By the way weren't the sabres going to bring back the old whites this year? I haven't heard an update on this. I love the old whites and they looked great in the winter classic last year. So if they wear them for Northeast games at home, bonus. Its the only way I hit up a Bruins game. Anywho, on to free agency.
I wanted to start with what they have to pay for next year and work with what is supposed to be available, the old 50 million dollar cap. Which seems like a high number, I'm sure its the number they budgeted out. I saw something like this on the roost this morning and still want to push my thing forward. But I will include defensemen, a all in one package.
So lets take numbers from nhlnumbers.com
The Players under contract next season. And the ones I think will be playing in Buffalo
Vanek ------ 8 Million
Roy ------- 3.5 Million
Hecht ------ 3.8 Million (seriously?)
Max------- 3.5 Million (Got to go)
Connelly---- 3.5 Million (last year here)
Kotalik ----- 2.5 Million (I can live with that)
Pominville - 1.357 Million (absolute steal)
Stafford --- .984 Million
Mair ------- .750Million (worth every penny)
Peters ----- .550Million (has pictures of darcy)
Kaleta ----- .500 Million
Thats 28.94 Million in 11 forwards. With 4 RFA's and 1 UFA. Along with signed rookies.
Spacek ------ 3.5 Million
Lydman ----- 3.150 Million
Tallinder ---- 2.9 Million
Paetsch ----- .8 Million
Weber ------- .551 Million
Sekera ------ .659 Million (He also needs to be extended this year)
So thats 11.56 Million in 6 defensemen, who have legitimate shot to be on the team.
Miller -------- 3.5 Million
Ok lets add all these up. Thats 43.6 Million in tied up salaries. We got 6 Million to pay a couple forwards and free agents. That of course takes out trades. Trade Max for a prospect, that bumps up that total to 10 million. You give offers to Bernier, Gaustad and Paille. Macarthur isn't on the team and is in Portland next year. Unless he wows you. Mike Ryan walks or signs a minor league deal with the Pirates. Good for depth. Ok for Bernier. I'm thinking 1.75, Gaustad 1.75 and Paille is around 2.5. If Paille was a UFA maybe he'd get 4 million. So we got 6 million tied up there.
Leaving around 4 million for free agents. Including a backup goalie. Which is the perfect year, tons of depth, no spots. Goalies will take anything to stay in the NHL. Auld is my pick. He was impressive last year and can take spot duty.
I would love to see Orpik, but I don't see it. The Sabres have forward depth, but I really think they want they want the young kids to play in Portland for a while. Thats why getting a John Michael Liles makes sense. Hes the defensemen they need. And really isn't high on the market at the moment. Campbell is the defensemen people want. Making Liles 2nd tier and would look good with Spacek. With Sekera and Weber being the 3rd pair.
I think management wanted to give hope to the Sabre faithful with Free agent deals. But I think the trade market is where this team will get better. The glut of forwards really give them assets to work with. The talent in the defensive corp will come in the next few years. With Weber, Sekera, TJ Brennen and Myers.