Wow that was a long boring 82 games but the Sabres 2015-2016 season is finally over. For the fifth year in a row (in a league where 53% of the teams make the playoffs each year) the Sabres did not qualify for the playoffs. THE PROCESS!!!!
Yes, the Sabres improved on their back to back 30th place finishes, 22nd!!! Their over under total points according to Las Vegas was 77 and according to my math their 81 total points were better than expected (albeit not by that much). But, they were closer to 30th than the final spot in the Eastern Conference (11 points from the bottom, 12 from 16th).
But hey, the Sabres are improving right? They have a young "star" center in Jack Eichel (who had an OK 24 goals [and the same number of assists, 32, as McDavid in 36 MORE games]), they have a competent head coach, a good second center in (former malcontent until he was paid $7.5 mil a year) Ryan O'Reilly and a "stud" young defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (forget about Tyler Myers, will you please! lolz). Alright alright fine, they have some good parts, because Tim Murray is a genius who makes great moves!!
Err, does he? More likely it is because he is surly, speaks the truth and never smiles. Thus the fans (and the media) love Tim Murray! But does this guy deserve credit for purposely losing for a few YEARS and getting to draft 2nd overall twice?
The Sabres hired Tim Murray in January 2014 so lets see what moves he's made since:
July 1 2014 (first day of free agency) GMTM (as he is affectionately called) decided to throw 5 years and $25 million at this guy. Since inking the contract as fast as he could, Matty has played in 158 games, recorded 21 goals and 41 assists. 31 points per season! But hey he's only on the team for three more seasons.
Again the first day of free agency 2014 he was given 3 years and $12.75 mil. In two seasons 25 goals 43 assists and a combined -18. But at least he's from Rochester!
Evander Kane trade
The Sabres traded Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, Brandon Lemiuex and (2015 first round pick) Jack Roslovic for Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and a college goalie. On paper that looks like a horrible trade. Let's delve deeper.
Myers has 3 years $5.5 per left, Stafford is a FA Lemiuex and Roslovic earn basically nothing. Bogosian has 4 years $5.1 per left, Kane has 2 years $5.25 left.
Stats this season
Kane 20 goals 15 assists 35 points -14
Stafford 21 goals 17 assists 38 points -23
Bogosian 7 goals 17 assists 24 points -11
Myers 9 goals 18 assists 27 points +6
So Myers and Stafford had more goals more assists more points than Bogosian and Kane?
Oh yeah that doesn't include the 31st overall pick the 28th overall pick and former 16th overall pick Joel Armia who had 4 goals and 6 assists in limited time this season in the NHL. So yes, this looks like an all time boner of a trade. Almost incredible looking at it all typed out there, wow.
Now the good stuff
Ryan O'Reilly trade
ROR and Jamie McGinn for Zadorov, Grigorenko, college "star" JT Compher and a 2nd round pick.
McGinn had a good year 22 goals 17 assists and was traded for a 2nd round pick
ROR had 21 goals 39 assists in 71 games
Zadorov barely played in the league 22 games 0 goals 2 assists
Grigerenko had 6 goals and 21 assists in 74 games.
Andddd thats it.
Not saying it is time to fire Tim Murray but christ, this honeymoon has to be over, GMTM has made a good trade and what appears to be a horrible horrible trade. Eichel is clearly no McDavid, giving up a 1st round pick for Robin Lehner is a huge question mark bordering on a horrible move and the team is still not close to the playoffs. Two seasons isn't enough but is 3? 4, 5 6? how many years does he need?
Next season getting back into the playoffs is a must. Not making the playoffs for 6 years in a league where more than half the fucking teams make it each year would be a travesty.