Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

March 22, 2007

LEADING OFF: Emergence of Stafford keeps Sabres on course

Getting good, as we’ve heard ad nauseam, is harder than staying good in the ever-changing world of professional sports. That’s why the Sabres’ future seems as daunting as expecting a series of scratch-offs to cover the mortgage.

But with Drew Stafford becoming the team’s most recent success story, another season seems secure, as long as the team can sign either Chris Drury or Daniel Briere. If they do, Buffalo’s top nine — for the sake of argument, let’s say Briere, Jochen Hecht, Jason Pominville, Maxim Afinogenov, Ales Kotalik, Paul Gaustad, Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek and now Stafford — will remain as good as any in the league.

And that’s even if Tim Connolly’s numbers don’t come in.

Contact group sports editor Tim Schmitt at 282-2311, Ext. 2266.

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