The new season has just started. But as expected, the Sabres are struggling. There were many big changes expected in the last season too but nothing has happened. There are many big names waiting to hear the decision about if they will be traded or kept. Mainly speaking about Ryan Miller, Drew Stafford, Ville Leino and others who should be traded but don't have so big trade value just like defensemen Henrik Tallinder (turning 35 in january), Alex Sulzer( who is injured most of the time) and fringe forwards as Cody McCormick, John Scott and Kevin Porter. (note - there's no need to trade Matt Ellis unless he signed two-way contract).
With Miller, Stafford, Leino, Tallinder, Sulzer, McCormick, Scott and Porter, Sabres would save 20,8 mil. cap space plus 3,8 that Sabres already have. There would be 24,6 mil. free cap space to work with and that seems really good. After all these changes made, roster would look like this -
*My additions - Ryan Johansen(I think Sabres should acquire him via trade with Marcus Foligno, Johansen has a tremendous potential and he needs a trade, Foligno has his brother in Columbus, I think this would be a fair trade for both sides). I also added Peter Mueller(who is currently a free agent playing in Switzerland, NLA league) and Tim Connolly (who is also currently UFA and feeling ready to play again, after some injuries, he's recovered now and 100% healthy again). Both Mueller and Connolly should get contract worth around 1 mil. per one year, so it's a non-risky move, it's worth a shot and if they'll play good, they can both get extended.
This is only the beginning. Sabres should work from this, they can put together solid lines(as you can see) without Miller, Stafford, Leino and others. I'm sure that there would be lots of teams interested in Miller and Stafford aswell. When it comes to Leino, I'm not so sure but Sabres should traded him even for "a bag of pucks and sticks". No offence on him, he's good player but he's injured most of the time and he has a scary cap-hit. I'm not so sure about Tallnder too, but maybe some team that needs some veteran presence on the blue-line for the play-offs or to push for the play-offs late in the season should be interested. When it comes to trade McCormick, Scott and Porter, it should be a difficult task since I doubt there would be many teams interested, but that should be no problem anyway. In case of zero interest, Sabres can keep them until the end of the season and then let them go to test the market. After all these things done, Sabres should really start with a new dynasty and start to build on this. In two, or three years, stepping this way, Sabres should become one of the best teams in the league.
Don't forget about prospects Sabres already has in their prospect pool
and many others...