The Buffalo Sabres added a Stanley Cup champion to their roster today. Rob Niedermayer signed a one-year deal worth $1 million.
He’s a veteran who can add accountability to the locker room, help on the penalty kill and bring some toughness (mentally and physically) to a team that’s lacked it.
It may seem like the Sabres overpaid for a fourth line player, and there may be questions about his durability and speed, but Niedermayer’s true value is in the locker room. As of right now, he will be the only player in a Buffalo sweater that has won a Stanley Cup. He knows what it takes to climb that mountain and that can be invaluable when the playoffs roll around.
As we stand, the Sabres have 10 forwards under contract with one-way deals (you can probably now say goodbye to Matt Ellis and Adam Mair). Tim Kennedy and Pat Kaleta are roster players who are waiting for their arbitration hearings (although deals could always be reached before then). And Tyler Ennis and Nathan Gerbe, who finished the season on the team, are waiting in the wings.
It doesn’t look like the Sabres are done and I would hope that they’re not. Bringing in a guy like Niedermayer though, shows that they are serious about competing this season. After all, they have a banner to defend and the ultimate prize is yet to be had.
Now, as Jon suggested, if there’s only a way for Rob to convince that brother of his to come out of retirement.