2006-07 Sabres: Where Are They Now?

The 2016-17 NHL season marks the 10-year anniversary of the Buffalo Sabres’ Presidents’ Trophy season.

After a strong showing in the 2005-06 playoffs, the Sabres had a lot of momentum heading into the 2006-07 season. Under the leadership of former co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, Buffalo put up an impressive 53-22-7 record and 113 points in the standings. This point total tied a franchise high that was set during a different era by the Sabres in the 1974-75 season.

While Buffalo had a strong showing during the regular season, the club fell short of their goal of winning the Stanley Cup. The Sabres lost to the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Final by a 4-1 margin. To commemorate the Blue and Gold’s 10-year anniversary of that magical season, here is a where are they now look at the 2006-07 roster.

The data for this article was compiled using Eliteprospects.com.

Related – 5 Can’t Miss Games on the Sabres Schedule

Goaltenders

Ryan Miller recorded 40 wins, 2.73 GAA, and .911 save percentage for Buffalo in 2006-07. (image source: mark6mauno/ Flikr)
Miller recorded 40 wins, 2.73 GAA, and .911 save percentage in 2006-07. (image source: mark6mauno/ Flikr)

Ryan Miller – The Sabres traded goaltender Ryan Miller in February 2014 to the St. Louis Blues. He later signed with the Vancouver Canucks where he is entering the final season of a three-year deal.

Martin Biron – Biron was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in February 2007. He later spent time with the New York Islanders and New York Rangers. He retired in October 2013 and currently is the Director of Goaltending with the Academy of Hockey at HarborCenter in Buffalo, NY.

Ty Conklin – Conklin joined the Blue and Gold in February 2007 shortly after the team traded Biron. He appeared in five games for the Sabres during the 2006-07 season. In the seasons to follow, Conklin played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, and St. Louis. Conklin retired after the 2011-12 season and works as a goalie development coach for the Blues.

Defensemen

Brian Campbell – Campbell began his career with Buffalo and he was traded to the San Jose Sharks in February 2008. The veteran later won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. He spent the past five seasons with the Florida Panthers. Campbell recently signed a one-year deal to return to Chicago for the 2016-17 season.

Mike Card – Mike Card appeared in four games for the Sabres during the 2006-07 season. Card also spent time with Buffalo’s AHL affiliate clubs which included the Rochester Americans and the Portland Pirates. He began playing in Europe during the 2009-10 season.

Henrik Tallinder
Henrik Tallinder tallied four goals and 14 points in 47 games for the Sabres in 2006-07. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Michael Funk – In 2006-07, Funk tallied two points in five games and he appeared in four games for Buffalo during the following season. Funk spent much of his time within the Sabres organization playing for the team’s minor league affiliates. Funk last played for the Manitoba Moose of the AHL during the 2009-10 season.

Dmitri Kalinin – After spending eight seasons with the Sabres, Kalinin played for the Rangers and the Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes. Kalinin began playing in the KHL during the 2009-10 season and has played internationally for Russia. The defenseman is playing in the KHL during the 2016-17 season with Spartak Moskva.

Toni Lydman – Lydman was a solid blueliner for the Sabres playing an important role in the success of the 2006-07 season. He averaged more than 20 minutes per game in the regular season and over 23 minutes per game during the playoffs. Lydman signed as a free agent with Anaheim Ducks in 2010 and last played for the Ducks during the 2012-13 season.

Teppo Numminen – After the 2006-07 season, Numminen had heart complications that required surgery. He was able to return to play in the Sabres’ final game during the 2007-08 season. Numminen then played in 57 games for Buffalo during the 2008-09 season before retiring in August 2009. Numminen later served as an assistant coach for the Sabres under Lindy Ruff and for Ted Nolan during the 2013-14 season. Most recently, Numminen worked as an assistant coach for Team Finland in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Nathan Paetsch – Paetsch spent parts of five seasons with Buffalo. He was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in March 2010 and since then, he has mostly played in the AHL. He was recently named captain of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL where he’s played since the 2012-13 season.

Andrej Sekera – Buffalo traded Sekera to the Carolina Hurricanes in June 2013. The defenseman spent parts of two seasons in Carolina before he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He signed with the Edmonton Oilers in July 2015 and is entering his second season of a six-year deal.

Jaroslav Spacek – The 2006-07 season was Spacek’s first of three seasons with the Sabres. He signed with the Montreal Canadiens in July 2009 and finished his NHL career with the Hurricanes. Spacek recently served as an assistant coach for Team Czech Republic in the World Cup of Hockey.

Henrik Tallinder – Tallinder remained with the Sabres through the 2009-10 season. He then signed with the New Jersey Devils in July 2010 where he spent three seasons. The Sabres re-acquired Tallinder in July 2013 and he spent his final NHL season in Buffalo. He has continued his hockey career by playing the past few seasons in Europe.

Related – How They Were Built: The 2016-17 Buffalo Sabres

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Forwards

Maxim Afinogenov – The speedy forward played in Buffalo through the 2008-09 season. Afinogenov signed with the Atlanta Thrashers in September 2009 where he spent his final NHL season. Moving on from the NHL, Afinogenov signed a deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL where he played during the 2011-12 season. He is currently playing for Vityaz Podolsk of the KHL during the 2016-17 season.

Daniel Briere – In July 2007, Daniel Briere signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers. Briere spent the next five seasons with the Flyers. In July 2013, Briere signed a two-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens. He was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in June 2014 and announced his retirement in August 2015.

Tim Connolly – Injuries limited Tim Connolly to only two games during the 2006-07 season. He played in eight playoff games scoring five goals and 11 points. Connolly continued to play for Buffalo through the 2010-11 season. He then signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he played the 2011-12 season. Connolly finished his hockey career in the AHL playing for the Toronto Marlies in the 2012-13 season.

Chris Drury – Drury signed a deal with the Rangers in July 2007. Drury played in New York for four seasons before retiring in August 2011. Drury began working as the director of player development for the Rangers in 2015-16 and he was involved in the club’s signing of forward Jimmy Vesey. In September 2016, Drury received a promotion and he is now the club’s assistant general manager.

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Paul Gaustad – Gaustad was an important player for Buffalo on faceoffs and he played for the Sabres through the 2011-12 season. Buffalo shipped Gaustad to the Nashville Predators for a first round selection in February 2012. Gaustad played in Nashville for the past five seasons and announced his retirement from the NHL in September 2016.

Jochen Hecht – Hecht spent 10 seasons of his NHL career with the Sabres. The forward played for the team through the 2012-13 season and then retired from the NHL. Hecht continued to play hockey in his native Germany for Adler Mannheim. Hecht announced his retirement from hockey in July 2016.

Patrick Kaleta – Kaleta played seven games for the Sabres during the 2006-07 season. His physical style of play and role as a pest on the ice earned him many adversaries across the NHL. Kaleta last played in Buffalo during the 2014-15 season. He spent last season with the Rochester Americans and is seeking another opportunity to earn a role in the NHL.

Ales Kotalik – A native of the Czech Republic, Kotalik played in Buffalo until March 2009 when he was traded to Edmonton. He also played for the Rangers and the Calgary Flames. The Sabres re-acquired Kotalik from the Flames in the trade that brought Robyn Regehr to Buffalo. Kotalik didn’t play for the Sabres after the trade. Instead, he resumed his hockey career in Europe.

Clarke MacArthur – MacArthur played for Buffalo until March 2010 when he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers. He signed with Toronto in August 2010 and spent three seasons with the Maple Leafs. In July 2013, MacArthur signed with the Ottawa Senators. He is battling through an injury but he hopes to soon make his return to the Senators this season.

Adam Mair – Mair played an important physical role for the Sabres during the 2006-07 season. He appeared in all 82 games and became a fan favorite. This led a group of fans to post a sign each game in the 300-level seating that said ‘Mair’s Office.’ The forward played for the Blue and Gold through the 2009-10 season. He finished his NHL career with the New Jersey Devils. Mair has returned to Buffalo to work as an Academy of Hockey coach at HarborCenter.

Mark Mancari – Mancari appeared in three games for the Sabres during the 2006-07 season. He played in 36 total games for Buffalo in which he logged three goals and 13 points. Much of Mancari’s hockey career has been spent in the AHL and most recently in Europe. He also played in six games for the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011-12 season.

Jiri Novotny – During the 2006-07 season, Novotny appeared in 50 games for the Sabres netting six goals and 13 points. In February 2007, he was sent to the Washington Capitals in the trade that brought forward Dainius Zubrus to the Sabres. Novotny last played in the NHL for the Blue Jackets during the 2008-09 season. He has spent the past few seasons playing in the KHL.

Daniel Paille – Buffalo traded forward Dan Paille to the Boston Bruins in October 2009. Paille spent the majority of six seasons in Boston and won a Stanley Cup during the 2010-11 season. The veteran signed with the Rangers in January 2016 and played 12 games for New York last season.

Andrew Peters – Peters appeared in 58 games for the Sabres notching one goal, two points, and 125 penalty minutes during the 2006-07 season. He signed with New Jersey in September 2009 and made his final NHL appearances with the Devils during the 2009-10 season. Peters retired from the NHL in 2011. The 36-year old has returned to Buffalo and recently joined forces with former Sabres captain Craig Rivet on WGR-550 to co-host a hockey radio show called Instigators.

Jason Pominville – Pominville was traded by the Sabres in April 2013 to the Minnesota Wild which fueled Buffalo’s rebuild. Buffalo’s former captain performed well in his first season in Minnesota but his production has since declined. Pominville is looking to bounce back after a difficult 2015-16 season in which he scored just 11 goals and 36 points.

Derek Roy – Derek Roy and the Sabres parted ways in July 2012 when the forward was shipped to the Dallas Stars in a trade for forward Steve Ott and defenseman Adam Pardy. Roy bounced around to several teams after this trade including the Canucks, Blues, Predators, and Oilers. He is playing the 2016-17 season with Avangard Omsk of the KHL.

Michael Ryan – Ryan played for two seasons in Buffalo and then one season for Carolina. The bulk of his hockey career has been spent in the AHL and most recently in Europe.

Drew Stafford – Stafford started his NHL career during the 2006-07 season with the Sabres. He spent the next eight seasons in Buffalo before being traded to the Winnipeg Jets. The 30-year-old is entering the final year of a two-year deal that he signed with the Jets in June 2015.

Thomas Vanek – The Sabres acquired a nice haul when the team traded Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders in October 2013. Since leaving the Sabres, Vanek has played for the Islanders, Canadiens, and Wild. He recently signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings.

Dainius Zubrus – After being acquired by Buffalo in February 2007, Zubrus notched four goals and eight points in 19 games during the 2006-07 regular season. He tallied eight assists during the Sabres’ playoff run that season. Zubrus signed with New Jersey where he played until the 2014-15 season. He spent last season with San Jose and, to date, the 19-year NHL veteran remains unsigned.

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Coaching Staff/Management

Lindy Ruff served as Sabres' head coach for 16-years. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)
Lindy Ruff served as the Sabres’ head coach for 16-years. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Lindy Ruff – Lindy Ruff was a fan favorite when he played for the Sabres and was embraced by the city during his long tenure as the team’s head coach. After his coaching era in Buffalo came to an end, Ruff was hired by the Dallas Stars in June 2013. The 2016-17 season marks Ruff’s fourth year as the Stars’ bench boss.

Brian McCutcheon – McCutcheon was with the Buffalo Sabres organization for many many years. He began as head coach of the Rochester Americans and served as an assistant coach with the Sabres. McCutcheon continued with the team through the 2010-11 season. He has since worked in Europe as an assistant and head coach.

James Patrick – Former Sabres defenseman James Patrick played in Buffalo for six seasons until 2003-04. Patrick rejoined the club in 2005-06 as a skill development coach and then was named as an assistant coach during the 2006-07 season. He continued with the team through the 2012-13 season. Patrick currently works as an assistant coach with Dallas.

Jim Corsi – Jim Corsi was perhaps Buffalo’s most well-known goaltending coach who worked with Dominik Hasek and Ryan Miller. He worked in this role with the Sabres for 16 seasons. Shortly after his time in Buffalo came to an end, Corsi was hired as a goalie coach by St. Louis in May 2014.

Darcy Regier – Regier spent 17 years as the Buffalo Sabres general manager. He was relieved of his duties in November 2013. The Arizona Coyotes hired Regier as an assistant general manager in July 2014. However, Regier left this position for personal reasons in February 2016.