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Sabres Central

Sabres not done making moves

Itís been a wild and exciting week for Sabres fans. They saw the addition of two top-notch defensemen, along with a forward who helped eliminate them in the playoffs.

The Sabres say that they are finished their renovation of the roster. However, with an over supply of both wingers and defensemen and their salary base close to the cap, something has to give. With the new era ushered in by Terry Pegula, and the promise of a Stanley Cup in 3 years, all signs point to the Sabres addressing their huge need at center.

The Sabres, after acquiring defensemen Robyn Regehr and Christian Ehrhoff, went offensive on the opening day of free agency. They didn't land the gem of the UFA's, Brad Richards of the Stars, but signed winger Ville Leino from the Flyers.

The Sabres were impressed with Leino in their playoff round with the Flyers and decided to not pursuit Richards so they could sign Leino. The fans and media are scratching their heads over this move as they have an abundance of wingers and their most glaring need is at center.

The Sabres say that Leino will indeed play center for the Blue & Gold, noting that was his position most of his playing career. However, the Sabres need a top first line center and that is not on their roster...yet.

With too many defensemen now on the team, along with wingers, something will have to give. It is the opinion here that by the start of the season, their needs at center will have been fulfilled.

Sabres make major additions on defense

This past week proved to even the most doubting Thomases that Terry Pegula is for real and he is ready to go the limit to bring the Stanley Cup to Buffalo. First he told Darcy Regier to sign Robyn Regehr and now the Sabres have signed Ehrhoff after trading for his rights.

It seems that once a player studies the new environment that have enveloped the Sabres organization, they are quick to hop in and join the fun.

First it was convincing Robyn Regehr to waive his no trade clause and agree to the trade with Calgary. After talking to Pegula, Darcy Regier and some current and former Sabres, he decided that Buffalo was the perfect fit for him.

The same was true with Christian Ehrhoff.

The Sabres traded for the rights for Ehrhoff. They gave up a 4th round draft choice to the Islanders, who were unsuccessful in signing the defenseman. Ehrhoff followed a similar due diligence that Regehr performed. After talking to Pegula and Sabres past and present, Ehrhoff agreed to terms, a 10-year $40 million deal. The deal is front-loaded, so that Ehrhoff will make most of the money in the first 6 years.

With the Sabres now actually over the $64.3 million cap ceiling (Sabres' cap hit is $66 million), the Sabres will have to cut some salaries by the start of October. NHL teams are allowed to be 10% over the cap until then. With too many defensemen and wingers, along with being over the cap, fans can expect the Sabres to address this and bring home the needed top line center by then.

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