The Buffalo Sabres expected this season to be different from the rest after landing Taylor Hall in free agency.
Instead, they turned what should have been a positive situation into an absolute disaster after trading the former Hart Trophy winner to the Boston Bruins. In return, the Sabres only managed to get a second-round pick and winger Anders Bjork while also retaining half of Hall’s salary and sending Curtis Lazar to help make the salaries work out.
Considering how long it has been known that Hall was available on the market, it’s surprising that this was the best return general manager Kevyn Adams could get. The worst part, it looks the New York Islanders were prepared to make a fair offer for Hall.
What this shows is how terribly the Sabres managed their best asset and are continuing to give this fanbase no hope that things will eventually get better.
To think that the Bruins offer was deemed good enough after the Islanders deal was taken off the table is actually astounding. The best part is that Hall is making his way to Boston so that he can be in the lineup against this former team, you can already see where this is going.
At this point, you wonder where the Sabres even go from here?
Buffalo Sabres: Can Kevyn Adams be trusted to lead this team going forward
Buffalo has been the model of what not to do as an organization in the last decade. Since the Pegula family bought the team in 2011 they have had three different general managers and six different head coaches.
Adams is a first-year general manager who was brought in with very little front-office experience and he made some changes to the roster that was meant to push the team forward. Two of the additions in Eric Staal and Hall were shipped out and that might not be the only move to come.
This offseason could see a big shift in Buffalo if the ongoing problems with Jack Eichel escalate to the point where he asks for a trade. This is a player who made an eight-year commitment to the team but has not had the support on the ice.
So the real question the Sabres should be asking themselves is whether Adams can make the right moves whether or not Eichel stays or asks for a trade. Considering how the Hall situation was handled, there’s reason to be worried but Eichel would certainly have more value on the market.
The landscape in Buffalo isn’t too hopeful right now of things getting better anytime soon and it will be interesting to see what the next few months have in store for this team.