The Sabres Withdrawals

Well the withdrawals are settling in. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait any longer for the season to start. Everything they’ve done this summer has gotten me so excited for the regular season. Sure, the Sabres didn’t sign their ideal “number one” center, but despite that, I haven’t been this excited since the 06-07 season.

The Sabres have a real legitimate chance at a cup run this year (hopefully). With their bolstered defense core and the addition of an unproven, but undeniably talented forward in Ville Leino, I don’t see how they could fall short of at least a strong push in the 2012 season. Admittedly I wanted to see an addition of a number one center, especially when names like Jason Spezza and Paul Statsny were thrown around, but Derek Roy isn’t a chump. Sure, Roy gets a lot of guff, but there really aren’t a lot of centers available.

I still don’t understand why Roy gets so much negative criticism. Most of the criticism comes from his lack of leadership and inconsistency (a word I use often when describing certain Sabres), but Roy has put up some pretty impressive numbers for an undersized center. Although Roy will still be looked at to be the primary point-getter alongside Thomas Vanek, he’ll at least have some pretty impressive depth to go along with him.

Sure, the Sabres don’t have that one stalwart offensive threat, besides maybe Thomas Vanek, but they now have at least 8+ guys that have scored 15 or more goals in the last season, which makes me assume that their offensive depth is the real threat– not just one person.

With the Sabres’ offensive depth and their potentially strong defense, I can’t think of a team that is more deeper than the Buffalo Sabres. Hopefully with the addition of a stronger defense, which was arguably their worst trait last season, Ryan Miller will see a resurgence back to his Vezina trophy winning form.

Just writing about the Sabres has me so amped up for the beginning of the season, but unfortunately we still have 2 months before we can see the culmination of efforts put forth this summer.

  • Dan Sterlace

    Good stuff, and I can’t wait for the season to start either!

    A bit of insight from someone who had a really strong distaste for Roy: I think it was because he just kind of got handed the keys, and I don’t feel like he really deserved them for a long time. He got compared to Danny Briere because he was small and skilled, except that Briere had to fight tooth and nail to earn every bit of respect…Briere came from Phoenix where he was under-appreciated because of his size, so he trained with Canada’s strongest man, he was a family patriarch, and when he came to Buffalo he blossomed.

    Roy, meanwhile, waltzed in and was given the third line center role. He excelled at playing with Afinogenov and Vanek against other teams’ third pair defenders. Consider that the Sabres were one of the few teams in ’06-’07 that rolled 3 scoring lines…nobody knew how to defend against this third line of skilled point scorers.

    Roy had a reputation for diving, as we all know. He outgrew it by the time Briere and Drury left, and unfortunately he was immediately branded with another reputation; he wasn’t Briere or Drury. He was still a party boy (I’ve personally seen him falling over drunk on Elmwood the night before a game) when he was being touted as the leader of this team.

    Now, I say that I used to dislike him. Going into last season, it seemed like he grew up a lot. He really sold me even before he was on pace for a point per game, and I honestly don’t buy in to the whole “we started winning because he got hurt” mentality. I think it’s a snub that he’s not seen as one of the top 20 centers in the league, and if he plays a whole year this season you’ll see people convinced that we have a true #1 center.

    It just took time.