Buffalo Sabres season preview

Buffalo Sabres current logo.

Buffalo Sabres current logo.

Andrew Forsyth, Sports Writer

The summer is finally over and the Sabres look forward to the beginning of a new season.

A season that is going to be a look into how fruitful the near future will be. A season where hope is at a high it hasn’t been at in over a decade.

I think this season is going to be a step forward for the Sabres. The core is fully overhauled with Jack Eichel officially gone for a full season now and Kyle Okposo being named the new captain.

Many young stars make a push to cement their names in the NHL as Jack Quinn, JJ Peterka and Peyton Krebs among others look to be impact players for the team. As well as Dylan Strome, who looks to cement himself as not only a skilled player on the ice but also in the locker room as a leader.

Also for once, there seems to be stability in the front office and behind the bench. Both Kevyn Adams and Don Granato were signed to multi-year extensions with the team and look to bring success to the team.

Along with those extensions was the Tage Thomson seven year deal after his huge breakout year. He will look to build off of it and stay consistent as a goal scorer and the number one goal scorer on the Sabres.

This will also be the first full season as a Sabre for Alex Tuch. He will look to build on the great stretch he had toward the end of the year and continue to produce at a high level and be a leader and veteran presence also.

The Sabres will also be joined by Owen Power for his first full year as an NHL player after he played for a few games at the end of the year. The former first-overall pick looks to make an impact and prove he is worth the high pick.

The Sabres have one of the better lineups we’ve seen in years when it comes to the overall depth.

Through good drafting and good returns on trades and cautious spending in free agency, they have a good group of players. More importantly, they finally have a good culture.

For years the Sabres have had players who just seem like they’d rather be somewhere else. Especially when it comes to Eichel.

It was clear that once Eichel was moved to Vegas that he didn’t enjoy his time in Buffalo. From the comments, he made regarding the situation with his surgery to the offhand comment of “I’ve never heard the building that loud” in his return to Buffalo where the Sabres actually won against Vegas.

Culture is hugely important as without a good culture in the locker room it doesn’t matter how many stars you have if there is constant unhappiness and bickering in the room then it doesn’t matter.

Culture builds championships. The Sabres management clearly understands this.

As I think they’ve seen, the type of culture the Bills have built as they move toward Super Bowl success.

The Sabres want to replicate that same culture that has led to winning and success.

So, at the end of all of this, where do the Sabres finish this season?

Well, they’re in a tough division. Although they’re also in a division with a lot of teams with question marks, specifically Boston, Ottawa and Detroit.

Boston seems to be on a downswing and could very well fall out of the playoffs. Whereas Detroit and Ottawa hope the moves they made this summer will translate to success.

With that being said, I don’t think it is a guarantee that the Sabres make playoffs. Although my prediction is that the Sabres will be either in the final wildcard spot or in the hunt right until the end.

This season should be a step in the right direction. This is the first year in a while where above all else it will be a fun interesting team to watch.

The expectations are low for the most part. So why not shatter them?