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Sabresfansince1980
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:13 pm 
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I know it's early for this but I have a lot of time right now to ponder. If Buffalo re-signs who they should and lets the right UFAs walk, we would have a line-up like...

Vanek-XXXXX-Stafford
Ennis-Roy-Boyes
Gerbe-Hecht-Pominville
McCormick-Gaustad-Kaleta

Sekera-Myers
Leopold-Montador (or UFA replacement)
Weber-Morrisonn
Butler

Miller-Enroth

That's as cheap as the line-up can get salary cap wise, and would total about 51 mil depending on how much the RFAs re-sign for, with a cap limit of at least 59.4 mil. So should the Sabres make a huge play for Richards at around 8 mil per year for as long as he wants, max their cap and stick with the d-corps as is? Should they sign Richards only if Darcy can arrange a cap friendly contract like Kovalchuk's in order to address other positions and future raises (Myers)? Should they not bother and only address a lesser center, wingers or d-men?


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bigC24
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Yarrrrrr.... no Kassian/Foligno?


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Squanto
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:27 pm 
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bigC24 wrote:
Yarrrrrr.... no Kassian/Foligno?


They need to go play in the AHL first. Neither are ready to make the jump right to the NHL.


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Sabresfansince1980
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:36 pm 
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I'm only listing 12 forwards because that's as cheap a line-up as possible for salary cap purposes. Chicago had to go with only 12 forwards to start this season because of their cap problems, and make call ups as needed.

If you choose to throw in a prospect as a 13th or 14th forward, it would be another 850k in cap money per player, with up to 1.7 mil less for Richards depending on other factors.


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Skyline_BNR34
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Depends on what richards would sign for

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X-pensfan
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:45 pm 
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I've been thinking about this too, despite this very entertaining hockey season that is happening right now.

Assuming Connolly doesn't have a Conn Smythe playoff run, they are going to have to find another center too play the top two lines. And some GOOD face-off ability would be more than just an added bonus for this team. Despite having a great go-to guy in Gausted, they are yielding control of the puck way too much.

The cheapest Richards will sign for is 6 million, and that's with a 7 year contract. If you doubt for a second that he will sign for a penny less than that then you just have no idea of what the salary situations are around the league. It doesn't take an accountant too look at Koivu's 6.75/year extension and know that Richards will be HIGHLY compensated for his services this summer. Just because you wont pay it, doesn't mean shit to the 20+ clubs desperately seeking a franchise center. So it's either going to take a short term deal near the cap ceiling or a long term year that will have Richards sucking up 6 million in cap space well into his late 30's.

That's a lot to think about already, but I have zero doubt that Mr. Pegula is man enough to sign that contract if it's in the best interest of winning a Cup for the short and long term.

Even if they do sign Richards, which I'm not even sure is the best course of action this summer. You still have to deal with some roster issues because the winger position will be overflowing with talent, especially if Kassian blows everybody away at camp. Ultimately you're looking at playing Pomminville, Boyes, or Stafford on the 3rd line. When the team is at full health, that's going to make for some interesting in house competition, but the depth would be Stanley Cup worthy without a doubt.

Vanek-Richards-Boyes
Ennis-Roy-Stafford
Kassian-Hecht-Pomminville
Kaleta-Gausted-Gerbe

Cap wise, they could actually pull that off for next season but obviously the roster will change a lot over the years.

That would be an even LESS physical team then the Sabres have this season, and they are pretty much the least physical team in the league. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but certain teams could grind them down in a best of seven. Kind of how I am very nervous about playing Boston or Pittsburgh in this years playoffs. A successful power play can overcome those teams, but even with that much talent you can't go planning parades.

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gr8daygo
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Honestly, I dont think I like Richards... I know he is the only F/A C out there worth first line money... but honestly... I just dont like him... I rather see us trade for a C... as X Pens state, you add Richards and some prospects show up big time... well, you lots of depth thats for sure...

And i do agree with Squanto... The two big prospects should need a year at least in Portland...

With that said, are there any C out there worth trading for?

Just throwing it out there...
Could Boyes be a solid 2nd line C?
Could Adam make the jump to the big club?
Would you consider trading Roy for a top line C if you think Boyes could carry No 2 C?
Who would you be willing to give up in a trade scenario?

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BlueandYellow
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:30 pm 
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Adam can't make the jump to the big club. He's still too lazy and slow, with really no scoring ability other then sitting near the net waiting for a rebound, which he still screws up sometimes.

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gr8daygo
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:37 pm 
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BlueandYellow wrote:
Adam can't make the jump to the big club. He's still too lazy and slow, with really no scoring ability other then sitting near the net waiting for a rebound, which he still screws up sometimes.


Ok so he can stay in portland.... how would you like to see the middle of the team look next year?

1st line C - XXXXX

2nd line C - Roy or Boyes (do you consider putting Boyes at C and trading Roy for top line C?)

3rd line C - Goose or Hecht (have you liked Ze German at C?)

4th line C - Goose or Cody

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BlueandYellow
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Maybe trade Roy and a second for someone, then letting Tim Connolly, Grier, and Nieds go will free up some cap for a decent winger maybe?

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Sabresfansince1980
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:03 pm 
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X-Pens, I wouldn't get worried about being less physical. Richards isn't less physical than Connolly, and Nieds and Grier are pretty sound defensively but not very physical. That's great, but their extreme lack of offense cancels out their responsible zone play.

You listed Kassian, who probably isn't ready, but took away McCormick. McCormick has been great in about all categories, especially physical play and is a solid fighter. The Sabres will re-sign him, it's just a matter of how much although it should be under 1 mil.

Having that scoring depth on the 3rd line is a bigger advantage than being more physical. It's not often you can point to a Cup winning team that got that far because of physical play. Chicago overwhelmed Philly last year with their scoring depth. It was Philly that got gassed trying to match their talent by sitting the 4th line for large stretches.


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Sabresfansince1980
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:08 pm 
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I would prefer keeping Boyes at RW, but trading Roy wouls be a bad move either way. How many players are near pt/gm players for 4 mil per?? He needs to stay, and other players should be trade options if a center has to be traded for. Hecht slumped badly filling in at center two years ago, but the last couple months has done pretty well. I would be fine with him as a 3rd line C, but not above that unless he's back at LW. Gaustad and McCormick can switch as needed on the 4th line, but having both of them there would be proof of solid depth.


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X-pensfan
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Sabresfansince1980 wrote:
X-Pens, I wouldn't get worried about being less physical. Richards isn't less physical than Connolly, and Nieds and Grier are pretty sound defensively but not very physical. That's great, but their extreme lack of offense cancels out their responsible zone play.

You listed Kassian, who probably isn't ready, but took away McCormick. McCormick has been great in about all categories, especially physical play and is a solid fighter. The Sabres will re-sign him, it's just a matter of how much although it should be under 1 mil.

Having that scoring depth on the 3rd line is a bigger advantage than being more physical. It's not often you can point to a Cup winning team that got that far because of physical play. Chicago overwhelmed Philly last year with their scoring depth. It was Philly that got gassed trying to match their talent by sitting the 4th line for large stretches.



After glancing over some of the RFA deals and the Montador situation, I don't think that what I originally suggested would work financially anyways. So they would have to move a Pomminville or a Hecht and play McCormick. And even if Kassian plays lights out they might have to send him to the AHL just to manage the cap.

Here's a scenario that would actually make sense. First of all, Pomminville's play this season has made me a believer, he struggled back from the injury but has been a pretty solid all around player for a few months now. But suppose they let Montador walk, traded Pomminville for a top 4 blue liner, and then signed Richards....


Vanek-Richards-Boyes
Ennis-Roy-Stafford
Hecht-McCormick-Gerbe
Kaleta-Gasuted-Adams

Obviously now the offensive depth isn't as great but the forward position has got a little bit of grit to it, and it makes sense financially.

Weber-Myers
Sekera-Ron Hainsey (Atlanta)
Leopold-Butler
Morrisonn

Obviously, signing a guy like Richards is going to effect every roster decision for like...forever. The first of which would be forcing the trade of a highly skilled winger for a decent top 4 defense man while losing the services of Montador.

And that's if he signs on the cheap. :shock:

I tell you what, if next season, Ennis and Stafford play like this or better, those top 2 lines would provide A TON of goals, and make for a very crowded power play. The D would be more experienced but about the same.

It's far more likely that they wont land Richards, and will roll with a 1-2 punch of Roy and Boyes at center. I think they could put up 130 points between them pretty easily. So, again I'm not sure if Richards is the best thing for the team but man he is REALLY good. Maybe worth the hassle...

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Sabresfansince1980
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:36 pm 
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Hainsey is a ridiculously overpaid d-man and isn't worth a second glance. There, I feel better having gotten that off my chest.

Richards can be signed without trading away any big salaries (not that Pominville or Hecht are very tradeable anyway...I doubt it). Estimating slightly over the 10% qualifying offers for all RFAs, with a raise for Stafford to around 2.8 mil per, re-signing McCormick for about 900k and Montador or any replacement for around 2 mil, the cap hit totals just over 51 mil without two extra forwards, or 53 mil with them. Even if the cap stays the same, that's either about 8 mil or 6 mil to work with. Richards can be signed either way, depending on a straight up contract or a Kovalchuk type deal (the one that the league finally approved).

The summer of 2012 the contracts for Hecht, Gaustad, Boyes, and Morrisonn come off the books, so there would still be wiggle room. Buffalo is not in a no-choice dilemma. They can do what they want, it's just a matter of what direction they choose - one big time player or maybe two semi-impact players to upgrade at C, RW, or d-man depth.


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