OK, folks, prepare your machetes, sharpen your knives and make sure the guillotine is working. It's time for me to become GM for a day -- with a columnist's salary, of course -- in an effort to get the Sabres back into the playoffs.
The challenge last year was keeping the Sabres under a $44 million payroll without losing Chris Drury or Daniel Briere. It wasn't easy, but in the end almost everything was in order. The big mistake was misjudging Derek Roy's value, but what the heck? The guy would have been a third-line center on my team behind the two co-captains, but he was elevated to a first-liner after they left.
He also performed like one.
At least my plan made more sense than the one that played out. Just remember, I suggested last summer that the Sabres dump Maxim Afinogenov and Teppo Numminen and consider a trade involving Dmitri Kalinin. It looks like they're coming to their senses this year, a year late, which will free up some dough for pressing needs.
Ryan Miller's contract situation needs to be addressed. Plus, there are restricted free agents who need to be signed. Can they dip their toes into the pool of unrestricted free agents and keep payroll under $50 million? My plan is outlined in Wednesday's paper.
Unlike Tom Golisano, you'll know where to find me.
--- Bucky Gleason