What’s the hard truth? The power play most likely won’t be fixed in free agency. At best, this team gets lucky with a signing or trade, strikes on a castoff from another team that maybe will blossom here (sort of like bringing in Briere) and help. But that’s difficult in the best of times. I hate to come off too much like Lindy Ruff, but it’s the system that will bring success. The problem is, the power play system has sucked for a few years, possibly due to the loss of Scott Arniel as assistant coach. I’m not sure how much better it can get this year, without more of a coaching focus on it.
So does that mean GMDR should close up shop? Nah. If there’s a good value, even if it’s trading our Stafford for what amounts to their Stafford (or signing someone like Patrick O’Sullivan), do it. For the Sabres advance past the first round of the playoffs next year, it’s going to take team play, chemistry and good coaching. We know they have the last thing (even with some of Lindy’s quirks), which helps with the first, but that middle item is key.