The Buffalo Sabres haven’t been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 6 years. It’s a narrative that has been beaten into the ground. Players have come and gone, the name of the arena has changed twice, and Sabres fans have suffered. But do you remember the heroic run that was the 2010-11 season?
The Sabres were fresh off of a Northeast Division championship win and an early exit from the previous year’s playoffs against the Boston Bruins. What looked like a promising team that was back on the upside quickly allowed the wheels to fall off the perverbial hype train the following season.
The Sabres fought tooth and nail to make the playoffs in 2010-11. It wasn’t until a strong finish in the 2nd half of the season that the team locked up the 7th seed in the conference to set up a matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Though most Sabres fans remember how that series went (a seven game defeat to the Flyers) there is certainly a number of people who don’t remember all the faces that joined the team in that 7 game stretch. Only 1 player from the group is still with the Sabres today, and below we will take a trip to find out just where everyone else from that team is nowadays.
Brad Boyes: Acquired at the 2011 trade deadline, Boyes scored 5 goals and 9 assists in 21 games in 2011. He last played for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016 and is currently a free agent.
Tim Connolly: Concussions unfortunately brought an early end to the once promising stud’s career. Connolly tallied 13 goals and 29 assists in 68 games played in 2010-11. Unfortunately research didn’t bring up anything on Tim’s post-retirement life, but the fan favorite is certainly missed in the blue and gold.
Tyler Ennis: The lone remaining player from the 2011 team still with the Sabres today. Ennis scored 20 goals and 29 assists in his rookie campaign, raising his potential that has yet to be achieved.
Paul Gaustad: “The Goose” scored 12 goals and 19 assists for the Sabres in 2011. According to his Instagram, Gaustad is living a happy life in retirement spending time with his family.
Nathan Gerbe: One of the most exciting players Sabres fans have ever watched on their team, Gerbe was instrumental in earning a playoff spot for the Sabres. His iconic spin o’ rama backhand snipe against Philadelphia in the penultimate game of the season propelled the game to overtime and foreshadowed an exciting playoff clash. Today, Nathan is signed with Geneve-Servette HC of the Swiss league.
Mike Grier: The power forward is currently working as a coach for the team he played for in his youth, Saint Sebastian’s.
Pat Kaleta: The adored but oft-injured enforcer currently works within the Sabres organization as a youth hockey ambassador. He spends his time at Harbor Center and is currently working on opening a hockey training center of his own in Hamburg, NY.
Cody McCormick: One of the many bruisers on the 2011 squad, McCormick can still be seen around Buffalo. Injuries however caught up to Cody in 2015 when he began experiencing blood clots. McCormick announced his retirement in April of 2016.
Rob Niedermayer: The savvy vet was one of my personal favorites on this team. 2011 was his last season, and research only brings up that he sold a home of his for $3.6 million in 2016.
Jason Pominville: Pominville is one of few players still active and playing at a high level. Pominville enjoys a good role today with the Minnesota Wild.
Drew Stafford: Currently enjoying a career renaissance with the Bruins, Stafford played a large role in the Bruins playoff series against the Senators his year. He may have been the steal of the deadline, being acquired for just a 6th round pick from the Jets.
Thomas Vanek: After slowing down for a few years, Vanek found his game again this season with the Detroit Red Wings. Don’t be surprised to see this former Sabres name brought up when discussing potential FA targets for the Sabres as the Austrian forward’s value skyrocketed this season.
Matt Ellis: The longtime American/Sabre gave Buffalo a steady hand to fill in for injured roster players. Ellis is currently a coach at Harbor Center’s Academy of Hockey. He was a good player and it’s nice to still have him in the community.
Mark Mancari: A relic of a dry prospect pool, Mancari was once one of the top you guns in Buffalo’s system. Mancari is still playing, as he is signed with Krefeld Pinguine of the DEL (Germany).
Jochen Hecht: One of the all-time great German players, Hecht is currently working for his hometown Adler Mannheim as a development coach.
Derek Roy: This silky smooth skater is still living his dream in the KHL with Traktor Chelyabinsk. Roy also frequently represents Canada at in-season IIHF tournaments such as the Spengler Cup and the Deutschelande Cup.
Steve Montador: Undoubtedly the most tragic entry in this article. Steve Montador suddenly passed away in 2015 at the age of 35. It was later discovered that he suffered from CTE. Montador passed just four days before the birth of his kid.
Shaone Morrison: First of all, who spelled “Sean” like that?! Morrison is still playing overseas in the KHL for Admiral Vladivostok.
Tyler Myers: The one time Calder winner is now a key fixture on the fruitful Winnipeg Jets blue line.
Mike Weber: Weber is currently serving as captain of the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa. Weber’s play this season earned him a contract with Minnesota as well. Weber appears to have become a player too good for the AHL but too mediocre for the NHL.
Andrej Sekera: Possibly the player in the best situation today, Sekera is a top 4 defender on the Edmonton Oilers. It’s not too far fetched to say Sekera could be a Stanley Cup champion in a few years.
Jordan Leopold: Reports from 2014 mention that Jordan and his wife planned to open up a wedding planning business in Brooklyn. Sounds like Leopold is living a happy life as a family man.
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