I have been reading alot about what the Buffalo Sabres have and what they need. Let me add my 2 cents worth (I take cash, check, and major credit cards).
Our major need is in goal production. To add to our totals I would avidly go after 2 players, Shane Doan and Zach Parise. In my opinion, these 2 players would add a dimension to the Sabres that would make us feared by everyone. Parise is a big body, that isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, and oh yeah .. he is a scoring machine! Doan is the consummate veteran, while his scoring numbers aren’t exactly earth shattering they are very respectable. He is the kind of player that makes everyone around him better, much the way that Derek Roy used to. His presence alone can settle down the younger more excitable players by his demeanor, work ethic, and actions.
If I had to unload a player or 2 from the roster to make room salary cap wise for these 2 players .. the names that spring to mind are Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy. I know I’m drawing fire from every direction, but hear me out. When Thomas Vanek was awarded his contract, our roster was raided by the NHL. Plus, after coming off of a 40+ goal season, we couldn’t let him leave. However, most of his goals that season didn’t come against the other teams best lines. Since being moved up, his production has slackened. It is still respectable, but not dominating enough to warrant such a hefty price tag. As for Mr. Roy, well .. what can you say? I used to love the guy .. the gritty little forward willing to do anything to win (much like Gerbe is now). In the last couple of years his numbers have fallen too .. not only in goals, but assists as well. Roy used to make everyone better, but those day are behind him. Now, we don’t know what to expect when he is on the ice. Yes he has had some injuries, and he has played hurt .. but so have a lot of players, and they’ve done it better.
There are only a couple of players on the roster that in my opinion are untouchable .. Jason Pominville (Mr. everything). Need a goal? .. a pep talk? .. or help in any way? This is your guy. The other untouchable is Ryan Miller. I mean c’mon, it’s Ryan Miller! I know my daughter is in love with him .. and I know he has had his troubles. But, if we get solid D in front of him, then he will take over a game. He makes saves that are extraordinarily difficult look routine. The guy is unflappable. He has ice water in his veins .. and if the Sabres actually stick up for the guy, he will demand that they play better. He is the quiet leader that every team needs.
For good or for bad, that is what I would do. As always, GO BUFFALO!