I apologize for the brief moment of silence recently. I was battling some illness this week and I’m finally feeling back up to par. So in getting back into this, I figured I’d delve into the trade deadline, and what the Buffalo Sabres approach should be.
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I’ve seen a lot of trade rumors circulating this team. Emphasis on rumor. I don’t put much stock in these things because 9 times out of 10, they don’t come to pass, or are just some concoction by the media. While they’re fun to follow, I’d rather wait for the actual deals come to be.
At this point in the season, things look very bleak for Buffalo. The problem is that in the past few years, Buffalo has been so close to making the playoffs, that management sees fit to say that they can keep their players, make only a few moves, and be comfortable going into the next season. Unfortunately, this season that’s not the case, and things have gotten very bad very quickly. As of right now, Buffalo is 5 points out of a playoff spot, and they’re 2nd to dead last in the entire NHL.
Yes, it is very tempting to try to fight for that last playoff spot and get the joy of going up against one of the top teams in the NHL. However, I personally think that while it would be nice to see Buffalo make it into the playoffs, they aren’t going to go anywhere if they do. This is not a Stanley Cup caliber team. This team would be eaten alive in the first round.
Based on this, I ask; What’s the point of trying to get into the playoffs when we know that the team isn’t good enough to actually succeed?
I think that Buffalo needs to become big sellers this year, and look towards the future. Pride needs to be swallowed, and this team needs to look to what it can accomplish in the future. The big three that are continually mentioned are Vanek, Pominville, and Miller.
First off, I’m fine with Pominville going. He’s a great player, but he’s not designed to be the captain of this team. Out of those three, Pominville is who I’d prefer to see go. I wasn’t a big fan of him becoming captain, and I just feel that Buffalo needs a better leader in the locker room. Buffalo can get a good return for Pominville, that should at least include a first round draft pick, and 1-2 young prospects. Vanek I’m on the fence about. He’s second on my list of players that I could see Buffalo parting with. Miller, while I’m not happy about it, he’s the last I’d like to see go. I feel that rebuilding starts with the goalie and goes out from there.
All of these players though can fetch a first round draft pick, and some prospects. Not one or the other, both.There’s not doubt in my mind about this. I’d like to see Vanek stay for leadership purposes, and that he’s good to develop young players. Miller, I’d like to see stay because Buffalo doesn’t have that go to goalie yet. Enroth isn’t it at this point in time. While Buffalo has some good kids in the farm system, they aren’t ready to come up to the big time yet. Plus, good teams stem from the goalie outwards. Miller is the anchor right now, and I don’t think that he should be shipped off at this point.
Other players can be moved, in order to bring in good young prospects to help rebuild this team. If Buffalo does this, the turn around may be a little faster than expected. If a team does it right, the rebuilding process doesn’t have to take 14 years like the other Buffalo sports franchise.
In order for this to happen, management needs to accept that slapping a band aid on this team just isn’t good enough anymore. There’s nothing wrong with accepting that this season is in the loss column, that you took a gamble and lost.
There is something wrong with denying it, and just trying to make 1 or 2 moves that will “better” the team, but not get them closer to the goal of winning a Stanley Cup.
Follow me on Twitter- @SabresBTB
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