10 Sabres thoughts

By Brandon J. Koch

With about a week left in the Sabres season, there is already a lot of talk about what to expect this offseason.

General manager Jason Botterill has his hands full. What we have all watched this season is maybe some of the worst hockey in the past ten years? Maybe more.

With that, here are 10 thoughts.

  1. Jack Eichel is sounding like more and more of a leader every day. He took Casey Mittelstadt to lunch and showed the rookie the ropes of being a start up in the NHL. That’s part of what a captain does. In this case, future captain.
  2. Here’s what Jack said last night about the 6-3 loss to Detroit: “It’s frustrating, we think we can take shifts off. We think we can take plays off. We don’t think every play matters, and it does. It all adds up at the end of the game. We continue to make similar mistakes and sleep through shifts, sleep through periods, and all of a sudden it’s 6-3. It’s frustrating.”
  3. That quote couldn’t have been more right. That’s what a leader does. Last offseason and into the start of this season there was a debate of, ” who’s going to be captain?” That debate is over.
  4. I’m honestly surprised Casey Mittelstadt is here. While I’m excited, I thought Botterill would’ve wanted to wait. But it’s a smart decision to get the kid experience for next season starts.
  5. Another topic for the offseason will be about is Casey Mittelstadt ready to be on the roster opening night, 2018? With a whole summer to get ready and a training camp/ preseason, he will be fine.
  6. Ryan O’Reilly has come up as a contract the Sabres might want to try and move this offseason. He should have good value. Remember, Jason Botterill shot the idea down back in February about trading O’Reilly. Botterill didn’t know Mittelstadt would be here. Does it change things?
  7. While I do like ROR, at the same time, he could be the first player to be moved and a fresh start for that locker room.
  8. The GM has to try and get creative and move some of these contracts out. He has to be able to assemble his own team. There are a lot of heavy, long term contracts that are binding this team. Let’s see if moves can be made.
  9. I mentioned last time how quickly things can change if the Sabres win the lottery, or even pick on the top two. It will help change the franchise.
  10. This team lacks that number one defenseman and desperately needs speed and scoring. Something that landing in the top two will get you at least one of them.

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