Buffalo Sabres 2014 offseason: What's next for DBTB?

Harry How

With the 2013-14 season in the bag, here's a look at what you can expect from Die By The Blade over the upcoming months.

It's been a crazy, awful, memorable season for the Buffalo Sabres, but now that it's finally over, we've got a lot of time to fill before professional hockey players take the ice again at the First Niagara Center. This offseason should be one of the most important in franchise history, thanks to their spot at #2 in the 2014 draft, but also because it will be Tim Murray's first full offseason as general manager.

Before we get too far removed from the season, however, I wanted to give you guys a glimpse of what some of our plans are here at DBTB for the next few months, and in one case ask for your help. Without further ado, here's what you can expect from us this summer.

Amerks Playoffs

The Rochester Americans begin their run to the Calder Cup tonight, and despite a tough matchup with Chicago, the Amerks are now fully armed and operational thanks to getting their top players back from an injury-riddled Buffalo squad. Stephanie will be going to the games over the next few days and providing us with full coverage of Rochester's playoff run.

Draft, Free Agency, Development Camp coverage

The three major summer events for the Sabres are the 2014 draft on July 26-27, free agency on July 1, and the team's rookie development camp sometime in mid-July. As the only major scheduled events, over the summer, we'll obviously be covering all of them, and will be blowing out our draft coverage thanks to the fact that the Sabres will be picking in the top 2 this year for the first time since 1987.

Two returning summer series

Our end-of-season player report cards and Top 25 Under 25 series will both be making a return over the next few months, so you can relive all the magic of the Mike Weber-Jamie McBain experience while simultaneously getting excited over Mark Pysyk's quiet brilliance.

Help us decide our summer tournament

Over the last two summers, we've had a tournament to decide the best of...something. Two years ago it was the Best Call of Rick Jeanneret's career, and we used last summer to determine who would make the 40-year Sabres All-Star Team. For this summer, we thought we'd throw the idea out to our fearless readers. What sort of bracket/tournament would you like to see us tackle this summer? Let us know in the comments.

Mailbag!

We're going to bring back our Mailbag posts, answering whatever questions you might have about the Sabres and hockey life in general. You can as us questions on Twitter or by emailing askDBTB@gmail.com. Send your questions in and we'll get started again next week!

A few changes to the masthead

We're also doing some reorganizing of our site personnel this summer, because Zach Zielonka is stepping back from the writing side of our site after five years and 877 (!) published articles. For all the newbies out there, Zach has previously served as our site manager and helped keep DBTB running smoothly for years. He gave me a chance to move from the Daily Links guy to co-editor to site manager, and I wanted to thank him for all his effort, game coverage, emergency text messages, and fixing of my poorly-proofread articles over the years. He'll still be around the site, and might even cover a game or two from the FNC press box in a pinch, but I wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks to Zach for everything he's done for us.

Speaking of the Daily Links guy, Jack has been promoted to full Staff Writer, which is more of a behind-the-scenes promotion than anything, but I wanted to thank him for his tireless-yet-awesome work posting the links as well as all his other articles this year.

All our writers, new and old, have done great work this year, and I'm looking forward to the summer and to next year already. Let us know in the comments if there's anything else you'd like to see us tackle this summer, whether it's analyzing strategy, getting deeper with advanced stats, or anything else you think could help make our site better. Thanks for reading all year, and let's get ready for a busy, important Sabres summer.

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