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On the Lighter Side: Wheel of Names

June 23, 2021, 7:55 AM ET [718 Comments]
Hank Balling
Buffalo Sabres Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
This blog is going to be a little different today.

I thought it might be fun to try an interactive experience, especially considering that there is not a whole lot of Sabres current events stuff going on. There is no news on the coach, there are no trades, there are no recent hirings and last I checked, the Sabres are not currently competing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The ongoing series on the 2021 NHL Draft prospects will continue throughout the month of June and into July, but we’re going to take a break from that to try something a little different today. It may be fun and different or it may be annoying and pointless. You be the judge!

From time-to-time, there are discussions that pop-up in the Sabresphere whereby a reader is supposed to assemble their all-time Sabres lineup by selecting players from a list and the players are assigned points values. The reader’s goal is to assemble a starting lineup while staying below the points cap. The problem with these types of exercises is that the lists often come out too similar to one another and they all end up with a guaranteed superstar which isn’t much fun.

So that’s not what we’re doing today.

Today, fate will decide your NHL ’94-style starting lineup of one left wing, one center, one right wing, two defensemen and a goalie – all of whom are former Sabres. Your starting lineup will be chosen randomly from pre-assembled sets. There’s no category for coach because the thought of someone lucking into the complete French Connection line with Ralph Krueger as coach was somehow too dark of a thought to even contemplate.

Below are the six categories mentioned above with defensemen broken up into “left-shot” and “right shot” because I have no idea, frankly, whether Larry Carriere was a left or a right defenseman because I wasn’t alive yet when he was playing. It’s easy for me to look him up and see whether he was a right shot or a left shot though, and often (but not always) handedness indicates positionality on defense, so that’s the formula that’s going on here.

Each one of these six categories contain 10 players who span the decades of Sabres history, and they also span the spectrum of talent. You may get Dominik Hasek or you may get Patrick Lalime.

The tool used to generate results is wheelofnames.com and it allows for each position set to be entered as a group into the name selector which will then decide your roster outcome. Once the entries are put into the wheel, fate will decide who plays for your Sabres. All you have to do is copy-and-paste each position list from this article into the Wheel of Names. Each category needs to be entered separately and the simulation run in order to get all of the positions filled properly.

This works on mobile as well as desktop. No worries there.

So without further ado, open wheelofnames.com in a new tab and test your luck. Remember that you must only enter one category at a time before spinning the wheel. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Goalies:

Norm "Rocky" Farr
John Blue
Dominik Hasek
Darren Puppa
Jocelyn Thibault
Randy Ireland
Ty Conklin
Linus Ullmark
Ryan Miller
Patrick Lalime


Left-shot defense:

Brian Campbell
Richie Dunn
Josh Gorges
Christian Ehrhoff
Matt Hunwick
Bill Hajt
Jerry Korab
Dmitri Kulikov
Nathan Paetsch
Richard Smehlik


Right-shot defense

Lee Fogolin
Mike Card
Dean Kennedy
Steve Montador
Teppo Numminen
Tyler Myers
John Van Boxmeer
James Patrick
Rasmus Ristolainen
Casey Nelson


Left Wing:

Matt Ellis
Dave Andreychuk
Jason Botterill
Marcus Foligno
Taylor Hall
Tim Kennedy
Brad May
Thomas Vanek
Rick Martin
Benoit Pouliot


Right Wing:

Wayne Presley
Jason Pominville
Alexander Mogilny
Brian Gionta
Matthew Barnaby
Brad Boyes
Mike Grier
Rene Robert
Ales Kotalik
Norm Gratton


Center:

Ken Priestlay
Benoit Hogue
Jack Eichel
Danny Briere
Johan Larsson
Bob Corkum
Gilbert Perreault
Chris Drury
Paul Gaustad
Doug Gilmour

So here’s what my starting lineup looks like:

Brad May - Danny Briere – Alexander Mogilny
Brian Campbell - Dean Kennedy
Randy Ireland

That’s some kind of lineup. Mogilny and Briere would be absolutely deadly together and Brad May would add some jam to the line. Randy Ireland is pretty rough though.

I had a lot of fun curating this list to come up with some interesting combinations like “Jason Botterill and Gilbert Perreault” and “Bill Hajt and Mike Card” so please post your lineups in the comments section and we’ll see who has the best lottery line of the bunch. We’ll get back to the news of the day as it happens as well as covering the prospects in more detail. In the meantime, let’s see what you’ve got.


*******

One final note here: It’s sad to hear of the passing of Sabres legend Rene Robert who was one third of the famed French Connection line of the 1970s. Robert hit the 40 goal mark twice and the 100 point mark once and he was an instrumental part of the 1975 Stanley Cup run. Robert is part of the fabric of Western New York sports history and is rightfully enshrined in bronze in the Alumni Plaza outside of the Key Bank Center at the foot of Washington Street. My condolences to the Robert family.
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