If you ask anyone in the Buffalo Sabres organization what is going on right now with the rebuild, I have no doubt you will get a steely eyed look from everyone at First Niagara Center followed by the statement, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
Much like Toto revealed the true Oz in the now infamous movie The Wizard of Oz as no true wizard but a common man who has an entire population fooled – has the departure of Pat Lafontaine exposed Terry Pegula as a common man among owners when he was once thought to be the organizations savior because he used the words in his introduction that everyone wanted to hear – “Stanley Cup”.
Sure, we gave up Ryan Miller and Steve Ott in the trade and turned that into Halak, Chris Stewart, two draft picks and a prospect. We traded one goalie on an expiring contract for another. If we could then turn that into more picks and prospects, well then your at a point where the league should move the first two round of the next draft to Buffalo because not many other teams will even want to be there on day one.
Why could the Oilers afford to give up Bryzgalov? Because they just traded with the Anaheim Ducks to bring Viktor Fasth into an Oilers sweater.
With just about 24 hours until the trade deadline, the Buffalo Sabres have several key players on the block, with many others garnering interest. Most notable on that list are free agents Halak and Matt Moulson – both on expiring contracts and both are pieces that teams looking to make a run for the playoffs this year would be interested in.
With the goalie market drying up, could the Buffalo Sabres be stuck with Halak through the end of this season – only to see him walk on July 1?
With no movement behind the Iron Curtain at First Niagara Center so far, it might mean that the Buffalo Sabres are holding their pieces to tight to the vest and asking for too much, a sign that ownership might be involved in the day to day operations of this team more than the hockey department might like them to be – and possibly the reason why Pat Lafontaine left town in a haste.