One of the more interesting summer articles we've seen recently came from The Score, which over the past few days has had their writers ranking NHL teams on different pieces of their organization. They've recently compiled the results, and the Buffalo Sabres finished right in the middle of the pack.
Coming in at 17th overall, the Sabres were ranked on ownership, GM, head coach, and farm system. They came in 7th in ownership, 18th in general manager, 19th in head coach, and 17th in farm system for their 17th overall ranking (the management portions were emphasized in the composite ranking, in case you're double checking why that math looks off.)
Here's what the site had to say about the Sabres ranking:
The Evander Kane trade looks like a mistake in hindsight, but a wealthy owner and the youthful trio of Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen give the Sabres hope for the future.
Looking at the rankings, I think they nailed the ownership portion - Terry and Kim Pegula have been excellent ambassadors for the organization and for Buffalo, bringing in not only top free agents like Kyle Okposo but also premiere events like the 2016 Draft, the combine, and the World Juniors.
As for the rest, head coach at 19th is fair considering where the team finished last year, but ranking Tim Murray as the 18th best GM in the league is a bit harsh. They correctly identified the Kane trade as a mistake, but give no credit for the trade that brought Ryan O'Reilly to Buffalo, nor for Murray's masterful deconstruction of the team that brought players like Eichel and Reinhart to Buffalo and gave them the tools to make so many impactful trades over the past few seasons.
Overall, until the Sabres prove they can take the next step in their rebuilding process and return to the playoffs, they'll continue to be viewed as a middle-tier organization. Should they find themselves playing meaningful games in April and May, however, expect rankings like these to rise, and rise quickly.