Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Callahan Could Be Cornerstone For Buffalo Sabres Rebuild

Ryan Callahan has played a lot of hockey in the state of New York.  If the Buffalo Sabres were wise, they would try as hard they can to bring the Rochester, New York native back for another stint in his home state.  While the current focus of the Buffalo Sabres and their fans is on the draft – free agency is right around the corner and the Sabres have to be active in that market as well.

After a successful stint with the New York Rangers where he rose to captain the famed Broadway Blueshirts – Callahan was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning ten years after being drafted by the New York Rangers.  It was a captain for captain swap as the Tampa Bay Lightning once again felt the need to trade a captain away.

The Buffalo Sabres could use a player with Callahan’s leadership and poise – as well as his style of play.

While he has never made it to the Stanley Cup Finals – he has gotten the New York Rangers to the Eastern Conference finals.

As I keep looking over the roster, I wonder where strong team leadership is going to come from.  Are they going to hand the captaincy over to a kid, hoping that he learns the game and how to lead a group of men onto the ice?  The Sabres need someone like Ryan Callahan who can take the lead on the ice, and in the locker room – ensuring that players are held responsible for themselves.

As a rebuilding franchise – the team needs someone to bear that burden that has been around the game.  It is fine for an established team to hand the captaincy to a young player.  The Buffalo Sabres have a respect issue with the league officials however, that is better addressed by a captain with experience.  That change in culture is only going to change by bringing someone in from the outside.

Who is going to lead the Buffalo Sabres next season? Christian Ehrhoff or Drew Stafford?  Naming one of those two captain could only further the curse of the Buffalo Sabres captain, as it is likely they will be traded prior to the deadline next season.  Tyler Ennis?  Naming Ennis captain will do nothing to resolve your respect issues.

Pursue Ryan Callahan this summer, and you regain some of the league wide respect that you are missing.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Free Agency Ryan Callahan

  • qwicwted

    Tim, I agree that there are certain UFAs that Bflo should pursue. With Buffalo having no issue of cap space, I would offer Callahan whatever he is asking, I also like the notion of bringing Ott and even Moulson back. We are a young team and Callahan, Moulson and Ott have great work ethics and can bring leadership. Murray has said that building a SC team involves trades, drafts and signing free agents. I would like to see Murray trade Meyers and Enroth for Evander Kane, trade Ehrhoff, and #39 for Edmonton’s #3. The Jets get a young vet d-man who could return to calder cup form along with a goalie and Edmonton would get a solid D man to anchor their defense.

    • Chris Kapsiak

      Firstly although fun to think about those trades would never come to fruition. Kane won’t be here for one and two we should never trade Myers. Yes he makes you shake your head but his talent is there, and we have seen it. Chara (who I hate!) Is one of the top defenseman in the game and if you tracked his career, he was pretty horrible for the first five years, before coming elite. It pains me to say but give Myers time, you don’t trade this type of player when he can become is one of the best defenseman in the game, we know he has some top notch skill already.

      • qwicwted

        There are those who believe Meyers will regain his Calder Cup form, I really don’t see it happening. While Tyler has improved this year, I believe we should trade him while his value has risen and I think we could get more for him than we would for Ehrhoff.

    • Timothy Redinger

      Should have more cap space too once we buy out Leino.

  • Kevin

    I like the idea of bringing in RC, but will he even welcome the notion? I think we will end up with ZG as our new captain.

  • ende

    It doesn’t make any sense to pursue free agency until the summer of 2015.

    • Timothy Redinger

      true, but smart free agency this year plus smart draft and using the ready prospects we have just might make this a faster rebuild than hoped for. We don’t necessarily have to be the worst in the league next year to keep the rebuild on track. Sabres will have to do something in free agency this year especially when they finally get around to buying out leino.

      • ende

        We’ve got a real shot at the McDavid sweepstakes.. probably the best shot in the league. That’s not something to bank on, but it’s not something to pass up either. Free agency will still be there come summer 2015. Besides, why go for Callahan when we can make a plausible run on homeboy Pat Kane?

      • wolfdoctor

        “We don’t necessarily have to be the worst in the league next year to keep the rebuild on track.”
        That’s been the goal ==> To be the worst team, in order to get either McDavid or Eichel. That’s why, IMO, the Sabres won’t go after any big name UFAs this year. They may sign a couple of scrubs, though.
        After the 2015 draft, though, I believe the Sabres will have all the prospects in the system to eventually win the cup. At that point, the Sabres may add a few UFAs to hurry the rebuild along, until the prospects are ready.

  • Chris

    Callahan would be a great addition…

  • davidmuscalo

    You must be reading my mind!

  • Mike Weaver

    Wait… the guy who did nothing in the playoffs for Tampa Bay?


    • Timothy Redinger

      you mean the guy on the team that collectively did nothing in the playoffs against Montreal. Yeah that guy.

  • qwicwted

    Hey Tim, with the Sharks being ousted in the 1st round – I’m sure there will be a shakeup. Thornton and Marleau are locked in for the 3 years with NMC, but Pavelski and Couture both have 5 year contracts with no restrictions. Sharks have made it clear that Couture is their future, but what about offering up Meyers and #39 for Pavelski. I think if Joe got out from under the Sharks, he could be the leader the Sabres need, highly skilled, can play center/wing, 28 and would be locked in for 5 years – could mentor our youngsters. Is he worth a #2 – Not sure, but he would be worth a Meyers.
    In my mind – getting either Pavelski or E. Kane to anchor your team for 4-5 years would be well worth trading Meyers and one of our second rounders. Any thoughts?