The Sabres opened the vaults before the 2011-12 season with high hopes. The result was long-term commitments to Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino while the team failed to make the playoffs for the third time in five years.
The team remains strong as ever in net. The Sabres saw Jhonas Enroth emerge as a solid NHL keeper when Ryan Miller went down for concussion, giving them one of the top tandems in the NHL.
The Sabres shook things up through the trade market with last year's acquisition of Cody Hodgson and continuing with this summer's addition of uber-pest Steve Ott and hope to be a tougher team to beat in 2012-13.
The silver lining for the Sabres is that they played their best hockey of the season from February onward in 2012 and – had it not been for a New Year's slide – could have caught Ottawa for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.