At no point has the Sabres slide been at a lower point than Monday's loss to the Oilers. In the wake of the drubbing in Edmonton we discuss just what version of the Sabres we were expecting the see and which version we've gotten so far. We address the expectations placed on them after the win streak and all the frustrations that have boiled to the surface since. We also offer up some potential solutions for how Jason Botterill can pull the Sabres out of the hole they're digging.
After Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Oskari Laaksonen led the Finns to gold at the World Junior championship we took some time to assess the health of Buffalo's pipeline in goal, on defense and at forward. We discuss the positive outlook on the blueline thanks to some promising mid-round selections in addition to some of the shortcomings when it comes to offensive firepower throughout the prospect pipeline.
We're back from vacation with a wish list of trade targets. We explore everything from simple, low-cost acquisitions to more pie-in-the-sky deals the Sabres could swing in order to plug the holes in their roster. We also touch on the rosters for the 2019 NHL All-Star Game and offer up an alternative which may open the door for more players to participate on an annual basis.
Big news in Sabres nation as Patrik Berglund's suspension has resulted in him being placed on waivers for the purposes of terminating his contract. This offers the Sabres massive cap savings in both the short and long term. We talk about the process of terminating a deal in this manner, what this means for the Sabres for the rest of the year and the long term benefits. We also run through Buffalo's participants at the World Junior Championship and which side we think sit as the favorites to...
We spend some time catching up on last week's news of the NHL expanding to Seattle while touching on some early expansion notes as they relate to the Sabres. Specifically that Buffalo would've been in a slightly more advantageous position had Seattle began play in 2020. We also discuss some of the hot trade rumors in the league after both Elliotte Friedman and Jeremy Rutherford laid down some key news as it relates to the Sabres and the Blues, respectively.
Lawrence Pilut's brief introduction to the NHL has been impressive and it's left fans wondering just how the Sabres can keep him up with the big club given the apparent log jam on defense. We run through some of the options the Sabres have in freeing up space or if returning Pilut to Rochester in the short term offers the best long term benefit. We also talk about Buffalo's recent slide and the positive signs they showed which should translate to wins in the coming days and weeks.
The Building Buffalo podcast has reconvened under the Instigator banner to discuss all the different factors in play regarding stadium and arena plans for the Pegulas after the announcement they had hired CAA Icon to evaluate stadium plans for both the Bills and Sabres. On tap is just how can they make this work with a minimal public buy-in, should KeyBank Center upgrades come first and how can a convention center factor into the plans (and financing) if both arena upgrades and a new stadium...
The Sabres winning streak hit 10 games and GIF-master Ben Mathewson joined the show to discuss some of the unsung heroes of Buffalo's streak. We talk about the strong play of Sam Reinhart, Kyle Okposo, the impressive play of their depth forwards and potential targets if Buffalo's winning ways continue and they're buyers later in the year.
The Sabres stretched their win streak to six games and they've done it in dramatic fashion, with a string of come-from-behind, one-goal wins. This week's episode touches on Buffalo's win streak, whether or not the Sabres' goal differential is a sign of trouble or deflated by the team's early, lopsided losses. We also discuss the drastic turnaround the blueline has made compared to last year and the most recent pair of coaching changes in the NHL.
Jeff Skinner's play has left many Sabres fans asking just what a potential extension would look like. We discuss the potential timeline for Skinner to sign an extension and what the dollars might look like. Evan Rodrigues is also a topic of discussion as there may be an opportunity to get him signed at a longer term and low cap hit which would favor the Sabres as they continue to build. Along the way we discuss the NHL's concussion settlement and the Sabres outlook as Thanksgiving approaches.
A groundbreaking Hockey Hall of Fame class and a host of new jerseys made news over the last week in the NHL. I touch on that and the two big coaching changes in Chicago and Los Angeles before chatting with fellow Buffalo blogger and podcaster Pat Moran about the state of the Bills, how the Sabres recaptured his interest and the excellent podcast he launched in 2018.
The Sabres return home after a promising road trip with the opportunity to make actual headway in the standings - new territory compared to recent years. We touch on the bright spots from the road trip and how the next stretch of the schedule has the potential to set the table for a successful season. We also run through how Phil Housley will balance the goaltenders over the coming stretch of the schedule given Linus Ullmark's strong play in his first two games of the year. The show opens...
The Sabres have swapped good for bad on a game-to-game basis and their worst was on full display against Vegas. We go over some of the troubling signs the team has displayed on special teams in recent games while discussing whether or not their penchant for getting outshot (and perhaps more importantly not creating at five-on-five) is cause for concern. Also on the docket is a look-in at the Amerks top performers and the bright spots on the Sabres roster through their first five games.
Early as it may be the Sabres opened the season above .500 and are poised to hit their west coast trip with quite a bit of positive momentum. Rasmus Dahlin's introduction to the NHL has been steady though lacking in highlight reel plays and Dahlin was the center of our discussion on the Sabres power play unit. We discuss the pros and cons of the unit through the first three games of the year and explore what changes could be made to the units to get Dahlin more time on the man advantage and...
Hockey is back and we preview the 2018-19 NHL season by running through our picks for the league at both the division and conference level. We also go deep on the Sabres after Jack Eichel was named captain and Jason Botterill added one more piece, claiming Remi Elie on waivers from the Stars.
Sam Reinhart was signed to a team-friendly bridge contract and we discuss just how team friendly the deal is for the Sabres. Not only does the deal keep Reinhart as a restricted free agent, but it sets the Sabres up to potentially sign him to another relatively modest AAV once the contract expires. Other topics of discussion include William Nylander's contract situation, a review of Buffalo's first two preseason games and the players who have carved out a good impression early on.
Hockey is finally back as the Sabres open training camp on Friday (technically Thursday) and there's finally quality depth battling for the few open roster spots in Buffalo's bottom six. We discuss the outlook on the Sabres entering training camp and the talent poised to fill out the Amerks lineup. The show opens with a discussion of the Senators batty tanking interview video, Steve Yzerman's decision to step down in Tampa and the Max Pacioretty trade between the Canadiens and Golden Knights.
I could think of no better guest to lead off the seventh season of The Instigator Podcast than The Athletic's Kris Baker. Kris joined the show to preview the upcoming Prospects Challenge and to offer up analysis on the current state of the Sabres prospect pool. Naturally we made time to discuss a couple of draft eligible goaltending prospects as well, because it just wouldn't be right if we didn't serve the goalie union during the episode. Thanks to Kris for coming on and I look forward to...
Jacquie Greco is back for another visit to The Instigator Podcast to discuss the big summer the Beauts have enjoyed and the expectations that accompany the acquisitions they've made. We talk about the strides the league has made and the momentum enjoyed in the wake of the Olympic Games along with discussing what's in store for the future of women's hockey.
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.