B-Star mailbag: Trade deadline forecast, prospect busts, Eichel contract
Time once again to check the mailbag! A dozen questions and answers on everything from prospects to beer:
Any chance Evander re-signs before the deadline?
— Jay Carr (@jaydcarr) January 16, 2018
Highly unlikely. It doesn’t seem like Kane wants to shut himself out from the free agent market, and it doesn’t seem like Jason Botterill has any interest in signing him to an extension. The writing is on the wall.
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being insane amounts of), how much buyer's remorse on that $10M per max term Eichel extension?
— Son of Flying Pig (@RyanWalker78) January 16, 2018
Based on what? His 11 goals and 11 assists in his last 18 games? The horror of his realistic chance to bank a 35-goal, 80-point season on easily the worst team in the East? Maybe Eichel should be feeling remorse for not asking for more.
What is the biggest thing that needs to change in order for the Sabres to finally turn it around?
— Pokecheque the Bloggeur (@Pokecheque) January 16, 2018
A number of things need to change, mostly involving roster construction. If I’m forced to pick one, I’ll go with the need to get a mobile defense corps capable of getting the puck up the ice to their talented forwards. I think this glaring team weakness is making guys like Sam Reinhart and Kyle Okposo look worse than they really are.
Which player from the Sabres development system would be your surprise roster addition for next year. I think Mittelstadt, nylander, and guhle would not be surprises FYI.
— Mike (@BabblingBrkln) January 16, 2018
The biggest surprise for me would be if anybody outside of those three made the roster next season. But if you want to press me on it, I’ll go with Hudson Fasching.
Why should the sabres keep Nylander, Bailey, Baptiste, Fasching? Seems like they aren't good enough, and should be moved.
— ken (@kenskenderjr) January 16, 2018
Way too early to give up on Nylander. Fasching (7-7-14 in 33 games for the Amerks) is coming back from an injury and maybe there’s something there, especially considering the Sabres are really weak in their bottom six. But I’m with you on Bailey and Baptiste. Don’t be the least bit surprised if either or both are no longer part of the Sabres organization after this season.
How many players on current roster do you see Botterill moving out by deadline?
— Rob Gregoretti (@rob_gregoretti) January 16, 2018
I would set the over/under at 2.5 or 3. Kane and Pouliot are most likely gone. Other possibilities include Lehner, Gorges, Josefson and Johnson. And this will be a trade deadline where a decent offer could trigger the exit of anyone else not named Jack Eichel. I expect the Sabres to be very active.
Will the sabres be looking at a forward or dman with their first pick in this years entry draft or will they pick based on best player or trade ??
— Ken (@beark10) January 16, 2018
I have no idea, and I’m not sure the Sabres even know that yet. If they don’t win the Rasmus Dahlin draft lottery, do they take the best forward on the board or go with a talented defenseman like Sweden’s Adam Boqvist? That obviously depends on how the scouting staff grades these prospects.
Do you think our lack of a commitment to a captain/ leader his souring the locker room this year.
— Johnny Sabre (@Johnny_Sabre) January 16, 2018
I think that has little to do with anything, to be honest. The guys in the locker room know who the leaders are. For what it’s worth, it’s my belief that Eichel will be the captain next season.
I’ve read that NYI is interested in Lehner. What’s your thoughts on Lehner for Ho-Sang and a pick??
— Pat Reale (@patreale7) January 16, 2018
I think making that offer results in Garth Snow laughing hysterically and hanging up the phone.
Why can’t we get good local craft beer inside @KeyBankCtr ?
— Gangs (@gangs814) January 16, 2018
Interesting question. I’ve heard good and bad reviews, but many of the bad ones are about prices. I’m guessing they make more money going with the national brands.
Are we cursed forever for tanking?
— coleopsis (@coleopsis) January 16, 2018
Absolutely not. But cursed for the time being because of the hatchet job done by the previous GM.
What if the Sabres win the lottery and Mittlestadt is in buffalo next year??
— Tom Nazzaro (@elltrain22) January 16, 2018
That would be good for them, right? As I’ve said many times, this fan base has gone through an unfair amount of suffering and even some criticism over the past few years, and having Mittelstadt and Dahlin on the roster next season would certainly bring some much needed hope.