Friday, January 20, 2012

Buffalo Sabres trade deadline dilemma

Sabres: Trade Deadline Dilemma

by CT

With the 2011-2012 NHL Trade Deadline about 5 weeks away, the Buffalo Sabres have a serious dilemma. Do they try to move key pieces of their “core” while they still have at least some value and try to salvage what is left of the season? Or (my pick) do they ride it out, finish in the bottom 7 of the league, thus getting a higher draft pick? Not only a higher pick but hopefully this would wake up Old Man Pegula and he would finally blow this thing up.

When looking on TSN’s website they had this to say:

NHL's Most Wanted

With multiple teams in the hunt for a top-six forward, TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun runs down the list of names that may be available on in a piece on

The list includes Derek Roy, Brad Boyes and Drew Stafford in Buffalo; Vaclav Prospal, Antoine Vermette and Kristian Huselius in Columbus; Ales Hemsky in Edmonton; Tuomo Ruutu in Carolina; and Jason Blake in Anaheim. “

This is why I say stick with option B above. Teams are always going to overpay for underachieving players. This may be hated by all, but I say make no moves at the deadline. Everyone has seen what Darcy’s moves produce. Trading someone useless for a 2nd round pick. Then trading that pick for a rent-a-player who in some cases scores in his first game but is otherwise useless (see: Zubrus, Bernier, Moore, Torres, Boyes). So unless TPegs is going to all of a sudden renege on what he said and fire Darce and Lindy (which we all know isn’t happening) then I say don’t make a move. Stand pat, keep blaming injuries, and take a 13th place finish in the east. This summer is when you need to make a real push. Below is a list of Buffalo Sabres Free Agents starting July 1, 2012 as well as their age and cap hit.

Unrestricted Free Agents:

Boyes, Brad » Forward 29 $4,000,000

Hecht, Jochen » Forward 34 $3,525,000

Kotalik, Ales » Forward 33 $3,000,000

Gaustad, Paul » Forward 29 $2,300,000

Morrisonn, Shaone » Def 29 $2,075,000

MacIntyre, Drew » Goalie 28 $525,000

Leggio, David » Goalie 27 $525,000 2012

Ryan, Michael » 31 $525,000 2012

Stuart, Colin » F BUF 29 $525,000 2012

Whitmore, Derek » Forward 27 $525,000

Restricted Free Agents:

Kaleta, Patrick » Forward 25 $907,500

Ennis, Tyler » Forward 22 $875,000

Brennan, T.J. » Def 22 $875,000 2012

Schiestel, Drew » Def 22 $750,000

Gragnani, Marc-Andre » Def 24 $550,000

Biega, Alex » Def 23 $527,500

Turnbull, Travis » Forward 25 $525,000 2012 (RFA)

Persson, Dennis » Def 23 $525,000

Szczechura, Paul » Forward 26 $525,000

There are people on this list that a) need to be re-signed b) impartial if they’re re-signed c) absolutely no chance, they better not be coming back. The UFA’s that need to be brought back are basically all of the AHL guys aside from Kotalik and Morrisson. Everyone else PEACE THE F OUT. Gaustad, Boyes overpaid for doing nothing. 21 points in 77 combined games? Wat?! And I don’t wanna here that it’s not the GooseShits roll to score…guess what? The way our team is laid out, it is! Our RFA’s I’d bring em all back as they’d all only require a slight raise and from the last their production warrants the type of money they get. MiniMite Tyler Ennis only has 5 points but something tells me he’ll step his game up. Last year alone warrants $1million as I firmly believe he’s ust going through the sophomore slump.

Now I wont list all the leagues RFA’s because god knows we’re not making any one an offer because we love our precious draft picks but I will list the top UFA’s and who I think we should make a push for. The list is not exactly sexy and I think we’d be better off making trades before free agency but the entire list with salaries can be found at

The TOP 20 Highest PAID Free Agents for 2012:

Semin, Alexander » F WAS 27 $6,700,000 2012 (UFA)

Smyth, Ryan » F EDM 35 $6,250,000 2012 (UFA)

Lidstrom, Nicklas » D DET 41 $6,200,000 2012 (UFA)

Parise, Zach » F NJD 27 $6,000,000 2012 (UFA)

Huet, Cristobal » G CHI 36 $5,625,000 2012 (UFA)

Brodeur, Martin » G NJD 39 $5,200,000 2012 (UFA)

Rolston, Brian » F NYI 38 $5,062,500 2012 (UFA)

Rozsival, Michal » D PHO 33 $5,000,000 2012 (UFA)

Huselius, Kristian » F CLB 33 $4,750,000 2012 (UFA)

Doan, Shane » F PHO 35 $4,550,000 2012 (UFA)

Langkow, Daymond » F PHO 35 $4,500,000 2012 (UFA)

Penner, Dustin » F LAK 29 $4,250,000 2012 (UFA)

Liles, John-Michael » D TOR 31 $4,200,000 2012 (UFA)

Hemsky, Ales » F EDM 28 $4,100,000 2012 (UFA)

Boyes, Brad » F BUF 29 $4,000,000 2012 (UFA)

Blake, Jason » F ANA 38 $4,000,000 2012 (UFA)

Selanne, Teemu » F ANA 41 $4,000,000 2012 (UFA)

Wideman, Dennis » D WAS 28 $3,937,500 2012 (UFA)

Avery, Sean » F NYR 31 $3,875,000 2012 (UFA)

Now, most of the people on this list have flaws. They are either too old or too paid. Alex Semin will get his money somewhere but hes not worth the $7.5 mill he’ll demand, especially because he disappears in the postseason. Parise may be the sexiest pick on here but does Buffalo really need another tiny, overpaid ($7m a year) winger whose average for his career is 57 points per season. Plus the Devils have been so bad we it is unknown if he’d be able to make it through a whole postseason tourney. The only person on this “top 20” list that should truly garner interest from the Sabres is John Michael Liles. He is a 31-year old, top 4 defenseman. He is on pace for a career high 51 points (supposed to be Ehrhoff) who has never had less than 30 points in any given season. He already has 10 points on the Power Play this year and his current salary of $4.55 million is worth it. Next year when he commands $5 mill, I say go for it. A real puck moving d-man like Liles will only raise the game of guys like Ehrhoff, Sekera, etc because their won’t be the pressure to be the man.

Anyone on the Sabres from Roy all the way down to Miller should be on limits for trades. It hasn’t worked yet so why not try something different? Bring in a real #1 center like Eric Staal, who is waiting for a change of scenery. There has been rumors that the he was on the block and was possibly getting moved to the Leafs. The situation would be ideal. Dish Roy and and anyone else equaling $8.25 million (Staal’s cap hit) and bring this guy in. A change of scenery might be just what he needs to turn his weak 25 point season around. The guy has been the captain of the Hurricanes since I can remember and has a Cup under his belt. He is 27 year old Canadian with hockey in his blood. At 6’4, 205 he would bring the size and grit Buffalo was looking for all while bringing in a #1 scoring center. Throughout the course of his career Staal has put up season point totals of 100, 70, 82, 75, 70, and 76. That is a 6 year average of 79 points per year. That is a guy who warrants $8million. Blue and Gold gave old Roysie 6 years and 4 million per for 61 points per year. Oh and Staal has never played less than 70 games in a year. He had perfect attendance his first 4 years, played 70 the next and missed 1 game this past year. The dude is the real deal. In the only 2 years he has been in the postseason he has 28 points in 25 games (cup year) and 15 points in 18 games. Built for the long haul.

Staal is your guy Buffalo, go get him.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree tired of our boring team. Need new GM and coach besides a complete overhaul of players