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Vegas, Detroit Rolling The Bones?

January 11, 2020, 6:02 PM ET [3 Comments]
GARTH'S CORNER
NHL news by Garth • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Vegas Golden Knights have been on the prowl in recent weeks in search of an experienced defenseman to help shore up his team's back end.

In 2018-19, The Vegas Golden Knights offense averaged 2.80 goals against (total 230 GA) per game.

The Golden Knights finished last season in 10th place in goals against average while finishing 14th overall in goals scored with 249 goals (3.04 tucks per game).

The Knights were +19 in goal differential.

This season, the Knights are allowing nearly a quarter of a goal more against per game.
The Knights ave already allowed 142 goals against in 47 games played this season, which is a concern. The 3.02 GAA per game, places the Knights 14th in the NHL and trending down.
In 2019-20, the Knights are 13th in the NHL in goals scored per game with 146.

Their +7 goal differential is concerning to their head coach Gerard Gallant and the management team.

Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon has had his scouts situated strategically in the East and West. The Knights have been frequent flyers to Buffalo, NY in the first 100 days during the 2019-20 season.

The bumps and bruises keep adding up on the vegas blue line and has forced Gallant to have to play eight different defenseman this season. The Knights have just $550,000 in available salary cap space to invest in a top four defense.

with 54 points, the Knights arein the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. However, the Knights are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and have lost two games in a row. Two points is a slim margin that separates Vegas from Arizona, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg. An extended losing streak could be harmful to the Vegas playoff mission.

With six weeks to go to get the NHL trade deadline, McCrimmon badly needs a dance partner. The Knights are ideally looking to make a deal for a difference making D with a trade partner that is willing to absorb a large portion on said defenseman's existing contract.

McCrimmon is hoping to find a dollars-in-dollars-out trade as soon as he can execute one.
McCrimmon and Sabres GM Jason Botterill made a trade last June for veteran top four defenseman Colin Miller.

After a super impressive 9-2 record to begin their 50th Anniversary season, the Sabres have been pedestrian and inconsistent. The Sabres have earned just 45 of the 90 points available to them in their first 45 games. They are on a slippery slope out of the wild card to a lottery pick.

The Sabres are going to have to get serious about earning a playoff berth and will have to challenge themselves to earn 50-52 points in their final 37 games. Can the Sabres pull off a miracle 26-11 record on the way to a playoff berth?

It's going to be a daunting task with the current roster of Buffalo forwards and defensemen.

Jason Botterill must make a trade or two before his team falls out of playoff contention for the eleventh season in a row.


Ralph Kreuger continues to play 11 forwards and 7 D. Despite the trade of Marco Scandella, Kreuger continues to juggle eight defenseman since Lawrence Pilut was called up from AHL Rochester earlier this week.

Recently, Botterill traded left D Scandella to Montreal fourth a fourth round draft choice that was parlayed into a trade with Calgary for forward Michael Frolik. All due respect to Frolik, he is a nice player, however, Kreuger and Eichel need a sniping forward who can plug-n-play and add goals today.

Miller, 29, has played in just 32 of Buffalo's 45 games this season. He is averaging 17:11 TOI and has a goal and five assists. Miller has a -5 rating.

Miller played three seasons with Golden Knights before he was traded on June 28, 2019 to the Sabres for a second round pick and a fifth round pick. In his three seasons with the Golden Knights, Miller scored 13 goals and 32 assists. He also added 4 goals and 7 assists in 30 Stanley Cup playoff games.

Gerard Gallant is familiar with Miller and vice versa.

Currently, Botterill's D corps is as jam packed, crowded as an all-you-can-eat chicken wing bar in Cheekwaga.

Brandon Montour
Rasmus Dahlin
Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe
Henri Jokiharju
Lawrence Pilut
Colin Miller
Zach Bogosian


Kreuger has reverting to using Miller and Bogosian only as his sixth and seven defensemen. Bogosian recently requested a trade. Why wasn't he traded when the NHL trade freeze expired on December 27?

Might Botterill be considering sending Miller back to Vegas in exchange for power forward Alex Tuch? It may happen now that the calendar has flipped to 2020.

Miller has $3.875M AVV for until 2022.

The Sabres badly need a goal scorer not named Jack Eichel whose 27 tucks and 32 assists lead the struggling Sabres this season.

The Sabres have badly struggled to score goals in recent games due to injuries to top six snipers Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson, whose 27 combined goals and 54 combined points (37 even strength points) will be lost to tthe Sabres for weeks to come. The Vancouver Canucks punked Buffalo 6-3 on Saturday afternoon.

On Thursday night in St. Louis, the Blues hammered the Sabres 5-1. The Sabres are now 3-7 in their last 10 games fading like Neil Peart's in snare drum flurry in the evergreen "Time Stand Still".

Tuch, the 23 year old Syracuse native has been on Buffalo's radar this season. He is in the first year of a 7-year, $33.25 million contract with the $4.75M AAV. Tuch trains at HARBORCenter in Buffalo during his summer break.

Miller scored a career high 20 goals and 32 assists last season. He has 6 goals and 7 aassists in 30 games played this season.

Will Alex Tuch be the panacea that cures all that ills the offense of the Buffalo Sabres? No, but he would add scoring, grit, and his give-a-sh*t-meter is fully engaged. The same cannot be said of all Buffalo's current forwards. Maybe Botterill can also pry heavy hitter Ryan Reaves out of Vegas. Reaves, a pending UFA ($2.775M AAV), would give the Sabres much needed truculence and pugnacity.

Miller, a prospect and a third round pick for Tuch and Reaves.


Who says no?


Botterill better do something quickly before he runs out of runway and fails to lift his team into the playoffs this season.


View this post on Instagram

Eyes on the prize

A post shared by Alex Tuch (@alextuch89) on





Maybe Tuch is the target Botterill is zeroing in on.


Maybe not.


Detroit Red Wings AGM Pat Verbeek attended Sabres-vs-Canucks on Saturday afternoon. Wings GM Steve Yzerman was also in attendance in Buffalo recently. Is Andreas Athanasiou Buffalo bound? Anthony Mantha? Dare I say, Dylan Larkin?






The Anaheim Ducks have also been a frequent flyer to Buffalo this season. Is it time for Rickard Rakell or Jakob Silfverberg to become a Buffalo Sabre?


The San Jose Sharks continue to follow the Sabres. The Sharks are about to dive down deep into the tank. Is Tomas Hertl about to swim from the Pacific Ocean to Lake Erie?


The Sabres have veteran defenseman, prospects and draft choices to trade away.


Do something, Jason Botterill.

Vegas will play in Buffalo on Tuesday night.

Roll the bones!




**








On Friday afternoon, I was driving in my car when I learned that an idol of mine had passed away. I shed more than a few tears and I listened to Rush at obscenely high decibel levels on my drive home from Jamestown, NY to Grand Island, NY.

I was gutted when I heard the news that Neil Peart had passed away at age 67
due to complications associated with brain cancer. I later learned that Peart was diagnosed with his cancer three and a half years ago.

In true Neil Peart fashion, there were no public mentions or leaks regarding his life threatening illness. While most rock stars run to the limelight and publicity machine, Peart resisted, hid from it. Peart was a humble genious. He deflected the fame and accolades to Geddy and Alex.


I fortunate enough to see Peart and his band mates Geddy lee and Alex Lifeson 23 different times in my lifetime.








Neil Ellwood Peart will be remembered as the best drummer in the history of popular music. I must thank Peart for literally teaching the meanings of the most complex words in the English dictionary through his intelligent, thought provoking lyrics. Peart not onlt kept the time and set the pocket of the soundtrack of my youth, but he also was the main lyricist of the band. Peart was a teacher to me, my brother and all of our friends. He taught us the meaning of communicating using an economy of synchopated rhythms and thoughtful, well-crafted, inspired words and metaphors.

Peart was born in Hamilton, Ontario. My brother and I made many visits to Lakeside Park in nearby Port Dalhousie from our home in Niagara Falls. "Lakeside Park" is the title of one of my favorite Rush compositions of all time.

Peart joined Rush in 1974.

My life changed forever when I was first introduced to Peart, Lee and Lifeson in 1976.

My brother and I bonded over our love of The Buffalo Sabres, The Buffalo Bills, and Rush.

We would skip school on the days that new Rush albums were released. We would purchase our vinyl storybooks and then rush home and listen to them over and over and over again. We would listen to our Rush albums until they because needle burned which gave us an excuse to go back to Cavages and Sam The Record Man to purchase a new Rush Lp, cassette or 8-track tape.

My brother, my friends and I would sleep out to buy the best Rush tickets available. It was the 1980s and the internet hadn't been invented yet. Necessity was the mother of invention for me and me crew. We would hit up Harvey, Corky and Tice at 210 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Who knew back then that "Harvey" was Harvey Weinstein. Yes, THAT Harvey Weinstein was a concert promoter in Buffalo before he slithered off to Hollywood.


Between 1980 and 2015, I saw Peart perform 23 times live in concert.










I apologize for screaming in your ears for three straight hours at Rush concerts in Buffalo.





Neil, thank you for getting me through some very difficult times in my life. I don't know where I would be today without you and your words of encouragement.





TSN turned to Neil Peart when it wanted to make it's NHL Hockey Theme more contemporary. Peart, a lifelong NHL hockey fan, gladly obliged.




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