Tomorrow will officially make all UFAs free to sign with any team. I believe teams like New Jersey, Montreal and San Jose are going to have their pens ready to make their teams able to compete for the Stanley Cup next year. As for Buffalo, they do have needs and will have to do some signing whether it be their own players or free agents. The last couple days have been full of speculation the Philadelphia Flyers have much interest in either Tallinder, Lydman or perhaps even both. Tallinder and Lydman are middle of the road players who have their moments, but without a doubt if both players were to leave Buffalo it would force Regier’s hand to sign other players to fill their voids. The Sabres needs have been clear for a few seasons, they need power play help and size.
I believe Sergei Gonchar would help fill every weakness the Sabres have including leadership. He will not come cheap but at what point does this team start putting quality over quantity. Paul Martin is another very good defenseman and could be the diamond in the rough. Martin can produce goals, help set up other players and would add plenty of talent to the power play. When it comes to offensive fire power no free agent would bring more then Ilya Kovalchuck. Again he wont come cheap, but if this team is to take the next step they need to spend money whether they want to or not. It would be a giant disappointment to fans if Buffalo simply signed Tallinder and Lydman and did nothing else in free agency. I believe it would be a slap in the face of the team and fans from GM Darcy Regier as he has promised numerous times to make the team better if the chance is there…well tomorrow that chance comes and if he fails to act I cannot wait to hear his next speech of weightless banter.