Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Poll: Is The Suffering Worth it for the 1st Pick?

I didn’t even have to watch the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets to know the Buffalo Sabres didn’t play well, aside from the obvious score, twitter cleared all that up. Checking trends on twitter all anyone wanted to talk about was suffering and firing Darcy Regier.

We’re just 5 games into a rebuilding year we all knew was coming and fans are already searching for the exits. If fans can take anything away from the first 5 games, it’s the fact the Sabres are going to be difficult to watch at times and their goaltenders will need to be sharp

to keep them in most games. The goal scoring has been slim and right now they’re on pace to score 82 goals all season, hey that’s a goal a game rate.

5 games in and suffering for Sabres fans has already kicked in. The question becomes if they can land the first overall pick this year is the suffering warranted?

The Sabres can’t win with the pieces they have now and are going into a rebuild mode to find younger and more skilled pieces they can win with. Soon Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller and Drew Stafford will be wearing different colours and the Sabres will be ripe with young talent. Combine the already young skilled rookies on the roster with the first overall pick and things begin to look better already.

Judging from twitter I’m sure a lot of you have already looked at the 2014 pre-draft rankings and have an eye on a few players the Sabres should target. The bad news is the 2014 draft class isn’t as skilled or deep as 2013 or 2015 is projected to be, but the good news for the Sabres if they continue down this suffering path is they won’t be picking outside the top 5.

Right now the two top prospects are Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad, both solid players in their own right. Reinhart is a centre and Ekblad is a defenceman. The Sabres have more than enough defence, but could use a top-level pivot which makes Reinhart a desirable target.

Moving down the ranks a bit, if the Sabres want to bolster up the right-wing where they have very little they might want to take a look at William Nylander who is playing in one of the Finish elite leagues. Check out a full list of top prospects the Sabres should pursue here.

Is this painful hockey season which fans are having to suffer through worth it if the Sabres can get their hands on the 1st overall pick? What about a top 3 pick? Fans may be suffering now, but if it all pays off the Buffalo Sabres could turn into a top-level team in no time.

Is the Suffering Worth it for the First overall pick?

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Tags: 2014 Draft Buffalo Sabres Suffering

  • Richard Spalding

    I’ve been saying this for awhile now – there is more than one way to rebuild. Continually stockpiling just draft picks isn’t panning out for Edmonton, and it won’t work for the Sabres, either. Even if the Sabres have no moveable parts yet, there were free agents the Sabres could have landed to assist in this process. Dustin Penner, Mikhail Grabovski – the Sabres could have solidified some weak spots through free agent acquisitions in order to keep this team respectable while the younger guys took their baby steps. I want to see the young guys get good playing time, but this is downright embarrassing,

    • wolfdoctor

      I agree we could have picked up some decent players this off season. I remember saying how the Sabres should go after Mikhail Grabovski. Washington was able to pick him up for nothing much, and he’s only 29.

  • Eric

    We have enough defensenen in our system

    • wolfdoctor

      IMO, Pysyk, Zadorov, Risto and McCabe are the only defensemen with a future here, leaving us 2 short. If Ekblad is available when the Sabres pick, they should absolutely pick him. BTW all the other top players in the 2014 draft are centers, which we are loaded with.

      • Thomas Eric

        Our d isn’t the problem we need offensive game changers

        • wolfdoctor

          Yes, agreed. But IMO if Ekblad is available when Buffalo picks he may be a head and shoulders better prospect than any offensive player available. If that is the case, pick Ekblad.

          • Thomas Eric

            But then we bury guys in the minors

          • wolfdoctor

            Like McNabb?

          • Thomas Eric

            And ruhwedel

          • Jes

            No Ekblad is good but we need offense right. Zadorov, McNabb, Ristolainen, Myers, Ruhwedel, McCabe and Pysyk are good enough for us right now. We are set on defense right now and well into the future. If we have a pretty high draft pick like #1 we can always trade down and grab a forward + a player.

          • wolfdoctor

            I think my point is getting lost. With a top 5 pick you want a superstar. When the Sabres pick and if the only superstar that is left is Ekblad, then you pick Ekblad. Sure you could trade down and pick a lesser forward, but would you rather have a Chris Pronger (#2 overall) or a Drew Stafford (#13 overall)?

            Wikipedia ==> “Ekblad became the first defenceman ever granted “exceptional player” status. The status allows him to compete in the Canadian Hockey League a year earlier than his eligible age. The only other players given such eligibility were centre John Tavares in 2005, Connor McDavid in 2012 and Sean Day in 2013.”

            Also, IMO, Myers will continue to digress and McNabb will be traded (since the Sabres don’t seem to think much of him).

            Yes, we need offense now, however we’ve picked 5 forwards in the first 2 rounds in the last 2 drafts and we will have 3 second round picks in the next draft as well, not to mention whatever draft choices we get for Vanek and Miller.

          • Jes

            I hear where your coming from. Yes, Ekblad would be good, but honestly all that exceptional status stuff doesn’t matter to me. You could be hot shit in the minors but once you get drafted all bets are off. Right now I’d focus on our offense rather than defense. Both need to have work done it but one waaaaaay more than the other IMO. But if we get Ekblad I wouldn’t cry about it. But if 1st overall is what we get than I can live with it.

          • wolfdoctor

            I agree that you never really know about prospects. 3 years ago the Sabres top defensive prospects were Pysyk, Brennan and McNabb. Now it looks like only Pysyk will make it in the NHL. Who really knows about McCabe, Risto, Zadorov, Ruhwedel ? IMO a team should pick the BPA, especially if the BPA is significantly better than the next BPA.

      • Thomas Eric

        Whose imo

  • [email protected]

    Its not that suffering is bad to get a number one pick, its that their play is worse than suffering! They have to be the worse team in hockey at this point. Same ‘losing’ system they have had in place for 6 years – all they did was change the name in the coaches box. Someone in the organization must have blinders on if they can not see this.

    • lamarred1118

      Horse blinders on the GM that doesn’t understand the need for or can’t successfully acquire any valuable assets either through trades or free agency pick ups. The fact that the owner is clueless/wishy washy doesn’t help matters much.

  • Jes

    Struggling at this point is a good thing IMO. Chicago, LA and Boston all struggled for years before they won those cups. They were bottom feeders for years. In the end those high draft picks paid off. In todays NHL you cannot “BUY” a Stanley Cup; it’s all done through the draft now. It seems like a broken record but this team is gonna be a contender very soon. The package that Vanek and Miller will bring us alone will speed up the process. That added to a top 10 pick in this years draft and maybe even next year we will be good in a few years.

    • Richard Spalding

      If it’s all done through the draft, why did so many teams go out and grab free agents this summer, including Chicago, LA, and Boston? The draft is only part of the process. You need a smart GM and good coaching, too, but even with those the draft alone won’t be enough.

      • Dano

        Smart drafting and good trades arent panning out and Regier needed to go YEARS ago. Im not sold on the coaching yet but Rolie needs a year behind the bench before anyone should judge him. Hes a ‘ rookie ‘ in the league as a coach himself.

      • Jes

        Disagree with you there Richard. LA, Chicago and Boston’s cores are built through draft. There’s obviously gonna be trades here and there not everyone’s gonna be personal draft picks lol. And if they aren’t drafted, there high draft picks are traded for others. But really no one wants to come to Buffalo so most of our team has to be built through draft.

  • davidmuscalo

    The Sabres are now the Edmonton of the East and will likely remain so for at least three more years. Once Miller, Ott, and Vanek leave, there will be no offense or defense left. Counting on draft picks is just plain foolish or more accurately, Regierish. Teams like Edmonton and Calgary have been doing it for years to no avail. The team has no nucleus around which to build. Until there is a nucleus, we can’t even get started building a competitive team. Calling draft picks the new nucleus of the team is pure folly. Saying that overrated players like Myers, Grigorenko and Armia are our future stars is ludicrous. Stars are not born, they are made by good coaching and affiliation with quality line-mates. Both of which are lacking in First Niagara.

  • Thomas Eric

    I wanna suffer for 4 years get all first round picks not waste them on an already deep blue line and get some game changers at forward like Connor mcdavid

  • Kevin

    Aren’t you putting the cart before the horse? The season is but 5 games old and already the talk is how much they cause us to suffer. Let me ask this, are they any better, or worse that your expectations were before the season began? I feel bad for them when they lose and when they mess up, why?, Because, I come from 10yrs of minor hockey where I talked to hockey players all the time so I learned how they think. Trust me they feel as bad as we do. Never think they (most of them) don’t care or want to compete. These young players will learn were to be in every situation, it’s just going to take time. I think they are working hard, they are still making mistakes that causes them to lose games. The problem is not the mistakes, the problem is not scoring enough goals to cover up those mistakes.

  • Dano

    ” Suffering “.. Suffering? More SUFFERING!!!!! Another Buzz word.

    As a season ticket holder, I feel fine and dandy in the Stands and have since the early 80′s when my family first bought them. I dont drink any beer at the games either so its not from being too drunk.

    As others have mentioned, Buffalo is the Edmonton of the East. Its going to be quite a while before this team looks like it doesnt belong in the AHL. If the Twits are suffering, too bad for them. No sympathy from me. If they had a real social life they probably wouldnt be ‘ suffering ‘. Maybe they are confusing the 2?

    Before the Sabres can score goals and make all those Twits happy, the team has to learn how to WIN first. They will do such by learning more at the NHL level and as Kevin stated, “Never think they (most of them) don’t care or want to compete. These young players will learn where to be in every situation, it’s just going to take time.”

    If the Twits ( whom arent on the ice ) dont like what they are seeing and its causing them sooo much ‘ suffering ‘, Maybe they shouldnt buy tickets as its all causing them mental health issues or something. Maybe they should turn off the TV?

    *I* get it, your into twitter Caitlin and you have played the game, but your use of the word ‘ suffering ‘ is stale and VERY annoying. Friends of mine suffered in Desert Shield/Storm. These people are ‘ suffering ‘ because their local hockey team cant win a game? Seriously? ‘ Suffering ‘?!?!?!

    Theres 75+ games left in the season, if people are ‘ suffering ‘ now, are we going to see them in the Obituaries by the spring? Is it so horrific they are going to go Emo?

    The people whom are ‘ suffering ‘ are those of us whom have been with the game for 20, 30, 40+ years and having to hear about/tolerate these ‘ Suffering Twits ‘.

    Maybe instead of being on twitter, those twits should pick up a stick, a ball and get a few games of pick-up going. It would be quite a bit more healthy for them. ;) Maybe they should look through older NHL/WHL/OHL archives and learn about the game instead of just crying and saying they are ‘ suffering ‘.

    Honest Question : Has Hockey become such a cry-baby sport that fans now feel they are ‘ suffering ‘ because the local team cant do anything right as of late?

    • Kevin

      “There’s 75+ games left in the season, if people are ‘ suffering ‘ now, are we going to see them in the Obituaries by the spring?” Exactly how I feel. Another fan that has the guts to jump off the “woe is me” bandwagon and take a look at the big picture here. WTG Dano