I doubt very many will see this blog as it is my first on hockeybuzz.com. All the same i want to get my opinion out there in the cloud so to speak.
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Eklund himself is on record as of this morning proclaiming the Sabres are one of the secondary teams in the Brad Richards extravaganza. This isn't the first time that notion has been intimated, but i guess this time it has sunk in and really riled me up. Why are we a secondary team?! Buffalo has a plethora of talented wingers, too many in fact to even squeeze them all onto our roster. Let's face it, Gerbe, Hecht, and Boyes should all be on the wing. The only true centers we have under contract are Roy and Gaustad. Sure we can re-sign McCormick to center the fourth line, or let a guy like Luke Adam or Mancari get a shot. But if Gaustad is going to center the third line (as he should) then that leaves us with a hole down the middle in our top two lines.
In a perfect world (see cup champion hockey team) Roy would center the SECOND line with an elite or at least equally capable center iceman manning the top line. Lo and behold such a man exists and is a UFA this year! Brad Richards fills the gap of exactly what this team needs, a play making pivot on a team overloaded with talented wingers but without a top center.
Buffalo has the the ownership committed to winning, and the cap space to make it happen. Ship Morrisonn out at the draft and let the kids play D, they almost all have top 4 potential and will only get better with experience. Free up more cap room and make the Richard's deal happen. Because after Brad there is nobody available as a top 6 playmaking center either UFA or via trade (if they are so rare who would trade one?). Jeff Carter is a scorer, he doesn't make anyone better...just ask a Flyers fan.
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