Apr 4, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Nicolas Deslauriers (44) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Daily:Draft Lottery, Stanley Cup, Delusions of Granduer

What is it going to take to make the Buffalo Sabres a Stanley Cup contender?  With front row seats to the draft in 2014 – and likely a similar setup for the entry level selection in 2015 – the Sabres are, and will continue to be a long shot for Cup contention.

But how long will the Buffalo Sabres be selling the bill of sale on the rebuild?

If it were up to General Manager Tim Murray – who is entering into his first full season as a general manager – the draft lottery will be in the rear view mirror of the Buffalo Sabres.

So how long is it actually going to take?  [Hockey Buzz].

Tim Murray doesn’t want to take more than four stabs at the draft lottery – and that is likely because if he does – the Buffalo Sabres will be looking for a new general manager.  In fact, if the outline of the career progression in this article is leaning towards it, Tim Murray could be grooming his replacement in Randy Cunneyworth.

Tim Murray doesn’t expect to be around the front of the draft que for quite that amount of time anyways.  Tim Murray doesn’t want to build a championship team through the draft in my opinion – he is going to develop a destination where free agents are going to want to come and surround his good prospects with other good players.

Again – the question is asked; how long will the Buffalo Sabres take to become a contender [The Hockey Writers].

It almost seems like the answer to that answer is predicated by who the Buffalo Sabres get drafted in the 2015 first round.  With three draft picks in next years first round, as well as a pair of picks in the second rounds of 2015 and 2016 – Buffalo it seems as  well stocked to plan for the future.

Now it appears that I am getting into the realm of what has been dubbed here by some as the draft dreamers.  Draft dreamers are hoping that the Buffalo Sabres or the New York Islanders selection takes them into the winning seat for the biggest loser competition, and will land them Connor McDavid.

Those with grandeurs of delusion – are now thinking that you can virtually hand the Buffalo Sabres the Stanley Cup in a few years if they get both McDavid and Jack Eichel.  Well lets slow our roll up here a little bit.

First, that would require the Buffalo Sabres to hold both their own pick, and the New York Islanders pick at both the 30th and 29th place spot and one of those spots wins the draft lottery.  That is the only guarantee.  The other option is that one of their picks is number one, and the other gets selected as the lottery winner.

Theoretically the draft lottery could take the Buffalo Sabres out of contention with for the McDavid sweepstakes if they hold both top picks next year and another team wins the draft lottery.  Buffalo will then be picking second and third.

Either way, the Buffalo Sabres are going to get a good player, so why not sit back and enjoy the ride?


Tags: Buffalo Sabres Connor McDavid Jack Eichel Randy Cunneyworth The Hockey Writers

  • Mike Flynn

    But the possibility of drafting 1 and 2 in a very deep draft is very exciting I agree not probable but it is possible I’m just hoping we finish last again and are garenteed mcdavid or eichel

    • davidmuscalo

      I think the fact that we do not have reliable goaltending gives us a real good shot at finishing last in the 2014-2015 Season. With decent goaltending; however, we could finish much higher because the weaker teams, such as the Islanders, Winnipeg, Calgary, Carolina, Florida etc., haven’t done a lot to help themselves so far in the off season.

  • E.R.S.

    I agree that Murray’s plan is making Buffalo a destination for free agents. I feel he is looking to turn heads in the NHL with a stark improvement this coming season (maybe even a run for a playoff spot?), which will then lead to further inspection by free agents who see how bright Buffalo’s future looks.

    Imagine these scenarios:

    -Ennis continues to score more points and become a stronger and smarter player
    -Moulson gets on a line that he can generate 30 goals with
    -Myres, through Nolan’s coaching & partnering w/ Gorges, returns to Calder Trophy form
    -Stafford steps up, acts like a leader, and has another 20+ goal season
    -Girgensons has a break-out season
    -Neuvirth plays his game (those of us who follow goaltenders know what he’s got, and it’s pretty exciting)

    All of this would mean it’s highly unlikely we’re in the bottom 3 in the standings.

    None of this is improbable. In fact, this is just a short-list. There are many other factors (Risto, Rheinhart, Zadarov, etc.) that could lead to even further success.

    • http://batman-news.com Jim Lake

      Lets just draw the line in the Sand. there will be two camps this year. The camp that is “Mission McDavid” and the camp “Plafoffs or Bust” Now, I recognise that people out there want a Win now focus and no more Suffering, and not to mention that we should want our younger players and free agents signees to produce and become even better players. I can only see this team being just under mediocre without a top of draft quality players. We have a large group of players in our farm system that are prospects and potential nhl players. What we need are more Elite Prospects LIke Sam Reinhardt. So, Dammit for McDavid! I want A Stanley cup not another Sabres team that just cant get all the way!

      • E.R.S.

        Yes, but the question is this: do you think our team this year will be worse than in ’12-’13? Remember, Hodgson was our “top center” that year.

        Do you really think the odds are that we’ll be considerably worse? I don’t think so. We’d have to be much, much worse to have a chance at McDavid, and I just don’t see that as a logical conclusion, given all the facts.

        • http://batman-news.com Jim Lake

          The Sabres were 14 points behind an improved Florida team. Thats with Miller stealing games in shootout victories. We wont be that lucky this year even with more balanced scoring. Hodgeson and Ennis are third liners on a good team

          • E.R.S.

            You’re not hearing me clearly, my darling. Now read carefully: 

            Forget this past year. Look at our team the year before last (12-13). Now, look at our current roster. I’d argue we have a better team than 2 years ago. Look where we finished in the standings 2 years ago. If we are as least AS good, then — sorry — no chance at all of the # pick.

            Look at the facts. Stop letting McDavid unicorn fantasy land skew your perception of reality…

          • http://batman-news.com Jim Lake

            Ok. Now, now. No, Sir, Mam you need to lesten thoose thoughts of playoffs now. Think, one more year tanked and we have a team thst not is just playoffs and cross ur fingers. We have two top five picks. Ours and NYI. Now, picture a team of glory, wanting and earning respect as true cup contenders that i wad rlite talent brings you my friend. Players like Kane. Stamkos, Crosby. Then dreams of a cup become. Realistic. Not fantasy. So hold ur hotses.

          • E.R.S.

            “Sir” is fine ;)

            But unfortunately, your draft fantasy does not line up with the team Murray has put together…

          • http://batman-news.com Jim Lake

            Misguided you are. Thiughts of grandeur, you presume. Lets continue this convo 20 games into the season when tge Sabres are in Tank mode.

          • E.R.S.

            This isn’t really a conversation. It’s me providing a plethora of facts that point towards the reality. These facts are then followed by your unfounded insistence that the organization plans to tank.

            The reality is: Murray and Nolan have no plans on tanking.

            If Murray wanted to tank, he wouldn’t have signed Moulson, Gionta, Gorges or Meszaros. He wouldn’t have traded for Neuvirth at the deadline; he would have stocked more draft picks.

            We now have a potential elite goaltender (Neuvirth), and a solid defense core. I hate to break your heart: there is almost no chance we’ll finish dead-last, thus almost no chance we’lll land either McDavid or Eichel, and here’s why:

            With the new lottery odds, finishing dead-last is a must, in order to guarantee even #2 overall. Odds at #1 overall are then only 20%, but odds at either #1 or #2 are 100%.

            If we finish second-last, there is almost no chance: last-place will be bumped to 2nd overall, and the lottery winner (>20% odds) gets #1.

            Do you think Murray is dumb enough to risk his future on those odds? He’s already proven how smart he is. The risk you advocate taking would belie that intelligence. If we “tank” this year, and don’t land either of those guys (a very real possibility), do you think he and Nolan will be around much longer?

            Facts. Now show me yours.

            n.b.: I’m not saying we’ll make the playoffs. I’m just saying dead-last is not going to happen.

          • http://batman-news.com Jim Lake

            Dont drink the kool aide, friend! Moulson is no Vanek and Neuvirth is no Miller. Ennis and Coho will strugle to score 20 goals each again this year. And remember Nolans best years came when he had Hasek stealing games. Gointa is past his prime and is here only as a mentor. Reinhart, Grigorenko, Armia and Zadorov will all be playing in the minors for most of the year. So, no Crosby or Kane in lineup, where are the goals coming from? Foligno, Stafford, Stewart?
            Lets not forget we have NYI 1St pick and they dont look like a team that made playoffs two years ago. A top 5 pick in lottery along with our 1-2 should give us apoximately a 30% chance at winning McEichel sweepstakes. So, the tank is set my friend of misery. Welcome to the Darkside. Tank for McDavid!

          • E.R.S.

            We shall see!

          • http://batman-news.com Jim Lake

            I will buy you a drink, if you are old enough. It is going to be a long season.

  • davidmuscalo

    If the Sabres get a quality goaltender, I could see them going deep into the playoff in 2017 with the personnel they have now and are developing in minors. I don’t think if will happen that way, because, I think, Murray realizes he can’t depend of the potential in Rochester, he has to bring some proven talent to Buffalo from other teams. It’s a shame that he couldn’t have snagged Patrick Kane from Chicago, because he is the kind of talent we need in Buffalo.

    • E.R.S.

      Neuvirth is the only Sabre other than Hasek to make 50 saves in one game. Do some research on him, and find out what scouts think about him. If you did, you’d be pretty excited that he’s going to be our #1

      • davidmuscalo

        I was hopeful that Neuvirth would be the go to goalies for the Sabres when they got him from Washington. Unfortunately, he didn’t show much at the end of the season this year, and my hope has begun to fade. Perhaps, this coming season, he will prove to be the starter we need to replace Ryan Miller. None of his competitors seem to be up to the task.

        • E.R.S.

          Curious as to why that hope would fade. He was injured, and his two games with the Sabres before his injury were unbelievable; any elite NHL goaltender would tip their hat to either of those performances. And he’s young; he could be just approaching his prime. Obviously I love the guy!