The Sabres Observer
by @DaveDavisHockey on 07/31/12 at 03:06 PM ET
“I think if you’re going to be successful as a club, you have to have a lot of defensemen and you have to have the depth. Anyone that can think back a few years knows that if there’s a position to have numbers, it’s on defense. I think it’s a good thing.” - Sabres GM Darcy Regier
If there’s one thing that history apparently hasn’t taught some residents of Sabres Nation, it’s that there’s nothing wrong with having an abundance of defensemen on your team.
Please forgive me, but every time I hear the word “logjam” used to describe the situation on the blue line, it gives me the same reaction as fingernails on the chalkboard. Would people really rather have six quality defensemen than eight? Where’s the championship mentality in Buffalo?
I get that you want to use this purported bounty of defensive riches to upgrade at forward. Fine. But keep two things in mind. First of all, about one-third of teams in the league just drafted top defensive prospects whom they’re likely much more excited about than Mark Pysyk or T.J. Brennan.
Secondly, it’s apparent to me that some folks are overvaluing how good this Buffalo defense from top to bottom really is.
This mistake was made last year, when predictions were flying that pending breakout seasons of Marc-Andre Gragnani and Mike Weber would force Buffalo’s hand to avoid suffocating some good young talent. Darcy Regier instead refrained from wheeling and dealing, but the Sabres between poor play and injuries never seemed to have six guys going well at the same time.
Here’s what you have for 2012-13: Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoff, Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold, Andrej Sekera, Alex Sulzer, Weber, Brayden McNabb, Brennan, and Adam Pardy. Sure, I like my top four. But take a long look at the entire list and tell me, with your blue-and-gold colored glasses off, how many of those guys are legitimate top-six defensemen on a Stanley Cup contending team?
Assuming Tyler Ennis and Patrick Kaleta get signed, the Sabres at 24 players will have one too many on the roster. Unless Pardy in camp looks like he’ll be something more than he was last season, he’ll likely be demoted. McNabb can play in Rochester until there’s an injury. Brennan, now in his fourth year as a pro, has to earn a spot on the team or he’ll be waived.
Logjam? Hardly. Competition is good.
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About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]