Monday, February 27, 2012

Buffalo Sabres Trade Deadline analysis

by Steve

Wait, what? The Buffalo Sabres were actually aggressive and proactive at the 2012 NHL trade deadline? A first round pick for Paul Gaustad (and a 4th round pick in 2013)? And Kassian was sent packing less than a season after he was the anointed savior?

Wow I didn't even expect a 2nd rounder or for that bum UFA or for him to even be moved in the first place. Yes, Darc always makes some sort of move but it is always the wrong move (well at least since Briere/Drury which was well before the lockout). So obviously some of my optimism and excitement are muted but Darc and the Sabres appear to have won the day.

Just getting a first rounder would have been grounds for applause but the trade of Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani for Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer? To quote the immortal Bill Belichick, I mean damn!

Yes, Kassian is big and has a mean struck (well at least in juniors) but Hodgson isn't tiny at 6'0 188 and was a top 10 pick. Oh and he is a center, a CENTER which is clearly the #1 need of this franchise. He has playoff experience and has shown he can score in the league (all at age 22) and fills a gaping hole down the middle.

Does it worry me it is still Darc Regier that is calling the shots? Yes. Do I get visions of Steve Bernier? Of course. But Kassian wasn't untouchable, hasn't shown any type of nasty streak and still had a ton of value. The only real question I have is what happen to MAG? The dude was excellent last year in the playoffs and had been a ghost ever since.

In summation, kudos Darc for realizing Gaustad had to be moved, you got max value and shook up the roster enough that it will be an interesting 20 games/offseason. Plus we have a shiny new center to root for. Now go find a different job elsewhere and bring your buddy Lindy with you.

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