The Buffalo Sabres finished last in the NHL last season and ended up drafting Sam Reinhart with the 2nd overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Are the Buffalo Sabres the current favorites to win the Connor McDavid sweepstakes in the 2015 NHL Draft?
We talked to Timothy Redinger, Senior Editor and Founder of SabreNoise.com, about the Buffalo Sabres and the upcoming season. Here is what he had to say:
Q: Who were the key additions to the Buffalo Sabres over the offseason?
A: The key addition this offseason – well addition by subtraction. The Buffalo Sabres are in full rebuild mode. Tim Murray did his best to rid the team of anyone on an expiring contract, anyone who didn’t want to be here, and anyone he didn’t feel was a part of the future.
He pulled off the trade of the century sending Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick to the Minnesota Wild for a draft pick and a prospect, turning the draft pick into a defenseman, and then resigning Moulson and McCormick.
The Buffalo Sabres got bigger this offseason, but didn’t necessarily go skill and winning, but leadership and grit – to help groom the young prospects into the future.
Q: Who were the key departures from the Buffalo Sabres over the offseason?
A: None really, the Buffalo Sabres shed all their contracts during the regular season up to the trade deadline, so there were no surprise departures. The key in that though was getting as much as we could for expiring contracts, and Tim Murray did just that.
Q: Do this year’s Buffalo Sabres look better than the team last year?
A: Yes – only because the Sabres were barely a listless life form last year.
Q: What else does Buffalo need to do this offseason in order to really improve?
A: Nothing, the Buffalo Sabres don’t want to be much better than last year – because the goal is to draft as high as possible in the 2015 draft.
Q: Which player on the Buffalo Sabres is the key to the team’s success in the upcoming season?
A: It is less about success this year and more about the future. The Buffalo Sabres are in year one of a complete rebuild. The Buffalo Sabres will try and be as entertaining as possible, but this year is more ofa year long training camp to see who has a future long term with the Sabres.
Q: How would you grade the Buffalo Sabres’ offseason so far?
A: A+. Tim Murray did just enough to give fans a spark and hope for the season, but not enough to make us so good that we will miss out on the top of the draft.
Q: How competitive do you expect the Buffalo Sabres to be next season?
A: Buffalo didn’t add big goal scorers, and their goaltending is suspect. The defense is still raw and shaping up. Buffalo will put on a good show, but they likely will be at the bottom of the league again.
Q: Is your team a playoff team? If so, are they a Stanley Cup contender?
A: Not this year, but in three years, Buffalo will be looking at the playoffs, a deep run at the playoffs.
Tags: NHL Season Preview