Buffalo Sabres Fire The Captains - But Has The Ship Changed Course?

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#2 How Heavily Will the Sabres Rely on the Draft?

Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Nikita Zadorov poses for a photo as he is introduced as the number sixteen overall pick to the Buffalo Sabres during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Having engaged in many conversations with the fans, it is evident that there a lot of different opinions out there on how to rebuild this team.  One philosophy is to lose games, stock up on draft picks, land prime draft slots and use the next two drafts to supplement the young hopefuls that the Sabres currently have.   That’s one approach – and it seems to be working marvelously for the Edmonton Oilers.


Another train of thought, the one I am the most in favor of, doesn’t ignore the draft entirely, but also advocates that the Sabres attempt to land an established player or two to help speed up the rebuilding process.  For example, instead of viewing Matt Moulson as one more bargaining chip to be used down the road to acquire yet another draft pick, why not treat the guy right, convince him that he is one of the players that Buffalo wishes to rebuild around, and get him to sign a long-term contract that keeps in the 716?  Clearly, Moulson is a goal-scorer, so why ship him in the hopes of getting a young player who MIGHT become as good as him?

It may be too late to save face when it comes to Moulson – that benching in Anaheim was embarrassing, and wrong to boot – but there will be free agents available this summer, and there are trades still to make this year.  Will the new regime continue to put its faith entirely in the draft, or decide to mix and match a bit more?

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres

  • Dano

    I need to call my Bookie. Kaleta cleared waivers on the second and I bet hes back by the end of the month.

    I would guess Moulson will be offered a good pay check and asked to stay. Nolan probably already knows Moulson puts full effort into his game and is the kind of guy I could see him wanting to keep around for the kids to learn from.

    I believe that Rolston was unable to motivate his players to put effort into playing so they didnt. Then he benched them.. for his own failings..

    Scott will be in more games then not.

    This weekends home-and-home is just the kind of situation Nolan can cut his teeth with.

    • qwicwted

      It will be interesting, especially in light of the most recent suspensions. The league just isn’t going to put their magnifying glass away just because Terry made some changes. I still believe that Kaleta has a target on his back and Nolan is going to have to choose when Scott plays very carefully. I like Moulson and I’m hoping that Ronny didn’t burn that bridge – that the moves this week sent a message to our players. Moulson is a Ted Nolan type of player, so is McCormick. I think our youngsters could learn a lot from Matt and what bothered me a bit was the talk of trading him as soon as he arrived. I got the impression listening to Patty that while the Sabres are going to rebuild through the draft, they also plan on signing veterans that will add value and help develop our youngsters. It sounds like the team is excited about the changes and we’ll see how they react tomorrow night. I don’t expect a bunch or wins, but I want to see a renewed energy.

      • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

        I agree with you 100% – all the talk of trading Moulson started the minute he got traded, which pisses me off. Why not try to keep him – he’s a damn good player!

  • Kevin

    I say Miller stays and Kaleta has to still earn his stripes to come out of the doghouse. But it’s all moot cause it it’s up to the new GM to make those decisions. Oh! I’m sure TN will have his say, but depending WHO the GM is could decide on the fate of the two. IMO keep Miller, and don’t bring Kaleta up just because. Make him stew some more riding the bus for the Amerks. I would give him about 10 games. That will give the Sabres time to find out whether they really need him or not as well.

  • Jes

    If Patty or whoever is the GM is smart he’d definitely trade Miller at the deadline. The guy wants out and I do not blame him. He’s got a few years left in him for top end play which on a top end team could go a long way. He’s already left. Put his house up for sale. I see Anaheim or St. Louis in his near future. No way he stays. Miller lovers just have to come to peace with that. Sorry guys….

    Moulson on the other hand might want to stay not sure. As of right now I believe the Sabres are committed to the rebuild. So I believe he will leave via free agency if he’s not resigned by trade deadline. Him and CoHo make a deadly combo though.

    Oilers didn’t do great with there drafts. The mistakes that they made were that they just stuck to bulking up there offense while paying no attention to goaltending and defense. Teams like LA, Chicago, Boston and Pittsburgh addressed all there positions through the draft and not just going after a top notch forward and what happened to them? Stanley Cups. So yes Sabres will rely heavily on the draft they have no other route to go. Buffalo isn`t a place for UFA`s as we all know. All of our major contributors will come from draft and or trade.

    John Scott and Kaleta will be back in full effect. Neither player IMO will have to prove himself to Nolan. They are exactly the type of player he wants. They`ll get the time they want.

  • wolfdoctor

    IMO, by the time the Sabres’ teenagers become established NHLers, Moulson will be in his mid 30s and he will most likely not be much help to the team at that point. In the mean time keeping him will just help in preventing us from getting the high (1-3) draft picks we covet. The same goes for Ott and Miller.

  • davidmuscalo

    I want Miller to stay in Buffalo, but yesterday when he was asked what his aspirations are for the season he said (and I paraphrase) that his number one priority is to make the Olympic team. He then added that he wants to help the Sabres improve in the standings. I think, unfortunately, that he has, in his mind, decided to seek his fortune elsewhere when the season ends if he is not traded before then. If that happens, the development of team will be retarded and their return to playoffs put off for a few more years. You just can’t win consistently without an exceptional goalie unless you have buco talent – which, of course, we don’t have.

    As for Patrick Kaleta, I hope I am wrong, but don’t see him wearing a Sabres uniform again. I think the league has sent a message to Terry and that message is that they don’t want Kaleta back in the NHL. That just my gut feeling. Perhaps, Ted Nolan, who is also not a favorite of NHL management, may try to bring him up from Rochester, but I think that is a long shot.

  • Justin Tosczak

    Bang on.

    The Miller ordeal can end any time between now and trade deadline, but he needs to go. Not because we wouldn’t him, but because he will leave for nothing if we don’t. I feel that’s the bottom line on that one.

    I will be the first to say I was wrong about Moulson. I thought he was a by-product of JT. I was wrong. I would like to see Moulson signed to a 3 year, over paid perhaps, deal. Let him and CoHo keep up the good work together. I can see Armia fitting with them nicely actually…

    As for Kaleta, I do believe he will be back. I also think Scott will play more, but I do not think that is bad in the least bit.. Rolston was not experienced enough to properly handle a roster. He put goal scoring rookies on 4th lines, benched players who were actually playing, and only sent out Scott to fight or take a penalty.. Both Scott and and Kaleta provide a big brother support feeling to the young guys, and you know every player from the other team knows when they are on the ice. If used properly, I do believe they can contribute their own little part.

    On a side note, Nolan is making me very happy already. My new favourite player since the pre-season, Zemgus, has been moved to centre the second line! Between Ott and Ennis.. Eff ya!… Foligno is the centre on the third line, Sorry CC!