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.