What Do The Sabres Need Offensive Wise?

The past few stories I have written have been mainly defensive-centric. So where does the offense exceed and fall? Let’s read on shall we?

I’ll start with the latter. In terms of lacking, the Buffalo Sabres main problem is that we do NOT have a go-to guy. Sure Thomas Vanek was on his way to a very great year this past season, but that makes me curious as to if he can repeat the same effort.

Apr 26, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek (26) during the game against the New York Islanders at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Islanders 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

But putting all of our trust in Vanek isn’t the best way to go. Don’t get me wrong I really like Vanek. I think he has kept our offense alive the past few seasons. All I am saying, however, is that he needs help.

Or if the rumor mill turns to reality, we will lose one of our more consistent scorers, and then we will be in even more trouble.

If we could get Vanek a player that could go goal-for-goal with him, that would take a ton of pressure off of the man who could easily put up 40 goals.

As of right now, the projected forwards the Sabres have, according to sabres.nhl.com are:

Looking at the list of players who are on the market right now, there are some names that can definitely fill up the spots we need.

To make a long story short, I think that if we were to even come close to signing a big name offense-man, that would only solve some of the plaguing problems. There aren’t too many high scorers in the FA pool this offseason, with Vinny Lecavalier heading to the Flyers, Danny Briere going to the Canadiens, and Jaromir Jagr just signing to the Devils, there aren’t too many left.

May 12, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) carries the puck against the Washington Capitals during the second period in game six of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Rangers won the game 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers have some talent laying in Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan, which can help our LW’s and our C a bit. The Penguins still have Brendan Morrow out on the market, even though he is up in age, he may be able to give us some valuable leadership. The same goes to Jamie Langenbrunner, he is 38, and last year was a lost cause due to a torn lambrum, but even he has said that he is still willing to give it his all for a few more seasons.

Granted I am not saying that the team should throw him a phone call and offer a contract, but a pro tryout if no one else hits him up for a chance, why not take an opportunity like that?

Big names like Guillaume Latendresse also fill some spots, as Ottawa looks to drop a few players. Since the Sabres are looking for youth more than anything else as they build for the future.

Suggestion section: Go for Zuccarello, Stepan, Morrow, and Latendresse. Should we have enough cap space and the room for it, then give Langenbrunner a call.

What do you think so far? Who should the Sabres look at for the remainder of the offseason? Comment below.

Topics: Buffalo Sabres

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  • Jes

    STEPAN – NO!!

    We are rebuilding through draft and younger players. Getting Stepan would just add to a suddenly packed center position. Hodgson, Grigorenko, and Girgensons are ready IMO to be our steady 1, 2 and 3. And that’s only if Ennis is moved to wing. No point in stuffing the pot with more salary and another center.

    LATENDRESSE – NO!!!!

    Latendresse hasn’t played near a full season since his 2nd NHL season in which he played 70 games. After that it’s been nothing but down hill.

    ZUCCARRELLO – MAYBE!!!!

    He’s young and does have potential to be a top 6 wing and we really don’t have anything on the RW besides Armia coming up soon.

    MORROW – NO!!!!

    He can help with the mentoring of the young players but seriously he can’t do much else no more. 2 years ago I would definitely make him an offer but now he’s just not that effective IMO. Tropp can do whatever Morrow can do IMO.

    • GuyOnABuffalo

      Why does anyone thing Zuccarrello is a good idea? The dude is hardly bigger than Gerbe, and smaller than Ennis, and not as good as Ennis, and older than Ennis. He’s a nice player and I loved the heck out of him last Olympics, but this isn’t 2006.

      • Jes

        We are going by potential right? He does have good potential. I said maybe to him due to his potential.

        • qwicwted

          Jess, I wouldn’t mind the Sabres going after Stepan – he’s only 23 and has had 3 solid seasons with the Rangers scoring lamost 50 points – each year steadily improving. He plays physical and he’s a leader. I understand what you are saying, but I’m not so sure Girgensons is ready to step into playing FTin he NHL as he is still only 19. I would like to see Hodgeson, Stepan, Gregorinko and Girgensons as our 4 line centers. Put Ennis and Leino back on wing where they are more comfortabler and same with Ott. I would rather have Stepan than Morrow because Stepan also has the leadership qualities that our youth could emulate. To me I think Stepan has a little more NHL experience going for him and I would put Hodgeson and Stepan around the same price range – perhaps they are both awaiting to see what the other gets. But Bflo could throw out an offer sheet to Stepan and if he takes it, it will take the immediate pressue off of resigning Hodgeson.

  • http://SabreNoise.com/ Richard Spalding

    Gotta say, I don’t see why the Sabres should go for any of these players outside of Zuccarello, and the only FA I am currently interested in is Mikhail Grabovski,and there’s 0% he’ll come to Buffalo. Unless the Sabres can ship out Miller and maybe someone else like Stafford to bring in a 2nd-line caliber player (I’d say first line . . . but it doesn’t seem like Miller’s value is THAT high) I don’t really want them bringing in vets like Morrow, etc., just to provide leadership.

  • Andrew

    The team isn’t going to sign anyone, unless it is someone useless.

    DR appears to be content with what is already on the shelves and in the cupboard.

    • Jes

      Other than the resigning of Hodgson, nothing really remains to be done. The obvious trades of Miller and Stafford are still looming. And the resigning or trade of Vanek is also still looming but other than those I see nothing else that really needs to be done.

  • Yannick Cloutier

    Personnally, my choice would be Latendresse.

    No, Tender is not a guy that gives huge hits or fights in the boards. He has size and he wants to score goals, he keeps going in front of the net and gets great opportunities. With Myers and Ehrhoff that throws a lot of shots to the net, Latendresse would be great on the powerplay with those guys at the point. Also, i don’t think the price would be too high to get him.

    Personally, I think Ottawa has been hard on him and Buffalo should give him a chance. Yes he had some injuries, but i think he feels better now, he was more of a healthy scratch than on the injury list last year…

    Brunner might be a great option too… but yeah, it might be risky considering the price he must ask.

    • Yannick Cloutier

      Vanek-Hodgson-Ennis
      Ott-Grigorenko-Stafford
      Leino-Girgenssons/Flynn-Latendresse
      Scott-Porter/Flynn-Kaleta

      I think that would be a good line-up… and maybe Buffalo should consider putting Grigorenko to the RW (he’s been there before, its his natural position)

      • Jes

        Latendresse? you can’t be serious. he hasn’t once played a full season. the closest he’s gotten is 80 games and 73 games in his 2nd NHL season, since then it’s been nothing but downhill. Unless you want a Havlat type situation I see no point in going after Latendresse. Makes no sense.

        • Yannick Cloutier

          yeah, but you know, i’m talking a 3rd line/PP guy, not a savior…

          • Jes

            It won’t matter if the guy is injured. That’s what I’m trying to get at. Armia will be in Buffalo as well. So there really is no room for the guy. Give the time to the Kids and watch them blossom.

          • Yannick Cloutier

            Are you sure about this? Girgenssons and Armia in the same year? Yes i’d like to see Ott Griggs and Armia on the same line… but i have my doubts… and rather than to have Armia on the 3rd or 4th line, i’d rather wait one more year… or for an injury to put him on the first 2 lines

          • Jes

            its gonna happen. if not we do have couple of third liners in tropp, and mccormick. absolutely no need to get an injury riddled latendresse. he will not be on the sabres for half the year anyways due to his injuries that are coming up. seem to happen every year.

  • Eric

    Mason Raymond from ‘Couver. He has a lot of offensive potential, is still young, and can kill penalties.

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