The Buffalo Sabres from as far back as I can remember has always had their “core” players together. The likes of: Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Derek Roy just to name a few. Through good times and bad these guys have always managed to be on the team and in my eyes never broke out to become anything more than just a group of good players.
The last two seasons fans here have seen a little mix up to their normal core guys. First it started with the Sabres not re-signing Tim Connolly.
He had a tough time staying healthy, but when he did he had all the skills other players dreamed of.
Good Vision of the ice, a good shot and great hands were some of his attributes. In his last years with the team fans grew disgusted with him, about his noncontributing on the ice and his role with the team. If he didn’t end up signing with the Maple Leafs I would have kept him for less money.
His defensive responsibilities grew especially on the PK and I believe he was the Sabres best in that department for a while in his last season with the team.
Next last season came the trade of Paul Gaustad. Being with the team just over 10 years it was time to go. He really hadn’t progressed into anything but a 3 or 4 line center. He gave the team a spark when needed but never really helped in the scoring department. He like Connolly became very important to the Sabres as a defensive specialist. Always on the PK and also out to take important draws were what Gaustad did best. A downfall for me on Gaustad was when the whole Lucic/Miller incident happened. Absolutely nothing happened on the ice except for a little pushing and talking. I don’t care if you are 5’5” or 6’5” some kind of response was necessary. Gaustad being on the ice didn’t do a thing. Apologies after the game didn’t do anything for me. Being where you are in the lineup that is your job and it simply wasn’t dealt with the right way. Hopefully since being traded to Nashville at the deadline he will continue on with the Predators or sign with a new club come July 1st.
This offseason I hope the Sabres continue to break up the core. Derek Roy and Drew Stafford come to mind. Roy going into his last season under contract I believe will be moved. He packaged with a pick and/or another player could get the Sabres a pretty good player in return. Drew Stafford on the other hand if the Sabres decide to deal him could get a bigger return in my eyes. His emerging late last season showed other teams what he is capable of and more.
With that being said I hope the core of the Sabres fall and something new begins within the organization. With the recent change of ownership I hope more changes begin to spiral down to give the Sabres a new look.
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