Monday, February 28, 2011

Trade Deadline 2.0

I love NHL trade deadline day. I always have. Its weird because in previous years its been like watching other kids eat good candy like 3 Musketeers and Starbursts and Peanut M&Ms, while I was stuck with the stuff in the glass bowl at Grandma's house. Still, I begrudgingly watched other teams make fun (if not always successful) moves, while my team made minor tweaks. Yet, I still loved it.

This year carries new hope. My team is listed nexted to all the 'buyers'. MY team made one of the first significant moves. MY TEAM is in a good chunk of the rumors, and for guys that aren't just spare parts. This is a new and improved trade deadline day.

That first moved mentioned was Brad Boyes. This already represents something of sea change for the Sabres and Darcy Regier. First of all, its something of a gamble. Darcy has, in the past, done deals that were almost fool proof. Sure, many of them didn't work out (Torres, Moore), but he gave up practically nothing to get them. This trade moves a pick (which Darcy has coveted in the past), and brings in a good chunk of salary.

Its also not a rental. Boyes has at least another year with the team, with that large cap hit ($4.5M). Again, not a move Darcy would've been able to make in the past.

The move is almost EXACTLY what Steve wrote about in his earlier blog. Boyes is a guy that has worn out his welcome in St. Louis. A guy that needs a change of scenery as bad as the Sabres need a scoring spark. The only difference is, while Boyes is listed as a Center, he doesn't actually play center.

This leads me to believe that Connolly (to the shagrin of Sabres fans and my Bold Prediction) isn't going anywhere. Like Steve said, Hecht cannot be your team's number one center. I think any move involving Connolly would need to bring a Center back, or at least would be a sign of another move that would bring a Center back.

Anyway (before I REALLY start to ramble), I'll post back here with any more Sabres news, or NHL news in general that I find intriguing. I've got around ten tabs open on different sites. Should be fun!

11:50 Very slow deadline day so far. Only two deals today thus far (Dvorak and Wideman trades). I wonder how much posturing is going on for guys like Richards and Spezza and Connolly who supposedly (if you ask their GMs) are NOT moving.

13:25 Odd move by the 'Yotes and Blue Jackets. Klesla to C-Bus and Upshall to Phoenix. The Jackets are on the outside looking in and Upshall is set to be a UFA. The Coyotes are in a good spot for the playoffs, and must've thought they'd lose Upshall for nothing. I guess this means Columbus is going to go for a late season push (currently in 12th), but it seems like a high price to pay (even if Klesla is dinged up). I admittedly know nothing about the other pieces of the trade (Lepisto and Byers).

14:00 I really feel for Panthers fans (there has to be some, right?)... What is Florida doing? They trade D-man Bryan Allen (who has another year on his deal) to Carolina for Sergei Samsonov. Samsonov is a rental player. The Panthers are 8 points out of the playoffs. They're doing it wrong. There must be more to this deal that hasn't come out yet. They've already traded away Stillman, McCabe, Dvorak and Wideman. And Buffalo fans, for those who felt bad for Tim Kennedy before...he now is a member of this proud franchise. Hell, he might be a first liner. Just move this team to Hamilton already.

EDIT: Judging from Fla fan (I found at least one) talk on messageboards, the team is dumping salary to retool in the offseason. Injuries forced them to take on 'rentals' like Sergei. These fans are confident the rebuild will be swift, but I can't say I trust anything Florida has done. Ever. So take that for what its worth.

14:30 Biggest deal of the day. Penner moves from Edm to the Kings for Teubert, a 2011 1st, and a conditional 2012. Seems win-win for both teams. The Kings get a player to help them be a real contender now, and Edmonton gets more pieces as they rebuild. They could be very good in a few years if they hit on some of these early picks.

15:25 Its over. Kind of uneventful. I guess we'll really see how the 'new' Sabres will operate come July 1. Can't complain much tho. They got better and it cost virtually nothing. A few more deals trickle in, but nothing overly significant. The Panthers dump another player (Higgins). That's probably it for me for today. I gotta go get my skates and drive down to Florida. I'm terrible but I hear they have plenty of openings.

My Blog

I figured I'd quickly use this space to explain what to expect out of my blog, but quite frankly, I'm not totally sure. If I wrote every thought I had up here, it'd really kill the material I have available for my weekly '3 Things'.

My guess would be that I'll use this space for items that are either really local (ie. Bills and Sabres) or for ideas that I either don't get to or just don't fit the podcast. I'll also try to keep them humorous or opiniated, since this obviously isn't where readers are coming for 'news'. So, thanks for reading and I look forward to checking out the comments and responses.

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