So the Sabres season is finally over. It’s a relief, to be honest, even for someone like me who had tried to keep a lighter level of interest. John Vogl’s column has the grim details – 2-16-2 through the last 20, 150 goals on the season, clear of the 29th place team by 14 points – but to hear the media tell it, it will never be so bad again.
Will that be true, though? The turnover will be immense, especially if you count the moves going back to the deadline. Captains, goaltenders, coaches, execs, nowhere has been immune to the tectonic shifts in the Sabres franchise. That’s not a recipe for success. Next season is going to involve a large number of new players which will need time to gel. The main thing going for them is it would be nearly impossible to be this bad again. You could just about accidently score more than 150 goals if you swap in a few players that actually shoot the puck.
What does that mean, though? 26th place next year? A slight chance at a playoff spot? It may not be suffering, but it isn’t exactly set up for a season of joy. I’m curious to see how attendance works out next season, whether fans can get excited about seeing more of the young kids, or if there are any new surprising vets to watch. We’ve got a non-Darcy offseason to look forward to – we don’t know much about Tim Murray and what’s going to happen, so this might just be the most interesting part of 2014 for the Sabres as a team and fans. See you at the draft lottery.