BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 23: T.J. Brennan #33 and Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrate Brennan's first NHL goal against the Boston Bruins at First Niagara Center on November 23, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
TJ Brennan performed admirably for the Buffalo Sabres in his short debut this season. He's a former second round pick with a cannon of a shot and plenty of potential, but there's one question that I'm sure he's thinking about this summer:
Do the Sabres have a spot next season for TJ Brennan?
Buffalo will have at least five solid incumbents returning next season - Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoff, Robyn Regehr, Andrej Sekera, and Jordan Leopold. Mike Weber will also be back, and Marcus Foligno made a strong case that he deserves to be with the big club next season and is expected to challenge for Mike Weber's starting spot. Oh, and the team will certainly explore resigning Alexander Sulzer after he performed so well for them down the stretch.
All of this is well and good for the Sabres, but it leaves Brennan as the odd man out. If Sulzer resigns, Brennan would once again find himself ninth on the organizational depth chart and would be looking at starting the season for the Amerks.
That's not necessarily a bad thing for the young defenseman, or for the Sabres organization. He'd get another year of seasoning in the AHL instead of riding the pine for Buffalo, and would continue to absorb the wisdom of Sabres University Professors Ron Rolston and Jay McKee. At the end of the 2012-13 season, the contracts of Leopold, Regehr, and Weber will be up, and Brennan's path to the NHL will be much more clear.
What do you think Sabres fans? Is a 100+ mph shot enough to give the kid a shot to make the Sabres next year? Or does he need more seasoning?