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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Front office continuity and success in the annual Entry Draft were just two of the reasons the Buffalo Sabres finished third overall in The Hockey News’ annual franchise rankings. The Sabres trailed only the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins in the rankings that were based on objective, statistical factors that take into account both past and present performance.

The complete rankings and story appear in the June 13 issue of The Hockey News that is on newsstands now.

All 30 NHL teams were graded in nine categories: Front Office, Regular Season, Future Watch, Playoffs, Draft Success, Franchise Value, Ownership, 2010-11 Standings and Attendance. Each category was assigned a maximum point value a team could earn, concentrating primarily on seasons spanning from 2006-07 through this year. Detroit led all teams with a final total of 131.7, followed by Pittsburgh (120.7), Buffalo (114.4), San Jose (113.8) and Anaheim (111.0).

The Sabres received the maximum of 10 points in both the Front Office and Attendance categories, and finished tied for first with Chicago (34 points) in Draft Success. As explained by The Hockey News writer Ken Campbell, “The scores in this category were determined by each team’s performance at the draft table in the years 2001 through 2005, the logic being that the vast majority of the players from those drafts have separated themselves as either full-time NHLers or minor leaguers by now.” During this time, the Sabres have drafted 20 players that have played in the NHL – including 10 that played with the team this season.
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