5 Questions the Buffalo Sabres Must Answer By October

By Shane Darrow

Buffalo Sabres: 5 Questions They Must Answer Before October

Jhonas Enroth
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres have made a plethora of offseason moves, but there are still questions that need to be answered before they take the ice on opening night. Here are five questions that need to be addressed before October.

5. Will Sam Reinhart Make the Team?

Kootenay Ice v Calgary Hitmen
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5. Will Sam Reinhart Make the Team?

Kootenay Ice v Calgary Hitmen
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The Buffalo Sabres selected Sam Reinhart with the second overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, and while he has said his current focus is on making Canada's national junior team, he'll soon shift his gears toward making the Sabres' opening night roster. It's difficult to decide whether another year of juniors will be beneficial or not, but Reinhart has the skill set to help the Sabres from the get go and should be utilized immediately.

4. Who Will Start in Net?

Jhonas Enroth
Bruce Fedyck - USA TODAY Sports

4. Who Will Start in Net?

Jhonas Enroth
Bruce Fedyck - USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, the Sabres don't have two perennial All-Star goaltenders to choose from, but they will need to make a decision on whether it will be Jhonas Enroth or Michal Neuvirth between the pipes when the opening puck drops. Despite an atrocious 4-17-5 record last season, Enroth will likely get the nod. Keep in mind, his record last year wasn't strictly due to poor goaltending, but also an inoperable defensive corps in front of him.

3. Who Will Be Josh Gorges' Defensive Partner?

Montreal Canadiens Josh Gorges Trade Rumors
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3. Who Will Be Josh Gorges' Defensive Partner?

Montreal Canadiens Josh Gorges Trade Rumors
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Many people were surprised when Josh Gorges, one of the most sought after defensemen in free agency, opted to accept a deal with the Sabres. Head coach Ted Nolan will need to decide whether he wants to pair Gorges with Tyler Myers, who was bar none the best defenseman on their roster last year, or have him play on the second pairing in order to help develop Rasmus Ristolainen or Mike Weber.

2. Should They Secretly Tank the Season?

Calgary Flame forward Mike Cammalleri nets game-winner against Buffalo
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2. Should They Secretly Tank the Season?

Calgary Flame forward Mike Cammalleri nets game-winner against Buffalo
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It might sound ridiculous, but there have been franchises that have benefited massively in the long run by tanking the regular season – looking at you, Pittsburgh. Even with all the offseason acquisitions, the Sabres are still a long shot to make the playoffs, and with Connor McDavid – the highest touted prospect since Sidney Crosby – finally draft eligible at the end of the season, it might not be the worst idea.

1. Who Will Be the Sabres' Captain?

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild
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1. Who Will Be the Sabres' Captain?

Montreal Canadiens v Minnesota Wild
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Before they take the ice, the Sabres need to have a leader named. Sure, there's the ole "everyone can be a leader, it's just a letter" saying, but head coach Ted Nolan naming a captain shows that he trusts someone in the locker room to take charge when times are tough. If it were me, I'm selecting Brian Gionta. Sure, he's a newbie, but he's also a respected player with the most leadership experience on the roster.

Shane Darrow is an NHL writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @ShaneDarrow for up-to-date information, predictions and much more on the NHL offseason. 

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