Fans are buzzing with anticipation. An announcement regarding new ownership comes Thursday. We wanted changes, well last April, actually. So I would understand it if fans were in a hurry to wonder what changes hydro-fracking billionaire Terry Pegula has in store for his new purchase. I kind of wish we could fast forward to the off-season because I don't think we are all that likely to see much of a difference in the way the Sabres do business until then.
I think the move for the Sabres at the trade deadline February 28th is to unload as many expiring contracts as possible and continue to play the kids. If the energy and desire to carve out a spot in the league some of the young guys have already displayed gets you to 8th place, great. If not, hopefully trading veterans nets you enough draft picks that you can get busy once the off-season arrives. Extra picks are the currency of favor in the NHL these days. Teams with cap problems like last summer's Blackhawks want them because they don't come with a salary. Having extras gets you a seat at the table without having to mortgage your future. Preying on teams with cap problems might be the way to go this summer. I say that because this list doesn't look all that great to me...
Beyond Brad Richards that list looks pretty shaky to me. And with Richards, who will be 31 in May, being the most attractive name you can figure he'll cash a pretty hefty check from a group of teams vying for his services. He is on his way to a second straight 90 point season with Dallas. For a change, that will not mean the Sabres have to be eliminated from the conversation. They will have the cap room. Connolly, Rivet, Niedermayer, and Grier represent 10 million bucks coming off the books. The Sabres have spent most of this season around 4 million dollars under the cap. So they'll have the money. They'll also have a new owner who reads like a dream on paper.
Can the Sabres land the big fish?
Will the big fish even hit the market?
Who is doing the fishing?
Where is that fast forward button?