If you haven’t noticed, or if you are just tuning in – the Buffalo Sabres are in dead last. It actually should come as no surprise, as the tail spin what Darcy Regier created, has finally crashed to the ground with a deafening thud.
Left to pick up the pieces has been newly appointed general manager Tim Murray – who appears to want nothing more than a soft ball of clay to mold into a team that is his own.
From unrestricted free agents to pieces of the puzzle that no longer fit. Hell, pieces that no longer fit is an understatement. Without reopening all the wounds of the Regier era – it is not so much Tim Murray having to get rid of pieces that don’t fit – he was handed a box of puzzle pieces not that have warped over time and no longer fit with each other, but that come from different puzzles completely.
With just days to the deadline – many of the pieces are still in place that should have been moved long before the Olympic roster freeze. Certainly it takes two to tango, but there have been rumors that multiple teams are interested in some of the Sabres assets that have to be moved any way – so what is the hold up?
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
Matt Moulson and Steve Ott seem to be the easiest assets for the Buffalo Sabres to get rid off. Garnering a lot of interest from teams looking for their individual skill sets – the only thing that I could see holding any deal up would be the fact that both players are still interested in staying in Buffalo
Lip service from guys who don’t want to bash a rebuilding organization – or heartfelt sentiments from guys who actually enjoy their time here?
Steve Ott is the type of player making it hard on Tim Murray – here’s a quote from Murray by Jeff Gordon of the Post Dispatch:
“Steve Ott is the type of player that I’ve looked for for 21 years in drafting . . . That’s not the type of player I want to trade away. That’s the type of player that I want to bring in. Unfortunately, when I got here, he’s at his age and he’s an unrestricted free agent. … We’re not a playoff team, so that changes the dynamic, obviously.”
Do we need to be in contention for it to matter how old Ott is and if he wants to stay in Buffalo? Only if Ott has told Murray it is important for him to win before he calls it a career.
Rumors this morning claim that the Buffalo Sabres have a deal in place for Steve Ott. Matt Moulson has gone through these struggles on Long Island – is he really interested in resetting the clock on his career with another team?
Ryan Miller tops the list of unrestricted free agents that are doubtful to be in Buffalo next season – but will he be playing out the remainder of the season in Buffalo? It seems very cloak and dagger when Ryan Miller or the Buffalo Sabres speak about his situation, and the see saw continues over whether or not the team will resign him or trade him. Are any of the contenders that need goaltending willing to proverbially sell the farm to bring in Ryan Miller without a guarantee that he will resign there – and if they can get them to resign, if they are loaded for bear (St. Louis is a team that needs Ryan Miller, and will be good for several years) – why overpay for him now when you can get him for the cost of the contract on July 1?
According to the Buffalo Sabres – Ryan Miller limited no trade clause hasn’t come into play with any of the teams that are calling for his services.
Where to start compiling this list here. Tyler Myers has developed some interesting storylines lately, having interest from teams that might be willing to trade parts for parts. Tim Murray has said no one is untouchable and that he would be interested in trading away the once Calder Trophy winner if it means getting better in the process.
Christian Ehrhoff is willing to stay in Buffalo, but understands the business – and knows his contract is easily moved. He has provided a list of teams he won’t accept a move to. Any team looking at a Stanley Cup run this year would pay to add Ehrhoff to their blue line. Defense wins championships – just ask the Buffalo Sabres from the year they lost in the conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Run your eyes up and down the roster and one player sticks out as possibly being able to remain safe in Buffalo beyond this season, and that is Zemgus Girgensons. He has paid his dues in the system and proven he can and will compete at this level.
Don’t just limit your search to trade worthy assets in Buffalo. While not as deep as once thought in their farm system, you have guys that are playing in Rochester that have been shown the door and most likely will not make it back to Buffalo. Is Patrick Kaleta not a piece you should consider shipping, even if its for a late round pick?
Someone like Luke Adam could be parted with – put him full time in a blue and gold uniform, and in my opinion your getting the second coming of Drew Stafford.
The Buffalo Sabres aren’t looking like a team that is looking to sell off and start a new. They look like a team that is limping out of an accident hoping the insurance all will turn out well, instead of making things happen.