Having not made the playoffs since 2011, the Buffalo Sabres’ current run of playoff droughts has been tough on the organization and fan base.
The team last finished .500 (or better) during the brief 48-game season in 2013. Since then, the Sabres have fallen below .500 every season and have missed the playoffs regularly.
Despite having talents like Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly, and Sam Reinhart (during their playoff drought), the Sabres found themselves on the outside looking in when it came to the NHL playoffs. Reinhart remains with the team but O’Reilly has found success with the St. Louis Blues, winning the Stanley Cup in 2019.
It’s been a revolving door in Buffalo, but captain Eichel has applauded the recent additions to the Sabres organization. Buffalo has added several talented players to their roster which should please Buffalo’s fan base.
Newly named general manager Kevyn Adams signed Taylor Hall and Cody Eakin in Free Agency. He then acquired Eric Staal from the Minnesota Wild to help bolster Buffalo’s Centre depth.
“We’re really excited,” Eichel said. “They’re great moves from management in the offseason. Now, more than anything at this point, you want to get back to playing. I think it’s great. I think it definitely sparked some excitement in me and other guys in the room,” Eichel added.
Eichel’s recent comments are reassuring for the Sabres. There were rumors early last season that the 24-year-old may have been unhappy about his current situation in Buffalo and was on the brink of asking for a trade.
Peter Fish, Eichel’s agent had to reiterate that he did not want out of Buffalo, but that didn’t stop the rumor mill from turning during trade deadline day.
The recent additions to Buffalo have helped the Sabres improve in Stanley Cup odds, as well. Buffalo is listed at +5000 on 888sport. Middle of the pack, the Sabres own better odds than Chicago (+5500), a team that made the playoffs last season.
Buffalo’s odds mirror two other teams that reached the postseason in 2020 – Montreal and Columbus. The Sabres are longshots to win the Stanley Cup, but they are receiving respect from bookmakers.
Last season, you would have found Buffalo near the bottom of the board, similar to teams like the Anaheim Ducks and Arizona Coyotes, who are +6000 on 888sport.
Of course, if the Sabres manage to land another key defenceman, that could also improve their odds. They have greatly improved their forward depth over the past few months. Buffalo has a ton of rookies and prospects ready to take charge, which makes them an interesting betting option.
Focusing on Eichel, his comments should make the entire Buffalo fan base hopeful once again. They have not won a playoff series since 2007, but the Sabres’ newest additions are a huge step in the right direction.
Buffalo is still a longshot to win the Cup but are far better than a season ago, which has left the fan base optimistic for the future.