Buffalo Sabres: Ryan Miller and the Rest of the Projected Opening Day Lineup

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Thanks to the deep pockets of new owner Terry Pegula, the Buffalo Sabres went on a spending spree this offseason that vastly improved the roster. Ryan Miller returns to lead the Sabres in an attempt to bring Buffalo the first major championship in the city’s history.

Fans and analysts across the league gawked when the Sabres gave Christian Ehrhoff a 10-year contract. Their jaws dropped when Ville Leino received $4.5 million per season based on one season of production. They were surprised when Robyn Regehr waived his no-movement clause to join the Sabres.

The critics said the Sabres overpaid and still aren’t contenders for the Stanley Cup. They are wrong. The Sabres were the best team in the entire league from Christmas to the end of the last season. They took the Philadelphia Flyers to game seven in the first round before bowing out of the playoffs. All of that, despite leading scorer Derek Roy missing most of those games.

Derek Roy should return to form this season, Jason Pominville should be healthy again and Ryan Miller should get more rest than he has in the past few years, assuming restricted free agent Jhonas Enroth is re-signed.

The bottom line is simple, the Sabres are a much better team than they are being given credit for in the media. Here is an early guess at which 20 players will make up the opening day lineup when the Sabres take on the Anaheim Ducks in Finland on Oct. 7 as a part of the NHL‘s continuing Premiere Games.

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