Sabres Press Conference News and Notes: Rolston Hires Joe Sacco As Assistant; Updates on Grigorenko, Briere, Free Agency
The Sabres held a press conference today in which many different topics were discussed. Here's a quick breakdown on the topics at hand, and why you should care.
Joe Sacco joins Rolston's staff as Assistant Coach
After weeks of searching, Sabres head coach Ron Rolston has finally named one of his assistants - former Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco. Apparently, the Stanley Cup Playoffs had many coaches waiting to be interviewed, or in Sacco's case, waiting to see whether he'd be offered a head coaching job somewhere else.
Why you should care: Sacco was a Jack Adams finalist for best coach with Colorado in 2010, when the Avs made a surprising playoff run. To go along with his head coaching experience, he also has plenty of experience teaching young players, both in the Avs and as a member of the US National Development Team coaching squad, though not while Rolston was also working there. It's a good hire, and another sign that the Sabres are looking to go young in a big way next year.
Mikhail Grigorenko will spend the entire season in Buffalo next year
After waffling back and forth between the QMJHL and NHL last season, Darcy Regier announced today that Mikhail Grigorenko will be spending his entire season with the big club next year.
Why you should care: It means the Sabres have a decisive plan for Grigorenko's development this season. He's still ineligible for AHL action next year, so it's not much of a surprise that they don't want him going back to the Patrick Roy-less Quebec Remparts, but this announcement is a good indication that they have an actual plan for the kid next season rather than sticking him wherever there happened to be an opening at center. And because he's stuck here, that means they can't just stash him in the press box for "skating lessons", right? Right?
The Sabres will not be big players in free agency
Regier said today that he's looking for "players who can complement the current roster rather than headline it," according to TBN's John Vogl. Despite having almost $15 million in cap space and a pretty full roster already, I would expect the Sabres to stay away from names like Briere and Horton, instead trying to find some more well-worn, veteran players that can help in the locker room.
Why you should care: I know we're going to get some "Regier kills Sabres fans excitement again, blah blah" reaction to that, but the reality is that good teams build through the draft, not free agency. Ask the Rangers how well their big Brad Richards signing turned out this year, or for that matter, ask Sabres fans how much they love Ville Leino's contract. (Oh, wait.) The Sabres will still sign a few players that we can overanalyze, and though they might not be the flashiest signings, that doesn't mean they can't be important (think Mike Grier).
Besides, don't we all want the young kids to get as much ice time as possible? With Rolston and Sacco behind the bench, I'd expect them to do just that, and see the organization holding off on any major free agent purchases until the summer of 2014, whose free agent class, incidentally, is completely insane.
Oh but j/k we might go after Briere LOLOLOL
Stop toying with our hearts, Darcy.