sabres ufa:

UFA Day (also Known as WTF Day)

Update: follow along at the UFA Day Mega Chat.  11:45.

 

UFA Day is upon us.

The UFA crop is slim. Things are gonna’ get crazy.

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I’m talkin’ Tom Cruise crazy. Much money WILL be shown.

I know a lot of Sabres fans out there are clamoring for a big time signing on a Parise or a Doan, but perhaps the best outcome for the Sabres is if they sign no one.*

“No one?!?” you ask.

Yup – and here’s why:

  1. We’ve overspent enough already on free agents.
  2. Buffalo needs to vastly overpay/woo Big Names in order for them to come here.
  3. The Sabres’ best return for investment right now is in the trade market.

Heck, I’d love Parise on this team as much as the next guy. I don’t care if he doesn’t play center – he scores goals. Lots of ’em. And the Sabres need goals. But hold fast, fans. Don’t we already have an overpaid player who has scored 25+ goals for 7 straight seasons? Don’t we absolutely loathe the “Vanekontract?”

Both Vanek and Parise started out in the NHL in 2005. Vanek has netted 230 goals in 547 games. Parise – 194 in 502. Their shooting percentages: TV, .152; ZP, .114. Despite the goal scoring prowess of Parise, we just can’t afford another “Vanekontract” on this team. And trust me, Parise is gonna’ get paaaaaid.

Simply put, the Sabres cannot throw whatever remaining monies they have at The Big Signing. Rather, they should unload some contracts or bodies in return for a good return that fills a need – or strengthens a need – we’ve got the pieces to do that.

The Sabres would find better soldiers of fortune in the trade market. The draft and the trade market are the Sabres’ best bets for landing credibly good hockey players to fill needs. With the draft wrapped up, it’s time to swing a deal or three (assuming they can get a star to waive a NMC to come to Buffalo).

Go ahead, Regier, and get to shanghai us some awesome players – we won’t judge you here.

Remember, the Sabres have a glut of prospects coming up the pipeline, most notably on defense, and now suddenly down the middle. They also have that “Old Core” which has proven to be fantastically talented at not winning Cups, (or enough regular season games to even have a shot at the Cup).

Also, remember:

  1. BEWARE: fake Twitter accounts are rampant on UFA day. Check the account before you RT it. Please.
  2. Big signings are announced long after Day One expires. Don’t fill my Sabres Twitter feed with all caps cussin’ if they haven’t done what you want by Sunday afternoon. Be patient.

And most importantly:

  1. Have fun. This is not the year we lose “Briere and Drury.” Kudos to New Jersey for possibly taking that crown of thorns from us this year, as Parise and now even Martin Brodeur could both bolt for greener pastures.

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I’ll be joining the UFA Day mega-chat again with other Sabres bloggerati, hosted by the Goose’s Roost. I’ll post a link on my twitter when we’re ready for launch. UPDATE: again, here is the link to the Mega Chat, which starts at 11:45.

Again,

Go ahead and call me Buzzkill McBuzzkillington, but I just want the best for this team.

*Whatever will be shall be, but if it were up to me, my “big” target would be Zenon Konopka. He’s a big, mean body, and great on the faceoff dot. At 31, he’d be a very cheap replacement for Gaustad.

UPDATE: Gaustad was just handed $13 mil over  four years. There goes another bank: broken. Meanwhile, Konopka is likely frantically practicing how to replicate Gaustad “switch-handed” faceoffs before the frenzy kicks in at noon tomorrow. Konopka is coming off of a one year deal, where he made just $700k in Ottawa.

Go Sabres.

 

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Lindy Ruff is the Clear Winner on UFA Day

Regehr. Ehrhoff. And…?

Sabres fans are in a tizzy over the delivered promises of Pegula and Black. It’s finally July 1st, but the new ownership group didn’t wait until today to direct this team towards that Cup. A passionate pitch and draft day flight convinced Robyn Regehr to bring his defensive shut down skill set to Buffalo. A similar pitch, and a contract loaded with massive bonuses, added the fleet feet and sweet slap shot of Christian Ehrhoff.

Yea, fans are pretty darn pleased, and they should be – but they can’t possibly be as happy as Lindy Ruff right now.

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He went to Napoli's!

Ruff was named the 15th coach of our beloved Buffalo Sabres on July 21st, 1997. There’s a good chance that some of you reading this might not have been born yet at that time.

He’s been patient, and has worked well with what Darcy Regier has been afforded to give him (and Darcy had really done a bang-for-your-Golisano-buck job for him).

When Pegula came into town, most of the media-mob-mentality was that Pegula should run Regier out of town, and take (Canada’s Assistant Olympic coach) Lindy Ruff with him. Pegula let us all know at his first presser that he did his research – Darcy was staying, “the shackles were off,” and added “Lindy ain’t going nowhere.”

The fact is, even without a wallet, Regier and Ruff lead the Sabres to the brink of a championship in the 05-06 and 06-07 season. Most would agree that the Cup would have been ours without the absolute decimation of our defensive corps in 2006. But that success, and all the failures and frustrations of the past, are, well, in the past.

The future, so far, contains a beefed up defense – arguably, one of the best in the league. We have yet to see what might be added during the coming UFA frenzy, but we’re all smiling already. Just not smiling as much as Ruff.

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The frustration is over.

He finally is getting the tools to finish the job.

Go Sabres.

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