It's time to put the finishing touches on the 2009-2010 season for the Buffalo Sabres. Here is a complete report card of every single player that played any amount of time with the Sabres this season. The journey will begin with Chris Butler and conclude in almost a month with Thomas Vanek. Thanks to Japers Rink and Mile High Hockey for the inspiration.
#21 / Right Wing / Buffalo Sabres
Oct 30, 1985
2008-2009 Grade: B
Contract Status: Signed for $2.3 million next season.(Will be RFA after next season)
|2009 - Drew Stafford||71||14||20||34||4||35||5||0||1||0||181||7.7|
Introduction: Drew Stafford signed a reasonable two-year contract as a restricted free agent last summer but still expectations were high after he scored 20 goals last season. Those numbers dropped this past season prompting fans and media to call for his departure this off-season. His 14 goals were six off last years total and his 34 points was 11 less than his total from 2008-2009.
Voting: On a scale of one to ten, one being the lowest and ten being the highest, grade Drew Stafford on his season according to the expectations you had for him. If he met them, give him a five or a six. If he eclipsed them, aim for a seven or beyond. If he failed to meet them, give him a lower number relating to how poorly he missed the target.
Key Stat: Stafford scored only six points while playing on a line with Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek but played 29.11% of his even strength shifts with the pair.
Thumbs Up: While nobody can put a positive spin on what was ultimately a disappointing season for Stafford, I will try my best to fill you with a couple of positive nuggets from his 2009-2010 campaign.
He ranked sixth on the team in cost/point because of the cap-friendly deal he signed last summer. We have high expectations for Stafford but we have to remember he is 24 years-old and does not get paid like a top-line player.
Power play goals were down for Stafford with only five this season but he had 10 power play points which ranked him fifth on the team despite playing most of the season on the second power play unit.
Thumbs Down: Any time a young player regresses statistically it is an obvious thumbs down. Stafford seen his point production drop considerably, prompting many to speculate he played last season for the money. (If that was the strategy it didn't work because he made considerably less than most of us anticipated).
He was given plenty of time on the top line and should have produced with talented players like Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek on his line, still I can't help but wonder what he could do on a line with Tim Connolly.
Discuss: Should the Sabres give up on Drew Stafford and send him packing for another squad? Was this season a small set back or a reflection of the player Stafford will be the rest of his career? Should he take into consideration that Stafford is only 24 years-old?