Buffalo Searching For Top Six Forward

Updated: July 27, 2010

The Sabres lineup has not seen many moves since the beginning of the off-season. The loss of Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman didn’t surprise many fans. The addition of Jordan Leopold and the expected call up of Mike Weber will replace those openings.

The Sabres have depth at forward, but do they have enough scoring power? The team is fairly intact from last season and last year it was good enough to win the division and come in third in the Eastern Conference, while totaling 235 goals. However, the 235 goals is the lowest Buffalo has seen in recent years.

At the moment the Sabres top six forwards are Vanek, Roy, Pominville, Connolly, Stafford and Hecht. Lindy Ruff’s teams have always relied on a good two way forwards, solid defense and goaltending. The Sabres leader in points last season was Derek Roy who finished with 26 goals, 43 assists, and 69 points.

The leading goal scorer was Thomas Vanek who recorded 28 goals in 71 games, which was significantly lower than the three seasons prior where he averaged over 39 goals a season. Buffalo saw three players record over 60 points.

Does this mean that the Sabres need to acquire a better goal scorer or someone who can help Vanek get the puck more?…YES. Connolly and Roy disappeared with most of the Sabres when goals were needed. Vanek, Grier and Ennis were the best players in the playoff series against the Bruins. The answer may very well rely in the spark that Tyler Ennis can bring to the lineup if he plays on a regular basis.

All Sabres fans ooh’ed and ahh’ed at the speed and talent that Ennis brought at the end of the regular season and during the playoffs. However, Ennis was not enough to help the slumping power play during the playoffs.

Clearly, the Sabres could use a top six forward to produce more goals or a power play quarterback on the point. This year the primary targets of teams has been defense. The best talent that was available on the market were solid defensemen. That leaves the Sabres to look to acquiring a top six forward through a trade.

Names like Marc Savard, Alex Semin, Patrick Sharp, Jamie Langenbrunner, Stephen Weiss, and Brad Richards have been thrown around with rumors, but with not much support to back them up. The Sabres can make a move if they wanted to with the eight million in cap room still remaining and some tremendous young talent in the fold. The question is if the Sabres give up a player like Gerbe and a first round pick, is it worth what you’re receiving in return?

Darcy Regier has always had the state of mind to build from within and better his team in trades, but has never made a huge splash in free agency. This is not the worst way to do business in the NHL even though teams like the Flyers and Rangers choose differently. The Sabres have been successful to make the playoffs some what consistently, but have not won a Stanley cup now entering their 40th season in the league.

The city is becoming restless as they want to win now. Darcy may have to give up more than he wants, but to bring in a guy who can spark your first line and get Thomas Vanek going would be ideal. The team as it is now is a playoff team without a question, but it needs some work done to it in order to become a Stanley Cup contender.

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12 Comments on "Buffalo Searching For Top Six Forward"

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manitoba sabres fan
January 26, 2011 1:19 PM
ya savard sure looks like a good fit seeings how he is one hit away from having his career ended oh wait 0 hits away now!!! hes done and will will never play another game in the nhl that is why you guys would be worse than darcey fucking give away our best players regier like all i heard on hockeybuzz at the beggining of season was blow up team fire darcy fire ruff no that were back in playoff race everybody jumping back on bandwagon i agree with fire darcy he needs to go but ruff and blow up… Read more »
Ted B
August 3, 2010 4:03 AM

Brilliant analysis, buffalo is hungry for the cup. Lets hope we can make the right decisions that lead us to a winning team.

July 29, 2010 11:18 AM

a top 6 forward?
Darcy the Ditherer says we have 2 of the Top Twenty centers in hockey!
We need nothing more than the homegrown juggernaut that will soon sweep the Conference next year…

July 28, 2010 10:09 PM

It could get interesting Toronto also in search of top six forward. They think they can achieve that with Kaberle but i doubt it. The talk is Burke would like to keep him but Wilson hates him.

July 28, 2010 9:15 PM

Connolly, gerbe, and a 2nd or third round pick for marleau from the sharks.

July 27, 2010 11:04 PM

I think Jon is spot-on. It seems like every time Buffalo develops a young talent into a very strong scorer, they leave through a trade or free-agency. Most of the chemistry is there now, but the spark of a top-six scorer could unleash the explosion of offense needed.

July 27, 2010 7:42 PM

I can’t see Boston trading Savard in the division. I would like to see Conolly, Gerbe and a DMAN Prospect, to FLA for Weiss and Grabner…..

July 29, 2010 10:30 AM

I heard Savard will ONLY be traded in the division. He has a no trade clause, and it’s reported that he’d only waive it if he’s traded in the division. Probably for his family.

July 27, 2010 6:01 PM

I see this kind of thing suggested a lot, but I feel like I never see any names attached. Who would you suggest they bring in?

July 27, 2010 6:09 PM

I’d personally suggest Marc Savard. He’s a playmaker/sniper, he gets probably 60+ assists a season, and nearing 30 goals. If we make him the center line, attached with Vanek and possibly Ennis or Stafford, the Sabres would have a very high producing first line, which is -in my opinion- what the Sabres need.

July 28, 2010 8:29 PM

Savard would be great but has a modified NTC and his list of teams does not include Buffalo

July 27, 2010 6:57 PM

Savard would be a great fit for the Sabres. If we could get him and Kaberle, I think the team would be solid.

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