Keeping the system afloat
General manager Kevyn Adams would need to hit hard on the drafting and keep seeing the success he’s already seen early on for this to work. Let’s take guys like Benson and Savoie, for example, let them play the three seasons on their entry-level deals, re-sign them to bridge deals worth 2-3 years, then, once those initial long-term deals signed by the likes of Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens (as examples) are nearing their respective ends, sign Benson and Savoie to a pair of long-term deals.
Tage and Cozens, if they are interested in staying, could opt for smaller deals. Or, if they are seeking more money, then they walk in free agency, and you have your next batch of great players. If the likes of Benson and Savoie aren’t working out, or if they don’t look like they would reach the same level, then you keep Tage and Cozens in such a scenario, let Benson and Savoie walk, and you dip back into the pool for another pair of prospects, or by that point, those on bridge deals.
Overall, this is one of many examples and just a couple of many scenarios that I can use here, but you should be getting the idea. The same thing applies to each position, whether it’s goaltender or defenseman.
Early returns show us that the Buffalo Sabres are capable of pulling this off thanks to the ability of prospects to properly develop in Rochester while the current version of the Blue and Gold contends. The key X-Factor here is Kevyn Adams: If he keeps hitting hard on the draft picks, then this system will be successful for a long time. And the Sabres will rule the Atlantic not just within three years, but as I also mentioned yesterday, well into the future.
(Statistics and figures provided by Cap Friendly)