The entire Sabres nation is this morning holding its collective breath regarding Thomas Vanek - meanwhile Buffalo-born Marcus Foligno and Derek Whitmore have been called up from Rochester for tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators.
With the number of injuries to forwards, today's question on the '12 Questions For Christmas' - is a speculative one, especially for the armchair GMs among us, read on after the jump.
#6 - Does the defense corps stay the same until the end of the season?
Since the lockout the Sabres management has made it a point to draft defensemen high in almost all the NHL Entry Drafts - Marc-Andre Gragnani (3rd rd, '05),
Chris Butler (4th rd, '05) [traded to Calgary], Dennis Persson (1st rd, '06), Mike Weber (2nd rd, '06), T.J. Brennan (2nd rd, '07), Drew Schiestel (2nd rd, '07), Tyler Myers (1st rd, '08), Corey Fienhage (3rd rd, '08), Brayden McNabb (3rd rd, '09), Mark Pysyk (1st rd, '10), Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (3rd rd, '10), and Matt McKenzie (3rd rd, '10) - and these are just counting those among the first hundred picks.
At the beginning of the season, the defense comprised - Robin Regehr, Christian Ehrhoff, Jordan Leopold, Andrej Sekera, Weber, Myers and Gragnani. Since then, Brennan and McNabb have had appearances with the Sabres. Joe Finley came up from Rochester for a few games too. Of these three, McNabb has appeared the most NHL ready.
While the defense hasn't played great, and the goaltending at times has been quite underwhelming, it's at the forward ranks where the Sabres seem to be hurting the most, both from injuries and lack of consistency. Do you feel that come the end of the season all these d-men will still be on the Sabres books, or does management package one (or more) of these players for a forward, preferably a playoff-tested veteran at the trade deadline?