It’s that time of year again where trade rumours are flying all around, some are true and some are fake, some just stay rumours and some become full blown trades. Whether you love trade deadline time or you hate it, it’s always an exciting time. This year for the Buffalo Sabres trade deadline is a little different. In past years Darcy Regier and Terry Pegula believed the team they had was competitive, this year they’ve finally realized that if the Sabres are to come close to glory major changes must take place. Those changes start at the core and what better place to start then with the captain, Jason Pominville.
This is essentially a “re-building” or “re-tooling” time for the Sabres who are now making moves for the future and as a result are sellers at trade deadline. Jason Pominville is the biggest player that is likely to be moved by tomorrow’s deadline. On Monday the Buffalo Sabres asked Pominville to submit a list of teams that he wouldn’t accept a trade too, which means they are seriously thinking of dealing him. Dealing the captain is exactly what the Sabres need to do if they plan to right the ship.
The Sabres this season have been a disaster – both on the ice and in the dressing room. The reason the Sabres are such a mess right now is the fact there’s no leadership, no accountability, no direction, all because the wrong guy is wearing the “C”.
Jason Pominville is a great guy and a solid hockey player but he’s not captain material or at least not Sabres captain material. He’s the kind of player who keeps to himself, leads by example, would prefer not to confront his teammates and have the players patrol themselves.
The type of captain Jason Pominville is only works when there is a strong group of alternate captains that can step up, but the Sabres don’t have strong leaders wearing the A’s either. The leadership of the Buffalo Sabres is counting on Jason Pominville, Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford- and we wonder why the Sabres are playing so poorly. Neither of those guys are captain material, Pominville and Vanek are quiet and lead by example, Stafford isn’t playing well, been a healthy scratch lately and do you really want young players looking up to him?
When there’s no real leadership and players know they can essentially get away with anything there is no unity in the room, just look at the Ryan Miller and Patrick Kaleta situation. Players don’t have to be the best of friends off the ice but they need to at least trust each other and their teammates and when there’s no sense of direction and no unity that doesn’t happen.
Jason Pominville was Lindy Ruff‘s captain, the Buffalo Sabres have moved on from Ruff. Since Ruff is gone and the team appears to be heading in a different direct the new head coach- whether that’s Ron Rolston or not he needs to be able to name his own captain. There’s some serious talk about how fragile Pominville can be, so having the “C” taken away from him probably wouldn’t go over well and Pominville isn’t the right guy to lead the Sabres in a new direction. The Sabres have gotten rid of Ruff and are looking for a fresh start, might as well get rid of Ruff’s captain as well.
Darcy Regier has come out saying that everyone except for Thomas Vanek is movable. Jason Pominville is the Sabres best chance to land a player or at least a prospect instead of just draft picks. On Monday night the Sabres acquired two more draft picks in exchange for Robyn Regehr, that gives them enough picks for the time being, what they could use now is actual roster players. It’s fantastic that the Sabres have finally realized a change is needed and they’re willing to get rid of pretty much everyone but they still need to be able to ice a competitive team, selling everyone for just picks isn’t going to help.
The Buffalo Sabres have made it clear they’re ready to move in a new direction and rid themselves of their current core, trading the captain Jason Pominville is the first step in the new direction and shows other teams they are serious about selling. It’s time for Jason Pominville to go and for the Buffalo Sabres to get a new captain who will actually lead the team.