Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Tyler Ennis: Holding Pattern

Tyler Ennis, by all means, should have been signed shortly after the July1st deadline.  In fact, the Buffalo Sabres and the shifty forward would have been better off had a deal been inked prior to the mess that happened in August and now pushes into September.

Owners around the league are proving themselves their own worst enemy, while at contract talks they are looking for salary cut backs, contract limits, and a closer split in revenue – while many owners are handing out contracts to players who have proven themselves, but not earned major pay days. 

Enter the role of Tyler Ennis into the Buffalo Sabres.  Ennis has proven himself a good commodity on the ice for the team, and has fast become a fan favorite.  Yet he has not been signed by the Buffalo Sabres and remains an unrestricted free agent.  He’s skating in Buffalo, but has no deal that will see him playing hockey in 2012-2013. 

What’s the hold up on Tyler Ennis?  Personally I would have had his contract done and signed before I started talking to the likes of Pat Kaleta.  The teams focus this summer was to get tougher, so maybe that put the pressure on Darcy to get a deal done with Kaleta fast.  Now – with contract uncertainty – the Sabres  may not know what to do with Tyler Ennis. 

Terry Pegula has deep pockets, and can spend to the salary cap, in fact, he has done just that with some of the big signings – he has pushed the Sabres to within the top of the league when it comes to player salary.  If a CBA is signed that rolls back the salary cap – the Buffalo Sabres could be in trouble, and have to buy out contracts to get them under the cap.  Without Ennis on board, it makes it that much easier to trim the excess. 

What is Ennis asking at the negotiation table?  That is an unknown in all of this.  His play has definitely warranted a raise, and he could still end up a member of the Buffalo Sabres. 

With both sides of the CBA talks meeting at length on Wednesday, time is still on the clock for a deal to be done.  How many times have you gotten to laugh at your friends for leaving a game early and your team ties or wins the game in the final seconds?  Hey – it could happen.   Board of Governor meetings today will hinder agreement talks some, but the sides are hopeful that they can reach a deal prior to midnight on Saturday. 

The league had scheduled a 3:30 PM press conference today, the agenda for the Board of Governers meeting and the press conference could be an outline of the plan for a lockout, if a deal cannot be struck. 



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