Joined: Jun 2018
Rationale on roster:
1. Krueger recruits Brad Shaw (Assistant Coach in Columbus) to be his Associate Coach, having worked with Shaw during 2016 World Cup tournament. Shaw brings 20 years of NHL experience as an assistant at NHL level with strong tactical expertise, use of analytics and specialty-teams success with various teams.
2. Krueger recruits Todd Nelson (Assistant Coach in Dallas) to be one of his Assistant Coaches, having worked with Nelson when Krueger coached the Oilers in 2013-14 and Nelson coached Edmonton’s AHL team in Oklahoma City. Nelson brings experience as head coach at AHL and NHL levels with a reputation for developing young players and earning a strong loyalty from his players for communication skills and proactive thinking. Nelson would run the forwards and PP.
3. Krueger retains Steve Smith as his other Assistant Coach, having worked with Smith for 3 years in Edmonton. Smith would continue to work with the defensemen and PK.
4. Krueger recruits his former Video Coach Myles Fee, who worked with him in Edmonton and the 2016 WC, from Carolina’s AHL team.
5. Krueger hires Martin Biron as Goalie Coach.
1. Sabres re-sign RFAs Dougherty, Elie and Malone for Rochester.
2. Sabres re-sign RFAs McCabe, Rodrigues, Smith and Ullmark for Buffalo.
3. Sabres re-sign UFAs Leier, O’Regan, Porter and Wilcox for Rochester.
4. Sabres sign UFAs Matteau and Barber for added depth in Rochester.
5. Sabres sign UFA Eberle, who accepts less to play for his former coach, Krueger, and with Eichel in a more up-tempo system. Sabres negotiate 4 year term for a 29 year old player.
6. Sabres sign UFA Donskoi to add speed and forechecking to the 3rd line.
7. Sabres sign UFA Hagelin for Buffalo to add a veteran presence known for his skating, penalty-killing acumen and locker room leadership as well as a Cup winner Botterill knows first-hand.
BUF-MIN (Before Draft): The Wild are seeking scoring depth with a RH shot winger. With cap constraints, they save space and get younger with a Sheary/Nylander package. Sabres add veteran scoring behind Skinner on LW.
BUF-WPG (Before Draft): Unable to afford an extension to the $7M range that Trouba is seeking, the Jets trade his rights for another 25-year old RHD capable of top 4 role and PP time but with 3 years to term at Trouba’s current salary range. Winnipeg also re-acquires a 1st round pick lost in the Hayes trade. Sabres get a RHD partner for Dahlin on top pair who can play both specialty teams and act as a shutdown defender. Trouba’s desire to play in the US, preferably on East coast near his Michigan home makes Buffalo (an hour flight from Detroit) appealing.
BUF-VAN: With the Canucks only having 4 experienced defensemen signed for next season, they are reportedly looking to add veteran depth on blueline. With 1 year of term left, Scandella offers low risk insurance if Edler is not re-signed. Sabres add a mid-round draft pick.
BUF-VGK (At Draft): With no cap space and needing to re-sign Karlsson and Gusev, Knights trade Haula two mid-round draft picks as part of their cost cutting steps. Coming off an injury-ravaged season, Haula’s role dropped to 3C behind Karlsson and the expected promotion of prospect Cody Glass. With only 1 year of term at affordable cap hit but still 28 years old, Haula offers the Sabres flexibity – he can slot in as the 2C beside his former linemate from Minnesota (Zucker) and Reinhart this season while Mittelstadt serves in a lower pressure 3C spot and then flip the two in 2020-21 if Haula is re-signed and Mittelstadt is ready for 2C role.
BUF-NJ: Devils add a bottom 6 player for depth and PK role in exchange for a mid-round pick.
BUF-COL: With over $35M of cap space and lack of experience in their bottom 6, Colorado takes on Okposo with prospect defenseman for a mid-round pick. Sabres retain $ 1M.
1st Line: Skinner and Eichel re-team while Eberle adds a finisher on right side.
2nd Line: Zucker and Reinhart flank Haula to balance a speedy sniper, 2-way center and playmaking winger.
3rd Line: With less defensive attention from other teams, Olofsson can flourish in on 3rd line in sniper role, pairing with Mittelstadt playmaking and Donskoi’s willingness to play in high-traffic areas.
4th Line: Line blends 3 dynamic skaters with 2-way abilities to act as checking line that can contribute some offense on the counterattack and cycles in the offensive zone.
1st Defense Pairing: Dahlin teams with a dynamic, physical 2-way partner capable of handling the 22-25 TOI that Dahlin will get.
2nd Defense Pairing: Montour’s offensive flair is balanced by the defensive-minded, physical McCabe.
3rd Defense Pairing: Pilut is given more offensive freedom with Bogosian as a physical complement and mentor similar to how Bogosian meshed with Dahlin. Being on a 3rd pairing with fewer minutes exposes Bogosian less to fatigue and the subsequent injuries coming from 20 minute nights.
Healthy extras: Ruotsalainen acts as the 13th forward to interchange with Smith and/or the 4th line as he learns the North American game while Nelson returns as 7th D for depth.
CAP SPACE: $4,722,976