Welcome back, Mr. Regier! Glad you haven’t given up on me.
So, yesterday I gave you two names to think about as you attempt to improve the Sabres’ roster, and in the process, save your job. I left you with some video to watch – hope you did your homework, because we’re going to look at the three remaining names on my list today.
3. Dan Boyle
If bleacher report considers Thomas Vanek someone who is getting up there in age at 29, then by that standard Dan Boyle must be about ready to retire! He may be 36, but as of today he is the fifth leading scorer on the San Jose Sharks, behind players named Thornton, Pavelski, Couture, and Marleau. Clearly, he is still able to play this game. He’s not the most physical defenseman in the world, but he already has 23 blocked shots this season in 17 games played. He’s an experienced guy who will add some playoff-caliber leadership to a locker room that hasn’t exactly experienced playoff success.
2. Valtteri Flippula.
This 28 year-old center for the Detroit Red Wings will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so there is a possibility that Red Wings’ GM Ken Holland will shop Flippula hoping to get something in return. Detroit could use help on the defensive end, so the Sabres certainly have some players that could assemble into a package that may entice Holand to move Flippula. A lot of this depends on how high Flippula is on himself; it’s not like he’s going to supplant Henrik Zetterberg as the number one center of the Red Wings any time soon, right? If he’s cool with that, he may decide to re-sign with Detroit, but if he wants to be considered top dog for a team, your team certainly could use him.
Okay – technically I have now given you seven names to know, instead of the five I promised. However, since each of these guys would be considered top tier acquisitions, I encourage you to do your homework, then pick one and go all in. Both Getzlaf and Perry play for the Anaheim Ducks, and are UFAs after this season. It’s doubtful Anaheim will pony up to keep both of them, and rather than let one of them just walk away a free agent, it’s plausible Anaheim will try to trade one (popular wisdom says Perry) – unless they keep playing well, in case all bets are off. As for Paul Stastny . . . this is a sticky situation. Now that the Colorado Avalanche were forced to match Calgary’s two-year offer for Ryan O’Reilly, they are stuck with ROR for a full year. The Avs didn’t want to make ROR a $5 million man, but that’s exactly what they did, so does that make Paul Stastny the odd-man-out in all of this? He’s certainly going to eventually ask for the same chunk of change that ROR is pulling in, if not more, and we all know how cheap the Avalanche have become . . . pursuing Stastny might be the shot in the dark that actually finds its mark.
The writing is on the wall, Mr. Regier. Lindy Ruff was relieved of his duties because the Buffalo Sabres want to win – not next year, not three years down the road, but NOW. The roster you have assembled for the Sabres is okay, but not complete. Simply put, the Sabres will not win the Stanley Cup with this roster. If you wish to remain the GM of the Buffalo Sabres, it is your job – yours alone – to complete this roster. The names I have given you may not wind up being the missing piece – but the bottom line is, you ARE missing at least one piece, and doing nothing will not save this team, or your job. You’ve got your work cut out for you, Mr. Regier, but at least I’ve given you a good place to start.
I always welcome your ideas on who YOU think the Sabres should go after! Leave comments below, or follow me @theaveragedick so we can discuss on Twitter!