Buffalo Sabres fans have gone through a lot over the last 12 years.

The franchise is still in a playoff drought, which is now at 12 straight years. The postseason drought is tied for the longest among the four major North American sports, with the New York Jets.

The Sabres are on the rise, however, as they have arguably the best young roster in hockey. They also have the best prospect pool in the NHL.

Buffalo missed the playoffs by two points last season, which means it should be playoffs and beyond in 2024 -- that's the goal at least.

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General manager Kevyn Adams and head coach Don Granato have changed things dramatically in Buffalo, which started with some tough decisions.

The team traded away Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel in 2021, with the Eichel trade coming in early November. The Sabres traded their former captain to the Vegas Golden Knights for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs and a first round pick, which turned into Noah Ostlund.

Tuch grew up a Sabres fan and loves that he's back in his home state and playing for the team he grew up watching. Believe it or not, Tuch was almost a Sabres first round draft pick in 2014.

According to former Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, former Sabres GM Tim Murray offered him three second-round draft picks in 2014, with the intent to select Tuch with the 18th overall pick. Fletcher turned the trade down and took Tuch instead.

Murray wanted to take Sam Reinhart with the 2nd overall pick, which they did, and Tuch at 18.

Murray has not been in a front office role since 2017, when he was fired as the Sabres GM. His style was aggressive and while fun, did not work out.

Tuch was eventually traded to the Golden Knight in a unique expansion deal. Four years later, he was traded to Buffalo.

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