Can the Sabres get better at the Trade deadline?

It’s no surprise that guys around the league are packing their bags this time of the year.  Many times, thats not the case in Buffalo – especially for the fan favorites – and more importantly the organizational favorites. 

There is no big name free agent in Buffalo this year that is going to get the chance to test the waters, so the Sabres are in no rush to trade for a piece of the puzzle that could help them win the Stanley Cup. 

With Toronto already looking to build for next season why not target that roster with the hopes and wishes of a team that is destined to do whatever it takes this year.  So why aren’t the Sabres shopping in their own backyard?

I don’t like trading within the division – the Paille to Boston trade earlier this year was negligible.  I would have made that move in a heart beat – but the opportunity is there.  There is one name that comes to mind when I think about shopping in Toronto. 

Thomas Kaberle. 

You put him on this Sabres team and he already has more points than everyone on the team except Tim Connolly.  Kaberle leads the Leafs with 43 points – and thats on a team fighting it out for the best chance at winning the draft lottery. 

Stack his numbers against striclty the D man, and he would beat everyone except Myers.  He would lead the team in assists. 

He would be one hell of an addition to the blueline. 

Now all of this gets snagged up on one thing, is Kaberle for sale or are the Leafs looking to restructure around him.  Given the fact that the Leafs want to turn things around and start fresh, my money would be on that a price could be found to buy him out of Toronto. 

Now the question becomes, can Buffalo afford him.  Well we have plenty of spare parts lying around that we might be able to come up with an offer.  How about Jochen Hecht, who annually gets lost on the third line here in Buffalo.  How about Drew Stafford, who had a couple of glimpses of greatness after he was benched by Lindy Ruff.  The message didn’t stick, and neither should be.  Nathan Paetsch could go and not many would miss him, hell I haven’t really seen him dress much at all on this team anyway.  In 11 games he has one goal, and one assist.  Anyone miss Nathan Paetsch?

Adam Mair has already been shown the door.  His uninspired play saw him pass through the waiver wire once already this year.  Would you miss a guy on the roster who through 40 games has 2 goals and five assists?  Matt Ellis might be a role player you can bundle in a trade, he has the same numbers as Mair and has played in six more games. 

I wouldn’t even mind seeing Derek Roy or Clarke MacArthur put in a bundle of players.   You wouldn’t even need to replace them in the trade, because you have Ennis and Gerbe waiting in the wings. 

Im not going to get all bent on rumors – so I am going to stick to my normal MO of waiting for the deadline to pass.  That way, I am not so disappointed in Regier that nothing was done again. 

But then again, Kaberle is believable – Kovalachuck isn’t.

  • blackops

    I agree I would take Kaberle in a bundle deal. But I also think an attractive addiction would be Whitney from Carolina. He would serve a veteran purpose this year for a run at the cup but cost next to nothing, maybe a second round pick with a lydman or McCarthur. I could live with either. They said Kaberle gave a list of teams hed be willing to play for, I’d like to think one of the teams is the team that has consistently whipped their a** (Buffalo).

  • djc1877

    I agree that adding Tomas Kaberle to the Buffalo defense would be HUGE for their playoff run. He would be a fixture for the next 2 years on the power play unit and that alone would make the Sabres legitimate Cup contenders this year. Like turnovers in the NFL, special teams play during the NHL playoffs are always a tell-tale sign of which teams will succeed in the tournament. I’d also like to see the Sabres bring in the gritty Lee Stempniak from the Leafs as part of the package. The Leafs want a 1st round pick for Kaberle, but haven’t gotten that offer yet. I think a package of Hecht, MacArthur and the Sabres’ 1st round pick for Kaberle and Stempniak gets the deal done. I know giving up a 1st round pick is steep, but Regier has done it before (deal for Zubrus). Also, since the Sabres do have a number of prospects in Portland and Juniors, they can afford to give up the (likely) late 1st round pick this year for a guy like Kaberle who is not a 1-year rental. I do not believe the Leafs will take on Hecht’s contract as part of the deal without the 1st round pick included. The only other Leaf I’d like to consider is Alexei Ponikarovsky. However, to include him in the deal, the Sabres may need to trade Drew Stafford. I don’t believe Regier is ready to give up on Stafford just yet, unless maybe straight up for Kaberle. Andrej Sekera is a guy who may be moved for a veteran blue-liner, as well.

    Last thoughts from me… how about Raffi Torres from Columbus? He has 16 goals playing on their 3rd line and averaging only around 13 minutes per game. For those not familiar, those are Afinogenov (last 2 years on Sabres) type of minutes. Torres would be a rental, since he’s a free agent at year’s end. Acquiring him would remind me of the deal Regier once made for Steve Heinze. And how about the idea of Derek Roy to Vancouver for Ryan Kesler? Similar numbers and Canucks are concerned that they will not be able to re-sign Kesler in offseason.

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