B-Star mailbag: Sabres trade options, captaincy, Mittelstadt watch
It’s time to hear from the readers.
I wanted to know what you wanted to know, and you responded.
Jordan Reynolds (@jordanreyn0lds1): Other than Evander Kane, is Sam Reinhart the most likely to be dealt this season?
Whenever I get questions like this, my usual response is ‘The GM doesn’t even know yet, so there’s no way any of us could know’. Jason Botterill is obviously going to be spending plenty of time on the phone over the next few months trying to put his stamp on this slow and underachieving team. Reinhart is only one player on a long list of available candidates to be moved. I would say he’s just as likely to be dealt as anyone else and leave it at that.
NHL Couch Potato (@NHLCouchPotato): Why trade Evander Kane when he’s been their best player?
This one is much easier. Folks often forget a very important aspect in situations like this, which is that the decision to return is first and foremost up to the player rather than the team. There’s been this outcry from a number of fans calling on the Sabres to bring Kane back, but there are questions in hockey circles about whether or not he’d rather be playing somewhere else. If that’s the case, Botterill has to move him before the trade deadline to avoid losing him after the season for nothing.
Andrew Uttaro (@Andyrewu94): Will I ever get to read your content again without getting a Buffalo Star subscription?
You’re doing that right now.
Tee Jay (@swissweege9): Does Casey have a shot to make next years roster?
I’m not going to sit here and say Mittelstadt won’t be up with the Sabres next season, but it’s so early yet. Out of all the players taken in the 2016 and 2017 drafts, 27 have already played at least one NHL game, but less than half of them are up here for good. While the odds are against Mittelstadt making the team, it’s certainly not impossible that a player drafted a year ago could have an impact. Clayton Keller is being touted as the Calder Trophy frontrunner and Jesse Puljujarvi was skating on Edmonton’s top line with Connor McDavid last night.
Pat Reale (@patreale7): What would it take besides Lehner to possibly get Darnell Nurse?
coleopsis (@coleopsis): Who is the Sabres next captain? Is he currently on the team?
Yes. Jack Eichel. For everything that’s happened this season, he’s still the face of the franchise. When the higher-ups feel he’s ready, he’ll be the captain. Some, but not all, of the criticism he’s received has been deserved. Questions about his effort on that Carolina goal are justified. But where are the fans who used to complain that the players never show any emotion and get mad when the team is underperforming? Bashing their $80 million player for showing emotion and getting mad when the team is underperforming, apparently.
Porky Schwartz (@PorkySchwartz): Do you ever get mistaken for Mark Cuban?
No, but many years ago I was mistaken for Pat LaFontaine. Off the ice, of course.
Gangs (@gangs814): Why is Russ Brandon allowed anywhere near our hockey team?
I was thinking about this the other night after the outrage over the Brandon locker room sighting when he was chatting with Eichel. Sabres fans are quite sensitive to non-hockey people being involved in any way, shape or form with hockey operations. When you look back at a few things that happened over the years, you can totally understand why. Bad memories aren’t forgotten easily, and Larry Quinn’s legacy is Exhibit A when you consider that the Briere / Drury fiasco is still discussed ad nauseam.
Mark Tower (@stonejugsoccer): Why does Richard Martin never get any HOF consideration? One of the top 2 or 3 LWs in the 70s, goals per game was incredible, etc.
Respectable argument, but the knee injury was his undoing. Playing into his 30’s during a good portion of the high scoring 1980’s would have likely been the clincher for him to get inducted.