Now that the Sabres are no longer in the hunt for the cup, lets take a peak into the FA pool. What moves can our franchise make to turn Buffalo into Hockey Heaven?
Just some names in the FA pool that caught my eye....
Richards-C: Would be nice to add but will be too expensive for whomever he ends up with. He is the most expensive FA this year(by last years $) by a couple million. Brings playoff exp and a Conn Smythe but whatever contract he will most likely sign will cripple any other moves that team can accomplish for the next couple years.
Arnott-C: Older vet who has worn the C. Still has some game left in him, gritty and can finish. Great 3rd line center and can fill #2 center role if needed. Will need to take a paycut next year and that will make him an appealing option.
Fleishmann-C: Kind of lost in the shuffle in Washington. Can bring some firepower to the O and is still young. Playoff record hasn"t been great. Good option if the price is right.
Laich-C: Gritty and powerful, with some offensive upside. Low ceiling however will hurt his value, good add but won't put you over the top.
Cole-LW: Something tells me this guy will be resigned by Carolina. When healthy he has put up good numbers. Can play on top line and produce or fill in nicely on a second line. Salary he will command will be a tough sell though with his injury history and all.
Glencross-LW: Young and productive in a defensive system. Question is can he produce on the third line? Because thats where he would play here. Great depth player if we can get him cheap.
Leino-LW: Young, was under $1 million last year and has lots of playoff exp. Another great depth player that might be available because Philly is cap strapped. Flyers will prob find a way to keep him unless someone overpays him.
RW is a pipe dream for the Sabres in FA so I won't even go there
Kaberle-D: Top trade deadline defenseman available this year. Veteran who can run the point on the PP. A little soft in his own end but can carry the puck up ice. Another player who will demand much more than they are worth for longer than they should play.
Wisniewski-D: Solid all around Dman. Has offensive upside and is coming off a good year. Could be had if Montreal has to pour big cash into Markov and Subban.
Markov-D: same as Wisniewski but with higher defensive ability. If Montreal puts their cap space into Wisniewski then he might be had. Kind of a huge risk reward though with his recent injurys.
Bieska-D: Very good and young Dman. Can skate, hit and score. Will be a welcome add to what ever team get him next year... my pick for us.
Erhoff-D: Another guy I just can't see leaving the team he is on. Brings it all to the table and is a lynchpin in Vancovers D. however if Vancover desides to keep Bieska then he could be had with the right offer.
Backup Goalie is also not of much concern this year either so....