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Canandaigua, NY • United States • 29 Years Old • Male

The Sabres Gamble

Posted 10:31 AM ET | Comments 18
Last night was just another example of the Sabres failing to rise to the challenge of a “rivalry” game. There’s no love lost between Buffalo and Boston. I’d have hoped that Buffalo would have at least risen to the occasion, and played Boston hard. They even had a chance to win with the game 3-2 heading into the 3rd period. Instead, they failed to generate shots, and lost 5-2.

So, what did I do on my morning off? I woke up, and listened to Ted Black tap dance around answering questions regarding the status of the team on WGR. I would have been better off sleeping in. However, I did get to hear Black talk about the importance of the upcoming drafts, and that is going to be how the Buffalo Sabres build their team.

Great concept.

No really, that’s not sarcasm. I agree with that whole heartedly.

I would much rather see the Sabres build a team through the draft. Reason being, Buffalo can put together a team that hopefully, can remain in tact for several years. If Buffalo tries to do the “rent-a-player” and free agency tactics, it could seriously backfire. By drafting, Buffalo can really try to put together a team that will compete year in, year out.

There’s one huge risk with this for normal teams. Several for the Buffalo Sabres.

No one, repeat, no one, can predict how draft picks are going to play in the NHL. Example; Mikhail Grigorenko. Granted, in Buffalo the hype was excruciating. However, I don’t think anyone can say that he’s lived up to expectations thus far. Very rarely does a Sidney Crosby, or Alexander Ovechkin come along where it’s a no brainer and pretty much guaranteed that they can come in and change the face of a franchise.

When making draft picks, a lot of things need to come into consideration which I feel the Sabres often neglect. I have my own theories on building a team. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it’s not a question of the best player on the board, it’s a question of the best player for your team on the board. Which leads me to the Buffalo Sabres.

I looked up the past first round draft picks for the Buffalo Sabres, mainly focusing on, yup, you guessed it, Darcy Regier’s draft picks (you should have seen this coming).

How about we just go from 2000 to the present?

2000- Artem Kriukov
2001- Jiri Novotny
2002- Dan Paille, Keith Ballard
2003- Thomas Vanek
2004- Drew Stafford
2005- Marek Zagrapan
2006- Dennis Persson
2007- None
2008- Tyler Ennis, Tyler Myers
2009- Zack Kassian
2010- Mark Pysyk
2011- Joel Armia
2012- Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons
2013- Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov

Let’s see, I count 1 who actually worked out for the Buffalo Sabres (Vanek), some who the jury is still out on (Zadorov, Ristolainen, Armia, Pysyk), some whose heads people are calling for, (Stafford, Myers at times), and some who just flat out failed (Kriukov, Zagrapan, Kassian).

Now, none of these draft picks above (Vanek excluded) really have set the world on fire.

My point? Every pick on that list is a gamble. I’m fine with that. At this point, not a lot of them have really played out in favor of the Buffalo Sabres. The only one right now that I see a ton of promise for is Girgensons when looking at the picks from the last 3-4 years.

Which brings me back to the concept of building a Stanley Cup Champion through the draft. Can’t we argue that Darcy has been trying to do this for years? Yes, every pick brings a risk. Every free agent signing is a gamble. However, when do we get to the point where the powers at be can admit that maybe, just maybe, Darcy doesn’t know what he’s doing? Yes, certain picks fizzle, get hurt, etc. However, after 16 years of several failed moves and drafts, when do you stop saying that luck isn’t on your side, and that the man making the picks is the problem? A new GM is going to have the same issues. However, at least then there will be a different method (hopefully) to getting this team rebuilt.

The past is a great indicator of the future. I think we can all agree on that. However, at this point in time, we have 16 years of failed results from Darcy Regier. It’s not even that we have 3-4 years of this. I could deal with Darcy if say, he’d won a championship or two over the past 16 years and proved he can do it.

But he hasn’t.

The concept of building this team up through the draft is a great one. I really truly like it. Great idea and I’m willing to suffer for this if that’s the plan.

The concept of Darcy Regier building this team through the draft is a horrid one.

And there’s 16 years of proof to back it up.

Follow me on Twitter- @SabresBTB I live chat during the games unless I’m stuck at work or at an Amerks game. I’m always up for chatting about Sabres hockey or anything going on in the NHL.

As always, thanks for reading!
October 24, 2013 12:39 PM ET | Delete
Nightmare continues.
October 24, 2013 12:45 PM ET | Delete
October 24, 2013 2:04 PM ET | Delete
yup...they are gonna have a ton of picks when everything is said and done...regier has been at the helm and he has had two head amateur scouts...jim benning until 2006 and kevin devine from 2007 til now...i like what devine has done and trust his judgement
October 24, 2013 2:07 PM ET | Delete
i also like that they are accumulating top 60 picks...even if they do not land the 1st overall, all is not lost...but the way they are doing it, if they do land that top overall pick or picks, those players should have a ton of quality support already in place
October 24, 2013 2:10 PM ET | Delete
ps...i like john scott and his role on the team...the sabres need him...what they really do not need is him playing like kaleta...he is too big for that...besides, kaleta plays that role well, and i like him on the team as well...thx for your support : )
October 24, 2013 2:12 PM ET | Delete
10 games for the kaleta
October 24, 2013 3:30 PM ET | Delete
John Scott is a embarrassment to the game of hockey. He can barely skate and has no place in the game. Kaleta is also an embarrassment. All he does is skate around trying to injure anyone possible. Sabres fans that support this kind of play are just frustrated that their team sucks and see the only positives are hurting other star players. The Sabre franchise has become a JOKE and the people of Buffalo should be ashamed.
October 24, 2013 7:15 PM ET | Delete
Every team has them 81, Kaleta needs to clean up but he is a good on the PK and does have some skill. Scott is not a dirty player, he made a bad choice last night, we have a bad team this year, we are going thru a horrible transition right know, we are not the first team to go thru this, won`t be the last.
October 24, 2013 7:46 PM ET | Delete
if i were a rookie coming into the league, especially with the back drop of the boston, buffalo rivalry, the lucic/miller incident as well as facing ingrates from throughout the league, i would want john scott on my team, savage...simple as that
October 24, 2013 7:47 PM ET | Delete
as for kaleta...he is what he is...he is a fourth liner who can play the game...he agitates and picks his spots for fights, even took on lucic...screw you all...those two have their roles on this sabres team right now...would rather have them on my team than another team
October 25, 2013 9:21 AM ET | Delete
Atta boy boos. You tell it like like it is and set them all straight.
October 25, 2013 10:04 AM ET | Delete
Honestly Buffalo needs a house cleaning and reset. May not be popular here but they are in a situation much as the Leafs were. Burke came in, cleaned house, reset the hockey operations. Buffalo needs the same. Too many years of video over live scouting etc and Regeir needs to go. Shake up the culture there.Start there, then you deal with the coaching staff, and work on matching up the roster and drafting. Buffalo needs to completely restock. They drained Rochester and need to fill the talent pool back up which is going to take a draft or two and some searching for diamonds in the rough.There is some good talent to build around and make a core, and the focus should be on the young guys and bringing in some solid vet leadership character players. That said I think they have to address their recent focus of be tough. Being tough is one thing, being stupid is not. Scott brings little, he is not a top end guy, and does nothing for the bottom. Time to get that roster spot back and realize he is not bringing anything to the team. Ott can play and does not usually get silly to get suspended. And much as I personally do not like him, Kaleta CAN play the game. He is like Cooke, can play but just gets too caught up being stupid. Get him reined in he CAN be a force and contribute and play well. These two are your toughness going forward.Much as Buffalo fans may not like losing, and who does, the fact is there is a decent talent for core of young players. It is going to be a rough road but hit reset fully and get it done and quite honestly Buffalo could bounce right back. Keeping the old guard in at the top though, Pegula cannot seriously consider that at this point.
October 25, 2013 12:38 PM ET | Delete
lol...thx, sip
October 25, 2013 12:38 PM ET | Delete
runner...first off, how do you get to post such long comments?...i can not go more than four or five lines
October 25, 2013 12:42 PM ET | Delete
secondly, unless this gets to be a 1-20-1 start, i can not see either regier or rolston leaving before the end of the season...at the release of the schedule, most sabres fans were right in saying that they would be lucky to win two or three games in october
October 25, 2013 12:46 PM ET | Delete
of the ten teams they have played thus far, with the youngest team in the league featuring four teenagers, seven are presently in a playoff spot with six of them being in the playoff last year...to expect much more from this team, this early would be misguided
October 25, 2013 2:01 PM ET | Delete
if i post on my itouch, i can only type blind for a line or two, its not much fun. if i post from work or home on a pc, i can write war and peace. or another book. maybe ill write something like the darcy regier story- probably name it something like "the champagne stings the eyes" or something.
October 25, 2013 3:14 PM ET | Delete
I dunno, I can post that but cannot get it into paragraphs. Also noticed I have to type do not and cant use say dont with the apostrophe in there.
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