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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


Michalek-Montador (Michalek-Rivet)
Weber-Sekera (Weber-Montador)


[[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

One Comment leave one →
  1. tom permalink
    06/11/10 3:21 PM

    I’d have to do the math, but the guys I’d like to see acquired and moved onto this team via trades or free agency are Marleau(UFA, 6.8mil) and Kaberle(Stafford and a pick or prospect(not Ennis, Enroth, or Gerbe) Let Lydman and Tallinder both walk, Kaberle replaces one, bring up Weber to replace the other. If Kaberle can’t be had, sign Gonchar.

    None of this will happen though because of Reiger. He never spends to the cap or signs big free agents. Which he needs to start doing. On the power play


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