The Sabres had a season that was memorable. Terry Pegula became owner on February 22nd and not long after that, we lost the great Rick Martin. Buffalo comes back from a horrid start to the season to get bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Philadelphia Flyers.
the 12 players under contract. Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, Tyler Myers, Jordan Leopold, Brad Boyes, Jochen Hecht, Shaone Morrisonn, Tyler Ennis, Paul Gaustad, Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Pat Kaleta eat up just under $41-million. Last season the salary cap was $59.4-million. It will go up next season. Maybe up to around $61-million. Let’s take Drew Stafford next. I'll go high and say add $5-million to the cap. That brings us to 13 players signed for just under $46-million.
You now must sign 8-10 more players for about $15-million. Guys you know they will bring back are Chris Butler, Andrej Sekera, Jhonas Enroth, Marc Gragnani, Mike Weber, Cody McCormick and Nathan Gerbe.
Signing the young players are important but we should think about who is "trade bait" or not. You have to keep Vanek, Myers and Miller. If you don't, the franchise will suffer for it majorly since those three players are considered the heart and soul of the franchise. You can buy out the contract of Jochen Hecht and Shaone Morrisonn. Get them to Portland for some veteran leadership and then you could even bring up Luke Adam, Zack Kassian, Marcus Foligno & Braden McNabb as they will give the Sabres a lot of talent, toughness & size. Something that was missed tremendously during the playoff series against Philadelphia.
The Sabres need a top line center. Can they bring in Brad Richards? I want them to but knowing the Sabres front office, they will bring in players that will beneficial to the Portland Pirates and not the Sabres.
So hypothetically speaking, the Sabres will have enough room to pick up maybe 1-3 top caliber players. I say bring in Erik Cole, Alex Tanguay and Sami Salo. Two forwards and a solid defensemen that has played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and have experience and leadership that could lead the Sabres to finally lifting Lord Stanley.
Sorry for all the ranting but I think it is needed.