With Labor Day rolling around, the unofficial end of summer is upon us. For many, that means winter is coming. For Sabres fans, that means hockey is right around the corner.
The Buffalo Sabres might not have had the best summer ever but it has to rank as one of the best in recent memory.
Jason Botterill spared no expense to make major moves that, on paper, will help catapult this lifeless franchise from the depths of hockey’s basement potentially into fighting for a playoff berth.
Buffalo made big changes offensively, defensively and in goal, which has pushed fans to get themselves incredibly excited prior to the start of training camp.
There are five big stories of the offseason that need to be looked back at to determine which one actually was the best story of the Sabres’ offseason.
The apple of Buffalo’s eye officially became the contractual property of the organization this summer. Unsurprisingly, Buffalo pulled the trigger and drafted Dahlin first overall in the most recent NHL Entry Level Draft. Dahlin followed up by signing his entry-level contract, announcing his intention to come to Buffalo. This season will be like Beatlemania for Buffalo Sabres fans. We’ll call it as it is - Dahlinmania.
Jason Botterill knew the Buffalo Sabres needed to improve their even-strength scoring. What does he do? How about go out and acquire a forward who has scored 159 of his 204 career goals during 5-on-5 play. It also does not hurt that Skinner was acquired nearly for peanuts. Despite Skinner only having one year left on his deal, he had to waive his no-trade clause to come to Buffalo and had some nice things to say upon his arrival.
Sheary’s acquisition was the first big move of the offseason and most certainly appeared to be the match that lit the fire. Sheary brings more even-strength scoring to the lineup, which was mentioned as a much needed addition. He also brings Stanley Cup experience to a very young lineup. It was a big get for the Sabres to acquire Sheary.
This offseason, the buzzing of a potential Ryan O’Reilly trade became nearly deafening. We had heard many rumors about where O’Reilly could land and finally, Jason Botterill pulled the trigger. O’Reilly’s trade to the St. Louis Blues was somewhat surprising - despite St. Louis being rumored as a prime spot for O’Reilly throughout the last few months.
This story likely will end up being the tamest of the offseason but Sam Reinhart has not yet been signed, which definitely would have gone here.
I must remind you that every day is a good day for a Sam Reinhart deal. Thanks, TJ Luckman.
wonderful day. samson reinhart. contract. yada. pic.twitter.com/cNgQs7Vn07— TJ Luckman ⚔️ (@SteadyRiot) August 27, 2018
But hey, Jack Eichel switched from 15 to 9 this offseason. The departure of Evander Kane last season opened up the number for Eichel and he jumped at the first opportunity.
The change made a few fans mad but hey, a number is a number.
Now, you get to decide - which story was the biggest of the offseason?
What was the biggest story of the offseason?
This poll is closed
The arrival of Rasmus Dahlin
Acquisition of Conor Sheary
Acquisition of Jeff Skinner
Trade of Ryan O’Reilly
Eichel Switches to 9