Roster moves are an underappreciated but vital process in team building. If you pick the wrong one-way contract you can be in danger of losing a useful player on the waiver wire. Some of the most useful players in the NHL have been claimed off waivers including Ilya Bryzgalov, Rich Peverley and Stephane Robidas. If the Sabres do sign Doan they may not have room on the roster for certain players. There are some players that could be interesting young bubble forwards that may impact the Sabres roster for the year.
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Veteran Bubble Defensemen Young Bubble Forwards Veteran Bubble Forwards
McNabb is a monster of a defenseman. At 6'5" and 204 lbs. "McNasty" is the type of physical player that has fans drooling. The issue is that the Sabres now have 10 NHL-ready defensemen on their active roster. This comes due to the resigning of Alex Sulzer and the trade that brought Adam Pardy to Buffalo. McNabb will now be competing with some established NHL talent in his quest for the starting roster.
A consideration to keep in mind is McNabb's development. In his junior and minor league careers McNabb has shown an offensive upside that has made him seem like a top pairing defenseman. He was especially adept at scoring goals from the point in a way similar to current Sabre Jordan Leopold. I, for one, was positively beside myself when I imagined McNabb beside Tyler Myers as a top pairing. Some big minutes in the minors could solidify McNabb's offensive instincts and make him a better all around player when he does make it to the big show.
There is no doubt that McNabb could be an asset in Buffalo. But will that be the best use of his talents? That is the question that Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff will have to answer. It will also be up to McNabb. If he can prove that he should be on the ice and Mike Weber, Sulzer and Pardy should be elsewhere it will be easy to decide.
Brennan spent two full seasons in with the affiliate Portland Pirates without a call up to the major league. In 2011-2012 Brennan again spent most of his time with the Rochester Americans, posting 30 points in 52 games. He has also recorded two straight 15+ goal seasons in the minor leagues.
Terrance James made his NHL debut in 2011-2012 and didn't waste much time scoring his first NHL goal. Brennan has pointed since that time, but has proven himself to be a capable NHLer at times. Brennan has struggled offensively and defensively on occasion, but was a good fill in defenseman. Brennan will likely see another extended period with Rochester, now that he has a taste of the NHL, it should inform his training and see him become a contributing member of the team when he does join the squad full time.
Pysyk has impressed throughout his career and has always looked like a capable NHL defenseman. His slight frame has worried some, but he is a safe and intelligent hockey player. Pysyk has been a solid contributor during his several Sabres camps. Pysyk is set to begin his professional career in Rochester next season where he will likely garner top-pairing minutes over time.
Is that all there is in the cards for Mark Pysyk? History has shown that numbers will not hold talent back and Pysyk has that in spades. If the Sabres need a strong defenseman with all the tools for a depth defenseman he could be on the fast track to the NHL. Pysyk will be in the NHL sooner or later, but we cannot discount the sooner option given Buffalo's recent history.