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10-19-2003, 09:16 PM
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TehDoak
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Building Blocks for any Sabres Proposal

Just some thoughts concerning WHAT players of Buffalo are available, and WHAT Buffalo needs....

Available Buffalo players:
One of Dumont/Afinogenov: This is simply a numbers move. Buffalo is overloaded on the right side, and both players have produced somewhat the same numbers, albeit different styles of play.
Connolly- An underacheiving center, I think the biggest reason he isn't gone yet is because Golisano seems to have an avid (and smart) policy of letting all of his employees have a chance at proving their worth. I think this edict has been passed down through management, and with Connolly being out, he hasn't had a chance to prove he belongs here. However, unless he breaks out, I think he will be gone, either in a package or maybe a 'underachieving prospect' for 'underachieving prospect' swap.
Zhitnik- An impending UFA, is probably the perfect #2/#3 D-man for teams lacking depth on the blueline. Though he does take the occasional stupid penalty, is very steady and can play in all situations. In all truthfullness, will leave a huge gap on Buffalo's blueline when he does leave.
Biron- From what i've seen, Miller is NHL ready. This makes Biron (and his 2.1 million salary) expendable. However, Biron's tradeability comes at a time when the value for goalies is at an all time low. However, IMHO, somewhere along the line, an injury will happen to a teams starting goalie...then, well, Biron will magically gain value.
Brown- A great checking center, but, IMHO, too much for his value to Buffalo. For a team lacking size up front, Buffalo has a few good players (Gaustaud, Mair) who could fill the third line spot and add some toughness. He also makes 1.6 million.

All in all, if ALL the players are dumped, Buffalo's payroll would be DRASTICALLY reduced (almost 10 million), putting them in a position to be buyers in a market next summer when very few will be buying. However, this is not to say that these players will just be 'dumped' but rather, could fill several holes along the line:
Needs:
#1. Toughness- Buffalo is simply soft up front. My Ideal player for Buffalo would be a tough SOB who can score 20-25 goals, get under opponents skin, and is responsible in his own end, AND with some upside left (i.e. 25-27 range). Also, being a natural leader wouldn't hurt either.
#2. Leadership- As much as I think Ruff should be shown the door, the fact is, this team lacks alot of leadership. They dont have a forward over 30 up front and only one d-man over 30 (zhitnik) on the blueline.
#3. Right Handed D-men- Buffalo SORELY lacks a right handed shot from the blueline. Almost ALL of their d-men are left handed. This could be a very big consideration if Buffalo brings in anymore D-men. Anyone have any extra big, mean, right handed d-men???

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