The Sabres will be playing Ottawa, Montreal, Boston and Toronto still, but now the division will add Detroit, Florida and Tampa Bay to the mix.
If the Sabres are hoping to make the playoffs soon, the road just got a lot tougher as Detroit is a perennial playoff team as well as Florida and Tampa Bay who are already re-tooling to make the playoffs next season.
This season alone, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Detroit made the playoffs, which would leave three seeds left to other teams, one of which would be guaranteed to the division winner of the other Eastern Conference division.
It's no secret that the Western Conference has it a little easier, with two less teams than the east, but with the addition of Detroit, the Sabres have quickly entered one of the most competitive divisions at one of the worst times.
If the Sabres hope to compete at the same level, both free agents and young talent will have to step it up, as well as remain healthy.
The schedule for the 2013-14 NHL season will tell the true tale of how grueling the season will be next season, but fans should not anticipate an easy road, with an already depleted roster.Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL