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The Instigator Podcast 6.35 - Assessing the Roster and Botterill’s Work Thus Far

Jason Botterill has made a habit of staying busy in the summer, including acquiring Jeff Skinner during a typically dead period for NHL deals. We take a look at the state of Buffalo’s roster and depth chart after the most recent deal and reflect on the job Jason Botterill has done over the past 18 months as the Sabres general manager.


The Instigator Podcast Interview Featuring Doug Todd of Warrior Hockey

This is a podcast I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. In addition to being the hockey brand I’m most loyal to, Warrior’s unique Warrior VIP program is something I’ve found to be extremely interesting and I’ve wanted to chat with the team at Warrior about just that. Doug Todd joined the podcast to not only discuss the inner workings of the VIP program but also other aspects of the hockey equipment business, such as the way Warrior is building a customer base in the goaltending...


The Instigator Podcast 6.34 - Reaction to the O’Reilly and Sheary Trades

Jason Botterill was quiet on the free agent market as the annual swap meet opened but he’s been very active on teh trade front since the draft. He set the table by acquiring Conor Sheary and then pulled off a massive deal with the Blues by dealing Ryan O’Reilly. We discuss the big return Botterill brought in for O’Reilly, especially the outlook on Tage Thompson. We also touch on the Sheary deal while highlighting what will come next for Botterill and the Sabres this summer.


The Instigator Podcast 6.33 - All Aboard the Goalie Carousel with Joe Yerdon

Joe Yerdon of joined the show to talk about the myriad of goaltending options available to the Sabres this summer. Joe and I chat about the pros and cons of this year’s thin free agent market and just who makes sense for the Sabres to sign or trade for this offseason.


The Instigator Podcast 6.32 - What to do with Pick 32

The draft has finally arrived and although there’s no question about who the Sabres will select first overall, there’s no clear picture on who will be selected at pick 32. We discuss some of the players who ought to be available at the top of the second round while working our way through the news of the week. Including Barry Trotz’s resignation, the Domi-Galchenyuk trade and Mike Hoffman’s departure from Ottawa.


The Instigator Podcast 6.31 - Sabres Trade Chatter is Picking Up

Now that the Capitals have locked up their first Stanley Cup Championship the offseason can kick into full gear. There are a lot of rumors floating around and the Sabres are right in the middle of it all. We touch on the many rumors regarding Ryan O’Reilly while also touching on potential targets Jason Botterill could work to acquire in an attempt to turn the Sabres into a contender once again.


The Instigator Podcast 6.30 - The Vegas Juggernaut

With the Cup Final upon us we decided to try a little different style of series preview. Rather than simply weigh the pros and cons of the Golden Knights and Capitals we look deeper into everyone’s favorite talking point, Vegas’ roster makeup and exactly how difficult they will be to knock off. We also touch on the new acquisitions for the Sabres as Rasmus Asplund, Victor Olofsson and Lawrence Pilut were all announced in recent weeks, giving a great deal of help to the team’s pipeline.


The Instigator Podcast Interview Featuring Rob LaLonde of Buttendz

Good friend of the pod Rob LaLonde was back in town and we got together to talk about how things are going with his company, Buttendz, as more and more NHL pros can be seen using Buttendz’s awesome grips. We also discussed Rob’s trip to the 2018 Winter Games and the work he’s been doing with growing hockey programs in Korea, Japan, China and other growing hockey communities in Asia. Other topics include the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament, the Let’s Play Hockey Expo and how influencer...


The Instigator Podcast Interview Featuring Matt Keeler of Just Dishin Hockey

I had the opportunity to meet up with Matt Keeler who is the founder of a Buffalo-based hockey lifestyle clothing company called Just Dishin Hockey. We spoke about how he grew Just Dishin from his dorm room at St. John Fisher into the company it is today while also discussing various topics from around the hockey world including different levels of collegiate club hockey and how so many people underestimate the product offered in those leagues.


The Instigator Podcast 6.29 - How Swede It Is

Rasmus Dahlin is poised to become a Buffalo Sabre after the lottery balls bounced Buffalo’s way, winning the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery. We discuss our reaction to the Sabres winning the lottery and what the implications of adding a player like Dahlin means for Buffalo from a talent and roster construction perspective.


The Instigator Podcast 6.27 - Sabres Locker Clean Out Fallout & Thoughts on Humboldt

The Sabres cleaned out their lockers after another ugly year and a few player had quite a bit to say as they looked back on the year. We break down some of the more outspoken reactions from Chad Johnson, Johan Larsson and Ryan O’Reilly. We also offer our thoughts on the tragedy in Humboldt and the outpouring of support from the hockey community.


The Instigator Podcast 6.26 - Development Benchmarks and Reshaping the Core

On the heels of Alex Nylander being recalled, we discuss appropriate benchmarks for evaluating prospects and how his three-game trail will aid Jason Botterill in evaluating what he has in the 2016 first round pick. We also touch on Pierre LeBrun’s recent report regarding Botterill’s disappointment with his roster and some of the changes which might come about.


The Instigator Podcast Interview Featuring Goalie Gear Nerd

I was delighted to be joined by Goalie Gear Nerd for another edition of the Instigator Interview. Goalie Gear Nerd is one of my favorite social media accounts and he joined me to discuss the growth of his Twitter and Instagram accounts along with some more detailed discussion about the way goaltender equipment is trending today.


The Instigator Podcast 6.25 - Mittelstadt, College Signings and Expectations

It’s been a good week for the Sabres and signing draft picks. Will Borgen, Judd Peterson and Casey Mittelstadt all signed with the Sabres organization, putting to bed the ridiculous notion that the Sabres struggled to sign college players and that they’d ultimately lose their 2017 first round pick. Chris and Tyler discuss where Mittelstadt fits in the Sabres lineup, realistic expectations for his play and most importantly, the number he chose to wear.


The Instigator Podcast 6.24 - Grading Jason Botterill and Phil Housley’s Work

Some very poor timing on illnesses to both Chris and Tyler caused an unusually long layoff for the podcast but we are back to share some post deadline discussion and to offer up an evaluation of both Phil Housley and Jason Botterill. Their inaugural season may not be done but it felt like a good time to evaluate where the Sabres are, what the pair has done well (not much) and what they’ve done poorly (maybe not as much as you think).


The Instigator Podcast 6.23 - How will the Sabres Approach the Trade Deadline

With the trade deadline only five days away, Chris and Tyler discuss some of the trades that have already been connsumated and the deals that are yet to come for the Sabres. We touch on the outlook for moving players like Josh Gorges and Evander Kane while also highlighting the types of assets we hope to see Jason Botterill target.


The Instigator Podcast 6.22 - Ankles Out for Eichel and A Suitor Emerges for Robin Lehner

Jack Eichel and CJ Smith are both on the shelf with injuries, leaving the Sabres and Amerks without their leading scorers. We discuss the fallout from each injury, offer up a few brief thoughts on the Olympics and discuss the percolating rumors linking the Sabres and the Flyers together as Philly is thought to be in the market for a goalie.


The Instigator Podcast 6.21 - Potential Trade Targets Cropping Up for the Sabres

Just over two weeks remain until the trade deadline and the New York Rangers put out a statement to their fans regarding their intentions to sell off significant players from their roster. Chris and Tyler look at what options the Rangers have with thier impending rebuild while also discussing the notable names that hit waivers this afternoon. We cap our conversation with a look at the Sabres blueline and what new additions Jason Botterill will need to make in order to continue improving that...


The Instigator Podcast 6.20 - Back from the All Star Break

The Sabres are back from the All Star break and haven’t quite found their winning ways. We disucss Jack Eichel’s performance in Tampa, the scourge that is the NHL’s video review system for goaltender interference and offside plays and even find some time to chat about Chad Johnson’s struggles on the year. We offer up a few thoughts on what we would add to the Skills Competition to beef up the Saturday evening affair.


The Instigator Podcast 6.19 - Reviewing our Season Preview at the All Star Break

As we enter the All Star break we decided to revisit our season preview picks from the start of the year. As it turns out, we didn’t choose wisely. As we review our correct and incorrect choices, we discuss some of the big surprises based on our selections. We dig in on teams like Edmonton, Vegas, Chicago and Carolina as we rewind our picks for the 2017-18 season.