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Number One Problem In Buffalo Is Keeping Players


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#1 CallawaySabres

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:39 AM

Forget about making Buffalo a destination spot for players OUTSIDE the organization, the brass here needs to figure out a way to keep the top players already here without overpaying them. Until this team is comprised of a solid group of players that win consistently, why in the world would star players WANT to sign here when their contracts are up.

Signings like Leino are happening because it is the ONLY way to get the tier 2 players to arrive in Buffalo. Terry's pitch to Ehrhoff and others worked once because everybody thought the Sabres were heading in the right direction (or were overpaid). They are back to ground zero and everyone knows it. The only thing we can hang our hats on right now is that this youth movement has the right mix of players in it.

If Buffalo is not a destination spot right now, it is Ted, Terry and Darcy's job to make it one - they have nobody to blame but themselves. Winning is the only solution and that has been a problem far too long. I really think the future of this organization hinges on what the returns are for Miller and Vanek. Is that why they are still here (not traded yet)? Does Darcy know this will be his last chance at GM in the NHL? If he blows this one, you might as well add a couple more years to the rebuild.

Having said all of that, I have a strange feeling that when Miller and Vanek are traded, it will be worth the wait and if there is ONE thing Darcy has been fairly good at recently, it's getting a good return. There are some players here that I am pretty excited to see in a couple years but the returns for these two are going to be just as important for the immediate well being of this team.

#2 Doohickie

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:00 AM

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#3 d4rksabre

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:07 AM

Here's the rub: The Sabres should never have overpaid for Ehrhoff and Leino in the first place. Those were moves uncharacteristic of Regier due to Pegula's incoming policy of wanting to turn the team around immediately. It was money spent out of impatience to get players here who probably knew this team wasn't what it was being billed as.

All the Sabres have to do in the future is actually pay their most important players when the time comes. Regier blew it under Golisano, but I don't think Terry will let that happen as we go through this rebuild.

#4 CallawaySabres

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:13 AM

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Not quite sure what that means........

#5 inkman

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:17 AM

Not quite sure what that means........

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/cool-story-bro

#6 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:20 AM

Forget about making Buffalo a destination spot for players OUTSIDE the organization, the brass here needs to figure out a way to keep the top players already here without overpaying them. Until this team is comprised of a solid group of players that win consistently, why in the world would star players WANT to sign here when their contracts are up.

Signings like Leino are happening because it is the ONLY way to get the tier 2 players to arrive in Buffalo. Terry's pitch to Ehrhoff and others worked once because everybody thought the Sabres were heading in the right direction (or were overpaid). They are back to ground zero and everyone knows it. The only thing we can hang our hats on right now is that this youth movement has the right mix of players in it.

If Buffalo is not a destination spot right now, it is Ted, Terry and Darcy's job to make it one - they have nobody to blame but themselves. Winning is the only solution and that has been a problem far too long. I really think the future of this organization hinges on what the returns are for Miller and Vanek. Is that why they are still here (not traded yet)? Does Darcy know this will be his last chance at GM in the NHL? If he blows this one, you might as well add a couple more years to the rebuild.

Having said all of that, I have a strange feeling that when Miller and Vanek are traded, it will be worth the wait and if there is ONE thing Darcy has been fairly good at recently, it's getting a good return. There are some players here that I am pretty excited to see in a couple years but the returns for these two are going to be just as important for the immediate well being of this team.


My fear is that the law of averages is going to catch up to him at some point, and that we've reached that point. Isn't he due for a total "WTF was that?!?!" type of move?

Here's the rub: The Sabres should never have overpaid for Ehrhoff and Leino in the first place. Those were moves uncharacteristic of Regier due to Pegula's incoming policy of wanting to turn the team around immediately. It was money spent out of impatience to get players here who probably knew this team wasn't what it was being billed as.

All the Sabres have to do in the future is actually pay their most important players when the time comes. Regier blew it under Golisano, but I don't think Terry will let that happen as we go through this rebuild.


We didn't overpay for Ehrhoff.

#7 CallawaySabres

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:25 AM

http://knowyourmeme..../cool-story-bro


Ahh, so basically it's just a more polite way of coming across as a chump?

#8 inkman

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:27 AM

Ahh, so basically it's just a more polite way of coming across as a chump?

Not sure about the polite part but yeah

#9 wjag

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:28 AM

Posted Image


Now that I know what that means, that's cold :P

#10 shrader

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:32 AM

My fear is that the law of averages is going to catch up to him at some point, and that we've reached that point. Isn't he due for a total "WTF was that?!?!" type of move?


Tallinder. Maybe Darcy's just getting it out of his system right now.

#11 PASabreFan

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:48 AM

How can any player take the Sabres seriously as long as Darcy's still around? Younger players might not appreciate how long he's been here, but their agents sure do. Throw in the meddling rookie owner and there's your number one problem when it comes to recruiting.

#12 X. Benedict

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:52 AM

How can any player take the Sabres seriously as long as Darcy's still around? Younger players might not appreciate how long he's been here, but their agents sure do. Throw in the meddling rookie owner and there's your number one problem when it comes to recruiting.


I don't think agents have a problem dealing with Darcy.
Darcy might have a curious reputation among other GMs perhaps.....but as for agents, all GM's taste like chicken.

#13 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:54 AM

Tallinder. Maybe Darcy's just getting it out of his system right now.


Point taken, but I was referring more to a significant move than taking a flyer on veteran depth for free ;)

#14 Taro T

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:41 AM

Point taken, but I was referring more to a significant move than taking a flyer on veteran depth for free ;)

I'd say he's had the WTF moment for quite sometime and it is still ongoing. The WTF moment is currently 'why is Stafford still a Sabre.' It has morphed from 1 player to another (or several) but it is there. It isn't 'when will he make the next trade for Chris Gratton.' Chris Gratton was the only Chris Gratton type trade that immediately springs to mind. (I'm sure there were a couple of others, but that was the only TRUE WTF head scratching trade for me that didn't have extenuating circumstances (such as Dom or Peca leaving town).)

So I guess I disagree with the OP's original premise that the problem is keeping players from leaving, the problem is not getting the square pegs out of round holes soon enough.

#15 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:47 AM

I'd say he's had the WTF moment for quite sometime and it is still ongoing. The WTF moment is currently 'why is Stafford still a Sabre.' It has morphed from 1 player to another (or several) but it is there. It isn't 'when will he make the next trade for Chris Gratton.' Chris Gratton was the only Chris Gratton type trade that immediately springs to mind. (I'm sure there were a couple of others, but that was the only TRUE WTF head scratching trade for me that didn't have extenuating circumstances (such as Dom or Peca leaving town).)

So I guess I disagree with the OP's original premise that the problem is keeping players from leaving, the problem is not getting the square pegs out of round holes soon enough.


So you're saying Darcy was able to get square pegs into round holes in the first place? Impressive! :P

#16 shrader

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

So you're saying Darcy was able to get square pegs into round holes in the first place? Impressive! :P


Well as long as the square peg is smaller than the round hole...

#17 Taro T

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:51 AM

So you're saying Darcy was able to get square pegs into round holes in the first place? Impressive! :P

Actually, I'd suggest that LR did most of that with C by committee and breakout via committee.

#18 apuszczalowski

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:05 AM

I'd say he's had the WTF moment for quite sometime and it is still ongoing. The WTF moment is currently 'why is Stafford still a Sabre.' It has morphed from 1 player to another (or several) but it is there. It isn't 'when will he make the next trade for Chris Gratton.' Chris Gratton was the only Chris Gratton type trade that immediately springs to mind. (I'm sure there were a couple of others, but that was the only TRUE WTF head scratching trade for me that didn't have extenuating circumstances (such as Dom or Peca leaving town).)

So I guess I disagree with the OP's original premise that the problem is keeping players from leaving, the problem is not getting the square pegs out of round holes soon enough.

Yeah, I would lean more towards the problem being getting more of a roster turnover and having players leave, then getting them to stick around. Whats that stat thats always being brought up of the amount of players on the blackhawks from their last Cup win to the most recent compared to the Sabres turnover in that time?

One of (and there are more) DRs biggest problems is that he holds on to too many guys hoping they pan out or change instead of making moves to upgrade the roster.

#19 Whiskey Bottle of Emotion

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:08 AM

So you're saying Darcy was able to get square pegs into round holes in the first place? Impressive! :P

Well as long as the square peg is smaller than the round hole...


Well played, shrader. Well Played.

#20 wjag

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:44 AM

I don't think agents have a problem dealing with Darcy.
Darcy might have a curious reputation among other GMs perhaps.....but as for agents, all GM's taste like chicken.


Some on here would allege GM's tastes like weasel.

Edited by wjag, 08 July 2013 - 11:50 AM.


#21 JJFIVEOH

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:44 AM

I just went outside........ nope, the sky isn't falling.

#22 X. Benedict

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:55 AM

Some on here would allege GM's tastes like weasel.

I never got that. If anything....Darcy should be more weasel - if weasel means sneaky, underhanded, and slimy and morally suspect.
The guy plays far too nicely to be a weasel.

#23 d4rksabre

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:58 AM

Well as long as the square peg is smaller than the round hole...


Don't forget softer.

#24 Guest_Sloth_*

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:01 PM

Here's the rub: The Sabres should never have overpaid for Ehrhoff and Leino in the first place. Those were moves uncharacteristic of Regier due to Pegula's incoming policy of wanting to turn the team around immediately. It was money spent out of impatience to get players here who probably knew this team wasn't what it was being billed as.

All the Sabres have to do in the future is actually pay their most important players when the time comes. Regier blew it under Golisano, but I don't think Terry will let that happen as we go through this rebuild.


Ehrhoff is worth the money. As for Leino, he was ranked in the top 5 UFA's when his contract w/ Philly ended. I agree he was overpaid, but Darcy wanted to make sure they landed him. One can only wonder what other teams were willing to offer the guy. Look at what many teams have already done in free agency this year. There are a couple of signings that blow Leino's contract out of the water. Again, agree Leino's contract was a bad one, but I still have a lot of hope for the guy. If he can stay healthy and get more ice time, he may turn out to be the player we wanted. He did have 6 pts in 8 games this past season...

*Ehrhoffs cap hit is 4 million flat. Not overpaid. Leino's cap hit is 4.5 million. Overpaid for now...hopefully his level of play will live up to that this season.

Edited by thanes16, 08 July 2013 - 12:04 PM.


#25 d4rksabre

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:09 PM

A minor detail but the overall point remains the same. The Sabres went hunting big name players because Terry told Darcy he didn't want to rebuild. Which as we've seen was probably the wrong move.

#26 JJFIVEOH

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:18 PM

Forget about making Buffalo a destination spot for players OUTSIDE the organization, the brass here needs to figure out a way to keep the top players already here without overpaying them. Until this team is comprised of a solid group of players that win consistently, why in the world would star players WANT to sign here when their contracts are up.

Signings like Leino are happening because it is the ONLY way to get the tier 2 players to arrive in Buffalo. Terry's pitch to Ehrhoff and others worked once because everybody thought the Sabres were heading in the right direction (or were overpaid). They are back to ground zero and everyone knows it. The only thing we can hang our hats on right now is that this youth movement has the right mix of players in it.

If Buffalo is not a destination spot right now, it is Ted, Terry and Darcy's job to make it one - they have nobody to blame but themselves. Winning is the only solution and that has been a problem far too long. I really think the future of this organization hinges on what the returns are for Miller and Vanek. Is that why they are still here (not traded yet)? Does Darcy know this will be his last chance at GM in the NHL? If he blows this one, you might as well add a couple more years to the rebuild.

Having said all of that, I have a strange feeling that when Miller and Vanek are traded, it will be worth the wait and if there is ONE thing Darcy has been fairly good at recently, it's getting a good return. There are some players here that I am pretty excited to see in a couple years but the returns for these two are going to be just as important for the immediate well being of this team.


The only way to make BFLO a hot spot is to build a winning team with a bright future. The WRONG way to do that, as has been noted with the free agency market over the last couple of years, is by overpaying for mediocre players and getting yourself in cap trouble. The RIGHT way to do it is through trades and the draft. The Sabres have had very positive drafts over the last couple of years, Darcy's trades have gobe BFLO's way, and he most likely isn't done yet.

Patience is a virtue. The free agency market for now is not benefitting teams that have to rebuild.

#27 apuszczalowski

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:41 PM

The only way to make BFLO a hot spot is to build a winning team with a bright future. The WRONG way to do that, as has been noted with the free agency market over the last couple of years, is by overpaying for mediocre players and getting yourself in cap trouble. The RIGHT way to do it is through trades and the draft. The Sabres have had very positive drafts over the last couple of years, Darcy's trades have gobe BFLO's way, and he most likely isn't done yet.

Patience is a virtue. The free agency market for now is not benefitting teams that have to rebuild.

Neither way is guaranteed to be a success or failure.

The only "right way" to build a team is by assembling the best talent possible using all avenues you can (and a whole lot of luck). You can look at all the top teams and they all have a mixture of guys that were brought in by the draft, FA and Trades. The one thing thats a definite is having talent evaluators who can find you the best guys, and getting guys that work together and whos styles mesh well

A minor detail but the overall point remains the same. The Sabres went hunting big name players because Terry told Darcy he didn't want to rebuild. Which as we've seen was probably the wrong move.

And why was it the wrong move? Just because it didn't work out? maybe if they continued and followed through on making some other deals things could have been different. maybe in 2 years its going to become apparent that this youth movement is going to be the wrong move

#28 JJFIVEOH

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:43 PM

Neither way is guaranteed to be a success or failure.

The only "right way" to build a team is by assembling the best talent possible using all avenues you can (and a whole lot of luck). You can look at all the top teams and they all have a mixture of guys that were brought in by the draft, FA and Trades. The one thing thats a definite is having talent evaluators who can find you the best guys, and getting guys that work together and whos styles mesh well



This coming from the guy who just said in the Tallinder thread that the Sabres should strip the roster of all veteran D-Men and have all the kids just wing it. At least you're consistent.

#29 apuszczalowski

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:51 PM

This coming from the guy who just said in the Tallinder thread that the Sabres should strip the roster of all veteran D-Men and have all the kids just wing it. At least you're consistent.

I never said that they should, I said thats what everyone here wants
Shouldn't you be leading the Dale Tallon "Circle Jerk" right now?

#30 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:17 PM

I never got that. If anything....Darcy should be more weasel - if weasel means sneaky, underhanded, and slimy and morally suspect.
The guy plays far too nicely to be a weasel.

This is where Pegula and some posters probably get confused. By calling Darcy a Weasel, I don't think anyone feels he is lurking in the back of the Cheektowaga garage, waiting for everyone to go play Kan-Jam outside so he can abscond with the first communion envelopes for little Stachu. By calling him a weasel, it is in the sense he protects his job at all costs. How do you do that? By making decisions which are ultra safe, so your body of work is never bold enough to be judged harshly. By stretching out time, and avoiding aggressive moves which could possibly set your team back, you never let a decision backfire on you to the point it ruins the team. At the same time however, you never gice your team a true chance to win a Cup, and need to rely on luck. But that's ok for a "job" weasel. The goal is to prolong your employment. I'm sure we all know plenty of "nice" people when it comes to the office cafeteria, or that ask how your kids are doing.....but at the same time they can be a "job" weasel, always deflecting responsibility so they never have to take blame, but at the same time they are more than willing to jump in and be counted when credit is being passed around. This is what I consider Darcy. His lone BOLD move was letting everyone walk for nothing between '06-'07.....and he was able to say..."Wasn't me...my painting hand was being held." But what he did do was fail to take a run at a Cup those years, knowing full well what Golisano's plan was regarding the team going forward. If you are trapped in a snowstorm overnight at the Marriott in JFK, and Sofia Vegara is stranded with you, drinking margharitas at the hotel bar with only the bartender in sight, you don't twiddle your thumbs by yourself then lament for years later you didn't make a move. You know this is your only shot, and the conditions are perfect. You either give it your best shot, knowing you can fail to live the dream very easily, or you man-up and take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity. Darcy not only was scared to talk to her, but he asked the bartender to put on Star Trek on the TV. ................Now we are told to suffer, and all we can do is think of "what could have been". And what better way for a job weasel to keep his tenure going another 5 years than to convince the owner the team is horrible, but it isn't your fault, so you need to do a complete rebuild and suffer going further, then you can win a cup. And in 4 years when the Sabres maybe squeak out a playoff round victory, I'm sure Darcy will convince Pegula that if only Girgensons didn't separate his shoulder in the first round, and Tyler Myers didn't have his aorta burst in 2015, that the Cup would be his.....and he will weasel his way into employment for another two years after that. ............I hope this clarifies for some people who feel I am too harsh on Darcy. We ALL know work weasels, and some may even be your friends outside the office. That's what Darcy is....to his soft, skill-loving core.

#31 Claude_Verret

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:18 PM

Win and pay top dollar. Not much else matters.

#32 North Buffalo

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:45 PM

Win and pay top dollar. Not much else matters.


And be smart with your talent evaluation. I think this might be the biggest blind spot of Darcy's. So really the biggest problem with keeping players is the GM

#33 d4rksabre

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:15 PM

Neither way is guaranteed to be a success or failure.

The only "right way" to build a team is by assembling the best talent possible using all avenues you can (and a whole lot of luck). You can look at all the top teams and they all have a mixture of guys that were brought in by the draft, FA and Trades. The one thing thats a definite is having talent evaluators who can find you the best guys, and getting guys that work together and whos styles mesh well

And why was it the wrong move? Just because it didn't work out? maybe if they continued and followed through on making some other deals things could have been different. maybe in 2 years its going to become apparent that this youth movement is going to be the wrong move


Youth movement is never the wrong move, that is the most important thing to realize here. There is a tried and true method to building hockey teams by drafting talent and filling in holes around that talent. Darcy and Terry thought they could sidestep that process by jumpstarting their preexisting but failed core with some fresh high end talent. It didn't work and set this team back almost three years in its pursuit for the Cup.

It could have worked, but the odds were against it.