Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Internal Free Agents - The Blue Line

In part one of this mini-series; we looked at free agents the Buffalo Sabres have to deal with as far as the offense is concerned.  Today we look at the blue line, and who the Buffalo Sabres might be interested in, and should keep on the roster for the first full season of Tim Murray’s rebuild.

The defense doesn’t have as many options for the Buffalo Sabres to be concerned with, so the young core of talent that has been drafted and groomed in the minors this past season are likely going to be filling out the blue line this year.

Buffalo Sabres Unrestricted Defenseman

Leading the list of names for UFA defenseman on this team is Henrik Tallinder.  Wow.  It was just as painful writing that as it was when I wrote that the Buffalo Sabres were bringing Tallinder back last season.  It is time to put this player out to pasture.  I don’t care if someone else picks him up, but there is no room on this roster for Hank.

In 64 games, he managed two goals, eight points, and was a negative twenty one.  He was supposed to bring Tyler Myers back to ground level from his sub, sub, sub performance since his Calder Trophy winning rookie season.  Tyler Myers doesn’t need Henrik Tallinder’s training wheels anymore.  There should be no reason why the Buffalo Sabres even think about bringing Henrik back.

The second UFA on Tim Murray’s radar made the Buffalo Sabres decision for them – as Alexander Sulzer has decided to leave the NHL for Europe.  The German born defenseman has decided the NHL isn’t the best shtick for him, and returning to Deutschland to play in the motherland.  This off season he signed a deal with the Cologne Sharks (Kolner Haie) of the DEL on May 1.

Buffalo Sabres 2014 Restricted Free Agent Defenseman

Just two guys in this field as well, and no reason to bring them both back.  Jamie McBain has served his time with the Buffalo Sabres – and should be allowed to head off into free agency.

Darcy Regier picked up the one year contract on Jamie McBain in return for Andrej Sekera (Buffalo also got a second round draft pick from the Carolina Hurricanes).  I always thought that trade was Sekera for the second round – and the Hurricanes were just trying to get out from under the McBain contract.

With another bad year on the horizon, I could see the Sabres signing McBain to a one year deal – qualifying him to help with their depth on the blue line.

Chad Ruhwedel is also up for his second contract in the National Hockey League, after signing with the Buffalo Sabres out of college as an undrafted free agent.  Ruhwedel was signed to replace franchise defenseman Tyler Myers in April of 2013.  Ruhwedel played his first season in the NHL and then played the role of the bus riding AHL defenseman in year two of his deal.  For an unrestricted guy; Chad Ruhwedel has done his job and deserves another two way contract with the Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Americans.

Part Three – the final part in the look at the Buffalo Sabres internal free agent list will come out later this week, and will look at the non-roster spot players who could find themselves playing in Rochester again next year as the Amerks look to get out of the first round of the playoffs.

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Tags: Alexander Sulzer Buffalo Sabres Chad Ruhwedel Free Agency Henrik Tallinder Jamie Mcbain

  • qwicwted

    Tillander, Sulzer, McBain can all leave. Ruhwedal signed to a two way is fine – no discussion needed here. Who knows – if Ekblad is available at #2, we just might end up with him and won’t need Myers anymore.

    • Mike Flynn

      I’m so sick of the trade Myers cause we drafted ekblad it makes no sense the kid is finally starting to turn the corner and everyone wants to deal him. Trade Myers because u have ekblad then do we trade ekblad when he’s in the same spot??? Makes zero sense to trade Myers for anything but a elite goal scorer like Kane from Chicago or something like that

      • http://www.sabrenoise.com Tim Redinger

        I agree. Sure Myers has struggled but look where the team is. Not all guys are great from the get go. Totally different player but look how long before Chara developed into an elite defenseman. There is a learning curve and just because Myers took longer to get it than most people want to give up on him. Trading Myers only makes sense if like you said, you are getting an all star in return. The first thought on my mind if the Sabres get Ekblad is not “how can we get rid of Tyler Myers” it will be “wow – Tyler Myers and Aaron Ekblad”.

      • qwicwted

        You won’t get an elite scorer for Myers. And if you have watched Tyler play the last 5 years – you would know he played way over his head his freshman year and has been lost ever since. The 2nd half of the season he started improving and hopefully raised his value – but in all honesty he is not the “core” of the D that we all thought he would be. So, if we can get a high draft pick for him, unload him now.

        • Mike Flynn

          That’s what Ottawa thought about chara too how’d that turn out for them? I’m not saying Myers is chara but one could argue that they are on similar career paths in that they struggled early on only to become dominant forces on the blue line Myers is going nowhere but up I sure don’t want to see him wearing another jersey scoring 50 plus a year ;)

          • qwicwted

            Mike if we keep Myers, i hope your right …….but for every one Chara success….how many failure are there? I’m just not buying into Myers, aside from that he has suffered too many injuries the past two years…bruised foot, broken wrist, broken leg, broken ribs, elbow injuries to name a few and he’s only 24.

  • Joe

    Pls dont bring mcbain back i cant stand watching him