Will the Buffalo Sabres Use Their Amnesty Buyouts

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

With the coaching situation settled for the Buffalo Sabres – management can now look at the roster and see how they are prepared to go into battle for the 2013-2014 NHL season.  The Buffalo Sabres are already the youngest team in the NHL, and with the possible departure of veterans Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek, the roster only stands to get younger.

With the salary cap going down next season; teams have the ability to buy out up to two contracts – they will still have to pay the player according to the buyout agreement, but the amount will not count against their salary cap.  Prior to the start of the shortened season, hopes were high that the team would perform well and would be building a winner, not rebuilding for the future – so I didn’t put too much stock into who the Buffalo Sabres would be interested in buying out.

With a rebuild in full progress, the odds of the Sabres using such a buyout have increased.  Who can the Buffalo Sabres buyout? The Sabres really only have three contracts that would be worth the amnesty buyout.

Those contracts belong to Ville Leino, Tyler Myers, and Christian Erhoff.

I will start out by saying that I highly doubt the Buffalo Sabres will buyout Tyler Myers.  Despite the uber poor season that Myers had this year, and his inability to maintain his Calder Cup form – the Buffalo Sabres will continue to groom Tyler Myers as a future leader of the Buffalo Sabres.  Myers got the proverbial kick in the teeth this year, and I think that we will see a different Tyler Myers next year.  If not – then thoughts might creep into the organization about buying out the defenseman; but it’s unlikely.  Myers is only 23 years old, and is still trying to manage his frame, his style of play, and the wealth that he stepped into, sure we have been hearing that for several seasons – bu tnot everyone is an instant hit in the National Hockey League.

There is a Norris trophy in the kids future, he just needs to put in the effort.  That effort should be there next year.  That effort has to be there, as he will be one of the oldest guys on the team when we faceoff next season.

Looking at Elite Prospects team site, the average age for the Buffalo Sabres is 26.13 years.  That still includes Jochen Hect at 35.  John Scott, Steve Ott, Ryan Miller, and  Christian Erhoff are all in the thirty and above club.  Ville Leino, Thomas Vanek, Alex Sulzer, Adam Pardy, Ville Leino, and Thomas Vanek are all within one or two years of hitting 30.

Myers contract is costing the Buffalo Sabres 5.5 million dollars a season through the 2019 campaign.

Christian Erhoff has not gotten a lot of press in the close of one of this horrific season.  Erhoff is costing the Buffalo Sabres 4 million dollars and will be on the Buffalo Sabres roster until he is almost 40 years old.  If the Buffalo Sabres don’t buyout or trade the veteran defenseman, he is most likely going to end his career in blue and gold.  Why is Erhoff a possible target for the Sabres amnesty buyout?  There are plenty of young defenseman in Rochester ready to make the leap to the National Hockey League.  Adam Pardy proved in his short time in a Buffalo Sabres sweater that he can be an asset on the blue line.  Chad Ruhwedel was an instant hit on the blue line when he was signed to fill the hole that Myers created when he was injured in the Montreal Canadiens game on April 12, 2013.  Mark Pysyk is ready to make the leap, and will most likely play in Buffalo full time under head coach Ron Rolston next season.

Ville Leino is the contract that worries fans the most, and is the most likely to be bought out.  Darcy Regier mentioned in the final press conference with Ted Black that free agency has not been kind to the Buffalo Sabres and they will continue to look stronger at the draft when it comes to restocking the rank and file of this team.  Leino was signed to the team after being a key player on the Philadelphia Flyers playoff success.  Buffalo has failed to make an earnest shot at the playoffs for Leino to prove his worth in a blue and gold uniform.  This seasons injury saga with Leino didn’t help his case with the fans of the Buffalo Sabres. Leino’s contract is only through 2017, but is costing the Buffalo Sabres 4.5 million dollars.

Should the Buffalo Sabres use their amnesty buyouts

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Should the Sabres buyout one or two of these contracts? You can select no, one or two of the players in the poll.

Topics: Amnesty Buyout, Buffalo Sabres

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  • Justin Tosczak

    Ditch Ville and Stafford… Erhoff was probably the best defence man on the team this year. His contract may be big, but with the amount of young, inexpensive players on the team, it isn’t that big of a deal. Keep around a couple vets to teach these kids how to play!

  • Virginia Ahonen

    Keep Leino. Do you know a good player when you see one?

  • Jon Abbey

    Leino Deserves a shot under Rolston to see what he can really do. the guy had 6 points in 8 games this year. I think Lindy Ruff didn’t give him the offensive minutes or line mates he needed to be successful, kind of like Brad Boyes who did much better before and after playing for Lindy Ruff.

    Somewhere I have seen it suggested that the team could acquire a bad contract and a pick or prospect. maybe they could swap first round picks with someone in exchange for taking a bad contract off there hands