Former Sabres competing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The playoffs begin today, and surprise! The Sabres aren't in them. If you're looking for a team to root for, choosing a team with familiar faces might be the way to go.

While Sabres fans anxiously wait for Saturday's lottery, other teams will actually continue to play hockey. Tonight the playoffs begin, featuring four different games on national television. There is no obvious choice for Sabres fans to root for, but familiar faces are always an easy choice. Of the 16 teams in the playoffs, ten have at least one former Sabre.

Some are Sabres fan-favorites, others spent only months in Buffalo. All at one point donned the blue and gold.


Montreal Canadiens - Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn. The Sabres sent two of their expiring contracts (Mitchell is a UFA, and Flynn an RFA) away at the deadline this season in separate deals to Montreal. Neither has really done much since. Flynn has played in nine games, failing to record a point. Mitchell, whose numbers in Buffalo were slightly inflated due to getting top-six minutes, has one assist in 14 games.

New York Islanders - Jaroslav Halak and Michal Neuvirth. Yes, you can't forget about the great Halak era of Sabres history. It was an historic time for the team, and we'd like to thank him for his great service to the organization. It was a teary goodbye.

New York Rangers - Dominic Moore. The late 2000's decade trade deadline moves feature many great random Sabres. Between Raffi Torres, Steve Bernier and Dainius Zubrus it was really an interesting bunch. When the Sabres acquired Moore in 2009 they were hoping him and Mikael Tellquvist could help push them into a playoff spot. Surprisingly, that didn't happen. On a more serious note, his return after his wife lost her battle with cancer is really a touching story.

Ottawa Senators - Clarke MacArthur. The Sabres traded MacArthur to Atlanta for two picks, which turned out to be Jerome Gauthier-Leduc and Steven Shipley. Quite the haul. MacArthur has evolved into a pretty solid player, one that the Leafs seemed to wish they had back. He scored 16 goals and 20 assists in 62 games this season.

Pittsburgh Penguins - Christian Ehrhoff. The person who bought an Ehrhoff jersey because they believed he'd be here for ten years weeps uncontrollably while reading this article. Ehroff has struggled with concussion injuries as of late, but he seems to be good to go for the playoffs.


Calgary Flames - Paul Byron and Dennis Wideman- The Sabres drafted Wideman in the 8th round of the 2002 draft. That's a real blue collar success story. Just the kind of thing the Buffalo News would prefer the Sabres do. Anyways, he never even signed a contract with the Sabres so I'm not sure he counts. The 5'7" Byron is a great representation of the Darcy Regier Sabres. He was sent to the Flames in the Robyn Regehr trade, and now seems to only score against Buffalo.

Minnesota Wild - Jordan Leopold, Jason Pominville, Chris Stewart and Thomas Vanek. Ah, the Sabres of the west. If you're choosing a team to root for based entirely on players you like, this is probably the team for you. Sometimes Mike Yeo puts Pominville and Vanek on the same time. So much nostalgia. It's uncertain whether or not they can make a run without Derek Roy.

Nashville Predators- Paul Gaustad. Remember when Nashville traded a first-round pick for Gaustad, then signed him to a four year, $13 million contract to help justify it? Remember, Matt Moulson was only worth two seconds and Mitchell. Last year's deadline was weird. He scored four goals and ten assists this season. I wonder if Nashville radio hosts argue about whether faceoffs matter.

St. Louis Blues- Chris Butler and Steve Ott. There are three former Sabres captains in the playoffs, with Vanek, Pominville and Ott. All three seem like so long ago now. At the start of last season, the Sabres rolled out their three captains, Vanek, Ott and Christian Ehrhoff. A lot changes in two seasons. The Blues kept Ott around likely because Vladimir Sobotka decided to head to the KHL. His production has been dismal. He's scored three goals in 78 games. It appears the Sabres lucked out by him not coming back in the off-season.

Vancouver Canucks - Zack Kassian and Ryan Miller. Sometimes I read through my old articles and tweets, and see how on board I was with the Legend of Zack Kassian train. Everyone makes mistakes. With both him and Cody Hodgson struggling, it is still hard to say who won that trade. Alex Sulzer lasting longer than Marc-Andre Gragnani pushes the Sabres ahead. As for Miller, it would be nice to see him make a real playoff run for the first time in six years. He's just returning from an injury, so he may be a little rusty. If he struggles, Vancouver might turn to Eddie Lack.

Winnipeg Jets- Tyler Myers, Adam Pardy, Drew Stafford and Chris Thorburn. If you're watching the playoffs and notice that Myers looks very good, don't freak out. The Sabres have Evander Kane now, remember? He's pretty good too. Myers has played very well in Winnipeg, totaling three goals and 12 assists in 24 games. He looks a lot better than he did in Buffalo, which is likely due to playing on a team with some really good defensemen. Stafford has also increased his production, scoring nine goals and 10 assists in 26 games. This is absolutely unheard of, because Stafford's production NEVER increases in a contract year.