Buffalo Sabres fans, if you have been reading my Wish List series regularly – and seriously, why the hell wouldn’t you be? – you would know that I have
tried to ground my wish list in reality. I highlight players who are good, but not cornerstones to a franchise. I also look at players who have been trade bait, or who are about to become free agents. That way, my wish list cannot be dismissed as pure fantasy – some of the players I have discussed may be available, sooner than you think.
Alas, I break my rule today, as I looked up and down the roster of the Anaheim Ducks and decided that the only player I was truly interested in was
Ryan Getzlaf, F
Hmm – what would I give to see Getzlaf wearing the blue and gold of the Buffalo Sabres? Just about anything Anaheim wanted. Getzlaf makes a team like the Buffalo Sabres an instant playoff team, no doubt. He scores. He creates. He defends. He controls the puck. He makes opposing coaches lose sleep. He makes wives cry, and children fear for their fathers’ safety.
I really do enjoy watching Cody Hodgson play, but folks: Getzlaf is what you want your first-line center to be. If Hodgson becomes half the player Getzlaf in, the Sabres are going to be a tough out for years to come.
Watch, and pray the Ducks lose their minds and trade this guy soon:
Getzlaf would also provide a valuable element that this current Sabres roster is in sore need of: leadership. He leads by example – for example, opting to practice this week on a day that coach Bruce Boudreau had given off to a handful of veterans on the Anaheim roster – but he is vocal on and off the ice, too, meaning he would be a great resource for a franchise that is bursting with young talent such as the Buffalo Sabres. And for those of you last week who argued that the Sabres need Patrick Kaleta to protect the prospects, Getzlaf just proves what I’ve been saying for quite some time now: you can find guys who are tough AND talented to play for your team.
Like I said: normally, my wish list would focus on a player who could actually be attainable one day. Ryan Getzlaf clearly will not be leaving Anaheim any time soon – but that’s okay. If he never plays for Buffalo, he is still the sort of elite center you want your prospects to look up to, admire, emulate. Don’t miss the chance to see him this year: he visits the 716 on Saturday, November 2nd, so mark it on your calendars, and thanks for the read!