Well past the halfway point of the season, the Olympics on the horizon and the trade deadline around the corner, what do the Sabres need to make a serious run at a cup. Let's be honest, Miller overall has been lights out, and it's doubtful he ever has a season like this again. His career year can't be wasted on "just a playoff run." Go big or go home, right?
So far Grier and Montador have been nice acquisitons and have helped the team quite nicely. Myers has been unbelievable, way more than myself or anyone else has expected. But other than that, nobody else is really out of the ordinary besides Ryan Miller. Yes Tim Connolly is red hot right now, but still not even in the picture with other teams top scorers. So my whole point of discussion here is what does this team need to make a big run.
Let me start off with this: Almost everybody I listen to says the thing we need most is a top 6 scorer, a true sniper with goal scoring ability. I don't disagree with that, but I don't think it's top priority. I said it before the season, and I've kept preaching it, give me an offensive defenseman who is a PP quarterback. The PP is struggling mightily right now, and I think the reason is because we don't have the ring leader we need from the backend. Myers is a nice piece to have, but not because he is a qb, he's more like a fullback rushing the front of the net at every opportunity. Two names stick out huge to me in this discussion. One, the best option if you're looking for a rental, Scott Neidermayer. Not much to say here about his ability, as it speaks for itself. He's won in Jersey and Anaheim, a UFA at the end of the season, and a perfect piece for a big run. Since he is unrestricted at season's end, the Sabres probably wouldn't have to give up a lot to get him. Maybe Lydman or Tallinder (since they are also UFAs and could be dumped at seasons end) a young player like Butler or MacArthur, and a high draft pick, probably a number 1. The Sabres aren't usually known for taking big steps like this, but it's time to show the fans and the league they are willing to step outside their norm and take a risk.
The second player that comes to mind for me is Tomas Kaberle. A true PP monster, with awesome vision, great passing ability, and a nice accurate shot. This trade would be a little tougher to pull off because he is under contract next season, and not to mention Brian Burke is a stickler when it comes to deals. He would probably be looking for Stafford or MacArthur, possibly Ennis or Gerbe, and at least a first round pick. This trade would be tougher for Darcy to pull the trigger for a couple reasons. One, Toronto is obviously a division foe, and he would hate to see our prospects come back to bite us in the future. Two, Kaberle is less proven than Neidermayer and has had some injury issues in his past. Put those 2 things aside, and the skillset he brings in return would have a huge impact on our team for this playoff run and next season.
I would be surprised to see the Sabres pull this either of these deals off, and I expect a couple smaller deals like the Zubrus deal of the past. But if Darcy did make a big splash and went out and made a big deal, I'd be quite pleased. We have definitely have an interesting few weeks ahead of us, and I'm surely excited. Go Sabres!