Thirty Teams in Thirty Weeks Week Four: Buffalo Sabres
This is the fourth article in a series of articles where I will analyze every team in the NHL over a course of thirty weeks.
Prospects: Tyler Myers, Nathan Gerbe,Tyler Ennis. “Note to NHL teams: Common sense speaking, don’t dismantle one of the best scouting staffs in the NHL and replace them with video cameras. Thank you”.
Buffalo has a few good prospects, but the team hasn’t been the same since dismantling the scouting department in 2005. All good teams start with good performances at the draft. Buffalo needs to improve on this if they want any chance of success.
Soon too be retiring: (None) There are, however, a few players getting near this area. The oldest player is only 34. With a couple of key players nearing retirement, Buffalo needs to have prospects to fill these holes.
Division Toughness: 3/6: The Sabres are the middle team in this division.
Cap Space: $6,412,944. Connolly, Spacek, Kotalik, and Afinogenov all need re-signing. With about $6 million, I don’t think it’s going to happen under this ownership.
Spacek could be traded to free up cap space for the rest of them, as he should begin to slow down soon. One of these players may also be traded at the deadline if Buffalo gets out of the playoffs.
Current Position: NHL: 12th; Conference: Seventh; Division: Third.
Three-Year Glance: Buffalo will have a hell of a time managing to screw up this year's draft for themselves. Better ownership would significantly help this franchise.
With four key players in need of a new contract next year, Buffalo will probably sign two of them and let the other two go to allow a roster spot for their prospects.
If Buffalo can’t improve its performance at the draft, they will not be able to keep this going for very long. The main thing this team has going for them is a good solid fan base that packs the building every night, whether they’re winning or losing.
Overall Grade: Future: C+; Present: B
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