Will the Buffalo Sabres Trade For Today, or For Next Season?

March 5, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Buffalo Sabres right wing Drew Stafford (21) has a pass thru the slot in front of the sliding Carolina Hurricanes goalie Justin Peters (35) during the 3rd period at the PNC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Sabres 4-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Trade rumors, they are a’swirlin’.

According to My NHL Trade Rumors, the Buffalo Sabres are going to start shopping Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold, and possibly even Drew Stafford very soon.

To which I say, “What took us so long to get here?”

Maybe after waking up today and realizing his team was a mere five points out of the eighth and final playoff spot, Darcy Regier decided the 2012-2013 season wasn’t lost, after all.  Or maybe Darcy is sick of waiting, and is ready to throw in the towel.  There are plenty of teams out there looking to either improve their lot in life, or shed some dead weight in order to get ready for next year.  The Sabres actually find themselves in both of those situations, so it will be interesting to see if Regier . . .

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Begins to gut the team?

An awful lot of people, including David Anderson over at Trending Buffalo and our own Tim Redinger, believe that the Sabres should raise the white flag of surrender for the current season and start clearing house in an attempt to build an actual, Stanley Cup-contending team.   These people offer up everyone from Jordan Leopold and Drew Stafford (the obvious choices) to Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller (the choice of insane people everywhere) as players the Sabres should continue shopping in order to pick up some high picks in the upcoming draft, or a big-name player such as Corey Perry or Paul Stastny.

That certainly is one possibility . . . but what if, instead, Darcy . . .

Goes for broke and shoots for the playoffs?

Here’s the scenario I currently favor.  Are there players currently on the roster that I would like to see the Sabres relocate?  Absolutely.  Is the entire team hopeless, rendering the Sabres ripe for a fire sale?  In my opinion, no.  When the season started, the Sabres were the ninth youngest team in the NHL, so there is lots of hope for this team.  Thomas Vanek is not the sort of guy the Sabres should be looking to trade away, and Jason Pominville, while maybe not deserving of the C on his sweater or his spot on the first line, is a decent secondary scorer who should continue to give the Sabres good production.   I agree that Stafford and

Apr 3, 2012; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Ville Leino (23) during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Leafs 6-5 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Leopold, along with Jochen Hecht and Ville Leino, are collecting a salary that none of them have even come close to earning, but the rest of the team is fine, as evidenced by the stretch of seven one-goal games they just battled through and the fact that they are still realistically within reach of a playoff spot.  We all know the Sabres need a true, two-way center, or at the very least 1-2 more guys who can score and can fill out the second and third line for the Sabres.   I hope the Sabres go shopping for a good, young center, as I honestly believe that securing a player like Stastny will go a long way toward making this current Sabres team a realistic playoff threat.  To me, it’s even worth the organization’s time to go after some proven secondary scorers, such as Michael Cammalleri or Alex Tanguay, guys I wrote about last week.  We all know the Sabres have some younger talent that is still developing, such as Marcus Foligno and Mikhail Grigorenko, so a player like Tanguay will add some leadership and experience that would benefit those young guns, all the while helping the Sabres continue their playoff push this year.  Either way, I hope the Sabres’ organization doesn’t decide to have a fire sale and instead look to simply address the handful of missing pieces the Sabres have needed to pick up for a few years.

Let the waiting game, and rumors, begin!!!!

Topics: Trade Rumors, Trades

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  • Kevin

    I will bet the Sabres are going to use that amnesty buyout thing on Leino next season and then trade him. Right now I don’t think anyone will take over that big 4mill (I think) contract of his. I am all for the Sabres being sellers at the trade deadline.

    • Richard Spalding

      No one is going to touch Leino at his current “value,” no. Huge mistake on Regier’s part. As a fan, I want to see the Sabres try and make the playoffs, rather than shrug their shoulders and say “Maybe next year.” In three weeks if they have not closed the gap, there are parts to sell – but I personally don’t feel like this team needs to be gutted and be forced to start over from scratch next year.