Here is part two of the series that I began towards the end of last week. There was a lot of great feedback after part one of the series, and I hope the second part is just as well received. Please post your comments and feedback at the bottom of the article and I will respond to any inquiries. Hope everyone enjoys the article.
In starting, I just would like to remind anyone, or for those who did not read the first part of the series, there are no truth to these rumours. I am strictly making them up for entertainment’s sake. That being said, the players that I have chosen to include in the trade debates, have had their names in the rumour mill at one point or another over the course of the last year, and are by no means un-tradeable according to there respective teams, who currently own their rights’.
There was a lot of debate as to whether Thomas Vanek should be included in the trade debate. If I am a GM, he is on my list of players’ who are off-limits, but Darcy is shopping for a number one Centre, and people need to understand that a Ryan Getzlaf, Paul Stastny, and other top Centre’s do not come cheap.
With all of this in mind, here is a look at hockey trades Buffalo could make within the Central and Southeast Divisions, that would make sense for both sides.
Chicago Blackhawks Buffalo Sabres
Dave Bolland, Ray Emery FOR Drew Stafford, Jhonas Enroth
Analysis: The thought in Chicago is that they want a proven veteran, to complement young netminder, Corey Crawford. No, Jhonas Enroth is not a seasoned veteran. In fact, this season will only be his third in the NHL, but he has shown flashes of brilliance, especially at the beginning last year when Ryan Miller was not. He will never be a starter in Buffalo because of Ryan Miller. The Sabres could also package Drew Stafford, who I believe would thrive much more playing under a centre such as Toews or Kane. Coming back, Bolland, who has been thrown about in trade rumours with the Habs, brings everything to the table as a third line centre. Grit, scoring, leadership, work ethic, what is not to like? Buffalo fans would love him, that I promise. What I can’t promise is him actually coming to Buffalo. Emery is more mature now and would look good backing up Millsy.
Columbus Blue Jackets Buffalo Sabres
Nothing FOR Nothing
Analysis: I’m going to save everybody the time of reading a useless excerpt about how Rick Nash would look great in a Sabres uniform. It will not happen. I checked with a source of mine of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Sabres are not on Nash’s alleged list of preferred teams. And even if he was, who in their right mind is going to give up what GM, Scott Howson is asking for? At this point, he is the only player Columbus is shopping, and I don’t see any players that would be sensible in swapping between the two clubs.
Detroit Red Wings Buffalo Sabres
Drew Miller, Darren Helm, Valterri Filppula FOR Thomas Vanek, Andrej Sekera
Analysis: A regular observer would say, Detroit wins this trade hands down. This is not the case, and I’m sure most of Detroit’s upper management would agree with me. Detroit has been one of the most aggressive shoppers over the course of free agency. Everybody knows about there pitches for Zach Parise, and Ryan Suter. With the loss of Lidstrom, and Hudler, and possibly Holmstrom up front, they are desperate for players to fill these holes. Unfortunately for them, they were not successful during free agency, meaning they will have to give up pieces to get the pieces they want. I believe Buffalo could offer them what they want in Thomas Vanek, and Andrej Sekera (obviously not a top-tier D-man, but a good pick-up for any team). Filppula, had 66 points last year, Darren Helm is the most underrated third-line centre in the league, and Drew Miller is one of the best energy players in the game, oh yeah, he’s Ryan Miller’s brother too.
Nashville Predators Buffalo Sabres
Klein, Hornqvist FOR Adam, Sekera, Leopold
Analysis: Under normal circumstances, Dave Poile would not make this deal. With the looming possibility of Shea Weber leaving town, after Ryan Suter’s departure, he needs defencemen. The Sabres have a lot of leverage because of the Preds’ desperation. People who saw Klein in the playoffs know he is the real deal. He contributed offensively and was a beast defensively. A great two-way defenceman, packaged with a great two way forward in Patric Hornqvist. Although he only had 46 points last year, he was not exactly playing on a scoring machine either. Adam, playing behind so many young Centres is now expendable. Sekera, and Leopold are needed to quarterback a very young Nashville D-corps. Make it happen Darcy.
St. Louis Blues Buffalo Sabres
Steen FOR Regehr
Analysis: I honestly don’t think Buffalo will re-sign Robyn Regehr at the end of next season with so many D-men in the pipeline. For that reason, I would like to see the Sabres receive somewhat of a return for a player that, in my mind, is still one of the elite Defensive D-men in the game. Alex Steen missed 39 games last year with a concussion, that is a significant worry. That being said, he is only 28, and is one of the most underrated two-way wingers in the game. He has scoring prowess as well, albeit inconsistent. St. Louis is dying for more depth on their back-end, and Buffalo needs more leaders like Alex Steen on the team.
Carolina Hurricanes Buffalo Sabres
Jokinen FOR Stafford
Analysis: Drew Stafford scored 4 more points than Jussi Jokinen last year in a similar number of games, but Jokinen’s cap hit was 1 million less. Apart from budding superstar Jeff Skinner, Chad LaRose, and tough guy-scorer Tuomo Ruutu, the Canes’ have almost nothing on the flanks and are desperate for depth. Stafford would be a great fit in Carolina, while Jussi Jokinen, a versatile player who can play Centre and Wing, and is sound positionally, would be a wonderful addition to the Sabres’ third line.
Washington Capitals Buffalo Sabres
Ovechkin FOR Myers, Vanek
Analysis: I had to think long and hard about this one. Ovechkin has never been put on the market, his $9.5 million cap hit is a little bit scary, his poor leadership, and his on-ice inconsistency make him sound like a very unattractive player. But if you can look past all of that, he is one of the best hockey players in the world, and if able to return to form, would be worth every bit of that contract. It got me thinking, maybe he just needs a change of scenery. All of the above points certainly point in that direction. I also said I would never include any of my un-tradeables in any of these deals, and I may be way off base with this one, but I think this one is worth exploring.
Winnipeg Jets Buffalo Sabres
Nothing FOR Nothing
Analysis: Unfortunately there is just not a whole lot that makes sense between these teams. Both are top-heavy on defense, and in goal. While the Jets also have a lot of depth up front, most of the players are young with a lot of value. The only players on that roster that I can conceivably see the Jets giving up are Alex Ponikarovsky or Nik Antropov, and I can’t see the Sabres having much interest in either of those players.
I will have Tampa Bay, along with Florida, the Northeast division, and Atlantic division in my final edition of Sabres Mock TradeCentre. Remember to follow @sabrenoise, and @jords82.