Almost every Sabres fan looks back on the summer of 2007 with scorn.
You know, that summer Darcy Regier let Danny Briere and Chris Drury leave via free agency, essentially destroying a team that'd won the President's Trophy the year before. While Regier's moves were unpopular (and that's a major understatement), there was a little bit of logic behind them.
The franchise was still headed by penny-pinching owner Tom Golisano, and the team had a group of promising young players (Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Paul Gaustad, Tim Connolly, Clarke MacArthur, Dan Paille and Patrick Kaleta) that looked ready to take the next step in their careers.
Vanek was coming off of a 43-goal season. Pominville and Roy had put up over 60 points apiece. Connolly put up 55 points in 63 games in '05-'06, but had injury concerns. Gaustad and Kaleta provided a spark with their physical play on the lower lines. Stafford, MacArthur and Paille were relatively hig...