One way to begin the transformation in their team is to begin with their free agents. Offensively, the only unrestricted free agents they have are Jochen Hecht and Brad Boyes. If the Sabres want to improve next season, they need to move on from both of these players.
Let's start with Hecht. First, he's going to be 35 years old this upcoming season. If that's not enough of a reason to move on from him, maybe the severe concussion he suffered last season would be. That concussion that he suffered in January caused him to miss the rest of the season.
Injury aside, I wouldn't want Hecht back even if he was healthy. During the 2011-2012 season, when Hecht played in 67 games he only totaled 12 goals and 17 assists good for 29 points. This was coming off a 2010 year where Hecht notched 21 goals.
With his numbers declining and coming off a serious injury, Hecht isn't even worth a look to come back for the Sabres. Move on and look for a younger, versatile player.
As for Brad Boyes, the Sabres should run the other way. After trading for him at the end of the 2010-2011 season from the St. Louis Blues, Boyes totaled five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 21 games.
The 2011-2012 season is another story. Boyes finished the year with eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 65 games. That's pathetic.
For a guy who has scored 25 goals or more in three years of his career, to total eight goals in one season is a disgrace. Although some people may blame Lindy Ruff's system for preventing goal scorers from flourishing in Buffalo, goal scorers will show up at some point during the season.
Boyes was paid $4 million for this past season and didn't earn a single dollar of it. Move on from him before he takes more of your money.
Darcy Regier needs to find players that fit Ruff's system and that can flourish playing Buffalo Sabres hockey.
Sticking with players that have been unsuccessful and useless the last year or two would be a grave mistake.
At this point, the Sabres can't afford any more of those.
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