Sabres looking to be major players in Free Agency

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Chuzwazza, Jul 5, 2006.

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  1. Chuzwazza

    Chuzwazza Registered User

    Mar 5, 2002
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    "They're young, they're talented and they're only going to get better as a collective group." That was the quote given by Sabres GM Joshua Pitt in a recent interview with TSN. I'm sure most experts around the league would agree that it was a pretty accurate statement. Thing is, Pit isn't talking about a young up and coming playoff team, he's talking about a defending Stanley Cup Champion.

    Sure, nobody is calling them favourites right now for a repeat given their run to the cup was considered one more of fortune and chemistry rather than skill and experience, and those types of teams are always hardest to maintain at an elite level.

    Thing is, the Sabres have been one of the most fiscially responsible teams in the league of late, and their Cup win only boosted their coffers. Now, with a load of money in the bank, and an ownership group that is prepared to let management use it, The Buffalo Sabres couple be adding anywhere up to 15 Million in payroll.

    And with names like Jagr, Fedorov, Demitra, Lindros, Sundin, Theodore, Koivu, Primeau, Guerin and Hatcher still yet to announce new deals with their current clubs, the FA market could be richer than ever.

    Exactly what the team will do is unknown. They may not go out and use all their cap space in just one off season, but then again, building on such great momentum might be the best thing for the franchise.

    The team could use a top line forward, and two would only help that much more. That said Jocelyn Thibault's days might be numbered despite backstopping the team to a cup win. With rookie Ryan Miller looking to take over the job, perhaps the Sabres would rather sign an all-star calibre netminder like Theodore and let the youngster develop at his own pace. Finally, although 7 deep with the likely arrival of rookie Fedor Tyutin (replacing Brad Bombardir in the lineup) Pitt's love for quality D-men is well know throughout the league. A tough, no-nonsense veteran like Hatcher or Hill could be the perfect compliment to the Sabres young and skilled play.

    So what will happen exactly is yet to be determined...but with that in mind, there are a few things that are for sure...

    The Sabres WILL be players in Free Agency this season, and they WILL be looking to retain Lord Stanley's prize. With the ability to make some major waves in the off-season, that's not good news for the rest of the league.

    That's all...for now

    Buffalo Bill
    Hockey Editor for The Buffalo News

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