Buffalo Sabres Oddsmakers, Part 1
With the Sabres in a holding pattern until the draft, let's play oddsmakers with various future possibilities for the hockey team from Buffalo.
Over the past few weeks, I've been getting some emails from the folks at Bovada with odds for Lindy Ruff taking various coaching jobs, and after pondering those odds for a while, I thought it might be fun to try our hand at creating some odds for various Sabres futures, amateurs that we are.
We'll start with the official Bovada odds, then add a few of our own.
Odds that Lindy Ruff will coach the NY Rangers: 13/4
Ruff is the favorite to coach the Rangers, according to Bovada, ahead of fellow candidates Alain Vigneault, Mark Messier, and Dave Tippett. Personally, I don't think Ruff will end up coaching the Rags, as they've just come off of an extended run of John Tortorella, an in-your-face, hard nosed coach, and I see NY going for a more player-focused coach. I wouldn't mind seeing Ruff behind the Rangers bench, but don't really see it happening.
Odds that Lindy Ruff will coach the Vancouver Canucks: 2/1
This is the outcome I see as the most likely destination for Ruff. Former Canucks coach Alain Vinegault was known more as a progressive tactician than a hard taskmaster, so Ruff would be a good choice to take a talented team to the next level. He's also the favorite here, according to Bovada, ahead of Dallas Eakins, Dave Tippett, and Scott Arniel.
Having Ruff in the Western Conference would minimize the hard feelings between Sabres fans and their former coach. And it would give Ruff a legitimate contender to start with, rather than having to build a championship team from the ground up.
Now for our own odds:
Odds that both Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller will be dealt before the season starts: 15/1
For some fans, it's a foregone conclusion that #30 and #26 will be gone before the season starts, but I'm not so sure. It would be a monumental overhaul for Regier to deal both at the draft, the prime offseason trade event, and by waiting until after free agency, other teams with need for a scoring forward or goalie may address their needs by giving up dollars rather than prospects.
I think the better bet is that one gets traded at the draft and one at the trade deadline, or not at all. We'll find out in a few weeks what Regier's plan is regarding his biggest trade chips.
Odds that Steve Ott is named Sabres captain next season: 5/1
Steve Ott earned himself an A last season by giving his all on the ice, and being a force to be reckoned with in the locker room. But should he be awarded the C next season? With the Sabres currently captainless, Ott would be an easy choice, likely pleasing both the fans and the locker room. However, I don't know that the C would benefit him as much as it would please the Twitterverse; with the added responsibility and prestige of the captaincy, Ott would likely have to curtail hi most entertaining antics. You can't lick another guy's visor if you're repping the C, and many of his questionable penalties would seem even worse as the Sabres top representative.
Still, there are few players currently on the roster who deserve the captaincy. Ehrhoff? Vanek? Uhhhh....Weber? The list dries up pretty quickly, so perhaps Ott may be one of only a few logical choices. Ron Rolston has yet to name his assistants, let alone his captain, so don't expect to find out the answer until September at the earliest.
So what do you think, Sabres fans? Are the DBTB oddsmakers thinking clearly? Which of these wagers would you put money on this summer? Let us know in the comments.