The start of training camp has the whole city jumping. Is puck drop, for real, only three weeks away? Yikes. Just some observations, pertinent thoughts and opinions, like ‘em or not:
- At Tyler Myers‘ press conference on Thursday, Darcy Regier was quoted as saying he was confident “he had trade partners” to help the team get below the salary cap ceiling. My question is, who goes? Shaone Morrisonn has reportedly requested a trade, and let’s all hope that his wish is granted. But that only shaves around $2 million from the top. Ales Kotalik, who’s Native American name would be “skates-in-cement”, would be the next logical choice, given his career state and $4 million salary. But, can Darcy really find a taker for this guy? Much like Tim Connolly before him, Kotalik may be untradeable at this point. I wonder if a guy like Brad Boyes is sent packing, with the hopes that one of the kids can step in. Let’s all hope, because it is going to happen folks, that when the trade(s) is made, we’re not all sitting here thinking, “what have they done?!?“
- Did anyone see the Traverse City Prospects Tournament championship game between the Sabres and New York Rangers? I know, stupid question. Okay, then, can Luke Adam be denied a real shot to stick with this team? I think not. The kid put on a dominant performance, something he apparently did all tourney. He was voted MVP, and rightly so. I realize he was playing against other prospects, most of whom are not NHL-ready. But, he clearly was the best player on the frozen kiddie pool. His size, shot and offensive instincts were never in question. He has all those in spades. My beef with him was always his skating. Not anymore. The time he has spent this summer working with a power skating coach has clearly paid dividends, and the only thing that could hold him back, in this writers opinion, is lack of roster space. Perhaps Darcy is working on that problem right this very minute (see above).
- Speaking of prospects, Zack Kassian clearly needs some time on the farm. He looks slow, a bit clumsy, and needs to clean up his game. Kid has good hands, and looks to be more of a playmaker, rather than goal scorer, at the next level. However, he isn’t ready and, as of this writing, is not a better fit for this team over Adam…yet. Let him ride the bus for a bit.
- How about Marcus Foligno? Dude has some wheels, some skills, great size (6’4″), and his leadership skills seem to be off the chart. He also kills penalties and hits like a truck. What’s not to like? Fearless prediction time. I am saying, right now, that Marcus will be an all-around, 15 to 20-goal-a-year checking machine and, if it’s not given to Myers down the road, will captain the Sabres someday.
- Corey Tropp will wear the blue and gold within 2 years. Clearly has vaulted to top-5 on the Sabres’ list of prospects.
- Did the Sabres draft 6’3″ goal-scoring machine Joel Armia at the right time, or what? Thomas Vanek has three years remaining on his current contract and, while I gotta admit to being a huge fan of TV, this kid could step in at just the right time as Vanek’s replacement as a goal-scoring winger.
- Speaking of good timing, Brayden McNabb is going to have opposing forwards with their heads on a perpetual swivel, coming through center ice. He’s an all-tool player that just has to refine his game for a year or two in Rochester, and will step right in when Jordan Leopold comes off the books in two years (man, does Darcy seem to have a plan, or what?). It’s probably tough to do when you are 6’5″ tall, but you gotta keep those elbows down, though, kid.
- Ted Black has replaced Christian Bale on my (very short, thank you very much) list of man-crushes. He is hilarious, intelligent, and, most importantly, the anti-Larry Quinn. Go back and re-read Black’s Q&A sessions he’s had with fans, and see for yourself:
- Who else is going down to the arena on Monday to de-slug themselves? I am. Let’s see, I’ll be wearing a slug hat and a slug shirt, and carrying a slug coffee mug. I hate the slug. I love the Pegula era.
- Follow us on Twitter in fact, don’t just follow us. Follow who I follow and who follows me. You’d be amazed at what you can learn about the Sabres, and how many laughs you can have. Oh and that’s just @sabrenoise, also follow @dansterlace, @Megan_Colleen_, and @Lardsy
- Join us on Faceboook! Visit the SabreNoise Page or on the Network Blogs App
- Check out our main NHL site. Too Many Men. It’s a daily dose of hockey from around the league.
- Have you hear Rink Side Rants yet? It’s a weekly live podcast that airs on Sunday nights at 9 PM. It’s like a fireside chat with me and Frank from The Rat Trick about hockey and whatever else is going on.
- Interested in writing for SabreNoise? Shoot me an email at[email protected]. Another hockey team your forte? Email[email protected]. If it’s another sport you interested in writing about,[email protected] will get you started.
Topics: Ales Kotalik, Brayden Mcnabb Sabres, Buffalo Sabres, Darcy Regier, Joel Armia Sabres, Luke Adam Sabres, Marcus Foligno Sabres, Ted Black, Thomas Vanek, Tim Connolly, Tyler Myers, Zack Kassian Sabres