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Kotalik pursuing options to play in Europe

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Old
09-28-2011, 06:38 PM
  #26
JOHNBOY
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I hope that AlKo, Europe, and the team all figure something out..

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Old
09-28-2011, 06:38 PM
  #27
billsandsabres
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poor alko. i always liked him for some reason.

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09-28-2011, 10:18 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
It's a developmental league and it's a league with a championship which teams attempt to win.

At 32 years old, there would be plenty of older players.
Most of the AHL veterans are North Americans. On top of that, most of them barely got a sniff of the NHL and part of why they stick around in the AHL, aside from being North Americans, is that there's always the shot of getting some call-ups. Older Euros who already got plenty of NHL taste go back home to wind down their careers if they are no longer getting good NHL positions. That's just how it is.

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09-28-2011, 11:20 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
Most of the AHL veterans are North Americans. On top of that, most of them barely got a sniff of the NHL and part of why they stick around in the AHL, aside from being North Americans, is that there's always the shot of getting some call-ups. Older Euros who already got plenty of NHL taste go back home to wind down their careers if they are no longer getting good NHL positions. That's just how it is.
Exactly.

I know it's hard for people who enjoy the AHL to accept and understand, but not many players care about winning a Calder Cup and the number of Europeans who care about winning it is sure to be very low, so there's no reason for them to stay there when they can make the same or more at home with better travel.

For example, who were the only European players over the age of 30 to play in the AHL last season?
Ales Kotalik (obviously buried due to his large contract), Michael Nylander (buried due to his large contract), and Sami Salo (conditioning stint).
This season, the only one looks to be Philadelphia goalie (and kind of a prospect) Johan Backlund.
The rest of the European players in the league are all prospects, so they are younger.
There are none simply playing there for the purpose of playing in the AHL.
All of them have the NHL in mind and when it is out of their reach, they go back home.

In Kotalik's case, he doesn't really have an NHL future.
There's no reason for him to ride a bus and play on a team that's 96% North American (the only other European is Persson) with an average age of 23 (which is 10 years younger than Kotalik) if the Sabres are willing to let him play in Europe.

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09-28-2011, 11:39 PM
  #30
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MacIntyre is 28. Ryan 31. Stuart 29. Voakes 27. Morrison 28. He's got plenty of potential teammates in his general age range. And he has several years of hockey left. It's not like he's playing the last year of his career here. He has plenty of time to go home and play out the twilight of his career.

And he's a European who's been in North America for a decade. He's under contract to Buffalo. He won't make 3 million or similar in Europe. Probably not even close.

The guy is under contract and I'm tired of anybody, whether it's Kotalik or someone in the Sharks organization, bolting to go overseas when they should be playing out their contract.

And if he doesn't want to play here, fine, but the Sabres should suspend him for not reporting so he doesn't see a dime of that salary.

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09-29-2011, 12:18 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
MacIntyre is 28. Ryan 31. Stuart 29. Voakes 27. Morrison 28. He's got plenty of potential teammates in his general age range. And he has several years of hockey left. It's not like he's playing the last year of his career here. He has plenty of time to go home and play out the twilight of his career.

And he's a European who's been in North America for a decade. He's under contract to Buffalo. He won't make 3 million or similar in Europe. Probably not even close.

The guy is under contract and I'm tired of anybody, whether it's Kotalik or someone in the Sharks organization, bolting to go overseas when they should be playing out their contract.

And if he doesn't want to play here, fine, but the Sabres should suspend him for not reporting so he doesn't see a dime of that salary.
He will almost definitely make $3 m in Europe because the Sabres will pay at least part of the difference between his European contract and the $3 m.

An NHL contract doesn't bind the player to the NHL, at any rate. It binds the player to a team if he is to play under the NHL umbrella.

It seems silly of the team to punish him when they acquired him fully aware of the situation, and refused to give him an opportunity to make the team. That they want to "do right" by him is only going to help how the organization is viewed around the league.

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09-29-2011, 12:33 AM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
He will almost definitely make $3 m in Europe because the Sabres will pay at least part of the difference between his European contract and the $3 m.

An NHL contract doesn't bind the player to the NHL, at any rate. It binds the player to a team if he is to play under the NHL umbrella.

It seems silly of the team to punish him when they acquired him fully aware of the situation, and refused to give him an opportunity to make the team. That they want to "do right" by him is only going to help how the organization is viewed around the league.
To the detriment of the minor league team they own.

If they want to allow him to go overseas, fine. But at the very least, bring in a replacement.

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09-29-2011, 12:44 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
To the detriment of the minor league team they own.

If they want to allow him to go overseas, fine. But at the very least, bring in a replacement.
If Buffalo is hockey heaven that doesn't mean Rochester should be hockey hell. Alko would be a poison to the amerks if sent against his will. He's never going to wear a Sabres jersey again, so what's the point?

Plus, treating veterans with respect goes a long way to bringing new blood into the system.

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09-29-2011, 12:52 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
Excuse me for not thinking that playing in the AHL is "treating him like ****".

This whole attitude people have that playing in the AHL is a death sentence needs to end. I don't know when in started, but it's stupid.

Why should the Sabres have more loyalty to a single player than en entire organization and their fans? Amerks fans would like to watch him. I'm sure the people marketing the Amerks would like to use him. I'm sure Ron Rolston would like to utilize him on the power play.

Now obviously if he has a horrible attitude about it, then it's kind of a moot point. But that's the whole issue. That at some point playing in one of the top leagues in the world became a negative.
Hey, by chance, you don't secretly have a job in Springfield and confer with Dave Andrews on a daily basis do you? You know, because I know in your heart, the AHL is the greatest league on Earth...but WHAT if the Amerks never existed for one moment...just saying

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09-29-2011, 01:16 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
To the detriment of the minor league team they own.

If they want to allow him to go overseas, fine. But at the very least, bring in a replacement.
I'm not saying you don't have a point, but I don't know how much a detriment it is if he truly does not want to be there. At his best, Kotalik was an aloof floater. If he's not committed, chances are his presence would do more harm than good.

At any rate, it seems the Sabres never planned for him to be in Rochester, understanding that the likely outcome would be him going to Europe. So, it seems that the roster is what they were planning on. I personally feel good about the look of the roster. I certainly wouldn't object to bringing in another vet, but who is out there at this point? If there are any names you'd be interested in, bring 'em up in the Amerks thread for discussion.

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09-29-2011, 02:08 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by two Tylers now View Post
If that was case, it would be and it won't happen.He's not there with the clubs permission why they explore other options. No sense making him go if there is no plan for him to stay.
Not to mention that, as Rolston said, the Sabres don't want to have a malcontent not committed to the program in Rochester wasting their time there.

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What a downgrade.
Ditto that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
Most of the AHL veterans are North Americans. On top of that, most of them barely got a sniff of the NHL and part of why they stick around in the AHL, aside from being North Americans, is that there's always the shot of getting some call-ups. Older Euros who already got plenty of NHL taste go back home to wind down their careers if they are no longer getting good NHL positions. That's just how it is.
I think that may be even more true for Kotalik, in light of his sadness over the loss of friends in the plane crash. His quotes sounded like someone who was taking a new look at life and things greater than just hockey - the tragedy probably has him wanting to be closer to family and relatives and thus the move to Europe could be more of a personal move than a career move.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Paxon View Post
At any rate, it seems the Sabres never planned for him to be in Rochester, understanding that the likely outcome would be him going to Europe. So, it seems that the roster is what they were planning on.
I don't know about that - granted, he didn't ask for or want to bring Kotalik back if it wasn't a condition of the Regehr trade. But I think Regier was sincere in his quotes about Kotalik having some value to the organization. It just wasn't with their NHL squad.

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09-29-2011, 02:26 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
MacIntyre is 28. Ryan 31. Stuart 29. Voakes 27. Morrison 28. He's got plenty of potential teammates in his general age range. And he has several years of hockey left. It's not like he's playing the last year of his career here. He has plenty of time to go home and play out the twilight of his career.

And he's a European who's been in North America for a decade. He's under contract to Buffalo. He won't make 3 million or similar in Europe. Probably not even close.

The guy is under contract and I'm tired of anybody, whether it's Kotalik or someone in the Sharks organization, bolting to go overseas when they should be playing out their contract.

And if he doesn't want to play here, fine, but the Sabres should suspend him for not reporting so he doesn't see a dime of that salary.
And the average age of the team is still 23, and the league average is somewhere right around there also.

This is very likely the last year of his career in North America.
Who wants a 33 year old winger with a career average of 50 points (35 points the last three seasons) who has been hampered by inconsistency and injuries the last few years that, when healthy, is still a specialist/utility player at best?
It's not like he has any real upside or room for improvement and there are much better options, even if he's signed for league minimum.

If he goes to Europe, it will likely be arranged and approved by the Sabres who will pay the difference between his European salary and NHL salary, so he'll make $3m still.

He's under contract with the Sabres, so he'll play wherever they tell him to.
They told him to play in Rochester and he hasn't reported, which means that if they wanted to suspend him, they could.
However, since they haven't, it's likely that they don't want to unless they are unable to find a partner for a loan and he still refuses to report to Rochester.

We're five to six deep on the right side and all of them are our prospects (three or four drafted, depending on if you're counting Legacé as a RW, one of which is a first round pick, and two free agents) and we don't need Kotalik taking ice time from them.
The team is fine; it has five vet forwards and arguably one of the best goaltending tandems in the league, plus a bunch of bluechip defensemen (eight of ten were picked in the first three rounds and two of the vets are former first rounders).

Even if he did report to Rochester, there'd still be a problem with it, I'm sure.
Either there still wouldn't be enough vets or he'd turn out to be horrible and we'd be blamed for it (clearly not an acceptable vet, since he only has 102 games AHL experience and a .66 PPG average over his AHL career).

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09-29-2011, 06:31 AM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
Why should the Sabres have more loyalty to a single player than en entire organization and their fans? Amerks fans would like to watch him. I'm sure the people marketing the Amerks would like to use him. I'm sure Ron Rolston would like to utilize him on the power play.
Pegula said once a Sabre always a Sabre. I think doing something like this only helps the Sabres image from a players perspective through out the Hockey world. It shows that we care about our players and wont just dump them off and forget them like the Patriots have done for the last 10 years. Players who may want to come here could call Kotalik and ask him about his experiences and he should have nothing but good things to say despite this situation.

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Old
09-29-2011, 07:08 AM
  #39
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Lokomotiv season cancelled, I thought.
At the KHL level. I read they plan on playing in a different lower level league.

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09-29-2011, 08:15 AM
  #40
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I'm an Amerks STH and I completely understand why Al isn't coming to Rochester, this isn't the place for him. He has had a good ride, but his career in North America is over. Ultimately his contract did him in, its the reason he couldn't get into any preseason games so he had no real chance of making the Sabres. There is absolutely no reason to force him to report/play in Rochester, it benefits neither the organization or the player.

I think we are going to have a good year in Rochester, I know some fans want a Chris Taylor-type added but the talent level of prospects we currently have is far superior to the past few years.

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Old
09-29-2011, 11:00 AM
  #41
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Clearly, we'll all have to agree to disagree. I believe he should go to Rochester, play out his contract and then make a decision to play wherever he wants next offseason.

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