Okay, so I know this is not likely, but I have this proposed timeline for what would be a nice way to start our "rebuild".
June 23-29: Sabres re-sign:
Cody Hodgson: 4 Years/$14M
Brian Flynn: 3 Years/$3.75M
Mike Weber: 4 Years/$6M
Alexander Sulzer: 1 Year/$725,000
Jhonas Enroth: 5 Years/$7.5M
Matt Hackett: 3 Years/$2.7M
Corey Tropp: 3 Years/$2.7M
Drew Schiestel: 1 Year/$600,000
Alex Biega: 2 Years/$1.2M
Nick Crawford: 2 Years/$1.2M
Jacob Lagace: 1 Year/$600,000
David Leggio: 3 Years/$2.25M
June 30 (2013 NHL Entry Draft)
Buffalo Acquires: 2nd Overall Pick (Nate MacKinnon)
Florida Acquires: 8th Overall Pick, 2nd Round Pick (2014), rights to Luke Adam
Buffalo Acquires: 3rd Overall Pick (Jonathan Drouin)
Calgary Acquires: 19th Overall Pick, Thomas Vanek
Buffalo Acquires: 23rd Overall Pick (Mirco Mueller)
Columbus Acquires: Drew Stafford, 5th Round Pick (2014)
At this point, I've already passed out. But wait, there's more...
Buffalo Acquires: rights to Sam Gagner, 2nd Round Pick (2014), 3rd Round Pick (2014), Tony Rajala
Edmonton Acquires: Ryan Miller
Okay, "rebuild" is in full swing. Our lines would look something like:
SCRATCHES: Kaleta, Larsson, McNabb
Re-Sign Gagner to 6 Year/$27M Deal. Buy Out Ville Leino.
Hire Craig Ramsay as head coach, Don Lever and Mike Ramsey Assistants. Ron Rolston returned to Rochester.
Pretty good for a team that costs only $47.34M, huh? From this team, I'd expect a 7th-10th place finish the next few years. This also shows that we don't sign any free agents this offseason (totally possible, weak class), and that we make some insane, totally anti-Regier-like moves. This also includes moving the last of the "core" that has existed the past couple years: Roy (Dealt to Dallas), Pominville (Dealt to Minnesota), Vanek (Dealt to Calgary), Stafford (Dealt to Columbus), and Miller (Dealt to Edmonton). Miller does have a limited no-trade (like Pominville, 8 teams he wouldn't go to) so he might block a deal to Edmonton. However, he may not. Edmonton has a bright future ahead of them after a few years of, what was that word?, oh yes, "rebuilding".
I wish Thomas Vanek a bitter good-bye, have a nice life. That particular trade was a direct result of his 'I don't want to be here if it is more than a 1-year rebuild' comment. I understand, he wants to win a Cup, but way to demoralize the team that gave you your start, and your $7M salary. And one that was probably going to make you Captain next season. (By the way, Ott becomes "C", Ehrhoff and Weber "A")
To Miller, it truely is tough to make this deal. For the past several years, since some players by the names of Briere and Drury (ring a bell to anyone?), he has been the first player who came to mind to any non-Sabres fan. He represented the Sabres well at the 2010 Olympics, and won the Vezina that same year. Unfortunately, he did not bring home a Cup. He has struggled for a while with high shots, several of which have cost us games. Several fans will be upset at this move, but it must be done to complete the "rebuild".
Stafford is a given. No further comments.
Luke Adam is a skilled player who, I think, will excel in Florida with his new-old teammate, TJ Brennan. Adam was a rare case. He didn't fit in Buffalo's system, and doesn't fit into their future. I think the acquisition of Johan Larsson solidified that. Good luck, Luke!
Unfortunately, I don't think Regier will be fired. He got good value in the Pominville, Regehr, and Leopold deals, and had signed an extension in the offseason. Pegula likes him (somehow), and unlike Lindy, "He (really) ain't goin' nowhere!"
To the 2013-14 Buffalo Sabres, a team that will probably look NOTHING like this in real life.