Buffalo Sabres Hope Veterans Will Help in Upcoming Season


The offseason for the Buffalo Sabres has been status quo, as the team has not made any major moves or signings for the upcoming season.

The status quo for the Sabres includes signing replacements as players leave, or just promoting through the system.  

On July 1st, the Sabres signed defenseman Jordan Leopold to replace one of two defensive spots vacated by Henrik Tallinder, signed by the New Jersey Devils, and Toni Lydman, signed by the Anaheim Ducks.  Just days ago, the Sabres signed defensman Shaone Morrisonn to fill the other defensive vacancy.

The Sabres are expected to allow rookies Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe to vie for spots on the team this season.  The team bought out Tim Kennedy on Monday to clear out the logjam that they had at forward.

Other than that, the Sabres’ talent is mostly homegrown, and that’s not expected to change any time soon.

While there haven’t been many major signings, the Sabres have made sure to bring in veterans along the way to help their young core of players grow into the leaders they expect them to become.

Whether that happens is anyone’s guess. 

Over the past few seasons, the Sabres have brought in some aging, but proven veterans to help their core grow.  Darcy Regier traded for Craig Rivet in 2008, who has been the captain for the past two seasons.

Regier also brought back fan favorite Mike Grier last season, who left the team back in 2006 because he believed that the Sabres were not going in a winning direction.  That he came back says that he believes that the Sabres may be on the right path. 

“It’s been good for me,” Grier said back in May, when he re-signed with the team for a year.  “Lindy and Darcy and those guys have been great, and they’ve given me some responsibility, and fitting in to that dressing room has been pretty easy for me.”

Grier went on to say that he sees young players with a lot of talent on the team, and that he hopes to pass on a little knowledge that he’s collected of the sport over the years.  

A new addition to the team this year is Rob Niedermayer, who was a Stanley Cup winner in Anaheim in 2007, when the Anaheim Ducks beat the Ottawa Senators in five games to win the NHL’s big prize.  

“He’s recognized as someone that is very responsible, very reliable, and a very good team player,” said Sabres GM Darcy Regier about Niedermayer.  “I think it allows [Lindy] at lot of flexibility.”

On top of the Niedermayer signing, the Sabres re-signed goalie Patrick Lalime, who will backup starter Ryan Miller.  While he hasn’t been the most reliable backup goalie, Lalime is somebody who shares a good friendship with Ryan Miller, who made it a point to mention Lalime in his Vezina Trophy speech this past year.  It also allows the Sabres to keep prospect Jhonas Enroth in Portland to play another full season and develop.

The Sabres’ lack of major signings leaves the fans wondering whether or not this team truly wants to win it all.  However, Darcy Regier insists that the ultimate goal is to win a championship.  Seemingly to Regier, the veterans very well could help him achieve this goal.  

You can follow me on Twitter (@tluck81). 

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