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2014-2015 NHL preview: Buffalo Sabres

Sam Reinhart was picked second by the Sabres in 2014 for the future.
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Yesterday, I covered the Boston Bruins, who may be the best team in the NHL this season, and are a real Cup contender. Today, I cover the Buffalo Sabres who... are not that. The Sabres were awful last year. Truly terrible. They finished with 52 points. Nobody else was worse than 66. They had a minus-91 goal differential. Nobody else was worse than minus-72. This was far and away the worst team in the NHL, and they aren't going to have a miraculous rebound.

Not that they want one. This is a team rebuilding. They traded Thomas Vanek. They traded Ryan Miller. Buffalo doesn't really want to be good this year. The upcoming draft features two highly vaunted prospects in Connor MacDavid and Jack Eichel. The Sabres want one of them, and they should. Either is expected to be the kind of franchise level prospect that can turn a team around. It is hard to get those except through the draft. So, if Buffalo has one of the top two picks, it will be huge, and they should definitely have one of the top two picks, barring lottery misfortune.

So yeah, this is not a good roster in the least. While they brought in Matt Moulson, whom they acquired via trade for Vanek and then proceeded to trade to Minnesota, for some veteran presence, but mostly this team will be a chance for young players to get ice time, which is nice. Experience is a good thing, and if the team is bad, so be it. So, a bunch of guys who are talented and have difficult to pronounce names will give Buffalo fans a glimpse of the future. Seriously, pretty much all of this teams prospects have names like Zemgus Girgensons. Then again, the Sabres did also take Sam Reinhart with the second overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

I'm guessing the Sabres will go with Jhonas Enroth in net, although Michal Neuvirth is also around now. Ted Nolan seemed to do a good job after taking over as head coach last year. A new GM has been running things for a little while. However, there is young talent, and guys like Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis are still only 24. Buffalo will get better, but it won't be this year. Meet the worst team in the NHL. Honestly, I don't even think it's close.