Looking At Free Agents Not Named Shane Doan

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 09: Petr Sykora #15 of the New Jersey Devils looks to catch the puck against the St Louis Blues at Prudential Center on February 9, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

I'm sick of hearing about Shane Doan. He's all anyone ever talks about these days, and he doesn't seem any closer to making a decision than he did on July 1. Hearing Doan's name makes me feel like Brian Cox in Super Troopers, so this post will officially stop talking about Shane Doan riiiiiiight now.

There, doesn't that feel better?

Now, the Buffalo Sabres management has said that they're not finished tinkering with their roster for the upcoming season. They still have moves to make, and most folks seem to think it will be through trade - but just for the heck of it, let's assume that nobody wants to trade with Darcy Regier after watching him take Robyn Regehr and a second round pick off of Calgary for the Paul Byron/Chris Butler pu pu platter. That leaves free agency as the only way to further improve the roster, and since we've already ruled you-know-who out of the picture, let's take a look at some other potential free agent candidates that the Sabres might be looking at.

Petr Sykora

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2011 - Petr Sykora 82 21 23 44 4 40 4 0 6 170

Most of the remaining free agents are pretty thin in the offensive categories, but if Regier & Co. are looking for a player to help in the top 6, say as insurance for a Marcus Foligno regression, Petr Sykora is one name that fits the bill. Yes, Sykora is a bit older at age 35, but he brings a ton of experience and a versatility to play all three forward positions, something that would have Lindy Ruff foaming at the mouth with new line combinations. His age might also mean that he doesn't want to spend his last few seasons in a Parise-less New Jersey, or perhaps he just wants to live in the lap of luxury that is Pegula-ville. Even though he's not very good defensively, he's one of the few remaining players that can legitimately help an offense that wasn't very potent last season.

Jason Arnott

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2011 - Jason Arnott 72 17 17 34 13 26 6 0 3 142

As was mentioned in a link this morning, Arnott would be a great fit for the Sabres as a third line center. He's got leadership, grit, and playoff experience out the wazoo, and even at age 37, he still managed to put up 17-17-34 on a very defensive Blues team. I've been hoping that the Sabres would pursue Arnott for a few off-seasons now, and still think he would look great in blue and gold.

Tom Kostopoulos

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2011 - Tom Kostopoulos 81 4 8 12 -15 57 1 1 1 91

The Sabres top-6 still seems pretty set, and that's unlikely to change unless someone is shipped out. However, Regier has already brought in a few different forwards that will add grit to the bottom six, and Tom Kostopoulos would fit right in on the wing next to Cody McCormick and Patrick Kaleta. He's an energy guy who will hit, block shots, and stick up for teammates, and he's responsible in the defensive zone to boot, a Lindy Ruff must-have. At age 33, he'd still have enough left in the tank to contribute, and would help a young locker room with his veteran presence.

What do you think, Sabres fans? Is there anyone else out there that Regier may be targeting? Or is trade the only option?

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