– Brian Hardwick
As a Buffalo Sabres fan for many years, you’ve come to realize that there’s been better days for the Sabres. For the past few seasons we’ve looked more forward to the draft, trade deadline or off-season than we did with the actual season. But, right now we can all take a deep sigh of relief and say “The end of the beginning is near Buffalo”.
Buffalo currently has an average age of 26 years old on the roster, and it surely helps that you have guys like Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Ryan O’Reilly, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Evander Kane are all guys under the age of 25. All of these guys will also be around for quite sometime. Each of these guys are also top 6 in points for the Sabres with rookie Reinhart leading the team in goals with 18.
If you ask me, regardless of the off-season, we will have a playoff caliber team. Robin Lehner has shown that he is capable of being the Sabres goalie for years to come. With the Sabres at the bottom of the standings once again, you’re gonna get a very good pick in the draft. If you can get another goal scorer, maybe a guy like Auston Matthews or Matthew Tkachuk can instantly make a difference to your roster. Would it be nice to sign a high profile name like Steven Stamkos to your roster? Yeah, that would be pretty awesome. But we should use that money to get a top 4 defensemen. We have been losing games this year because our defence has struggled. Ristolainen, Bogosian, McCabe, Pysyk are all guys who will be around for quite sometime. But, minus Ristolainen and McCabe, you really don’t have a “top 4 defencemen” If you can trade a couple of draft picks this year and maybe a prospect or 2. (Rumors are out there that P.K Subban could be on the trade market) or even sign a guy like Dustin Byfuglien or Keith Yandle, you’ll have a Stanley Cup contender within the next 2-3 years. I’ll end it with this.. Just look at the potential lineup (No, I am not saying the lines will look like this, just picture these guys on the team.)
Evander Kane-Ryan O’Reilly-Sam Reinhart
Jamie McGinn(If resigned)- Jack Eichel -Zemgus Girgensons
2016 First Round Pick-Tyler Ennis- Marcus Foligno
Nicolas Deslauriers-Brian Gionta- Matt Moulson
Rasmus Ristolainen- Jake McCabe
Dustin Byfuglien/Keith Yandle- Zach Bogosian
Mark Pysyk- Josh Gorges
*Shout out to Goo Goo Dolls “Better Days” and the Sabres playoff run for the headline
– Brian Hardwick (@BHardwick8)