An attempt to be humorous and logical about the Buffalo Sports Scene.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Getting all excited

Well tomorrow is July 1st, and its like the real beginning of the new Hockey season. With guys going everywhere and guys getting deals that make you go what? (Ryan Malone 31 million dollars?) But its also a time where reason and being patient and picking the right guy at the right price really pays off. Look at the Red Wings, they don't pay people a lot. They have talented guys at reasonable places. So with some guys have gone off the market already, like Liles, good job Ryan Miller, nice friend you have there. That friend stuff is nonsense. So with the channeling of Darcy Regier and his cool calm demeanor. We'll try to break down which guys are real possibilities and what they probably could sign for.

Starting with Defense

Brooks Orpik

Really a player coming off a great playoff, but really a guy that wasn't high on the free agent radar last December. I thought it would be a good signing, since he would be local and cheap. But things happen and he isn't cheap. Looking at the stats, he isn't offensive. And lets not look at the pre lockout numbers, especially that -36, well the Penguins were terrible. But the numbers have steadily improved with the improvement of the Penguins. Is he better because the team is better? Or has his improvement made his team better? Heading into his prime as a defenseman. But really is he worth 5 million dollars? I think Mike Weber in 2 years could be Brooks Orpik.

Verdict: Too expensive for a average stay at home defenseman.

Ron Hainsey

Talk about a guy I really haven't heard of, before this whole free agency nonsense began. But he has become a hot name in the 2nd tier of defenseman. He has played for the Blue Jackets his entire pro career and his numbers aren't bad for a more defense first oriented team, he looks like the QB on the power play the Sabres really need, since 15 of his last 17 goals have come on the power play. His plus minus isn't terrible, the penalty minutes are low, so he's not as physical. But the Sabres really don't play that style.

Verdict: Unless bidding goes to high, looks like the right player.

Bret Hedican

Mmm, turns 38 next month. Been around quite a while. Had a decent year last year, on a bad Hurricane team. Hasn't played 80 games since the lockout. And probably just as good and more expensive then Teppo Numminen. Sooo..

Verdict. No

Jeff Finger

Mmm, young, well 28, but coming off his first real year in the NHL. 19 points +12, but only 40 penalty minutes. Looks like he could be getting better and be entering his prime. Probably on the cheap side 1.5 maybe 2 million a year. A 3rd of 4th defenseman. Not a guy people would get excited about, but his play would show it made sense.

Verdict: If the bidding is low, a quality signing.

Kurt Sauer

A fellow Avs player who is only 27, yet has played in parts of the NHL since 2002. Not a offensive defenseman, who are the Du Jour player these days. Leaving these good players behind to pick up whats left. Probably will just stay with the 'Lanche. But would like Finger be a good addition to the corp in Buffalo. Only problem looks like he has injury issues.

Verdict: Making only 700k, and probably wouldn't get much more. Would approve.

Jeff Jillson


Steve Montador

A player that always seems to come up on my radar. He has played in the house on fire that is the Florida Panthers, for 2 and half years. Put up decent numbers for that terrible terrible franchise. Physical, plays on the power play now, maybe hungry to play for a winner and most of all not that expensive, and not that old. Who knows if he wants to leave Miami. And they are in talks. But who isn't these days.

Verdict: Could be a good acquisition, and had for less then 2 million a year.

Mark Streit

A guy talented enough, to play forward, but not good enough to play for Montreal's backend. He is productive, but the numbers will plummet when put back on the blueline. His power play numbers are good, but Montreal was a power play machine. When Roman Hamerlik is your number 3, and you can't crack the top 6, makes me a little iffy on Streit. Plus he's going to turn 31 in season. Cheap now, but in the market his price may go into the 3 million range.

Verdict: Signs tell me no on Streit.

Mike Commodore

Now heres an interesting guy. Plenty of playoff experience. Big, physical and and put up some points. Most known for his firey red hair, but this a solid D-Man, who struggled when traded to Ottawa. Maybe a little removed from the scrutiny that is the Canadian hockey media, could thrive again. Might make more then you'd want. But quality playoff experience is hard to find.

Verdict: Anything above 2.5 a year, you walk away. But yes I would

Aaron Miller

Start with a local guy, end with a local guy. Sabre fans have thrown his name around for years, since hes from here. But has always stayed in the Western Conference, since Quebec moved to Denver. It would be a nice depth signing for a veteran, but I doubt he'd want to come here. I see him probably signing with the Kings or staying with the Canucks.

Verdict: Love to, but he won't be coming home.

Well lots of guys out there. We'll see who the Sabres want to target. Forwards will be previewed soon. Maybe.

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Buffalo, NY, United States
A Stay at home dad, who has more hot takes then your average stay at home dad.