The Buffalo Sabres had arguably their worst season in franchise history and everyone is looking to put this season far in their rear view mirror. With that being said, here is my version of Tim Murray role play for the 2014 off-season.
We will start with the 2014 Entry Draft...
With the 2nd pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres select: Sam Reinhart, Center, Kootenay Ice.
This is obviously pending based on what Florida does with the first overall pick. I think it comes down to Rainhart or Ekblad for the Sabres based on whomever Florida doesn't take. We should be hoping for Reinhart since we lack depth in regards to the center position. We send Sam Reinhart back to Juniors for 14-15 and let him grow before bringing him up for 15-16.
After the draft we focus on RFA's...
The Sabres have some decisions to make with this step, but I think most of them are relatively simple. We re-sign Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno, Chad Ruhwedel, Cory Conacher, Matt Hackett, and Luke Adam. All except for Adam and Hackett will have a role in Buffalo, and Luke will be a call-up when injuries occur. Hackett will battle for the starting gig with the Amerks.
The rest of the free agents will be let go due to ineffective play or lack of need for their services. So we have seen the last of Hank, Big John, and the crew of others in a Sabres' sweater. During this time, the long awaited Ville Leino amnesty buy-out will finally happen!
Last but not least, Unrestricted Free Agency...
As much as I would like to swing for the fences with a few UFA's it doesn't make sense and most likely won't happen anyway so you will not see Callahan or the other bigger names in my plan. The following players will not be overly costly and still be effective.
First, sign big D-Man Andrej Meszaros. Other than Christian Ehrhoff, our defense will be relatively young and inexperienced so adding Meszaros will help stabilize and strengthen the back end. He is not yet 30 so sign him for 3 or 4 years and he should be solid.
Two more signings to fill out the roster will be winger Devin Setoguchi and center Brian Boyle. Setoguchi adds some much needed offense and Boyle adds to the defense, toughness, and penalty killing unit.
The 2014-15 roster is as follows...
LW. C. RW.
Hodgson. Girgensons. Setoguchi
Foligno. Ennis. Stewart
Conacher. Grigorenko. Stafford
Mitchell. Boyle. DesLauriers
Ehrhoff - Pysyk
Meszaros - Ristolainen
Myers - Weber
Scratches: Ruhwedel, Flynn, Ellis
Goalies: Neuwirth, Enroth
This team will be much easier to watch than the previous. Will be improved but we will still most likely have to wait until 2015 for a playoff run.
Thanks for Playing!