Buffalo Sabres A to Z: Insulation
The core of the team is set for nearly the next decade, how they surround them becomes the key to the Sabres future of success.
To get ready for the upcoming Buffalo Sabres season, I’ll be previewing most of those involved in the eventual successes and failures by going through the alphabet using a different word each time - a revolutionary theme if there ever was one.
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When Rasmus Dahlin signed his eight-year, $88 million extension on Monday, it was the least surprising development. Similarly, Owen Power’s seven-year, $58.45 million extension signed on Wednesday night was also expected business, albeit more of a mystery as to whether or not he’d sign a long-term deal or a bridge contract.
But when it comes to the blueprint of how the current iteration of the Buffalo Sabres was constructed, these two contracts were the final cornerstones that needed to be set in place. General manager Kevyn Adams got long-term deals done with Mattias Samuelsson, Tage Thompson, and Dylan Cozens completed last year, and now with Dahlin and Power locked in place for the foreseeable future, the Sabres core is fully established.
The core was never in doubt, the plan has been clear from the beginning. These are the players they’ve identified as the ones that will lead the Sabres back to the postseason and attempt to bring the franchise their first Stanley Cup someday.
“You can be patient, but you also have to be persistent,” Sabres coach Don Granato said Monday. “And Kevyn, I think has been very persistent in the type of people we want here. There's lots of talented hockey players around the world but we want to get the right people and Kevyn and the entire staff, they're very persistent. Although we've been patient, you’ve got to be persistent, and we have. I think this is one, to have this player, Rasmus, clearly state, ‘I want to be here long term,’ I mean, the market’s the market. He's in the market so you can do that anywhere, but he says, I want to be right here. That's pretty nice.”
Dahlin, Power, Thompson, Cozens, Samuelsson… those were the easy calls to make. Now the hard part to come is figuring out who best to surround them with to become one of the NHL’s elite teams. They may already have a few candidates on hand already.
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