Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Buffalo Sabres Have Room for Luke Adam?

It’s getting to the point where the Buffalo Sabres have to be getting fed up with Luke Adam. The Sabres took Adam 44th overall in the 2008 draft, but he just hasn’t been able to stick on the Sabres roster. He’s shown brilliant stretches such as his breakout 2011-2012 campaign where he centred the first line and then he’s shown stretches where he doesn’t even look like he belongs in the AHL. The Sabres need the real Luke Adam to stand up so they can either play him or get rid of him.

What we’re seeing with Luke Adam is a kid who’s confidence has been shattered and then run over by a semi-truck. The Buffalo Sabres seem to always be looking for a number one centre and at one point Lindy Ruff decide to give Luke Adam some time centring Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville. Did Adam belong on the first line… probably not, but he sparked chemistry with his two wingers and led all Sabres’ rookies in scoring. It appeared that Adam was ready to stick with the Sabres and on his way to a bright future. Then Ruff got in the way. Unhappy with Adam’s defencive and “team” game, Adam was demoted to the 4th line for no real reason. Sure Adam had

no business centring the first line, but he was producing and developing his game.

Since being demoted to the 4th line, Adam has been unable to find the game that brought him success and earned him a shot at the first line. There’s one thing about a player being “damaged goods” because of an injury, but when they’re damaged due a lack of confidence that’s a whole different ball game. After being demoted to the 4th line and then the press box, he was finally sent back down to the Rochester Americans. Back down in Rochester, Adam should have been flying high and eager to get back with the big club. Instead he managed only 4 goals in 27 games and was a -2. Last season, Adam played 4 games with the Sabres but scored just 1 goal and was eventually sent back to Rochester.

Luke Adam is a young player with a lot of untapped potential who is afraid to play his game for fear of being reprimanded. Next time you get the chance to watch him play, watch how he skates. His body language when he skates just screams “I’m clearly not good enough” and he’s afraid to do “out of the box” creative things. That’s what happens when a young player has their confidence broken. Luke Adam has, or had the potential to be a solid second line player- the question is; Will he get back to that level?

It’s time for Adam to man-up. Lindy Ruff is gone and his former Amerks head coach Ron Rolston is now behind the bench in Buffalo. This is great opportunity and probably the best one he’s had, for Adam to make the Sabres right out of training camp. Rolston is a developmental coach who has been successful at getting young players to play to their potential. Rolston know’s Adam’s strengths and weakness and should be able to get him motivated. Adam needs a major confidence boost before he can take the next step in his career and it needs to come from the NHL level.

In order for Adam to take the next step in his development he needs to see significant playing time at the NHL level, but has the window for Adam to step up to the Sabres closed?

While the Sabres are entering a rebuilding mode, their prospect pool is full. With players like Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson, Logan Nelson and Daniel Catenacci waiting in the wings for a chances to compete for a coveted centre spot with the Sabres, Adam’s chances at cracking centre are pretty slim. Grigorenko, Girgensons and Larsson are all ready to take the same step Adam is.

Luke Adam’s best chance at sticking with the Sabres is on the wing. All he needs is a chance and look for him to get that chance playing wing somewhere in the Sabres line-up during this “re-building season.” Once he get’s that chance and a re-boost in confidence we may see the best of Luke Adam yet. The Sabres signed Adam to a one-year deal this offseason, clearly it’s time for Adam to put up or shut up. Don’t be surprised if he get’s a chance with the Sabres right off the bat.

Should the Sabres keep trying with Luke Adam or is it time to write him off?

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Luke Adam NHL Prospects

  • DC

    Has all the tools, just needs some playing time!

    • Caitlin Campbell

      yup as soon as he gets the playing time in the NHL we’ll see what he’s truly made of. I fully agree that he has the tools

  • Greg Antilla

    How long will people rely on the “Lindy Ruff” excuse/crutch? 2 more seasons? 5 more seasons? 30 years? I would say that the problem was a lack of talent that Regier provided the team rather than the coach being subpar, but judging by the “Regier is a genius” articles and flair on this site… why bother? I say give it 3 more seasons of Rolston having no effect, and you-know-who railroading the hometown heroes every time the Stars come to town, before people realize they were just hopping on a hate bandwagon.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Whether you like it or not… until Lindy Ruff messed with Adam’s confidence there has been a significant drop off in Adam’s game. I personally think Rolston is the right coach to lead the Sabres through this rebuild, but we’ll just have to watch and see.

      • Kevin

        I agree, but let me add that I think this may just be his last chance. Let’s hope he knows that for his sake. If not he could end up in the ECHL for the rest of his career.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          yup, I believe this shoud be his last shot. one year deal, time for him to prove himself or say hello to the ECHL

          • Jes

            I believe if he doesn’t breakout this year he’ll be like Zigomanis. Comes to the NHL every once in awhile but has no real effect in the big league. Hopefully he can rebound nicely and then we throw him into a trade with Miller or Vanek and get even more in return. Knowing Regier though probably resign him to a 4 year $12 million contract.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            yup if Adam doesn’t pan out I’d love to package him in a bigger deal.

      • Greg Antilla

        Everything you’ve ever heard, or personally believe, or even desperately want to be true regarding Ruff, is all speculation. Nobody claiming these things has ever been in the locker room or talked to the coach or any of the players about this, whatsoever. Total, utter speculation.

        I want to believe the rumors of Briere running his mouth off in the locker room about wanting to “get out of Buffalo” during the 2007 ECF’s and Drury overhearing it and getting into a brawl with him over it. But, that’s just speculation like the above mentioned rumors.

  • thomas

    I for some reason do not like him Good riddance to him we have way better talent waiting to come up please trade or do not resign him

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I agree that we likely do have better talent waiting to come up. But we still need to see what Adam is capable of before we either trade him or keep him.

  • chas territo

    1 more chance. That’s it, enough time has been wasted on him! With that chance his mind set should be put up or shut up!

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Exactly, it’s put up or shut up time for Luke Adam