The NHL free agency begins overnight 1am (AEST) and it has a luxury of players available. The first big names that come to mind are the likes of David Krejci, Elias Pettersson (RFA), Ryan Getzlaf, Tuuka Rask, Alex Edler, Brandon Saad and many more.
Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel has demanded a move over the NHL offseason as he wants to win now and be on a successful team. Buffalo have failed time and time again to make the playoffs as their drought continues past ten plus years.
My thoughts on this this team are quite extreme but it must be said; Buffalo are one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to management. The Sabres have failed many times despite receiving two no.1 overall picks in the past three NHL drafts.
Management within the organisation is toxic. They believe that their team just creates revenue and have no desire to push and become a contending team and that has been seen in the last decade.
We compare the Sabres to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, both who were in rebuilding stages at the same time time, however, only one succeeded and it was the Bills.
A question often asked in Buffalo is if it’s the fault of the scouts. These questions are absurd. Professional scouts are only doing what every other scout does and that is obtaining high value players and passing their knowledge to management.
Management throughout this organisation is a massive problem, whether it be the owner, general manager or the coaching staff, it seems the biggest problem would be owner, Kim Pegula. Her business acumen is fine but, when it comes to hockey, she is one of the worst.
Her knowledge of hockey is unacceptable, she definitely needs help when it comes to managing the team. In Eichel’s case, he requested to be traded this offseason and it led to many fans in the league expecting it to happen quickly.
However, as of today, we are currently 11 days into free agency. No trades have been proposed for Eichel and both he and his agent are very unsettled.
If you watch Eichel’s play on the ice, you can tell he does not want to be there at all, his expressions when a missed opportunity comes up, the looks he gives to his teammates and the goal celebrations just aren’t passionate at all.
I expect Eichel to be traded at least before pre-season at the start of this year’s NHL season, however, do not be surprised if a deal does not come up as they believe they are not getting the ‘value’ back in him. Management needs to go as soon as possible for Buffalo to have that winning environment again.