Deadline Day hot topics
With the 3 PM Wednesday afternoon looming ever so much closer, Kevin and I have taken a look at six hot topics heading into Deadline Day.
All these answers are purely our own educated opinions, but we hope to not only give you a little more insight on the important topics you might wonder about but also spark conversation and get your opinion on what you think will happen.
1. Who will be the most surprising Sabre traded?
Ryan: None of the above - Call me crazy, but I do not believe GM Darcy Regier will go all out and make a deal involving a player that will shock Sabres fans. From the sounds of it, the market is well under-developed and it is quite logical that the Sabres could get a better deal for a big named veteran in the offseason. My answer is purely based off a hunch.
Kevin: Jason Pominville - I think the Sabres will trade their captain come Wednesday afternoon. Change is needed, and I don’t think Darcy Regier can afford not to make a big move. He already stated that he will listen to offers on all players, and I think many teams would be interested in the consistent Pominville. As much as I don’t want to see him go, I have a feeling that he will.
2. Should the Sabres be in buy or sell mode?
Kevin: Sell Mode - With 12 games left in the season, I am hoping that Darcy Regier is in sell mode. While Buffalo is technically in the postseason hunt, I don’t think it’s worth it to make a playoff push this season when we can get some valuable players and picks for the upcoming years. I think our future is much more important than trying to sneak into the playoffs. The Sabres have some players that other teams find valuable and Regier needs to take advantage of that. I’m hoping that he is in sell mode come Wednesday. The Leopold trade was a good start.
Ryan: Sell Mode – I agree with Kevin on this. With the recent additions the Penguins have made, coupled with the other deals that will surely be made, it is not worth it for Buffalo to potentially set themselves back by going for the 8th spot to get eliminated quick. It has become quite evident that this team needs an overhaul and being a low seed in the playoffs does not do much to help that rebuilding. The future reward of a good hockey team outweighs the current risk that not rebuilding brings.
3. Will Darcy Regier make another Cody Hodgson-esque trade this season?
Ryan: Yes - Following the success of last year’s Kassian-for-Hodgson trade, I really do believe Regier will venture into another trade that will help speed up the team’s
rebuilding process. If he is able to deal players that the organization is overloaded with and can turn them into positive building blocks, you can’t go wrong. Also, Regier himself confirmed that he will not be looking for short-term deals because he feels that looking long-term for the franchise right now is the best option.
Kevin: Yes - With the quick result of the Hodgson/Kassian trade, I think Regier will make another trade similar to this one. Although we may give up a talented player or two, Regier will look to get a young player to Buffalo, and I think it’s the right move for this team now.
4. Is it time to break up the Big 3?
Kevin: Yes - As I much as I hate to say it, I think it’s time to break up the Sabres core. These are the big players that could really help Buffalo regroup and prepare for the next few years. This team has struggled for the past couple seasons and the coaching change hasn’t done much to help. The on-ice product is simply not getting the job done,
and if there’s ever a time to break up the core, this is it. The Sabres are close to last in the Eastern Conference and something needs to be done for that to change. I would not
be surprised to see Jason Pominville or Ryan Miller traded by Wednesday. Buffalo needs to get the team back in order, and start putting up W’s on the ice. Breaking up the big 3 would be a big step toward that.
Ryan: Yes - I think Jason Pominville is a guy who has begun to outwear his welcome. Pominville is clearly a different player on the ice this season and his leadership off the ice has become completely invisible. Players in the locker room say he is a great leader but there is absolutely no proof to back that up. Pominville quickly seems to be playing himself out of Buffalo, like Derek Roy did. When it comes to Miller, I believe you should deal him soon because of his age and the hefty new contract he will be getting. I strongly believe you’ll get a good package back for Miller and that will allow you to rebuild a younger, more talented core. With that young core, and Thomas Vanek only being 29 when he should hit free agency, I would not hesitate to lock him up for 6-8 more years and rebuild around his immense talent.
5. What move will we not see this Wednesday?
Ryan: Miller/Pominville/Vanek will not be dealt - Again, purely a hunch on my end but after reading and listening to what most of the NHL General Managers have been
saying, it sounds like dealing Miller/Pominville/Vanek at the deadline could hurt the Sabres because of an underdeveloped marketplace. If you’re a fan looking for one of these three to be dealt, you might want to set your sights on the NHL Entry Draft or shortly there after.
Kevin: Vanek will not be dealt - If there is one untouchable player on the team, I’d say it’s Thomas Vanek. While the Sabres may break up the core or ship other players out, Vanek is the one who will stay put. After matching the Edmonton offer years ago, I think Vanek is a vital part of this team, and he could build a strong, productive connection with Hodgson.
6. Do you trust Darcy Regier at the deadline?
Kevin: Yes - Regier has brought in some bad players, but he has also brought in some that have not worked out. However, I believe Regier knows what he is doing and he has a plan for everything he does. The Leopold trade tells me that Regier is looking to help the team in the next few years, which is what I want him to do. Regier has made some great acquisitions over the years and I’m hoping for a few more by Wednesday. I trust that Regier is doing what’s best for this team down the road.
Ryan: Undecided – While Regier has made some strong trades recently, it is hard for me to say my trust as a fan will be 100% with Darcy on Wednesday. He has seemingly become a lame duck general manager who is lost in the franchise’s transition mode. It is real easy for Regier to make a boneheaded trade this year that will set the franchise back. I do not think that will happen, based on his past track record, but with him potentially being on the hot seat, I’ll definitely have my reservations this Wednesday afternoon.
You now know what Kevin and I think about these six topics, now we want to know what you think. Let us know in the comments or on Facebook how you feel about the aforementioned six topics.