The two biggest names remaining in the NHL off season are Shane Doan and Bobby Ryan. The Buffalo Sabres biggest need currently is up the center.
With their own RFAs still unsigned in Pat Kaleta and Tyler Ennis – the Buffalo Sabres are far from done making deals in the summer of 2012. Darcy has been busy adding toughness, depth and some talent to a roster that last year barely missed out on the playoffs. Not hampered by injuries the Buffalo Sabres could have made the playoffs (possibly). Could they rival the best of the Northeast this year for a division title?
Multi tasking should be the priority of the Buffalo Sabres right now. Ennis and Kaleta need deals, and personally, if they don’t bring Kaleta back it wouldn’t break my heart. With some young talent at center, the possibility of giving up young talent on the wings to bring in the likes of Doan or Ryan is not out of the realm of possibility.
Honestly, who would you rather have grooming the likes of Grigorenko and Girgensons – Drew Stafford or Shane Doan? Honestly, that is like asking me who I would have wearing number 9 in Blue and Gold next year, Derek Roy or Steve Ott.
There are a lot of teams looking at the Phoenix Coyotes captain with hungry eyes. With Rick Nash going to New York, it is likely they have taken themselves out of either Doan or Ryan. With every ones focus on whats going to happen in the desert, the Sabres could be primed to strike in Anaheim while no one else is looking.
Until the Buffalo Sabres bring a Stanley Cup to the foot of Washington Street and we have a rally in downtown Buffalo for winning and not coming close to winning – no move that Darcy Regier or whoever the general manager may be if Darcy ever leaves Buffalo [voluntary or involuntary]. Has he done enough this off season? The face of the team has changed – slightly. Gone are Guastad and Roy – members of the “core” that were once untouchable. Still here are the Staffords, Vaneks, Millers, and Pominvilles who remain from an era of hockey where management fell in love with its players and operated to stay in the black; not necessarily remain competitive. The Sabres are a slightly bigger, tougher team than they were last season – so coming into First Niagara Center opposing teams won’t find the comforts of an easy game on the ice, only in the off ice features of the First Niagara Center.
If the Buffalo Sabres don’t make another move adding someone new to the lineup this year – I could be happy going into the regular season with the current slate of players. Building a championship team in the NHL takes time, and I don’t think two off seasons with the current regime of owner/management group have done enough to shock the locker room into a winning way.
With the Buffalo Bills opening training camp this week, the Sabres once again become page three stories in the Buffalo News. Keep it tuned in here for constant Sabres updates!