The Toronto Maple Leafs, as bad as they were, are not the Buffalo Sabers, and we’re grateful for that.
If not for the Buffalo Sabers, it can actually be frustrating to be a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Sure, the Leafs lose every year in the playoffs, but against the Sabers, losing six times in a row in the first round would be the best decade in franchise history.
The Buffalo Sabers have missed the playoffs for 11 consecutive seasons.
They are about to achieve 12.
Atlantic Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs & Buffalo Sabers
The Sabers recently signed Jeff Skinner on another contract extension…just kidding, but they did something almost crazy: They gave Tage Thompson a seven-year extension with a $7 million cap.
Somewhere, David Clarkson is laughing hysterically.
Aside from making sure the following decade is as weird and fun as this decade for their fans, he picked the Saber three times in the first round, even though their highest pick was in ninth.
At free agency, Cypress brought on goalkeeper Eric Comrie and signed former Toronto Maple Leafs defender Ilya Lyubushkin.
Good news: They’ll pay Jeff Skinner $9 million a season for five more years. Good times indeed!
Swords are really bad at the front. They have Thompson, they have Payton Cripps, Dylan Cousins, Alex Toch, Jack Quinn, and Casey Middlestadt.
It’s not really bad, but they are desperate for a star that stirs this drink a little above average. If only they had a Jack Eshel of some kind.
In defense, they have two cornerstones of the franchise and, along with unfit young attackers, they will serve them well if they somehow manage to get a star position. The kind they already have, and which most teams have been searching in vain for years without getting anything.
Fighting and trading Jack Eichel was really stupid. Now they’re rebuilding their own rebuilding and stuff in a less promising way than in the time immediately following Eichel’s crafting.
Owen Bauer and Rasmus Dahlin are good, but what Buffalo needs is another very bad year in order to get Conor Bedard or a reasonable copy of the facsimile.
For the upcoming 2022-23 season, Al Saif is not a contender. They are probably going to be one of the worst teams in the NHL. Detroit and Ottawa may pass them by.
They will not compete with the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Tampa Bay Lightning for the league title, but instead will compete with Chicago, Arizona and Montreal for the last place and the right to draft the best players since Auston Matthews entered the National Hockey League.