BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres' busy weekend at the 2014 NHL Draft signaled the unofficial start of the organization's rebuild.
The Sabres made nine picks at the draft highlighted by the selection of Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart with the No. 2 pick in the first round and Barrie Colts left wing Brendan Lemieux, the first pick of the second round. Those picks, as well as trades last season that subtracted Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Ryan Miller, and Steve Ott from the roster and the compliance buyouts used on forward Ville Leino and defenseman Christian Ehrhoff means the team is being built virtually from the ground up.
"Last year was a tough year," Sabres general manager Tim Murray said. "Quite frankly, if you want me to sit here and go through player by player what I thought, it can't be pretty, right? The team was not very good. That's gone for me. This is a new beginning. This is my first full year. This is Teddy's [Nolan, coach] first full year.
"There was so much change last year. This is where we start off and try to lay down the right lessons. Are we going to be way better? I'm not saying that at all, but things will be way better. Expectations, how you play the game, how you carry yourself as a pro; those things have to get better."