Originally written on Around The Rink  |  Last updated 11/15/14
The Sabres’ season has been nothing short of a disaster, but how will GM Darcy Regier address the defensive problems in this years Draft? For the Buffalo Sabres, this season has been nothing short of a disaster! First, they trade star center Derek Roy to Dallas for gritty winger Steve Ott and defenceman Adam Pardy, then after a dismal start, they fire head coach Lindy Ruff who had been with the team for 15 years and was the winningest coach in team history, and after hiring Ron Rolston of the farm team Rochester Americans the Sabres are poised to compete with the Panthers for last place in the NHL and for the #1 overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft come June. Buffalo’s defense has been atrocious throughout the season, with both Jordan Leopold and Tyler Myers leading all defencemen on the team in the dubious end  of the +/- category with -6 (FYI forward Drew Stafford is last on the team with -10). These defensive laps have caused Ryan Miller to be busy on most nights; busier than usual. With a record of 9-13-4, “Captain America” hasn’t looked Superhuman at all, mainly due in part to the defense (which is hurting fantasy hockey owners of the Buffalo tender, including yours truly).   So, the burning question is what would I do if I were Darcy Regier? Three simple words: DRAFT SETH JONES! Portland Winterhawks defenceman Seth Jones brings size and skill to a Sabres blueline in need Point blank and period! By any means necessary! Seth Jones is a defenceman playing for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. A 6′ 3” 205 lb 18 year old from the state of Texas, Jones not only ranks #1 in the mid-term rankings for players in the WHL, but is NHL Central Scouting’s #1 ranked player in North America during their mid-term rankings that came out last month. Jones impressed during the World Juniors in January by scoring 7 points in 7 games (1 g 6 a) and finished third in the tournament in +/- with +8. The son of Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Ronald “Popeye” Jones, Jones knows how to win, having won two gold medals at the 2011 and 2012 World U-18 Championships and a 3rd gold for the Americans in the 2013 World U-20 Championship. With Jones, the Sabres would have another big defenceman to pair with Tyler Myers, Christian Ehroff, Jordan Leopold, Alex Sulzer, Mike Webber, and young gun Mark Pysyk. However with Jordan Leopold, Robin Regehr, Webber, and Sulzer being UFA’s at the end of the season, the Sabres blue line could look much different than what’s on the ice at this point in the season. My second move would be to resign Ryan Miller. Yes resign him! Ryan Miller has become an elite goaltender in the NHL, but will GM Darcy Regier resign him at the end of the season? There have been talks of Regier looking to ship Captain America out of the City of No Illusions and that’s just what these “Captain America” Ryan Miller is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Will the Sabres resign himtalks of trade should be: Pure ILLUSION! The Sabres drafted Miller out of Michigan State in the 5th round of the 1999 NHL Draft, and what has done since then? The former Spartan ONLY won a Silver Medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics (I still can’t believe that garbage goal that Sydney Crosby scored on him….but I digress) and has become one of the Elite goaltenders in the game today! Now granted Miller is 32 and will probably want a huge sum of money, but why not give it to him? You wouldn’t want him going to a place like Toronto where you’d see him come back to Buffalo and be forced to watch as be backstops the Leafs to a victory in the First Niagara Center (Formerly HSBC Arena) would you? NO! Give Ryan Miller the money he deserves. He’s a piece of the Sabres puzzle that the Front Office can build around, why not start with someone to help him out? Why not Seth Jones?    

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