If I Ran The Sabres, Summer 2010 Edition
I spent the evening toying around with some ideas I had for the roster for next season, so I decided to put everything down in writing so that my more detail-oriented readers and colleagues can critique my plan for the 2010/2011 Buffalo Sabres. My main focuses were replacing Tallinder and Lydman with younger, cheaper alternatives, completely revamping the center corps, and finally discovering that veteran back-up for Ryan Miller.
Tim Kennedy – sign for $1M for two years
Patrick Kaleta – sign for $650K for four years
Mark Mancari – sign for $580K for two years and assign in Portland (will not be mentioned again)
Mike Weber – sign for $850K for three seasons
Adam Mair – let him walk
Matt Ellis – let him walk
Raffi Torres – let him walk
Cody McCormick – sign for $575K for two years
Toni Lydman – let him walk
Henrik Tallinder – let him walk
Patrick Lalime – let him walk…far, far away
CAP HIT: $2.655M
After all that, the team looks like this:
CAP HIT: $45.143M
First, let’s go with the easy decision – sign Johan “Moose” Hedberg (UFA ATL) for $1.5M for two seasons (2009/2010: $1.175M). He’s adept at making cold starts and winning, stealing a shoot-out, and performing well on a regular basis. Here’s another easy decision – sign Brad Winchester (UFA STL) for $900K for two seasons (2009/2010: $800K). That completes the new, badass fourth line of Winchester-Cormy-Kaleta who can actually play hockey as well as rumble and grind. Next up are a pair of D signings –
Kurtis Foster (UFA TBL) for $3M for two seasons (2009/2010: $600K)Sergei Gonchar (UFA PIT) for $5.5M for a season (2009/2010: $5M) and Zbynek Michalek (UFA PHX) for $2M for two seasons (2009/2010: $1.5M). Both are more than capable replacements for Tallinder and Lydman, but with age and a smaller price (Michalek) and offensive prowess (Gonchar) on their sides. And the last signing of my plan is Saku Koivu (UFA ANA) for $3.85M for three seasons (2009/2010: $3.25M). He’s an improvement over Roy and maybe even Connolly, is a proven force on the PP, and is a veteran and former teammate of Rivet’s.
CAP HIT: $59.523M
I’m sending Tim Connolly ($4.5M), Paul Gaustad ($2.3M), and Drew Stafford ($1.9M) to Dallas for Brad Richards ($7.8M) straight up, which results in a +$200K cap hit. I’m sending Derek Roy ($4M) and Chris Butler ($850K) to the St. Louis Blues for a 2010 3rd round pick and a 2011 2nd round draft pick, which results in a -$4.850M cap hit. I’m sending Kennedy ($1M), Gerbe ($850), and a 2010 3rd round draft pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for Patrick Sharp ($3.9M), which results in a +$2.2M cap hit.
CAP HIT: $56.073M
I sign Zack Kassian to a $875K, three-year ELC with a $300K bonus per season and then promote him to the Sabres after a tremendous training camp and a long talking-to.
CAP HIT: $58.548M
FINAL CAP HIT: $58.548M
[[BIG-ASS EDIT: Scrap signing Foster for $3M and bring in Sergei Gonchar as a UFA for $5.5M. I’ll change my numbers above.]]
*the changes to the line-up once Craig Rivet returns from injury are denoted by parentheses in the final roster
**all cap hit numbers courtesy of NHL Numbers