Sabres' defensive room is a crowded house
Buffalo signed veteran defensemen Erik Johnson and Connor Clifton to make their blue line situation a lot more crowded
Of the things we knew about what the Buffalo Sabres would do this offseason, one of them was how they’d work to strengthen their defense corps. After five days of free agency, their blue line is busting at the seams.
The Sabres locked down veteran and 2022 Stanley Cup champion Erik Johnson, the No. 1 pick back in 2006, to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. They also signed Connor Clifton, formerly of the Boston Bruins, to a three-year, $10 million contract and re-signed Kale Clague to a one-year, two-way deal worth $775,000 at the NHL level. Clague is earmarked to play in Rochester, much like last season, but as we witnessed, sometimes things change.
“We have nine NHL defensemen that we like, and I guess the way I look at it is, we need depth,” Sabres GM Kevyn Adams said. “It’s a long season. Hopefully, we are a team that is going to make a deep run and you need good solid players that can play. And you never know. Look what’s already happened this summer in terms of one of our key players that goes down (Jack Quinn). Those things happen. So, you need help.”
Two things are true here:
The Sabres needed help on defense.
The Sabres have too many defensemen.
They’ve got 10 defensemen with NHL experience under contract and that’s, to say the least, unwieldy. So how do they go about handling this? Let’s poke around at what they’re rolling with at this moment with full knowledge they might not be rolling with this many guys for too long.
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