NHL Free Agency: Will the Sabres Stay on the Sidelines?

On Saturday afternoon Darcy Regier indicated "The Sabres would not go for the home run" when July 1 comes around.  He said "It could be a week or even two before the Sabres get involved in the free agent market".  In his press conference today he changed his wording slightly.  He basically said that the Sabres needed a change but needed to ship some players out in order to do that.  I think the Sabres could be more active than any of us thought they would be.

Here is a quick look at the Sabres pending free agents as well as some potential targets in the free agent market.  Just follow the jump and see what may be in store for the Sabres on July 1 and beyond.

Pending UFAs:  Maxim Afinogenov, Jaroslav Spacek, Teppo Numminen, Dominic Moore and Andrew Peters

Pending RFAs:  Drew Stafford, Clarke MacArthur (eligible for arbitration), Patrick Kaleta, Andrej Sekera and Mark Mancari

Salary Cap Space:  Approximately $8.6 million

Projected Budget:  $50-51 million...meaning they have only $3.5-4.5 million left to spend

Key Needs:  The Sabres need to get tougher.  They need to rid themselves of some under achieving players that are making good money as well as players like Andrew Peters to bring in some tough players that have some offensive talent.  Players that will defend their goalie in the defensive zone and create space for the skill players in the offensive zone.

Potential Targets:  Sami Pahlsson, Mike Knuble, Mikael Samuelsson, Ruslan Fedetenko, Ian Laparriere, MIke Grier (not likely) Hal Gill, Brett Hedican and Jay McKee

What the rest of the division wants:  It's time to take a look at the rest of the Northeast Division, starting with the Division Champ Boston Bruins at Stanley Cup of Chowder.  The Habs have a long needs list considering they have almost nobody under contract.  Eyes on the Prize has a look at their free agent situation.  I'll add the others as they become available.

The fine tech folks at SB Nation have once again made us a very fine widget for all your free agency needs.  Make sure to check it out regularly before, during and after free agency begins.



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