With the NHL trading deadline 2 weeks away, and the Buffalo Sabres sitting one point out of 8th in the Eastern Conference, its about the time for Darcy Regier to begin looking at how to add to a team just beginning to hit their stride after a rocky season.
here is my list of guys for Regier to go out and look at it in the next 2 weeks, along with the guys who could draw the most interest from other clubs or be possible trade bait for Buffalo.
First, the bait:
Brian Campbell: Possibly the most sought after defenseman on the market, and the player that could net the most return for the Sabres in a trade. hes a top 10 offensive defenseman, but is average in his own end. Teams could easily offer a young roster player, prospect and a high draft pick. Could also be shopped for proven NHL talent. Bets bet is he resigns with Buffalo.
Maxim Afinogenov: Bothered by a groin issue, Afinogenov may not have as much value as he once did, but his speed alone makes him a great asset for any team. With 15 NHL forwards on the roster, and a need for prospects, he could be shopped to replenish the farm system.
Ales Kotalik: A PP threat with a huge shot, he could be had at a decent price. But Buffalo will likely hold onto him.
Dmitri Kalinin: Kalinin is a classic case of needing a new home. Suffers from mental lapses, but has all the tools to be a great D-man. Could be shopped for a forward. Will likely be let go at the end of the year if kept.
Now, the big fish Buffalo could try and catch
Olli Jokinen (Fla): Yes, im against paying a ton to get him, but id still take him. But if Campbell is staying, that kills getting him IMO. If Campbell goes, frees up the money to pay him for the next couple years. Would take serious heat off the Roy line, but would likely cost one or two of our better young forwards.
Daymond Langkow (Cgy): I expect they may be the team that lands Jokinen, which may make him available. Great leader, solid 2 way player with a physical side. 4 mil price tag is reasonable for a 60-65 pt C.
Vaclav Prospal (TB): Great with good players around him, could do well on a line with Connolly. Could be had on the cheap, possibly for Kalinin? UFA at the end of this year.
Jason Williams (Chi): Injured, but the young type of guy Darcy Regier seems to have a knack for getting. Good 2 way player with some physicality. Not the biggest guy, but works hard. 60 pt 2nd center ceiling. Another possible player who could be had cheap
Darcy Tucker (Tor): Yes, im the only Sabre fan who really seems to wants him, but hear me out. Solid in his own end, 30 goal talent and a knack for creating havoc on all ends of the ice. Something we really need. Also a great leader on the ice and in the room. Will TO deal in division tho?
Jay McKee (StL): IF he gets waived, id take him back in a heartbeat. But not before due to his contract. Solid banging defenseman we could use.
Derek Armstrong (LA): Underrated 2nd-3rd line guy. Cheap, with some leadership expierence.
Steve Staois (Edm) Unlikely, but leader type with in your face attitude.
Jonathan Cheechoo (SJ): Possible Campbell bait, if he returns to his potential, could give Buffalo their lesser answer to the Big 3 in Ottawa.
Brent Seabrook (Chi) can score, can hit, and a young leader.