Sabres Go Deep in 2001A Draft - 2/23/2001 2:39:00 PM

"One tablespoon of balance, two teaspoons of depth, and a pinch of nostalgia."

That was how second-year Lite-Sabre captain Chris McMaster described his strategy during Friday's 2001A draft.

McMaster managed to hold on to Sabres Steve Chiasson, Chad Griffin and Hilton Botma in Friday's draft. Their lineup will be bolstered this season by proven superstars Chad Barron and Scott Wilson. The Sabres also selected second-year grinder Jason Powell, who was a key member of last season's ADC Lynx runner-up squad, and will be integral to bringing a winning attidude to a team that suffered through a disasterous playoffs.

The "nostalgia" McMaster referred to was his selection of ex-Sabres Richard Pickering and Richard MacMillan. For MacMillan, the Sabres captain for the first three seasons, the news was bittersweet. MacMillan, sporting his first championship ring as a member of last season's LAN Hackers, was still happy to be returning to his old Sabres for his golden years. "The average career life in the league is only 2.5 seasons," said MacMillan, "I'm entering my fifth season so I think it's obvious that my days are numbered."

The Sabres will have two rookies starting for them in 2001A: Dave MacKenzie and Virag Pandya. Pandya, although unscouted by McMaster, raised eyebrows during the preseason by wearing jeans. McMaster, himself known to have a flair for the flares, was quick to snap up Pandya in the tradition of previous Sabres' fashion plates Peter Rinco and Richard Pickering.


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