There’s always next year. The infamous phrase heard around Buffalo has been said again this year after the Sabres were knocked out in the first round to end the season.
Fans in Buffalo were disappointed again after what looked like a promising season. The Sabres made the playoffs for the first time since winning the President’s Trophy in 2007, but were then bounced out by the Bruins in round one.
A well-played season with impressive performances from Tyler Myers and Ryan Miller gave the city of Buffalo plenty of reason to believe that the team would succeed in the postseason. After all, the Sabres earned home-ice advantage with the #3 seed, and were 25-10-6 at HSBC Arena.
It didn’t matter. Boston did its job against Buffalo, and is now playing in the next round, leading Philadelphia two games to none. The top three teams in the Eastern Conference were defeated in the first round. Also, all of the Vezina Trophy finalists (Ryan Miller, Ilya Bryzgalov, and Martin Brodeur) did not make it past the first round. It just goes to show that anything is possible in the postseason.
An early exit has the Sabres focused on what moves it will make this Summer. Buffalo has nine players that will become free agents if they are not signed by July 1st.
One of the biggest questions is whether or not the Sabres will trade Tim Connolly. He certainly has trade value and could make a big impact with any team, but he still has one year left on his contract, which is $4.5 million.
Connolly played more than 63 games for the first time since the 2002-2003 season, but failed to put up the amount of points that the team hoped for. Connolly was the fifth overall draft picked in 1999, and earned 96 points in 113 games spanning over three seasons.
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