Defensive logjam becomes defensive logjam
Barring a trade, which seems unlikely, coach Lindy Ruff confirmed this afternoon that the Sabres will start the season with eight defensemen on their roster. Mike Weber, Andrej Sekera and Chris Butler would all have to go through waivers and the Sabres aren’t likely to take that risk to get one of them back to Portland.
Based on the fact Sekera and Butler struggled to get in the lineup at the end of last season, the road is clear for Weber to be the No. 6 defenseman to join Tyler Myers, Craig Rivet, Steve Montador and newcomers Jordan Leopold and Shoane Morrisonn. Provided, of course, Weber doesn’t stub his toe in the exhibition season.
“You always look at it that you can never have enough defensemen,” Ruff said. “It’s always tough when you have extra around but you get one or two hurt and that makes it tough on the team.”
Well, if you’ve got a surplus, why don’t you move one? Not that easy.
Darcy Regier isn’t the type to make a move for the sake of making it, especially not unless he’s getting at least what he feels is fair value in exchange. And to give up on a player he drafted? Fat chance.
This, of course, is the same team with same management that carried three goaltenders for most of the 2005-2006 season.
While they eventually dumped the franchise’s all time leader in goals amongst goalies for a mere draft pick, it seemed a bit redundant having him around all season when a trade was the obvious endgame.
Sure, it worked out good when Ryan Miller suffered an injury and we had two solid goalies to hold the fort (well, theoretically, not by performance… Mika.) but as soon as everyone was healthy, we’ve got an extra goalie in the press box.
Now, the Sabres could be looking down the line and saying to themselves that they’re gonna need everybody. Captain Craig Rivet and Steve Montador are unrestricted free agents following this season. Rivet is likely to hang them up after this season, and Montador, who although I’d assume if he picks up where he left off last year might be resigned, may leave a couple of roster spots. Shaone Morrisonn is on a two year deal. Jordan Leopold is here for the next three.
And then you’ve got to consider players who are going to develop themselves into discussion. T.J. Brennan looks like he’s about ready for a shot at some point this season. Brayden McNabb may get a look in a preseason game or two and is capable of being that guy to play himself into a spot next training camp. Plus, don’t forget we just drafted some guy named Pysyk who is also a defenseman.
All of a sudden, our pipeline is bursting with pressure.
Throw it into a nice little chart:
|Current spot||Contract Expires||Replacement|
|Craig Rivet||2011||T.J. Brennan|
|Steve Montador||2011||Brayden McNabb|
|Shaone Morrisonn||2012||Mark Pysyk|
All of a sudden we’re right back to Butler, Sekera and Weber fighting over one spot.
Since Rivet is supposedly healed, barring another injury, are we going to have a three man rotation for one spot in the lineup?
Someone is eventually going to be voted off the island. Despite his horrible play at the end of last season, I’d think Butler is safer than Sekera due to his style. Mike Weber may have an edge if the staff sees him as the guy eventually stepping into Craig Rivet’s role, which is entirely possible. That leaves our man ‘Rej Sekera as the show horse in the derby.
So now what do they do with him?
Posted on September 21, 2010, in Sabres/NHL and tagged Andrej Sekera, Brayden McNabb, Chris Butler, Craig Rivet, Darcy Regier, Jordan Leopold, Lindy Ruff, Mark Pysyk, Mike Weber, Sabres, Shaone Morrisonn, Steve Montador, T.J. Brennan, Tyler Myers. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.