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Buffalo Sabres and NHL: 2019/20 - training camp starts Sept. 12th. 1st preseason game Sept. 16th

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One of the major liabilities of a finesse and skill type player like Nylander is that if he isn't on one of the top two lines then he won't be able to fit on the lower third and fourth lines where more physicality is required. It's not unusual for upcoming players to be brought up and start off on the lower lines, and then work themselves up to the two higher lines. That process is not going to work with Nylander. I wish him well and hope Chicago is a good place for him. But I still see him facing the same obstacles there that he had here. 

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3 hours ago, shrader said:

 

That's what counts as taking a shot at your former team nowadays?  Those comments are even more tame than our daily plenz/JohnC slap fights in this thread.

 

1 hour ago, JohnC said:

Plenz is a tough nut to get through to. When his hemorrhoids are on fire he blames Housley for the painful eruption. Although he may seem incorrigible I will not give up on him. Although at times I have the desire to strangle him it doesn't mean that I will quit on him. I'm confident that he will eventually come around. It may not happen in my life time but there is still a scintilla of hope. If K-9 continues to enable him he will never reform! :ph34r:

 

I enjoy the banter!  

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, bbb said:

 

 

I enjoy the banter!  

I get on his nerves. I draw satisfaction from his irritation. It's surprising to me that he didn't post another one of his daily ritual screeds about Housley after having his high brow expresso this morning before tanning himself on the California beach. It is rumored that he was cited by the beach police for indecent exposure because he was wearing a skimpy speedo. I'm sure Plezmd would be surprised to learn that Arizona quickly hired him after he was fired. :ph34r:

Edited by JohnC
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Jokiharju didn’t try to carry the puck into the offensive zone very often, which is the only reason zone entries aren’t in the blue like everything else. I don’t think he lacks the ability. He was just on the ice a lot with Kane/Strome/DeBrincat, so he said he tried to get them the puck as much as possible. 

 

Look at those possession exits from the d zone though! Love it! 

Botterill is definitely putting a focus on good puck moving defenseman that positively contribute to possession exits, which is something buffalo has desperately needed for years now. It’s partly why they spend so much damn time stuck in their own zone. 

 

 

I am really loving the focus Botterill is putting on building this defense. Tim Murray mostly ignored the defense (at least high in the draft, outside of guhle) while also trading away numerous defensive prospects. Seeing as it’s a general rule that defenseman take longer to develop than forwards, it made little sense to me. 

 

I remember Murray (iirc it was when he was asked why he went with Nylander over a defenseman like Sergachev) said “we are drafting too high to take a defenseman”.

Seems like a dumb, outdated strategy to me. Take the best player available, whether he’s a D or F. 

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...so "overall to date" friends, where do you think we stand post draft and recent player deals?.....is Botts done or just warming up?......is Risto on the block or a keeper?......can the current goalie roster carry the load?......haven't had a chance to follow everything in detail, so appreciate your comments.....

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Here’s a super salty take on the trade over on a Chicago Blackhawks blog. It’s way over the top but some of it is pretty funny.

 

https://faxesfromuncledale.com/stan-bowman-is-a-moron-and-henri-jokiharju-is-better-off/

 

And a pretty decent video analysis from back in April -

 

https://www.eprinkside.com/2019/4/9/video-room-henri-jokiharju-blackhaws-defensman-of-the-future

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18 minutes ago, OldTimeAFLGuy said:

...so "overall to date" friends, where do you think we stand post draft and recent player deals?.....is Botts done or just warming up?......is Risto on the block or a keeper?......can the current goalie roster carry the load?......haven't had a chance to follow everything in detail, so appreciate your comments.....

Let me start off with the easy question. The two goalies on the roster will be carrying the load with Hutton being the primary goalie and Ullmark the secondary goalie. If I had to guess what the ratio of playing time will be I would say Hutton playing two games to Ullmark's one. I would rate our goaltending as average to solid. Hopefully, a better defensive structure from the defensemen and lines should help out the goalies. 

 

With respect to the issue of Risto being traded the answer is I don't know. What I do know is that if he is traded the deal won't be modeled after the devastating ROR trade that gruesomely damaged this team. Because of that painful lesson the GM won't deal Risto unless the return is significant. Don't be surprised if McCabe turns out to be the defenseman who gets traded and Risto stays. 

 

I don't believe that Botts is done dealing. It must be remembered that the Skinner deal was done in August. There are a number of teams that are cap stressed and have to contend with signing some of their better players. So my expectation is that there should be at least two deals on the table before this team goes to camp. 

 

Overall, the Sabres are in a better situation than before the deals. But everything is relative. Other teams in our conference such as New Jersey, Florida, Montreal, New York and Carolina have also made moves to upgrade their rosters. The team to watch is Florida. They hired one of the best coaches in the game in Quinneville, and they added an elite goal tender to their young and talented roster. 

 

In general, I'm pleased with what the GM has done this offseason. He didn't act out of desperation by making some big splash deals but instead made a number of good value deals that will help us in the short term and not debilitate us for the long term. He has acted smartly and economically. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BillsFan4 said:

 

 

 

Jokiharju didn’t try to carry the puck into the offensive zone very often, which is the only reason zone entries aren’t in the blue like everything else. I don’t think he lacks the ability. He was just on the ice a lot with Kane/Strome/DeBrincat, so he said he tried to get them the puck as much as possible. 

 

Look at those possession exits from the d zone though! Love it! 

Botterill is definitely putting a focus on good puck moving defenseman that positively contribute to possession exits, which is something buffalo has desperately needed for years now. It’s partly why they spend so much damn time stuck in their own zone. 

 

 

I am really loving the focus Botterill is putting on building this defense. Tim Murray mostly ignored the defense (at least high in the draft, outside of guhle) while also trading away numerous defensive prospects. Seeing as it’s a general rule that defenseman take longer to develop than forwards, it made little sense to me. 

 

I remember Murray (iirc it was when he was asked why he went with Nylander over a defenseman like Sergachev) said “we are drafting too high to take a defenseman”.

Seems like a dumb, outdated strategy to me. Take the best player available, whether he’s a D or F. 

It shouldn't be forgotten that the GM used his second first round pick, Ryan Johnson,  on a good skating and puck moving defenseman. This pick might be ready at least a couple to three years down the road. Adding to the stable of young defensemen is Borgen who might be ready for some play this year and more established play in a couple of years. In addition, Pilut, when he gets healthy, should be a third pairing player this season. As you noted the GM is making the defensive unit a priority. The pipeline is flowing.  

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5 hours ago, JohnC said:

Let me start off with the easy question. The two goalies on the roster will be carrying the load with Hutton being the primary goalie and Ullmark the secondary goalie. If I had to guess what the ratio of playing time will be I would say Hutton playing two games to Ullmark's one. I would rate our goaltending as average to solid. Hopefully, a better defensive structure from the defensemen and lines should help out the goalies. 

 

With respect to the issue of Risto being traded the answer is I don't know. What I do know is that if he is traded the deal won't be modeled after the devastating ROR trade that gruesomely damaged this team. Because of that painful lesson the GM won't deal Risto unless the return is significant. Don't be surprised if McCabe turns out to be the defenseman who gets traded and Risto stays. 

 

I don't believe that Botts is done dealing. It must be remembered that the Skinner deal was done in August. There are a number of teams that are cap stressed and have to contend with signing some of their better players. So my expectation is that there should be at least two deals on the table before this team goes to camp. 

 

Overall, the Sabres are in a better situation than before the deals. But everything is relative. Other teams in our conference such as New Jersey, Florida, Montreal, New York and Carolina have also made moves to upgrade their rosters. The team to watch is Florida. They hired one of the best coaches in the game in Quinneville, and they added an elite goal tender to their young and talented roster. 

 

In general, I'm pleased with what the GM has done this offseason. He didn't act out of desperation by making some big splash deals but instead made a number of good value deals that will help us in the short term and not debilitate us for the long term. He has acted smartly and economically. 

 

 

 

 

.....nicely done and appreciate your insight...much appreciated.....:thumbsup:

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12 hours ago, BillsFan4 said:

Here’s a super salty take on the trade over on a Chicago Blackhawks blog. It’s way over the top but some of it is pretty funny.

 

https://faxesfromuncledale.com/stan-bowman-is-a-moron-and-henri-jokiharju-is-better-off/

 

And a pretty decent video analysis from back in April -

 

https://www.eprinkside.com/2019/4/9/video-room-henri-jokiharju-blackhaws-defensman-of-the-future

Thanks, that first link is great stuff. Here’s a small sample:

 

Fourth—and you should be furious that we are at a fourth complaint about the return following a trade of the Hawks’s ONLY young, mobile, NHL-ready defenseman—the scuttlebutt is that Nylander has motivation issues, that he half asses it sometimes. So he’ll be a great ***** fit here with Duncan “***** You” Keith and Brent “Best Shape of His Life Because Spheres Are Shapes ***** You” Seabrook, whom the brass is so scared of that they traded Henri Jokiharju for some joker who struggles to compete in the ***** AHL. Good. Very good. Tickets still available.

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I have pretty much tuned out the Sabres since they went into the tank (again) but I was glad to see them move on from Nylander, who just didn't seem to have "it" when he had his chances.  If Bots was able to grab a talented young defenseman in the exchange even better, although it appears as though the Sabres are trying to set a record for most blueliners on a roster.

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15 hours ago, BillsFan4 said:

 

 

 

 

 

I am really loving the focus Botterill is putting on building this defense. Tim Murray mostly ignored the defense (at least high in the draft, outside of guhle) while also trading away numerous defensive prospects. Seeing as it’s a general rule that defenseman take longer to develop than forwards, it made little sense to me. 

 

I remember Murray (iirc it was when he was asked why he went with Nylander over a defenseman like Sergachev) said “we are drafting too high to take a defenseman”.

Seems like a dumb, outdated strategy to me. Take the best player available, whether he’s a D or F.

I am going to do something that doesn't happen very often here. I'm going to defend Murray on the Nylander pick. At the time both Nylander and Sergachev were highly rated prospects regardless of the positions they played. If Nylander would have panned out and become a genuine second line forward no one would complain of the pick. In hindsight, the mistake that was made was in the evaluation of the player and not the consideration of the importance of their positions. 

 

When you draft 17 year old prospects you are making big projections. Nylander's skill set was impressive and evident even at his young age. He came from a family of accomplished NHL players. So his selection was more than reasonable. The issues that so far have undermined his development are attributes such as effort, maturity and work ethic that are difficult to measure on players who don't even shave yet.  

 

My point is simply that although this pick didn't work out for us it wasn't a bad or unreasonable pick. Maybe a change of scenario will help him to get back on track? However, I wouldn't bet on it. I'm more confident that in time Mittelstadt who was drafted in the same range will develop into a good NHL player because he has a much more mature attitude toward his profession than the traded player. 

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I do think that it was mostly a case of Murray not placing anywhere near as much value on the defense position.  It goes beyond the drafts.  Look at all of his moves while he was here.  He focused very heavily on adding scoring.  He never traded for defense.  Any d-man he did acquire, it involved a defenseman going back the other way (Myers -> Bogosian, Pysyk -> Kulikov).  Other deals actually depleted our D numbers (McNabb -> Fasching/Desluariers, Zadorov in the O'Reilly deal).  Only one trade lead to a net gain in D (Gorges for pick).

 

He also didn't pay any serious attention to the position in free agency.  Take a look at this list, he never looked beyond the bargain bin:
Meszaros

Strachan

Benoit

Donovan

Sanguinetti

Colaiacovo

Franson

Fedun

Falk

 

 

It's a very short time frame, so it's definitely possible that he would have turned his focus to the D once the offense was fully established, but completely neglecting it for those three years is a big part of why he's gone.

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48 minutes ago, JohnC said:

I am going to do something that doesn't happen very often here. I'm going to defend Murray on the Nylander pick. At the time both Nylander and Sergachev were highly rated prospects regardless of the positions they played. If Nylander would have panned out and become a genuine second line forward no one would complain of the pick. In hindsight, the mistake that was made was in the evaluation of the player and not the consideration of the importance of their positions. 

 

When you draft 17 year old prospects you are making big projections. Nylander's skill set was impressive and evident even at his young age. He came from a family of accomplished NHL players. So his selection was more than reasonable. The issues that so far have undermined his development are attributes such as effort, maturity and work ethic that are difficult to measure on players who don't even shave yet.  

 

My point is simply that although this pick didn't work out for us it wasn't a bad or unreasonable pick. Maybe a change of scenario will help him to get back on track? However, I wouldn't bet on it. I'm more confident that in time Mittelstadt who was drafted in the same range will develop into a good NHL player because he has a much more mature attitude toward his profession than the traded player. 

 

I don’t have an issue with the pick as much as I do with his policy of not even considering a defenseman with that pick because it was “too high” and you only draft forwards that high (something Murray talked about more than once). 

Nylander wasn’t a reach. He was ranked in the top 10 of the draft. 

 

But Sergachev should have been at least in consideration for that pick. Same with Chychrun and McAvoy. They shouldn’t have been disqualified from consideration because they played defense and Murray thought #7 was too high to take a defenseman. 

 

 

 

I was never that big of a fan of the Nylander pick, though. 

 

 

He was good in his draft year, but he didn’t destroy the OHL like other top prospects. Our 2nd round pick from the year before (Eric Cornel, another pick I wasn’t a fan of...lol) finished 14th in OHL scoring that year, where as Nylander was 19th. 

 

 

My main issue with Nylander was his compete level and work ethic issues. Plus he tended to play a soft, skilled game on the perimeters of the ice. 

I didn’t like his brother William either (and I still wouldn’t want him on the Sabres) for those same reasons. When he put in an effort, he could be dominant. But it was somewhat rare to see that real desire to make an impact. You’d see it on certain shifts, or for maybe a period. But almost never a full game. 

 

I really wanted Clayton Keller but he went 1 pick before us. So I was kind of indifferent when buffalo got on the clock. 

 

 

I could see Nylander doing well in Chicago, though. He may have a chance to play with some real skill players. I also expect he will get a (short term) boost in motivation from the trade. 

 

He’s still young, too. There’s a chance that light switch comes on for him. But I don’t think it’s a safe bet. I just look at his dad and his brother. Both leave (or left) you wanting more way too often. And both seem like a PITA to deal with.

 

Personally, I feel relieved to move on from Nylander, especially since we got very good value in return. 

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35 minutes ago, shrader said:

I do think that it was mostly a case of Murray not placing anywhere near as much value on the defense position.  It goes beyond the drafts.  Look at all of his moves while he was here.  He focused very heavily on adding scoring.  He never traded for defense.  Any d-man he did acquire, it involved a defenseman going back the other way (Myers -> Bogosian, Pysyk -> Kulikov).  Other deals actually depleted our D numbers (McNabb -> Fasching/Desluariers, Zadorov in the O'Reilly deal).  Only one trade lead to a net gain in D (Gorges for pick).

 

He also didn't pay any serious attention to the position in free agency.  Take a look at this list, he never looked beyond the bargain bin:
Meszaros

Strachan

Benoit

Donovan

Sanguinetti

Colaiacovo

Franson

Fedun

Falk

 

 

It's a very short time frame, so it's definitely possible that he would have turned his focus to the D once the offense was fully established, but completely neglecting it for those three years is a big part of why he's gone.

 

What I never got is that it’d pretty much a universally accepted fact in the NHL that defensive prospects take longer to develop than forward prospects do. So to ignore the defense at the start of a rebuild seemed weird. 

 

I remember early in our rebuild, people were saying “buffalo could be the envy Edmonton (re:failed rebuild)” and I proudly argued that we would not be because Buffalo was being smart and putting an emphasis on stocking the D pipeline and using high picks on D men right at the start of their rebuild (something Edmonton had pretty much ignored doing). At the time we had recently drafted Risto+Zadorov and had Pysyk, McNabb, Myers (who we were still pretty high on). 

 

lol 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BillsFan4 said:

 

I don’t have an issue with the pick as much as I do with his policy of not even considering a defenseman with that pick because it was “too high” and you only draft forwards that high (something Murray talked about more than once). 

Nylander wasn’t a reach. He was ranked in the top 10 of the draft. 

 

But Sergachev should have been at least in consideration for that pick. Same with Chychrun and McAvoy. They shouldn’t have been disqualified from consideration because they played defense and Murray thought #7 was too high to take a defenseman. 

 

 

I'd love to see thoughts like this truly put to the test.  But unfortunately (actually, fortunately), GMs are typically fired before that can ever happen.  If 8 is too high to take a defenseman, what does Murray do if he's presented with the first overall pick with Dahlin on the board?  There's clearly some line where a stupid rule like that gets thrown out the window.

 

It's the same thought I had immediately last year when I heard the Tom Dundon quote that the Hurricanes will never draft a defenseman in the first round as long as he owns the team.  That comment conveniently came out right after they had finished second in the draft lottery.  With him though, I genuinely think he just might be so stupid as to force the GM to take Svechnikov over Dahlin.

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Hate to say it but I think Nylander is going to be stuck at the bottom of the log jam Chicago has for forwards.  He will get stuck in the AHL in Rockford.  That will help his attitude and work ethic.

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6 hours ago, shrader said:

I do think that it was mostly a case of Murray not placing anywhere near as much value on the defense position.  It goes beyond the drafts.  Look at all of his moves while he was here.  He focused very heavily on adding scoring.  He never traded for defense.  Any d-man he did acquire, it involved a defenseman going back the other way (Myers -> Bogosian, Pysyk -> Kulikov).  Other deals actually depleted our D numbers (McNabb -> Fasching/Desluariers, Zadorov in the O'Reilly deal).  Only one trade lead to a net gain in D (Gorges for pick).

 

He also didn't pay any serious attention to the position in free agency.  Take a look at this list, he never looked beyond the bargain bin:
Meszaros

Strachan

Benoit

Donovan

Sanguinetti

Colaiacovo

Franson

Fedun

Falk

 

 

It's a very short time frame, so it's definitely possible that he would have turned his focus to the D once the offense was fully established, but completely neglecting it for those three years is a big part of why he's gone.

What your post indicates is that Murray was simply not a good GM. There was little strategy and thought in constructing a roster. He tried to short circuit the rebuild process with expedient decisions that instead of advancing the rebuild set it back. He not only didn't advance the construction of a competitive team but set it back. Most of us disagree with how the current GM handled the ROR trade. (I'm sure there is more to that back story that we are aware of that includes input from the owners.) But putting aside that issue most of his moves have an understandable rationale and thoughtfulness behind them. 

 

You and Bills4 point out that Murray didn't value the defense compared to the rest of the roster. But what is also evident is that he still wasn't very successful in constructing the forward lines. With Murray style trumped substance. His bluster and tough talk didn't compensate for his inability to handle the many responsibilities associated with his GM job. When all is said and done the bland and boring Botts outshined the more colorful, loud and pugnacious personality of Murray. Or another way of saying it is : Substance over style. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, JohnC said:

What your post indicates is that Murray was simply not a good GM. There was little strategy and thought in constructing a roster. He tried to short circuit the rebuild process with expedient decisions that instead of advancing the rebuild set it back. He not only didn't advance the construction of a competitive team but set it back. Most of us disagree with how the current GM handled the ROR trade. (I'm sure there is more to that back story that we are aware of that includes input from the owners.) But putting aside that issue most of his moves have an understandable rationale and thoughtfulness behind them. 

 

You and Bills4 point out that Murray didn't value the defense compared to the rest of the roster. But what is also evident is that he still wasn't very successful in constructing the forward lines. With Murray style trumped substance. His bluster and tough talk didn't compensate for his inability to handle the many responsibilities associated with his GM job. When all is said and done the bland and boring Botts outshined the more colorful, loud and pugnacious personality of Murray. Or another way of saying it is : Substance over style. 

 

 

 

 

'Wonder who said this on July 2nd of last year?????

 

 

 

 

Quote

 

i'm happy with the deal. The Blues got the best player while in my mind the key for Buffalo is getting the picks and Tage Thompson, a young player with upside. Botterill was determined to shake up the room and get a better mix. And without question he is accomplishing that. 

 

Make no mistake our GM is building for the future. He is trying to piece together some good young players who will grow together. He is a strategic thinker compared to the more tactical former GM. Overall, I like what he has done

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, plenzmd1 said:

 

 

'Wonder who said this on July 2nd of last year?????

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Botts got the best deal he could because he was determined to quickly move him, probably because of the impending bonus. I have never criticized him for trading the gap toothed player because it was apparent that something was going on there. The criticism I have is just because he got what he could get at the time doesn't mean that he couldn't have gotten much more by waiting for a better deal. As it turned out that imbalanced deal hurt the team. What's obvious is obvious. 

 

Compare how Botts handled the ROR case with the possible Risto or McCabe trade case? Very often patience brings you a better return than impatience. 

Edited by JohnC
grammar

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On 7/10/2019 at 1:28 PM, GG said:

 

Wouldn't that list include Nylander?

Of course...

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1 hour ago, JohnC said:

Botts got the best deal he could because he was determined to quickly move him, probably because of the impending bonus. I have never criticized him for trading the gap toothed player because it was apparent that something was going on there. The criticism I have is just because he got what he could get at the time doesn't mean that he couldn't have gotten much more by waiting for a better deal. As it turned out that imbalanced deal hurt the team. What's obvious is obvious. 

 

Compare how Botts handled the ROR case with the possible Risto or McCabe trade case? Very often patience brings you a better return than impatience. 

:beer:

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Posted (edited)

 

https://www.tsn.ca/video/granato-there-s-no-limit-to-eichel-s-potential~1727585

 

“Sabres assistant coach Don Granato joins OverDrive to chat about Buffalo’s outlook for next season, and what it was like to coach Auston Matthews in the US developmental program.”

 

heres the whole interview -

 

https://www.tsn.ca/radio/toronto-1050/don-granato-on-the-teamsnap-coaches-conference-auston-matthews-his-hopes-for-the-sabres-this-season-1.1336177

Edited by BillsFan4
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On 7/9/2019 at 10:44 PM, JohnC said:

I don't watch many Amerk games but I do watch the highlights from their games from their web site. I have also heard many interviews of Chris Taylor, the HC, discussing Nylander. The description of his play rarely changes. Nylander is described as a skilled and finesse player. Taylor has often said that he and his staff assiduously work to get him to play a more two way game and a harder physical game on the boards and in his zone. When the description of his style of play hasn't changed much over the past couple of years then it becomes obvious (at least to me) that he is either incapable of rounding out his game or he doesn't have the desire to. 

 

I have seen him in a few Sabre games. For the most part he is an invisible and no impact player with some interludes of skill. But what is evident to the observer is that his game lacks consistent energy. I have a standard way of evaluating players: Trust your eyes and not your hope.   

Did they really use the word assiduously when they described their coaching style?

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