Have you had a chance to make sense of the Buffalo Sabres’ weekend activity?
No, I’m not discussing the Sabres’ unwillingness, or inability, to go out and land a free agent; I’m referring to the only thing the Sabres organization actually did this weekend: trading Riley Boychuk to the New Jersey Devils in order to acquire (well, re-acquire might be the better word) veteran (well, old might be the better word) defenseman Henrik Tallinder.
I know what a lot of you are thinking: first, the Sabres used both of their first-round picks in the draft on defenesmen. Then, the Sabres sat on their hands when July 5th rolled around, making little, if any, effort to pursue a free agent who might help Buffalo’s punchless offense. Now, they finally make a trade . . . and it’s for Tallinder, who has already logged 10 million (give or take) hours in the NHL? As one reader put it, this makes no sense – unless Buffalo plans on unveiling its new “3 defensemen and 2 forwards” line strategy this season. For a team that is rebuilding, shouldn’t the focus of this organization be on giving maximum playing time to the young guns who will be wearing the blue and gold for the foreseeable future? How does bringing in a veteran (old) blueliner like Tallinder do anything but take away minutes from some of the young guys?
There are three reasons why the Sabres brought in the veteran (old) D-man back into the fray. Two of these reasons are good; one is not. The one that is not is simply that Darcy Regier is actually a really, really clever monkey in disguise, and this is the best trade this monkey could pull off. I’m mildly interested in this possibility, but I have to say it is highly unlikely. So what are the other reasons that Grandpa Tallinder was brought back to Buffalo?
1. He was brought back to be a mentor to the young defensive core, in particular Tyler Myers, who seemed to respond well to Tallinder’s tutelage.
2. The Buffalo Sabres are gearing up for a trade with a team that severely needs blueliners.
As much as I prefer my monkey option, I am actually okay with either of the more plausible scenarios I listed above. Father Time Tallinder may be just the guiding hand some of Buffalo’s young D-men need. Likewise, if Buffalo plans on moving some blueliners to a team like Colorado, whose defense actually didn’t play last season – it’s true, I swear! – the Sabres may be about to welcome a young player to its ranks very soon.
You know where I stand – time for me to hear YOUR ideas! And no, you cannot vote for the monkey option today – it would win, hands down.