With Tim Kennedy now signed for $1 million next season, the Sabres have 14 forwards if you include Cody McCormick, Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe. All three played in the playoffs last season and they all figure to compete for a spot on the opening night roster this season. With 14 forwards in the mix and six established NHL defensemen, are the Sabres content to start the season?
Darcy Regier hinted in his press conference that he had a couple of players he was looking at but he felt the team was set to head into training camp. This answers my question above but it asks a whole new question...are you comfortable with the current Sabres roster heading into the season?
Follow the jump for the Regier press conference and the Sabres roster.
Darcy also suggested that Rivet will be ready for training camp, which suggests the team might not need a defenseman as many of us have suggested in recent weeks. I think the organization is comfortable with Mike Weber and Marc-Andre Gragnani coming up from Portland. I expect at least one of the two to be in the lineup against Ottawa on October 8th.
Sabres Current Roster
|1||Thomas Vanek||6.4||7.142||Derek Roy||4||4||Jason Pominville||5.5||5.3|
|2||Jochen Hecht||3.5||3.525||Tim Connolly||4.5||4.5||Drew Stafford||2.3||1.9|
|3||Tim Kennedy||1||1||Rob Niedermayer||1.15||1.15||Mike Grier||1.4||1.5|
|4||Tyler Ennis||0.875||0.875||Paul Gaustad||2.5||2.3||Patrick Kaleta||0.86||0.906|
|Res||Nathan Gerbe||0.85||0.85||Cody McCormick||0.5||0.5|
|1||Craig Rivet||3.5||3.5||Chris Butler||0.585||0.85|
|2||Steve Montador||1.55||1.55||Andrej Sekera||1.25||0.975|
|3||Jordan Leopold||3||3||Tyler Myers||0.875||1.3|
|Estimated Hit||53.473||Estimated Salary||52.945|
|Estimated Cap||59.4||Projected Budget||55|
|Cap Space||5.927||Money Left||2.055|
The chart above is the Sabres roster as I see it today. I know I will catch some slack for Ennis playing on a checking line and Stafford playing on a scoring line, and I am okay with that. Stafford is a more proven player at this point in his career. He definitely regressed last season but he deserves another shot. At 24 years-old, he has a huge offensive upside and I would hate to see him realize that potential in another uniform.
I also wonder if a free agent or two could fit in? Is there a defenseman that would make a good depth signing, just in case one (or more) of the four youngsters falters? Is there another forward (i.e. Lee Stempniak) that could make the offense better.
With the two months left before training camp, there are still plenty of questions for the Sabres to answer. First and foremost...is this the roster?