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"Sabres Off-Season"
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Posted 5:13 PM ET | Comments 8
#1, Re-sign Drury to a 5-year deal at between $7 and $7.5 million a year.

#2, Re-sign Vanek to a 5-7 year deal at an average of $3.5-$4
million year.

#3, Re-sign Roy (about $1.5 million a year), Mair ($750,000 a year), Michael Ryan (minor league contract), Dan Paille ($750,00 a year), Nathan Paetsch ($1 million a year) to multi-year deals. Definitely lock Paetsch up as long as possible. I think he will step in to a starter roll very smoothly.

I love Danny and Zubie, but bye bye (too much $$ if you want Drury and Vanek). Also bye bye to Peters (sorry he's a great guy and I really like him. But I want to win and cannot waste a roster spot on him anymore). Bye bye Teppo (too old and too expensive at over $2.6 million a year).

#4, Re-sign Conklin or a different backup goalie.

#5, Find a way to trade Kalinin and maybe even Kotalik to free up cap space.

So before free agents from other teams this would be our roster in no particular order:


Stafford / Drury / ___________

Vanek / Roy / Afinogenov

Hecht / Connolly / Pominville

Mair / Gaustad / Paille (an awesome checking line).


Tallinder / Lydman

Campbell / Spacek

Paetsch / ________


Miller / Conklin

So basically we would have some money to spend now and we would need one forward and one defenseman. Briere frees up $5 million, Teppo frees up $2.6 million, Zubrus frees up $1.85 million, Kalinin frees up $1.75 million, and Peters $460,000. That totals $11.66 million dollars. Now we have to see how much we spent on the guys I just signed.

If we increased Drury's salary by $4 million a year he'd be getting paid $7.154 million a year. Sounds fair to me. Then Vanek's salary goes from $942, 400 a year to $4 million a year. A difference of $3,058,600 a year. Roy goes from $627,000 a year to $1.5 million a year. A difference of $873,000 a year. Paetsch would go from $495,00 a year to $1 million a year. A difference of $505,000 a year. Pay Mair and Paille about the same they were getting.

That means $8,436,600 dollars would be taken out of the $9,910,000 million we freed up. That leaves us with $1,473,400 dollars. The salary cap will be increasing by between $4 million to $6 million dollars a year. That means we'd have between $5,473,400 and $7,473,400 a year to sign a forward and a defenseman. I say you get ballsy and sign Sheldon Souray from the Habs. He instantly improves your power play a ton (him and Connolly on the points) and brings some physical play to the blue line. If you want to play it more safe and go a bit more hard-nosed, sign Scott Hannan from the Sharks. And then you sign a hard nosed winger like a Mike Grier. This is all very realistic now that the Sabres' front office has said they will spend more money this year than they did last year.

The blog above is a solution that would keep the Sabres as a cup contender and make them a bit more hard-nosed so that they can compete when the Refs inevitably put their whistles away during the post-season.
Filed Under:   Sabres  
June 15, 2007 7:05 PM ET | Delete
i really dont know if the sabres are the right kind of team to have a 7 million dollar player.nor do i think drury is worth it. my max is 6and no way would vanek accept such a long deal for only 4 million a year.he's going to get better and he and the whole league knows it.if its a 5 year deal it would take something like this:3.5/4/4.5/5.5/6 (23.5)his talent level will rise with each year, so the only way he takes 3.5-4 million a year is if its a 1 or 2 year deal.
June 15, 2007 10:10 PM ET | Delete
I dont think we can pay Drury 7/per. I mean if he wants that deal from us he isnt the team oriented guy everybody brags about. If Drury truly wants to win and keep the team in a position to win for several years he will stay for 6 max 6.5 anything else is not worth it for us!
June 16, 2007 2:06 PM ET | Delete
$7 to $7.5 is insane money. I would keep him for around $6 mil. I would also dump Spacek he isn't worth the $3mil ayear. Keep Numminen if he want to play for a little less. I also am not sold on Vanek long term. He is a great talent but he disappeared in the playoffs. I would not sign him to a long term deal.
June 16, 2007 6:23 PM ET | Delete
Drury is going to get $7 mil/yr. from someone...anyone who wouldn't want to lock up Vanek long-term isn't thinking too clearly. He's an absolute stud who is only going to get better. Unfortunately, you're stuck with Spacek.
June 16, 2007 7:05 PM ET | Delete
Drury 7 mil no problem here Vanek no doubt has the talent 3-4 yr. contract escalating the salary. Anything longer and he may become another Yashin. I wouldn't mind keeping Zubrus for 2.5 or 3 mil. I would like to see Darcy maybe try and get Sarich for 1.5 or 2 he could help on the "D"
June 19, 2007 10:20 AM ET | Delete
concentrate on drury. i suspect he will take 6m for 3 years. let briere walk. he will love philly. check my math but i think u still have 1.5 left over from last year? last i heard, the sabres were talking 48 for their in house cap. so that puts us at 42.5. sign vanek to 4 and see what we can get jason blake for. if not blake, take a look at souray. he's a head case with a bum wrist but still killer on the pp
June 19, 2007 10:23 AM ET | Delete
pardon - trade off spacek and kalinen for picks....i forgot to include that part :)
June 20, 2007 2:17 PM ET | Delete
no fool will take spacek - I think the biggest value UFA is Jason Blake - on a team like the Sabres he will excel moreso than on the Island. You have to be forward looking to sign Vanek - understanding that the Salary cap will go up - and if not - you can probably trade him before the end of his contract if he isnt panning out. I think you can get quite a bit in return for Max Afin. - the question is what - and is Darcy able to pull off a trade that provides value for the Sabres?
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