3 reasons why trading Casey Mittelstadt would still make no sense for the Sabres

Casey Mittelstadt has been one of the most productive members of the Sabres over the past two seasons, and he is not under a long-term contract.

Feb 10, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt (37) takes a shot on
Feb 10, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt (37) takes a shot on / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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Just because the Sabres have a bad record, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad team

Every year, you get at least one good, or rising team with a bad record, and the Sabres have been the unlucky franchise this season. In such a situation, it makes little sense to sell off younger talent in line for a long-term contract extension, or at least a rather lucrative bridge contract. 

The Sabres have a bad record not because they are a bad team, but because they have constantly refused to let the game come to them. We have constantly seen this occur in the offensive zone when they have forced too many passes and botched countless power play opportunities. 

Once this team learns to take what opponents give them in terms of passing and shooting lanes, they won’t struggle offensively the way they did this season. Taking one of the few players who posted solid numbers this year and often seems to know where to go with the puck in the offensive zone won’t help this team next season. 

In a best-case scenario, it opens a spot in the lineup for a prospect to potentially thrive. But then again, we don’t know if someone like Jiri Kulich or Noah Ostlund (Kulich this season) would fare so well in the NHL, or reach Mittelstadt’s level. 

However, we know what Mittelstadt brings, and we also know the Sabres are a better team with him, even if the record shows otherwise. So when you’re a good team with a bad record, you don’t sell young, established talent; instead, you trade away the older talent with only another year or two to give.