Less than six months after Buffalo Sabres fans repeated the annual quote of "there's always next year", the dawn of the 2009 - 2010 National Hockey League season is upon us.
The end of the 2008 - 2009 season left fans with many questions, many of which went unanswered during the off season. Or did they?
Depth on defense was on top of many of those lists. The Sabres now face the start of the season with too many defense men and the question on whether or not to face losing someone in the waiver process.
Four solid lines on offense was another question. Now with the signing of Mike Grier who will be the odd man out for the Sabres offense. Long struggling Max Afinogenov has signed with Atlanta making room for Grier but where will future star prospect Tim Kennedy or Nathan Gerbe fit in.
It appears the Sabres may have to trade either a vetren defensemen and one or two forwards to avoid losing some great prospects on the waiver wire.
Younger would be better, by trading some older veterans the Sabres could restock their farm club for the next few seasons while developing players like Kennedy and Gerbe in the NHL. Tyler Ellis has shown many good things in preseason to show he could be a future staple on the blue line, the big defense men the Sabres have long needed.
While this could very well be the third straight season the Sabres miss the playoffs, this could also be the start of something good for future seasons.