The Sabres have made some great acquisitions during the offseason this year. Picking up veteran leadership, and a few players to become the future of this team. Something they still lack, however, is scoring depth. Sure, having guys like Cody Hosgson, Tyler Ennis, Chris Stewart, and Brian Gionta will be nice to have, but the Sabres need to add at least one more developed scorer to their top 6 ranks. Devin Setoguchi would be the perfect guy to fit the bill.
So far this free agency we’ve seen teams sign higher profile players like Mike Ribeiro, Danny Heatley, (and I guess I’ll throw in Derek Roy to that list) to one year deals worth only $1 million a piece. Devin Setoguchi would fit right in that category as well. He’s a former 30 goal scorer with great speed and puck skills; not to mention a former 8th overall pick in 2005 for the San Jose Sharks. He had a down season with only 11 goals and 27 points last year and that’s one of the reasons he’s being overlooked by teams. At only 27 years old he’s the exact kind of guy that Murray needs to add. Polished skills, scoring ability, veteran presence, but still young; all things that the Sabres could use right now.
The Sabres have plenty of cap space to afford him ($10,580,834 in space according to Capgeek.com) and offering him a similar 1 year, $1 million deal would be a low risk high reward deal. He may not be the most consistent player on the ice, but Ted Nolan has proven that he can make his players work hard and that he can make them better. To bring in Setoguchi would add scoring depth to a lacking Sabres offense.
I for one would prefer to not be in the bottom 5 of the league this year. Realistically it’s got a good chance of happening, but if the Sabres offense can click better than it did last year, the defense will have less pressure, thus this team will be more competitive and dangerous even. I say spend the small amount to bring in Setoguchi and see if he can help the Sabres scoring problem. It’s definitely worth a shot.