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It’s Buffalo Sabres day on PHT

Aug 2, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

Ryan Miller AP

Welcome to our offseason initiative — 30 teams in 30 days.

From July 16 until Aug. 14, we’ll be dedicating each day to a new team by recapping the offseason and looking ahead to 2012-13.

There will also be a series of posts looking at key stories, player profiles and burning questions regarding each squad.

Thursday’s team is the Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres entered last season as a chic pick to win the Northeast Division despite the Boston Bruins’ championship. Instead, they flopped and didn’t even make the playoffs.

That team already looks pretty different than last year’s version. Overall they’re tougher and younger yet considerably less sexy.

GM Darcy Regier traded top center Derek Roy for super pest Steve Ott, who will join forces with Patrick Kaleta to annoy opponents.

Adding John Scott to the mix should mean that teams will be less likely to run Ryan Miller – at least when Scott isn’t a healthy scratch.

The Sabres drafted two intriguing first-round centers (Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons) to bolster a youth movement including current NHLers Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis.

For the most part, the Sabres must improve from within, then. Today’s slate of stories will examine how likely that might be.

  1. tfaltin - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    I like their offseason moves. They drafted big centers who will pay off in the future, especially with how important depth down the middle is in the NHL. They needed a gritty 3rd line center like Ott more than they needed a center like Roy. Last season the Sabres were destroyed with injuries, particularly on the back end, so this year will be a test. If Hodgson and Ennis take steps forward, Miller plays to his potential, and the defense stays healthy, I see the Sabres as a top 5 team in the East, and legit threat to the Bruins in the Northeast. If those 3 don’t happen, probably a 7-8 seed.

  2. mydadyourmom - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Cup.

  3. georgia166 - Aug 2, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    LOL 5th seed? , did I read that right? where’s all your scoring depth? you’ll be lucky to even have a sniff at 7th or 8th … and Cup? , yeah since the Sabres are and always have been such an insignificant franchise then I think not

    • elemeno89 - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      insignificant…? i’d love to hear an explanation for that one. you sound like you’re from philly…

      • georgia166 - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        I’m not from Philly , but if I were I would have alot more pride for my team then you could possibly have. What in your putrid history has your team ever won? , go ahead and list it here . Well, no wait, let me list here for you, 2 trips to the SC Finals with nothing to show for, that’s what. Flyers on the other hand , 2 cups (I still think you guys are bitter about 1975) and several other trips to the Finals … you follow here little guy? , insignificant are what the Sabres are, think small be small for a town filled with Polocks

      • dirte42 - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        while i wanna punch georgia in the face, the polock line made me giggle

    • tfaltin - Aug 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Do you know what the word “if” means? I said IF Hodgson and Ennis take steps foward. Read between the lines, there’s your scoring depth. Vanek and Pominville have shown they put up 70+ points in a season, Stafford will be in the upper 20s in goals, Ott’s good for 40 points if he does exactly what he did last year in Dallas, which brings me back to…IF Hodgson and Ennis progress and can score on a somewhat-regular basis then they can be a 5 seed. They already have a Vezina caliber goalie in net, and Myers, Ehrhoff, Regehr, Leipold are a solid top 4 D. But I guess that’s where commentary from a Georgia hockey fan gets you.

      • Eberwizzle - Aug 2, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        Georgia and Buffalo talking hockey?

  4. billsin20xx - Aug 2, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    They won’t get anywhere with Ruff at the helm. I predict a coaching change by Xmas! Ruff is great at making a team competitive, but he can’t get the players to play hard enough for him to go to the next level.

  5. georgia166 - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    LOL did you just say Steve Ott was going to score 40 points for the Buffalo Sabres? , please tell you didnt

    • tfaltin - Aug 2, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Points, yes. He had 39 in Dallas last year in 74 games. In 08-09 he had 46 points in 64 games. There’s a difference between points and goals in hockey. It’s a wild concept I know.

  6. georgia166 - Aug 2, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Steve Ott’s not getting 40 points on the Buffalo Sabres lol, hate to break it to ya kid.

    • tfaltin - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:12 AM

      Why can’t he? He’s done it multiple times before on teams with less talent than this Sabres squad. I can’t wait to hear your reasoning.

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