Mar 31, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Buffalo Sabres left wing Tyler Ennis (63) during their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Sabres 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
With free agency quickly approaching on July 1, the Sabres will likely be bringing in some new faces very soon. But before they do, let's take a look at where they currently stand with their players under contract.
Note: These are not necessarily predicted line combinations, just an easy way to organize who the team still has under contract and where they have holes to fill.
Vanek - Roy - Pominville
Leino - Hodgson - Stafford
Empty - Empty - Gerbe
Ellis - McCormick - Empty
RFAs: Ennis, Kaleta
Other Possibilities: Foligno, Tropp, Adam, Grigorenko
There are a few holes here, but I'm sure many fans will assume the resigning of one or both RFAs and immediately put Foligno, Tropp, and possibly Grigorenko in to fill a few of those holes, though they all still have much to prove. Buffalo's top two lines are pretty set, especially with three different top-two centers on the roster in Ennis (hopefully) Hodgson, and Roy, but they could still use an upgrade or two in their bottom-six, especially if Darcy is looking to replace below-average veterans like Matt Ellis or isn't convinced by the small sample size of Tropp and Foligno.
Myers - Ehrhoff
Leopold - Sekera
Regehr - Weber
McNabb - Sulzer
The defensive roster is pretty much set, and there's a fairly significant logjam if you include all eight guys. McNabb can still go back to Rochester to start the season, and anybody theoretically could be shipped out as part of a package to acquire a big name trade target, but at this point, I would be surprised to see Buffalo sign any new free agents here.
The Sabres are set in net with these two. Don't anticipate any changes here.
Now that we've seen what's missing, the real fun can begin. Who's out there that can best fill the holes the Sabres currently have? We'll have more coverage as the week goes on, but for now, let's hear your ideas.