FanPost

Team Building Exercise

No, no one is falling backwards and having the other guy catch them.

OK, just for fun, as we get close to the draft, thought I'd throw out a few scenarios and see what fans are thinking at this point. Choose your favorite:

Scenario A: Sabres are bold, trading pick #8, a prospect and Vanek to move into TB's spot at 3. Sabres proceed to select MacKinnon if FLA passes on him, if not they surprisingly select Barkov at #3, skipping over Drouin, then deal both 2nds and #16 to move up w DAL and select Shinkaruk at #10. You now have Z, Armia, Barkov, and Shinkaruk all ready to come up to the bigs in 2014-15, where Grigs and other young guys (McNabb, Tropp, Larsson, etc) already have gotten substantial playing time. In this scenario, Stafford is moved, but Miller is kept while Hackett/Makarov, et al are given another season of, well, seasoning, in the A. Miller is moved at the deadline in a sign and trade (if he's playing well) for picks, or allowed to walk and the end of the year. Hodgson gets a short-term 3 yr deal at 4 per; Enroth gets the same; the rest are allowed to enter into their RFA deals with their contracts waiting on performance. So you've potentially reworked almost your entire Top 6 in a 2 year span, and you have 4 picks in the Top 50 in 14-15, after BFLO has likely had a rough season. Barkov or Nate Mac are both can't miss guys, you've made your offense more explosive, but you'll have some growing pains and will have to suffer through a couple miserable seasons and may have long-term goalie problems.

Scenario B: Sabres do a full house-cleaning. Vanek (to Columbus), Miller (to PHX), Stafford (to WIN) are all moved for various pieces; Leino is bought out. Let's say the players mentioned above net a prospect, multiple Round 2 picks (this year and next), and a handful of other later round picks. This year, the Sabres now have 3 1sts (8, 16, 19) and 3 2nds. In the draft, they do the following: Monahan at 8, Pulock at 16, Rychel at 19, and to everyone's surprise, they trade up to #28 for 2 of their 2nd rounders to #28, where they pick up Erne. They go goalie in Round 2. They resign Coho to a longer-term deal at, oh, 4.5 mill a year, Enroth gets a 2 year deal at 2.5 per. A handful of guys are signed to hit the Cap Floor; everybody but Ehrhoff, Enroth, Coho and Foligno are playing for their jobs. They now have 4 2nd rounders in 2014-15 draft; they use 2 of those post-draft to add another 1st (22-26). Next year, they will be atrocious, but they now have a busload of talent and in 14-15 they will likely have a high 1st and a late 1st to add to their collection. If most of these guys pan out (a big IF) then the team could be set for a decade - if not, they will be awful for a half-decade or more.

Scenario C: Sabres generally stand pat. They keep Vanek and Miller, confident they can resign. They add Streit in FA, move Stafford for picks, and keep Leino as a body. At #8 they add Nurse, and at 16 they pick up Mantha, both high-upside guys that have some developing to do. Coho is resigned at 3 yr, 4 mill; Ennis is extended 3 yr 3 mill; Enroth gets a 2 yr extension; Foligno and Flynn both get a small raise to re-up for 2 more years. Maybe Rolston's new system and Darcy's reiteration that 'no one is safe' adds a sense of urgency to the locker room and the Sabres surprise, with the young guys contributing big minutes and a high level night-in night-out intensity puts BFLO back in the playoffs, or they remain mired in mediocrity or worse and DR gets the heave-ho and Rolston is on thin-ice with the new GM.

I thought about a Scenario D, where Darcy is REALLY bold and after cleaning house, throws a huge offer sheet at Tuuka Rask to blow up the Bruins' cap, but I am trying for SOME connection to reality here.

If you were 'rebuilding' this team, which scenario would you lean toward? Or is there another I'm forgetting?

This is a FanPost written by a member of the community. It does not necessarily express the views or opinions of Die By The Blade.

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