Olli Jokinen could be just what the Buffalo Sabres need.
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While everyone is focused on Buffalo's biggest, glaring needs this offseason - at defense and back-up goalie, with the forwards stocked up - the Sabres should do all in their power to acquire O.J.
When I read that Florida is looking for a first round pick and two young players, my interest intensified. Buffalo can certainly wheel and deal for this to happen, --don't forget Florida was their co-affiliate in the AHL for the last three years, so they're also familiar with Buffalo's young players (and I'd see MacArthur being part of a deal like this).
The Sabres should seriously consider it. Even if they were to just acquire Joki's rights only to trade him to another team for assets, because that's an option too - they should go all out to make it happen.
Jokinen's 5.5 million sallary for the next two years would fit fine in the Sabres plans if they can make a few salary dumps. In fact, for that kind of price, it works out great for Buffalo. Just remember, Briere or Drury - either - could have been kept for about the same price (if the Sabres inked the deal 6-12 months before UFA Day). And Jokinen could be a differencemaker on this Sabres squad, which already has a tremendous core in place.
To return to prominence in the Eastern Conference, this is precisely the type of deal the Sabres should really push for.
I know everyone loves Roy and Vanek together, but imagine Vanek playing with Jokinen? Vanek-Jokinen-Stafford would be a great line, for instance. Roy could be an amazing second line center, with teams paying so much attention to this first line.
Hecht-Pommer and a player to be named would make for an awesome third line, and all of a sudden, Buffalo is back to rolling four lines like it used to just a few short years ago.
What do you all say? I say make the deal. It would be a total game-changer for this Buffalo squad. Add a defenseman or two by draft, free agency, or trade, and I think I'd be pretty psyched about a team like that.
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