Contract: UFA ($900,000 cap hit this year)
Introduction: When the Buffalo Sabres signed Carlo Colaiacovo this offseason, the first thing most Sabres fans did is resign themselves to the fact that they would never spell his name right. Their second thought was on where Vowels would fit in the lineup. As it turned out, Colaiacovo played the role of defenseman #6-8 throughout the year, filling in as needed but never really playing much of an important role on the ice.
Key Stat: -11. We all know +/- isn't the be-all-end-all stat it once was, but Colaiacovo's -11 was tied for the second worst among Sabres defenseman, despite playing in half the games of the man he's tied with, Zach Bogosian. Since he provides next to no offense at this point in his career, having him post a career-worst -11 means he ain't providing much defense anymore either.
Thumbs Up: Carlo wins the goody-two-shoes award among Sabres defensemen this year, finishing the season with just five penalties in 36 games, the best ratio among blueliners on the team. He's a decent skater for a 33-year old, but man we're really grasping at straws, aren't we?
Thumbs Down: Vowels had more letters in his nickname than points this year, and as we mentioned above posted a -11, the worst of his career this season. It was clear that Dan Bylsma didn't trust him in any situation, as Colaiacovo finished last among Sabres d-men in time on ice, and was given less special teams time all season than it's taken you to read this article. As a 33-year old UFA, it's doubtful that the team brings him back because he simply doesn't offer much of anything, aside from experience, that isn't available in dozens of other players with more upside.
Memorable Moment: Carlo's lone goal this year came late in the season against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Voting: Using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season (for the Sabres) C an average season, and F a very poor season, grade Carlo Colaiacovo on his performance this year.