Big Chances Ahead For Buffalo

With numerous talented free agents hitting the market this Summer, expect the Buffalo Sabres to be involved. While they may not have done much in the past, this year should be different.

Buffalo will see many changes over the next few years, and this upcoming season is just a start. Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier are likely on their way out in the next season or two. Not only that, but Rick Jeanneret isn't going to announce the games much longer.

There are a number of players currently on the Sabres team who do not need to be there. Despite winning the Northeast Division this past season, Buffalo has many weaknesses, especially with quite a few free agents to sign.

Players such as Drew Stafford, Adam Mair, Steve Montador, Paul Gaustad, and Tim Connolly could all be better off with a different team.

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A goaltender is something that Regier said the team needs for next season. A veteran goalie that could play about 20 games a year would be ideal. Rumors have been floating around that fan favorite Martin Biron could make a return, which may not be a bad decision at all. If Regier fails to sign a goaltender, the Sabres can turn to Jhonas Enroth as the backup.

Buffalo is also in need of a first line center and/or a power forward. Patrick Marleau is unlikely to come and play for the Sabres. Regier should take a look at Florida's Nathan Horton, who could make a huge impact with Buffalo.

Horton is 25 years old and has collected at least 45 points in each of the last five seasons. Although he does not have any playoff experience, the 3rd overall pick in the 2003 draft would be a huge pickup for Buffalo.

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Craig Rivet is expected to miss at least four months due to a shoulder surgery that he have in the near future. Rivet tallied 15 points in 78 regular season games, and remains under contract for another year with Buffalo.

After two sub-par seasons with the Sabres, it may be time to move the "C" onto some one else's jersey. It seemed like a good trade when the Sabres acquired Rivet from the Sharks in 2008, but he hasn't performed as well as hoped.

While I am not suggesting that they get rid of him, I believe the Sabres have plenty of better options for the captaincy. Although, I don't see what goes on in the locker room and off the ice. From what I see on the ice, I don't believe he should be Buffalo's captain. What do you think? Leave a comment below with any thoughts.

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Buffalo Sabres prospect Zack Kassian was recently arrested for an altercation that occurred in a bar. Kassian was earlier suspended 20 games by the OHL for his hit on Matt Kennedy.

Kassian is already on his way to becoming a very dirty player for the Sabres. He is compared to Milan Lucic and his favorite player is Todd Bertuzzi, but he can do a lot more than play physical. In his last 99 games, he has scored 94 points.

Buffalo has high expectations for Kassian, but he needs to stay out of trouble, both on and off the ice.