After the end of the Sabres Season, management had many decisions. Larry Quinn decided to keep Darcy and Lindy around for another go, and also hinted that a roster "shake-up" would occur. So out with the old, in with the new; this is what the Sabres should aim to accomplish.
THE DRAFT, JUNE 27; Montreal
The Sabres have the 13th pick in the first round of this year's draft. They should aim to get a big,in your face, bad-ass forward. They could move up into the top five and select winger Evander Kane or center Brayden Schenn. If they elect to stay at 13 there's really only two options; Zach Kassain, or Scott Glennie. In later rounds the sabres should add another forward and a couple defenseman.
CURRENT TEAM FA's and ROSTER MANAGEMENT
Stafford, Kaleta, Ellis, Sekera, MacArthur
Stafford is a no-brainer, he, Clarke, Kaleta and Sekera are RFA's and are all key role players, to say the the least , at this point. Kaleta is the home-grown agitator that this team desperately needs. MacArthur is a flourishing winger who will be able to crack the top six for some team in the next few years. Sekera is a promising offensive defenseman who will be a top three d-man for this team this year. Matt Ellis is interesting. He doesn't play much, but will cost next to nothing to keep. However, whenever he was put in the line up he gave this team a spark, and is a hard working veteran who is a good influence for the younger guys. It can't hurt to keep him around.
Teppo, Spacho, Moore, Afinogenov, Peters,
Teppo Numminien has had a great 20 year career, but it's time to hang em' up, no matter how hard it may be. Maybe a coaching position is in his future? Jaroslav Spacek has been good at times, at bad at others, and is a prefect example of the incosistency that this team has shown, and that has to change. Dominic Moore was a huge disappointment. He maybe had 5 points after being acquired. No way he was worth a 2nd round pick. Afinogenov needs a new start somewhere, and Max, have fun in Washington. Can someone explain to me how a guy who can't skate, shoot, or pass has a job in the NHL. I'll ask Andrew Peters, he proboly knows.
Danny Paille, Henrik Tallinder, Nathan Paetsch
Paille is the same person as MacArthur, but has better value in a trade, so should be moved to make room for some of the guys in Portland. Tallinder is way too pricey at 3.1 million and should be moved because he's lost his game. A team in need of a young veteran defenseman who doesn't want to commit to a free-agent would love Paetsch, who really can'ty help the Sabres right now.
The Sabres could use a top four defenseman and one or two decent veterans at forward. This deenseman should be the puck-moving type and a good PP guy. The forwards should be decent and have playoff experience. So here goes,
Mikael Samuelsson-RW-Detroit- Samuelsson has plenty of playoff experience as he has plenty playoff games and cups under his belt and on his hand. He should be in the 1-2 million range and should be atop Darcy's list. With Detroit worried about their big guns, Mikael should hit the market.
Another option could be Travis Moen from San Jose, a former Stanley Cup MVP. Also, as ugly (literally) as it sounds how bout Christopher Neil. He makes me sick, but would be a terrific addition to our team. What about a possible Brad May return. All of these guys would be inexpensive, 2-way, gritty, playoff experienced veteran additions to the Sabres.
Other in organization options are Nathan Gerbe, Tyler Kennedy, Mark Mancari, and Tyler Ennis.
On Defense, a solid puck moving d-man to go on the PP would be great.
Marc-Andre Bergeron-Wild- Bergeron is a solid puck mover who is a good point shot and is an under the radar guy who wouldn't cost more than 2 million. He would help open the teams PP and can also make a solid contribution on the defensive end. Also a 2-way player like the forwards mentioned.
Another FA could be Mathieu Schnieder but he could be pricey. Aside from Bergeron and Schnieder the other options are Tyler Myers, last year's first rounder, and Mike Weber, who will fill out the D-core.
I except the Sabres to add Moen, Samuelsson, and Bergeron adiing 5 mil to the cap,
Vanek Roy Stafford
Pominville Connolly Hecht
MacArthur Mair Samuelsson
Moen Gerbe Ellis
Extra Forwards- Mancari, Kennedy (from Portland, would be on roster)
Extra D- Mike Card (from Portland, would be on roster)
Extra Goalie- Jhonas Enroth (Portland, would be on Portland roster)
*Mikael Tellqvist signed in Russia
With this roster, the Sabres should be able to make a legitimate push at the conference and could finish as high as 5th or 6th in the standings. They would end up like the Hurricanes of this year is you ask me.