Joe Yerdon returns for the second week in a row to breakdown the Sabres action (or lack thereof) on the opening day of free agency. We run down the depth signings that were made, the logjam on defense and in the bottom six and what lies ahead for the Sabres as they attempt to reshape their roster. Along the way we hit on the UFA goalie carousel, the Jimmy Vesey trade and the acquisition of Colin Miller.
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Recent Sabres draft pick Ryan Johnson was quickly described as a modern, or new-age, defenseman by the pundits on NBCSN. A swift skating player who can serve as a one-man breakout and effectively push the rush up ice. It’s a descriptor that can be applied an ever growing segment of Buffalo’s blueline, from prospects right to the top pair.
Whether or not he’ll be around to see the fruits of his labor, Jason Botterill appears to have a fairly specific way to be molding his defense corps; with mobile defensemen capable of driving play in the offensive zone and positively affecting breakouts. Look no further than the last two acquisitions he’s made on defense for evidence of the type of player he’s targeting. Continue reading →
The massive Rick Martin/Don Edwards combined trade tree got a couple of new branches this offseason. The official designation on San Jose’s pick saw the selection moved to Anaheim as part of the Brandon Montour trade. The other pick from the Evander Kane return, a 2019 fourth, was eventually moved so the Sabres could select Aaron Huglen in that same round. Ryan Johnson was picked with the 31st pick, received from St. Louis.
Colin Miller also became part of the trade tree as the 2021 second rounder included in the Ryan O’Reilly trade was sent to Vegas in exchange for the defenseman. This is sure to grow even larger in the coming years, we’ll see how long it takes for the next branch to sprout .