When Alex Sulzer was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks, not many fans in Buffalo got incredibly excited. Of course Cody Hodgson was the key component of the trade. Sulzer was just the Canucks 7th defenseman who was a UFA at the end of the season. However once he fit into the Sabres lineup, Sulzer showed he had what it takes to be a steady NHL defenseman. In only 15 games in Buffalo he had 3 goals and 5 assists. In his career 89 games he only has 4 goals and 12 assists total, so he really did step up his game. He also showed outstanding chemistry for fellow German Christian Ehrhoff.
Earlier this week the Sabres resigned Sulzer to a one year deal at a very reasonable price of $750 K. I love this deal for a few reasons. First of all, Sulzer played outstanding in his time in Buffalo. I was really hoping the Sabres would bring him back, the only UFA I was actually worried about. Everyday the Sabres-Canucks trade seems to move closer and closer to a Sabres victory.
Second of all, there is not a huge risk with this deal. The Sabres understand that Sulzer didn’t put up great points or play a ton before Buffalo. If things don’t work out this season, its only a one year deal. Not to mention $750 K isn’t exactly taxing on the salary cap. This could be very low risk high reward move, and also allows the Sabres to resign him again if they are pleased with his work this season.
Finally, it gives Darcy some flexibility with trades. The Sabres have about nine defenseman now who played some last year. Obviously guys like Myers and Ehrhoff are locks. I think Regehr is as well. Leopold could be moved, but I think the Sabres are very happy with his production. This leaves a few of the young guys who could potentially be moved for a forward. T.J. Brennan, Brayden McNabb, and Andrej Sekera all could get a nice return. Even Sabres prospect Mark Pysyk is a name to consider. Defensively the Sabres seem pretty set, but they are obviously still looking for that first line center. The free agency class is quite poor this year, so if you’re going to make a big move its going to have to be through a trade.
Would you be for trading one of the Sabres defenseman if there was a good return? Are there any free agents you’re interested in? Comment below!