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30 in 30: Sabres lineup has Miller, Vanek for now

Friday, 08.16.2013 / 10:35 AM / Features
By Corey Masisak  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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30 in 30: Sabres lineup has Miller, Vanek for now
Two Sabres veterans who have not yet been traded are Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller, each entering the final year of his contract.

For the first time since 1997, the Buffalo Sabres will go to training camp without Lindy Ruff as coach.

The Sabres went into rebuilding mode after back-to-back disappointing seasons and traded captain Jason Pominville, Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr before the deadline in April. General manager Darcy Regier also traded Andrej Sekera to the Carolina Hurricanes for Jamie McBain and a second-round pick at the 2013 NHL Draft.

Two veterans who have not been traded are forward Thomas Vanek and goaltender Ryan Miller, and each is in the final year of his contract. Regier has been open about trading either or both if the right deal comes along.

Besides the trade for McBain, it was a quiet offseason in Buffalo. Regier added former Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder to provide some of the experience lost on the blue line. Forward Nathan Gerbe was bought out, and a couple of fringe NHL players moved on.

It looks like a transition year in Buffalo, especially if Vanek and/or Miller don't finish the season with the team.

Here is the projected 2013-14 lineup for the Sabres:

Forwards

Thomas Vanek - Cody Hodgson - Tyler Ennis

Marcus Foligno - Mikhail Grigorenko - Drew Stafford

Johan Larsson - Steve Ott - Ville Leino

Brian Flynn - Kevin Porter - Patrick Kaleta

John Scott

Defensemen

Christian Ehrhoff - Jamie McBain

Henrik Tallinder - Tyler Myers

Mike Weber - Mark Pysyk

Alexander Sulzer

Goalies

Ryan Miller

Jhonas Enroth

NOTES: One of the biggest things to watch will be the development of forwards Grigorenko and Foligno, who should have a chance to earn consistent top-six minutes. Luke Adam had that chance two seasons ago but spent most of last season with Rochester in the American Hockey League. He's one of several forwards not listed who could make a play for a spot on the opening-night roster.

Another player to watch is Myers, who looked like a No. 1 defenseman as a rookie but whose development has stagnated. He's under contract for a long time, and the Sabres need a bounce-back season from him. Adding McBain and Tallinder should keep the team's first-round picks, Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov, developing elsewhere unless one of them has an outstanding camp.

As long as Miller is in Buffalo, he will be the No. 1 goaltender. Enroth had a great World Championship for Sweden and could be ready to see if he can be a No. 1 netminder. Matthew Hackett, who arrived from the Minnesota Wild in the Pominville trade, is a top goaltending prospect and could earn some NHL duty this season.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82