We are one week away from July 1 and the official start of NHL free agency, although many teams are already starting by getting permission to speak with impending free agents. The Sabres have been very vocal in letting people know they want to make changes but that begs the question, what will the changes be? Over the next couple of days we will take a look at some of the potential free agents that are available to Buffalo.
Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier has mentioned that the Sabres have a plethora of NHL caliber forwards and an unfortunate lack of depth on defense. Buffalo News writer Bucky Gleason was Sabres GM for a day and the Goose's Roost has broken down the forwards for you. I plan on doing the GM for a day thing in a couple of days but for now we will look at what's available. Let's take a look at the current roster...
- Thomas Vanek ($8 million)
- Jochen Hecht ($3.8 million)
- Derek Roy ($3.5 million)
- Max Afinogenov ($3.5 million)
- Tim Connolly ($3.5 million)
- Ales Kotalik ($2.5 million)
- Jason Pominville ($1.375 million)
- Drew Stafford ($984,200)
- Adam Mair ($750, 000)
- Andrew Peters ($500,000)
- Patrick Kaleta ($500,000)
- Steve Bernier (RFA)
- Paul Gaustad (RFA)
- Daniel Paille (RFA)
- Clarke MacArthur (RFA)
Assuming that Buffalo will qualify all of their Restricted Free Agents (and I assume they will) that leaves them with 15 NHL caliber forwards and only 12 spots.
- Jaroslav Spacek ($3.3 million)
- Toni Lydman ($3.15 million)
- Hank Tallinder ($2.9 million)
- Nathan Paestch ($850,000)
- Mike Weber ($762,000)
- Andrej Sekera ($659,000)
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the Sabres are lacking defensive depth. It is still unclear whether or not Mike Weber and Andrej Sekera can play an entire season in the NHL and who knows if Nathan Paetsch will return to the form that had Sabres fans excited a couple of seasons ago. Darcy Regier said himself that sekera has a spot to lose but Weber will need to prove that he is ready. The Sabres will probably sign at least one free agent and may even sign two.
- Ryan Miller ($3.5 million)
The Sabres have only one NHl caliber goalie in the organization and will be signing a veteran backup in free agency.