Last season the Buffalo Sabres finished in the seventh seed in the East Conference with a 43-39 record with 10 regulation tie points. Many thought they looked like a team ready to make a big step toward being a solid Stanley Cup contender when new owner Terry Pegula opened the purse strings and signed free agents Christian Ehrhoff to a ten year contract worth a total of $40 million (which pays him $10 million this year) and Ville Leino to a six year contract worth $27 million. That hasn’t been the case.
Buffalo is currently fourth from last in the East Conference with only 21 wins in 51 games played. So what went wrong?
The easy answer is that the Sabres overpaid for their new signings. We knew that when Ehrhoff and Leino were signed, but it is more obvious now. Leino has been limited to four goals and twelve points so far this year. Ehrhoff has scored a little higher from defence, but his -9 +/- rating is among the worst on the team.
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