I’m not used to getting up the morning after a Sabres game, and seeing them with another tally in the win column. I’m sure a lot of people in Buffalo aren’t used to that.
I return to my normal mantra, the Sabres didn’t win that game last night, Ryan Miller did and as much as I hate saying it, Jonathan Quick’s injury late in overtime helped as well. Scrivens, LA’s back up, came off the bench cold and went right into a shootout. That was a gift.
Once I finally logged onto Twitter last night for the game, I saw several people discussing Ted Black coming onto WGR and reminding the Buffalo Sabres faithful of all the first and second round draft picks that Buffalo has coming in the upcoming draft. I normally don’t wake up in time to hear him (my morning off, I’m sleeping in), but the times I have, it’s all about the draft.
This got me thinking, could Buffalo’s approach to this rebuild be narrow-minded?
Draft picks are all well and good. I’m fine with several first round draft picks over the next couple years. It’s a good way to build a hockey team. However, let’s not forget that there are other players out there that Buffalo could be trying to target via a trade.
I, like the rest of Buffalo, don’t trust Darcy with free agency. For my first argument, let’s look at his last “big” free agent signing- Ville Leino. He’s clearly worth the millions per season we’re paying him. However, this goes beyond not trusting Darcy in free agency. Personally, I don’t see free agency as the way to go with building this team, unless they can offer a restricted free agent an offer sheet. If the idea is to rebuild, Buffalo doesn’t need to be going out and signing veterans who are on the back end of their career.
So, that leaves trades and the draft. Were I in a GM position, I wouldn’t just want to focus on what I can pull in through a draft. I’d be trying to also get prospects and any young stars through a trade. I wouldn’t say no to trying to make a deal to bring in someone like Yakupov, whose name keeps popping up in rumors. The team has to build through trading away their veterans to bring in a) draft picks and b) young players who have some NHL experience.
I want the young players to come in because they can potentially be the leaders for this team moving forward. I don’t think having fresh draft picks coming in and having all the pressure thrust upon them is a recipe for success. There needs to be some players who can help take the heat off the young players and who already have that experience. I’m sure the fans of Buffalo agree that there isn’t really much of that on the team right now.
So why just the focus on the draft? Well, we’ve seen what happens with Darcy when it comes to signing free agents and making trades. So, why would their plan be based around that when it hasn’t worked before. The only explanation I can come up with is that the trades and free agency hasn’t worked out for them in the past, it’s time to tank, and try the draft.
Personally, I think with this rebuild, Buffalo needs to be open to anything. They can’t just say “We want draft picks!” Be open to prospects and not just draft picks.
At this point in time, despite the win last night, Buffalo really needs to keep all of their options open.
Follow me on Twitter- @SabresBTB I live chat during games and generally pop on there to discuss anything Buffalo Sabres or NHL related.
As always, thanks for reading!