Buffalo Sabres: It’s well beyond high time to trust Kevyn Adams

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 28: (L-R) General manager Kevyn Adams of the Buffalo Sabres and general manager Bill Gurien of the Minnesota Wild speak prior to round one of the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bridgestone Arena on June 28, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JUNE 28: (L-R) General manager Kevyn Adams of the Buffalo Sabres and general manager Bill Gurien of the Minnesota Wild speak prior to round one of the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bridgestone Arena on June 28, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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After the Buffalo Sabres signed a pair of defensemen, general manager Kevyn Adams once again expressed confidence in his goaltenders. 

It’s rare to see a team in any of the four major North American professional sports leagues make steady improvements season after season. Oftentimes, a front office and/or a coaching staff is said to be given between four and five years to build a winner.

But somewhere along the line, often thanks to pressure from the media, fans, and perhaps even internally, a regime is out after two to three seasons before they can really get anything going and the cycle repeats itself once more. As the Buffalo Sabres organization and their fans are well aware of, this issue plagued the Blue and Gold for the greater part of the 2010s.

Kevyn Adams stepped in and changed that, as I’ve noted in previous pieces. No, not every move he’s made so far was brilliant, but that’s the case with sports executives everywhere. It’s impossible to get every draft pick right, or that every trade acquisition will be a win.

But as it stands, when Kevyn Adams says, or claims something, it’s time to listen to and trust him. He’s been right far more often than he’s been wrong, and the Sabres steadily increasing points total over the past three seasons has proven that.

Dear Buffalo Sabres fans: It’s high time to start trusting Kevyn Adams

So why am I bringing this up? Consider the following tweet from Lance Lysowski of Buffalo News.

We all know what this implies: The Buffalo Sabres are likely rolling with Devon Levi, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, and Eric Comrie in 2023-24. And while I know this will concern some fans, if Adams didn’t believe the additions he made on July 1st in Erik Johnson and Connor Clifton would help, he would have added a goaltender yesterday not named Devin Cooley or Dustin Tokarski – the latter of whom I’m glad to see back in the organization, by the way.

And I get it: The trio has a combined 100 career games worth of NHL experience, and 72 games in a blue and gold uniform. But with the additions Adams made in front of them, I can’t stress how well Johnson and Clifton fit into the system this season. With the duo in the lineup, the goaltending will organically improve.

How many times did poor defense lead to poor results in the net? More than we would care to count. It was the primary reason the Blue and Gold missed out on the playoffs.

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This year, the problem’s been solved, and with Clifton here for three seasons plus extensions coming up for Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power, one of the best and fastest-rising blueliners in the league, respectively, Levi, Luukkonen, and even Comrie, if it comes to it, will be just fine behind what will be a more than solid top four in 2023-24.

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)