Tough decisions await Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres are steam rolling through the Eastern Conference with a league leading 107 pts but Sabre fans are fretting about the possibility of losing forwards Daniel Briere and Chris Druy to free agency. The Buffalo News reports that the Sabres have made almost no effort to re-sign either one up until now, leading to speculation that the team is resigned to losing one of them because it doesn’t think it can afford both. It’s unclear if the Sabres have a clear-cut preference, but many observers prefer Drury’s complete two-way play and intensity over Briere’s flashy offensive production. The Buffalo News said the Sabres will have to offer Drury $6M-$7M per season, about what he’d be offered on the open market. The Boston Globe reports that the Kings are a leading contender to get Drury because in the offseason he lives in Manhattan Beach, Calif., not far from Los Angeles D Rob Blake.

Stats
Briere – GP 77 – G 32 – A 61 – Pts 93
Drury – GP 73 – G 37 – A 30 – Pts 67

Chris Drury a 6-7 million player? I don’t think so, but Brad Richards (69 pts) has killed the market after signing a 5 year 40 million deal with the Lightning last season. Richards is in the same tier as Drury which should be a 4-5 million player not a 6-7 million player. Briere on the other hand is a dynamic player who i would throw the cash out to on the 3-4 year deal. The 6-7 million per year should be left for the elite players not the second tier players in Drury and Richards.

My pick to resign: Daniel Briere

Following the firing of head coach Claude Julien speculation is running rampant about possible candidates to take over next season.

Pat Burns. The former Devils coach who led the team to a Stanley Cup in 2003 has been fighting cancer the past few years and his health has been improving. Although the Newark Star-Ledger reports he wouldn’t be capable of taking over in the playoffs, Burns might be physically capable by the start of next season.

John MacLean. The former Devils star has been groomed to take over the head coaching job since becoming a Devils assistant coach in 2002. Lamoriello didn’t want to rush him into the job in 2005 when Larry Robinson resigned and the GM passed him over again, for now, for unspecified reasons.

Eddie Olczyk. The former Pittsburgh Penguins coach was a strong candidate last season reports the New York Post and will be in the mix when the Devils start their coaching search. Lou is going to pick a guy so Lou can be Jerry Jones and Olcyk and MacLean are longshots but don’t count anything out when its come to big Lou.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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