Decisions, decisions. The Buffalo Sabres and general manager Tim Murray have to decide what to do with the free agent class of 2014 that is staring July 1 down. [Bleacher Report].
You have the obvious players like Chad Ruhwedel, Marcus Foligno, and Tyler Ennis – but the Buffalo Sabres are not looking around right now for the top of the cream players to fill out their roster. Remember, they want to be bad for one more season, banking on the 2015 draft to be the final ashes to rise up out of.
Luke Adam, Connor Knapp, Matt Hackett, Kevin Porter are all names that could help the Buffalo Sabres going forward, at least in the short term rebuilding process. How will the Buffalo Sabres get them under contract?
It’s do or die time for Luke Adam. If the Buffalo Sabres resign him at this point, he needs to show the NHL he is ready for steady time in the league, or be looking at a life of AHL teams with spotted appearances in the NHL.
We found out last year you could never have too many goalies – so Matt Hackett and Connor Knapp in Rochester makes sense.
Unless Kevin Porter and his agent think that he can get a full time NHL stint somewhere, why not stick it out in Rochester and continue to lead the Amerks?
If your the Buffalo Sabres – and you are rebuilding, look at things realistically – keep the guys on your team for right now and round out your roster with guys in free agency. If you don’t qualify these players and keep them in the fold, all you are having to do is replace them with player x in free agency.
Either way, the positions will be filled. Any sort of chemistry will help make rebuild year 2 without Darcy easier to swallow.
Buffalo Sabres Roster Players:
Tyler Ennis – a no brainer that the team brings the small forward back, as he ended up the season as the offensive bright spot. He is just coming off a bridge deal and is set to sign his third professional contract. He will want a raise, and as long as it isn’t an over the top raise, Buffalo could wrap this deal up quickly.
Cory Conacher – the guy has energy, the guy has grit, and the guy is from around the area. No, I am not talking about Patrick Kaleta. Conacher is good for this team right now. I see no reason why the Buffalo Sabres don’t qualify him for a deal.
Marcus Foligno – another player with Buffalo ties, who has struggled to come into his own. I like Foligno, and if the Buffalo Sabres are trying to figure if keeping one player means letting another one go; I think they are mistaken. Get Foligno under contract and see if he can’t put everything together for you.
Zenon Konopka – Konopka already has 20 games off next season, so signing him is a risk from the start. What does he bring to the table? Konopka should be allowed to hit July 1 and test the waters.
John Scott – can we finally shed ourselves of the blight of John Scott? I think given the fact that a lot was said about changing the culture to get more respect from the officials – John Scott’s days are numbered in Buffalo. Scott is just the type of player that gets a penalty and a suspension for being on the ice. The Sabres have enough worries without having to constantly be a man down; even if he didn’t do anything.
Matt D’Agostini – another utility player that if they kept him around, it would be good for the team, but it is just another third and fourth line player fighting for limited positions on a roster full of third and fourth liners.