Tonawanda News


March 11, 2014

DUVALL: Sabres team is all about the future now

Tonawanda News — The thought occurs I never offered my take on the Sabres' trade deadline maneuvering. I know you were waiting with baited breath, so sorry to leave you hanging:

In general, I think they did fairly well in converting players they were going to lose in the off season for nothing into assets that will help in this rebuilding process.

But there is an essential reality: They traded arguably the three best players off what was already a last-place team. This is what bottoming out looks like. And make no mistake, this is now indisputably the least talented Sabres roster in the franchise's history. 

Sorry to say, there is no reason to watch the remaining 20 games this season from a team perspective unless it's out of sheer habit. Barring some highly unlikely extended winning streak, the team has locked up 30th place in the NHL. 

On the player front, the team has become even more uninteresting with the departure of franchise goaltender Ryan Miller, feisty captain Steve Ott and Matt Moulson, who felt like the last guy on the team who could score with any consistency. 

But there's good news. The team will have five or six first round draft selections over the next three years, including two — and possibly three — in 2015, which is projecting as the deepest and most talented draft classes in the last decade. If the Sabres hit on those picks fans will almost assuredly look back in a decade at the 2015 draft as the real turning point in our journey out of the woods.

Lost in all of the trade news was a nice perk of being in last place — your choice of any player waived by another team. That brought Cory Conacher, a graduate of my alma mater Canisius College, back to Buffalo. He's potentially a fantastic fit. Conacher should be motivated to play closer to home (he's a southern Ontario native) and in front of fans who have known about him since his collegiate career. He's not a game changing player by himself but if the team can install talent around him, Conacher is an excellent complimentary player. While with Tampa Bay he played with Steven Stamkos and proved he can produce steadily when paired with a talented group of players.

Text Only
  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014