away Stafford and Stewart. Hope you get McDavid or Eichel, you are almost guaranteed one of them. Then sign Vets!!! compete in 2015. Don't rush your young guys up, keep integrating them with Vets. Then compete for the cup

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03-21-2014, 11:59 AM
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First and foremost - suck again next year. Resign Ennis and Foligno though. Also McBain - he's perfect for the tank.

Bring up Larsson Risto Ruhwedel to the Sabres

Armia plays again in the AHL, along with Grigo...monitor their progress closely. Adaptation to the NA game by Armia should show a lot of improvement, and look for Grigo to continue his play right where he picked up from in Juniors. A year in the AHL could do wonders for Grigorenko. I'm sure he'll be glad juniors isn't an option anymore

I'd just make sure we Draft McDavid and Bennett and another top end player either in 14/15 w/ the Isles pick (DalColle or Strome/Eichel/Barzal) and also make sure we don't lose any of our current assets and make sure they develop well.

Most important thing - McDavid.

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Old
03-21-2014, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
This is a mistake. In order to get the best rebuild, in my opinion you still need to go hard after UFAs and trade a couple of the later round picks for vets. Do NOT let losing be acceptable. Build the mentality that the goal is to always win.
Nolan will make sure of that regardless of who is on the roster. Ted Nolan teams always compete hard.

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Old
03-21-2014, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant View Post
This is a mistake. In order to get the best rebuild, in my opinion you still need to go hard after UFAs and trade a couple of the later round picks for vets. Do NOT let losing be acceptable. Build the mentality that the goal is to always win.
I agree with this. Starts at the top with good management and coaching; in the minors too. Re-sign Ennis, McBain, & Foligno, and then look for role-players from winning teams that are free agents and integrate them into the lineup with your younger players. Don't expect too much, too soon.

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03-21-2014, 12:49 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pheasant the peasant View Post
It looks to me like the Sabres are about as close to a blank slate as it gets in todays NHL. Loads of cap space, and no immediate expectation to win now. And they look like they are at the start of a complete, top to bottom, rebuild of the roster. So, my question to you would be, what would be your game-plan if you were in charge?

Go ahead and post trade ideas, or UFA targets if you want. Capgeek rosters are welcome. Who gets bought out? Any ideas for scrap-heap reclamation projects / long shot signings?

But I am also interested in overall philosophy, and expectations for the future. Will your plan take 2 years to execute or 5? Let the youth take over early, and learn on the fly? Or bring in stop-gap players until the next generation can take their place? At the draft, best player available, by position or local talent? Finished product, do you want more grit or skill?

What would you do if you were the GM in Buffalo?
1. Vet leadership. Try and acquire a player that can be a leader of the team, probably more a forward than a defenseman. Not saying an 8 million dollar player by any means, but a Legwand type that can pot between 40-50 points and lead by example.

2. Do not give out stupid deals to UFA's. Don't be like Toronto, Detroit, or NJ, and hand out long-term high money deals to players on the decline.

3. Groom the youngsters. I don't know Buffalo's developmental situation, but hire more evaluators and coaches. Have an overabundance of help for them, cause remember, they're not only adjusting to a new league(AHL/NHL) but they're adjusting to a new lifestyle as well. Example: Find a former NHLer that's a fitness freak and make an offer he can't refuse. Find a prospect media consultant and load all prospects phones with his/her number.

4. Don't be afraid to trade an asset if he doesn't fit in the long-term goals of the team. If Myers or Hodgson look like they might be moved out by a prospect, don't let their "value" take a hit, make a move. This does two things that work for the re-build; 1) it gets great value of that asset, and 2) let's the emerging player know that you have the utmost confidence in their ability.

5. Mistakes happen, it won't be perfect, but stay the course. IMO, most proper re-builds take 4-5 years.

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Old
03-21-2014, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Vatican Roulette View Post
1. Vet leadership. Try and acquire a player that can be a leader of the team, probably more a forward than a defenseman. Not saying an 8 million dollar player by any means, but a Legwand type that can pot between 40-50 points and lead by example.

2. Do not give out stupid deals to UFA's. Don't be like Toronto, Detroit, or NJ, and hand out long-term high money deals to players on the decline.

3. Groom the youngsters. I don't know Buffalo's developmental situation, but hire more evaluators and coaches. Have an overabundance of help for them, cause remember, they're not only adjusting to a new league(AHL/NHL) but they're adjusting to a new lifestyle as well. Example: Find a former NHLer that's a fitness freak and make an offer he can't refuse. Find a prospect media consultant and load all prospects phones with his/her number.

4. Don't be afraid to trade an asset if he doesn't fit in the long-term goals of the team. If Myers or Hodgson look like they might be moved out by a prospect, don't let their "value" take a hit, make a move. This does two things that work for the re-build; 1) it gets great value of that asset, and 2) let's the emerging player know that you have the utmost confidence in their ability.

5. Mistakes happen, it won't be perfect, but stay the course. IMO, most proper re-builds take 4-5 years.
I agree the Sabres would benefit from adding some vets for the youngsters to learn from as well as to let youngsters develop at a proper pace (some would benefit more from playing in the NHL).

The Sabres will have to overpay in dollars or contract length to attract players.

Names I'd target are guys Moore, Handzus, Goc, Orpik, Michalek, Gionta, Salo who will help bring veteran mentoring and are likely to only get one or two year deals. These players can always be traded later on.

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Old
03-21-2014, 03:04 PM
  #17
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buffalo is going to be a very exciting team in a few years i think. they already have a pretty impressive collection of young defensive prospects/players. they also have some quality young forwards like hodgson, ennis, grigorenko and with the amount of picks they have over the next 2 seasons they should be in good shape, especially if they get mcdavid. they could be a serious contender for a long time if they draft wisely and get some luck on their side.

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03-21-2014, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenFace View Post
SIGN WORTHWHILE VETERANS

Young players don't magically become stars. They have to be around guys who know how to go about being a professional hockey player. It also makes them earn their time rather than having it gifted to them.

If Chicago doesn't resign him, Handzus would be a great pick up for them. They would probably be the only team willing to offer him 2 years, so it's not completely far-fetched.
This guy gets it. You have to surround the youth with the perfect/ideal veteran leaders.

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Old
03-21-2014, 03:43 PM
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I'm not going to get into specifics, but I'd try to trade up with their draft picks. They have a great collection of young dmen, they have a good set of young supporting forwards, and now they need their stars. This draft isn't the best but adding some high end forwards while also looking to trade for picks in next years draft to better their chance of tanking for mcdavid would be general strategies that would help them make the most of this situation.

If you can sign a guy like Ryan Callahan that's awesome, cause that cap number needs to come from some where and those kids will need to some experienced guys to help them learn to play the right way and win so the Sabres don't get Oiler'd, but if not move onto some older guys, guys with cup experience on the back ends of their careers who can fill more minor roles well.

And hope like hell to win the lottery next year, invoke the Sacco if you have to, even though the secondary prizes are nice to.

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03-21-2014, 03:43 PM
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1. Suck this year. Draft Reinhart/Bennett
2.Suck next year. Draft McDavid/Eichel/Barzal
3.Have a UFA bananza. a la Florida in 2011
4.wait
5.Stanley cup window=open

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03-21-2014, 03:45 PM
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Pretty simple.

-Sign a bunch of FA's that are only looking for a 1 or 2 year deal ... but make sure they don't improve the team too much.. no reason for winning right now.

- Keep the kids away for the most part.
-Grigs in AHL ..whoever we draft this year keep in juniors.
- Risto will probably be up .but he could probably stay in AHL ..either or for me is fine.
-Zadorov I'd probably have in NHL depending on his camp..but as of now .. I don't think juniors will do him much good. Would be better to have him in AHL but he's not allowed.

- Draft one of Reinhart, Bennett or Ekblad with own pick this year.
- Hope New York Islanders defer to 2015.
-Suck next year and hopefully draft one of McDavid or Eichel with own pick
- Hope Islanders suck next year and give us another decent pick in 2015 5-12 range. Won't speculate on who to take.

in summer of 2015 start finding free agents who can help the team improve.

- After 2015 draft assess who you want to go forward with and start building the team thru free agents and trades.

By 2017 I think we should be in playoffs.
2018-19 challenging for Cup

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Old
03-21-2014, 03:48 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phosphene View Post
I'd like to see one of Ott/Callahan signed during this transition for the reasons stated above. Stafford and Ennis should stick for the long run as well. Stewart is a big question mark for me. He looked good for a short period of time with Hodgson but that's too small a sample size. He still makes for a good trading chip come next year's deadline. It's going to be an interesting year and half for the Sabres' faithful, that's for sure.
I see giving Stewart a two year deal with good money on it as a solid gamble for the sabres. On that deal he's a decent trade chip. Just gotta make sure you keep enough quality vets so that his lazy play doesn't effect more of the kids.

Plus the Sabres should be keeping their ears on the phone for the next Seguin for quality but reliable players trade. If they can turn some of their young depth into a riskier young star they need to be in on it. If Edmonton start finally shaking things up that would be a great place to look.

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03-21-2014, 03:56 PM
  #23
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another thing people aren't considering is the coach. Who and when do they hire "their guy"

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03-21-2014, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schenn View Post
1. Suck for another year.
2. Draft McDavid
3.????????
4. Profit

well the plan may have to add kill Gary Bettmen as the rumor is the NHL wants to change the lottery process. Having the top 3/5 picks available via a lottery and odds based on performance over the past 5 seasons.

However, their plan should be

1. draft Bennett or Reinhart in 2014
2. Don't rush Zhardov or Ristolainen in 2014
3. sign Jake McCabe this off season, Rochester
4. Grigorenko to Rochester in 2014, give him huge minutes with skilled players.
5. Don't go far beyond the cap floor next year, as having cap space will allow you to take on bad contracts to garner extra 1st round picks.
6. Collect 2015 first round picks
7. Draft one of the studd in 2015
8. development them correctly!

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03-21-2014, 04:13 PM
  #25
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The problem with a full-fledged rebuild is that you end up with so many holes in the roster that it becomes exceedingly difficult to fill them all. Just look at the Oilers.

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