James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

How Do You Value Your Buffalo Sabres

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

How much value do you put on the Buffalo Sabres players?  We could sit around and say we think the fair value of individual players should be at a certain level, but push come to shove, the true value of a player is not what you think you can get for them, but what other general managers are going to pay for them.

As I was perusing Facebook sharing with the world the news of Habamus Papam with my friends and the world, I stumbled across this article shared on my wall.

Sabres Poised For Mother Of All Firesales. 

Trending Buffalo did a good job of listing the big moves the Buffalo Sabres could make and what return they could get for them.  My problem is this – do we really want Darcy Regier making the decisions on who he will trade away?  Personally I don’t want him to be the general manager when the Buffalo Sabres take to the podium for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft – regardless of how well the team finishes.  Sure, if he is going to be the GM making the decisions come draft day – let him deal away.  If yoru going to keep him around beyond this season – he should be free to wheel and deal with his former best example of an NHL hockey team in the hopes that his new way of thinking will create a winner; or you will be saddled with another team of role players underachieving and failing to bring that win mentality to Buffalo.

Theoretically, there’s still time to join the race for 8th, but really–  if ever a team needed a wholesale makeover, it’s this one.  –David Anderson

Screw their predictions and recipes for a trade, this is the best line of the post and it’s written just in the second line of text.  The Buffalo Sabres need a makeover, and a desperate run to eighth place could derail major efforts to overhaul this team.  Let’s take a look at their list of players and the returns they are “hoping” for.  (These are not my estimations but those of David Anderson on trending Buffalo – but they are my opinions).

Jordan Leopold – 3rd and 4th round pick

Two picks for a player that has largely been unimpressive and detrimental to the team when on the ice?  If Leopold was playing up to the hype that he was a veteran depth defenseman that could help out in a post season push – sure, you might be able to convince another general manager to part with two picks.  The only way you are getting two mid round picks for Jordan Leopold is if you add a prospect player that hasn’t panned out in the National Hockey League.  I would look to package Luke Adam with Leopold and net myself maybe a 2nd and 3rd rounder.  I just don’t see someone paying that much for Leopold.

Robyn Regehr – 3rd Round Pick

I am at odds with this call.  Your owner flies across the continent to persuade the guy to waive his no trade clause and come to the Buffalo Sabres – a team rebranding itself as Hockey Heaven.  What did the owner have to go on at that point?  Two things – I am a rookie owner looking to win, and I am spending a ton of money improving the facilities that my players have to use.  If your general manager needs his boss to do the talking – shouldn’t he be walking?  I would hold off on trading Robyn Regehr.  He is a guy you targeted that didn’t really want to up and move his family.  Giving him another contract would help your cause both with guys with a no trade or no movement clause – and give him the vote of confidence that you really still believe he makes your team better.

Jochen Hect – 6th Round Pick

I am in total agreeance here.  Like the article said – someone will pay for a veteran guy who might chip in a goal now and then, that can eat up minutes and not be a liability to you.  And I don’t look at it as a sixth round pick either.  Darcy Regier is known for playing his magic and turning that sixth round pick and a low end prospect for a higher round pick.  At the end of the day if you stocked someone else’s American Hockey League team wth a prospect that has no way of getting into the National Hockey League and move this pick from a 6th to a 3rd – sign me up any day of the week.

Drew Stafford – 1st and a 3rdI am not sure you will get this high a price tag for Drew Stafford.  Sure, you are relying on past trades of similar players – and Drew Stafford has leaked that he would welcome a trade out of Buffalo.  Both the Buffalo Sabres and Stafford would benefit from the change in scenery.

Straight up, no one will pay the Buffalo Sabres a first and a third for Drew Stafford.  His salary, coupled with the unknown will prevent that.  The guy even said he only recently started taking hockey seriously.

Unless he is bundled with a decent prospect player to protect the other team from a Stafford like fallout – I would put Stafford on pace to bring the Buffalo Sabres a third round pick at best.  Remember, it is all about what other general managers are paying for players.  Stafford isn’t a game changer – and might only be a third line player on a more than capable team.

Ryan Miller – The Great Unknown

What do you get for Ryan Miller?  Miller’s age, recent attitude towards teammates etc, the size of his salary, and a weak goaltender market make this a very difficult trade.  The fact that some of his salary would remain on the Buffalo Sabres salary cap number might help another team out if they are up against the new cap, but would make it harder for the Buffalo Sabres if they are in the same position.  How well do the Buffalo Sabres value this player?  He is the face of the franchise, the number one player – Buffalo should be looking for a first, a second, and a prospect.  Or maybe a first, a third, and a veteran in return.  Do you goalie for goalie – or hope you can land a free agent or have a goalie in your system to build around?

Jason Pominville – 1st, 2nd, and a top prospect

I would go with one of the picks and the top prospect, but not too high picks and a prospect.  Jason Pominville is not captain material on other teams – and isn’t a first line player on most.  If your thinking of going that high – you overvalue your product.  I don’t think that Jason Pominville should maintain the C on his sweater for the Buffalo Sabres.  I think Lindy Ruff gave him that so he would not take away from Lindy’s style.  It was Lindy’s job in the locker room to get in a guys face and throw chairs around – not his captains.  If your going to keep any of these players safe from the firesale – it would be Pominville if he were a stronger leader.  Realistically you could be looking at a second round pick and maybe a viable prospect to fill the ranks.

Thomas Vanek – Two 1st, Two prospects, and a an NHL forward

You don’t trade Thomas Vanek.  Not now, not ever.  I don’t care if you are remaking your team.  Unless you have a Brad Richards, or a Rick Nash, or a similar high profile player waiting in the wings drooling with the chance to play in a blue and gold sweater – you keep Thomas Vanek and you build your team around him.  Remember the good old days when the Jochen Hecht was an offensive threat on the third line because all four lines were good and scoring goals?  We need a return to that era and Thomas Vanek fits in nicely on the top line.

When you look at the shopping list you are up against the what you have in return, finishing last in the league and holding a bunch of cards doesn’t look to bad now does it?

Other tradeable commodities:

Steve Ott.  Sure you just traded for him, but why not?  If your looking to clean house, he is more valuable than Derek Roy and will be entering the final year of his contract.  Personally I would like to keep him around – but no one should be safe in the firesale.

Ville Leino.  What has he done for you lately, if at all.  Find a team willing to dance that is looking to eat up salary space and get something useful.  Then again, he is unproven, and if they can make the playoffs again, that is where he shined the brightest for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Nathan Gerbe.  I like Gerbe but there isn’t room for two of the smallest players in hockey on the same roster.  He has the cheaper salary and will be easier to move than Ennis.  Get a third round pick for him.


Tags: Buffalo Sabres Trade Trade Deadline

comments powered by Disqus