Buffalo Sabres Daily: Goaltenders, Prospects


Good morning, Buffalo Sabres fans. After having Wednesday off, the Buffalo Sabres return to action tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers before hosting the New York Rangers on Friday night at First Niagara Center.

Friendly reminder to all Sabres fans: tonight’s game, originally scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop, has been pushed back to 8 p.m. to accommodate a pregame ceremony for the Flyers.

Tomorrow’s game against the Rangers is a reschedule matchup, so if you’re attending that game at FNC, be sure to bring your original tickets.

Now, on to today’s news and notes from around the hockey world.

Starting with a piece this morning from Along The Boards about none other than the Buffalo Sabres — and their goaltenders.

With the recent trade of Jhonas Enroth to the Dallas Stars, and the resulting addition of Anders Lindback, the goaltending situation for the Buffalo Sabres is set – at least until April. But what happens after that?

More from Sabres News

The fact is that nothing is set in stone for the Buffalo Sabres for next season in terms of their goaltenders. Lindback is set to hit free agency this offseason; so is Michal Neuvirth. The Sabres have a few goaltenders down the pipe, in guys like Nathan Lieuwen, Matt Hackett and Andrey Makarov. But both Lieuwen and Hackett will be free agents after this season unless the team re-signs them, and even if so, would they be ready for full-time NHL duty?

The acquisition of Lindback is a temporary fix. Enroth was also set to be a free agent, so either way, this would have been up in the air…. but it’s a situation that needs to be taken care. The Buffalo Sabres are continuing their rebuild and they can’t do that without the support of solid goaltending. What would you do?

In other NHL news, everyone keeps talking about the league potentially moving out to a new market in Seattle. Here’s a piece from The Hockey Writers on 10 reasons why the NHL must expand to Seattle.

Staying in the Washington region, the WHL teams in that area are on the hotseat right now — they’re being investigated for child labor violations.

This article from Sportsnet details further the investigations, but this isn’t necessarily a brand new issue. Things like minimum wage and working conditions are among those being investigated, and depending on the outcome, this could change some things in the WHL and Canadian Hockey Leagues overall.

Here’s another article, also on the same topic, from Vice Sports.

Another link from Sportsnet this morning: the top 30 NHL draft prospects, updated for the month of February.

In the least-shocking move ever, Connor McDavid remains the top draft-eligible prospect heading toward June.

Finally this morning, a Deadspin article came out that listed “where NHL players don’t want to play.” The list itself came from an ESPN poll of sports agents, and Buffalo came out as #3.

My reaction to this?

Pfffft. Show me five players who have spent time in Buffalo in the past few years who didn’t like the city. Don’t want to play in Buffalo? I couldn’t care less.

I’d also like to point out that there have been several instances of players who were less than thrilled to be traded to Buffalo, but who ended up loving it. Take for instance Craig Rivet, who I distinctly remember wasn’t thrilled about coming to Buffalo.

He clearly ended up loving it, and was just named head coach of the 11U Pee Wee Minor Buffalo Jr. Sabres for next season. Not only did he play here, but he’s returned to Buffalo and has subsequently gotten involved in the hockey community here.

That’s what I like to see. I don’t care what a list of sports agents say — it’s things like that, that prove just how great a city Buffalo is.