I’m currently sitting at my desk in my office, thinking over the Buffalo Sabres trade deadline moves this year (will fine tune this once I get home, it’s a work in progress). At the end of the day, Jason Pominville is headed to Minnesota. Buffalo receives 2 young prospects as well as Minnesota’s first round draft pick in 2013 and their second round pick in 2014.
Robyn Regher was shipped to LA for 2 2nd round draft picks. 1 of which is in 2014, the other in 2015. Great return now, right?
Jordan Leopold is now a St. Louis Blue, Buffalo gets a 2nd round draft pick and a 5th round draft pick.
TJ Brennan is in Florida for a 5th round pick.
No more, it’s all done.
Darcy could have done a heck of a lot more.
I just listened to Darcy bumble his way through his press conference and talk about how he won’t discuss Ryan Miller and Drew Stafford being traded. After watching Darcy try to build a Cup team over the years, I don’t buy that he did all he could nor do I buy that this was a good day for the Sabres.
Darcy just stated “More teams were trying to buy than to sell”. Ok... so that puts Buffalo in a seller position, which we all know that they should have been. So Buffalo, being a seller, lots of buyers, that’s the position that I’d want to be in if I were a GM trying to rebuild.
So how do we explain this lack of movement on the team?
Let’s just drop Ryan Miller and Drew Stafford for 2 seconds. I know the rumors were swirling around those two all day. However, I have a hard time looking at several other players that could have been moved today, should have been moved today, and weren’t.
Once I heard of the Pominville trade, and that Buffalo pulled in the goalie Hackett as part of the deal, I was waiting to hear about a goalie for Buffalo being traded. Personally, I felt that Enroth was going to be gone today. His contract is up this year, and a lot of teams would love to get their hands on this guy. I’m shocked about Enroth not being moved, especially with bringing in another goalie today. If there’s one position Buffalo has a lot of depth in, even more after the Pominville trade, it’s goalie.
Yet Enroth stays in Buffalo.
Thomas Vanek was a big name that has been thrown around. Buffalo has yet to seriously commit to a rebuild. Vanek has stated that he wants to stay in Buffalo, but it depends on how the rebuild goes. Personally, I feel Vanek is staying on a sinking ship. Buffalo could have gotten a lot for him, yet here he stays.
How about anyone on the defense? Sekera, Myers, anyone on the back end could have been moved to bring in a very decent return and get some more picks and potentially a good prospect or two.
I haven’t even hit on the rumors surrounding Stafford or Miller, those players could have brought back a great return as well, even though I’m not a fan of a Miller trade.
I keep coming back to the feeling that more could have been done in regard to this team.
The Pominville deal was a decent trade. I am willing to admit that. There was a good return in 2 prospects and 2 top draft picks. It was a decent move by the Sabres.
But what else could have been done???
Buffalo has to commit to the rebuild. I just don’t feel that they’re there at this point in time. Buffalo had several players that could have been moved in order to build quickly and efficiently towards the future. Instead, they move 1 player today. Regher, there’s no return on that until 2014 when Buffalo gets LA’s 2nd round pick. Leopold, they get a 2nd round pick now, and a 5th round pick which isn’t necessarily going to set the world on fire.
I just don’t believe that for the Regher and the Leopold deals, that he got the best available deal that was out there. That's his job!
While the numbers still indicate that Buffalo could make the playoffs, we all know the likelihood of them actually getting in and succeeding. If Darcy Regier and the Sabres really wanted to commit 100% to a rebuild, today was the day to prove it. They didn’t really do as much as they could have. While Darcy doesn’t say much regarding his options that he had today, I think his silence says it all.
I hate throwing grades around with the trade deadline and free agency. However, it does put a universal language to it that everyone can relate to. Personally, I’d rate the Pominville trade a B to a B+. Regier landed a lot for him, and really seemed to maximize his return.
Unfortunately, he didn’t do that with Leopold, Regher, or Brennan. I give Regier a C- on today with a comment on the bottom of his report card.
Darcy, you could have, and should have, done more.
Follow me on Twitter- @SabresBTB, I live chat during games. As always, thanks for reading.