Too Many Defensemen A Serious Quandary For The Buffalo Sabres

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Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff has found himself in a spot in which he has not been before. The problem? Too many defensemen. Though not all of Ruff’s defensemen could be considered top four defensemen he certainly has an overflowing amount of blue liners.

Captain Craig Rivet, Henrik Tallinder, Toni Lydman, Nathan Paetsch, Andrej Sekera, Chris Butler, Steve Montador,  and last, but not least, Mike Weber. That’s not to mention players that within the next year that should be ready; Tyler Meyrs  and TJ Brennan head up the names on that list.

So what is Ruff to do? The largest problem is that only Mike Weber can be sent down to Portland without having to clear waivers. But the rest of the seven are veterans. And as frugal as the Buffalo Sabres are, it is a very slim chance they would let a player walk away and pay them for no services rendered.

Paetsch and Montador can also play a forward position on a fourth line, but the problem there is that the Sabres are stacked with fourth line players  and really have no room for them.

Last season saw Nathan Paetsch spend a considerable amount of time in the press box while six defensemen dressed, players like Weber and Butler were called up and played before Ruff would even dress Paetsch in a game. This poses the question  does Ruff try and roll four lines of defense?

Personally, I think that would be a rather wise move by the coach. Yes it would cut down on the forwards that are able to dress per game, but it may help in keeping Buffalo’s top two lines of defensemen fresh and healthy. The trio of Paetsch, Tallinder, and Lydman all become unrestricted free agents at the end of this up coming season. Until then, Ruff may have to pull the proverbial rabbit out of his hat trying to keep this defensive corps happy and gelling together as one cohesive unit.

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