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Plus/Minus – Grading the Buffalo Sabres Offseason
Posted By Corey Krakower On Jul 20 2011 @ 12:42 pm In Buffalo Sabres | No Comments
**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade
Team: Buffalo Sabres
2010-11: 96 points, #7 in Eastern Conference
Returning: Ryan Miller, Jhonas Enroth
Departures: Patrick Lalime
The Sabres have the same tandem for 2011-12 as they did for 2010-11. It just so happens that it is one of the best in the NHL, and will be for a long time.
Returning: Tyler Myers, Jordan Leopold, Andrej Sekera, Mike Weber, Shaone Morrisson, Marc-Andre Gragnani
Arrivals: Christian Ehrhoff, Robyn Regehr
Departures: Steve Montador, Chris Butler
The Buffalo Sabres drastically altered their top 4 on defense with the acquisitions of Ehrhoff and Regehr. They go from having a below average D corps to one of the best top 2 pairs in the East. The Sabres are currently over the cap, so it is expected that they will either trade or demote the disappointing Shaone Morrisson.
Returning: Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, Tyler Ennis, Jason Pominville, Brad Boyes, Jochen Hecht, Paul Gaustad, Nathan Gerbe, Cody McCormick, Patrick Kaleta, Matt Ellis
Arrivals: Ville Leino, Ales Kotalik
Departures: Tim Connolly, Mike Grier, Rob Niedermayer
There are still some moves to make up front because of Buffalo being over the cap with 2 RFAs to sign, but regardless of how it plays out, the Sabres will be entering the 2011-12 season with a slightly improved group of forwards. Leino is an upgrade as a top 6 forward over Connolly, and Grier and Niedermayer are replaceable from within. Expect one of Kotalik/Gaustad/Hecht/Boyes to get traded in a salary dump and for one of their top forward prospects (Kassian, Adam, Foligno) to step in.
OVERALL RATING: +4
2011-12 Prediction: #4-#6 in Eastern Conference
The Buffalo Sabres are no longer handcuffed by spending restrictions, so it won’t be long before this is one of the best teams in the entire NHL.
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