In the same issue of The Hockey News they asked their team contributors about the top three burning questions surrounding their team. The Buffalo Sabres contributor is Tim Graham of the Buffalo News and he gave his answers but I though I'd try and give my answers as well to the very same questions.
1. Will Thomas Vanek justify his hefty contract?
Tim Graham: Highly doubtful
DBTB: Absolutely... the answer above is very narrow minded and thinks only of this season. The question is will he live up to his contract that is for seven years and $50 million. Vanek is a very solid offensive player and he will be fine. Vanek is going to have the chore of playing against the top checking line of every team but I think that happened a lot last year anyway. The line of Roy-Vanek-Afinogenov was the most feared line last year as well but the difference was there were three top lines and this year it will be two with a third that will contibute at times.
2. Is Ryan Miller ready to carry a team?
Tim Graham: He is
DBTB: He already has. Ryan Miller has proved he is an outstanding goaltender in this league and I don't see any reason that is going to change. Miller has been solid despite having a team in front of him that was always thinking offense first. Miller has proved to be one of the best goaltenders in the league on odd man rushes and breakaways. Miller is not going to be affected by the team losing a couple of players because it has nothing to do with making saves. Miller has been a solid goalie and will continue to be one. He seems more motivated this season to prove that the team can still be good without the players they have lost.
3. What impact will a healthy Tim Connolly have?
Tim Graham: "The slick center came out of the lockout completely dedicated and enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2005-2006. But he sustained his second significant concussion on the '06 playoffs and missed the first 80 games last season. with a full summer of conditioning expect him to be dazzling again.
DBTB: Well said by Tim Graham. Connolly his going to be a force in the Sabres lineup if he can stay healthy. The injury history of Connolly is a bit of worry because he seems to never play an entire season. He is probably one one hit away from the end of his career and that is a worry for Tim and all Sabres fans.
If anyone has any Buffalo Sabres questions they would like answered just sign up for a free account and leave a comment in this post. I will answer all Sabres questions and if I receive enough of them I will do a post on it as well.
Note: The answers given by Tim Graham were much more in depth but I gave the short quick answers. I respect Tim Graham as writer much more than the other guys at TBN who always seem to be negative and trying to create controversy.