How Will The Buffalo Sabres Rebuild

Mike BurnsContributor IMay 10, 2009

TORONTO - APRIL 8:  Thomas Vanek #26 and Tim Connolly #19 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate Vanek's  third-period goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL action at the Air Canada Centre April 8, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Considered by many as a low spending team, the Buffalo Sabres have almost $50 million on the books for existing contracts for the 2009-2010 season. That money does not reflect attempting to resign unrestricted free agents like Maxim Afinogenov, Jaroslav Spacek, Teppo Numminen, Andrew Peters, Matt Ellis or newly acquired Dominic Moore.

The Sabres also have several restricted free agents like Drew Stafford, Clarke MacCarthur, Patrick Kaleta and Andrei Sekera. 

General Manager Darcy Reiger has a history of playing hardball with restricted free agents in the past  but could risk losing a player like Stafford to another team.

The Sabres will most likely lose most of these players this offseason and promote from Portland (AHL). 

Also look for the team to cut or trade a few of their higher paid players in a salary purge. 

With players like Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanak, Tim Connolly and Jason Pominville making over $4 million a season they might have to part ways with players like Toni Lydman, Henrik Tallinder, Paul Gausted and Derek Roy to remain financially stable in the coming season and beyond.