Last July the Buffalo Sabres traded Derek Roy to the Dallas Stars for Steve Ott. The Sabres also acquired defenseman Adam Pardy in the deal and I, like many of you, figured he was just a throw in.
It was the same way I felt about Alexander Sulzer when he came to the Sabres as part of the Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian deal.
As is the case with Sulzer, perhaps Pardy will turn out to be more than just a throw in. He certainly brings an element of size to the corps of blue liners. Pardy stands 6 foot 4 and weighs 226 pounds.
He brings physical play on defense as well, as evidence by his game in Ottawa this past Tuesday. I thought Pardy was solid in his own end and the fact that Tyler Myers had one of his better games this season may have been due in part to Pardy’s presence alongside him.
I was surprised Lindy Ruff opted to sit Pardy for Thursday’s game with Montreal. Ruff had to find a spot for Christian Ehrhoff, who was returning from an injury, but Jordan Leopold seemed like the logical candidate to take out of the lineup.
Pierre LeBrun from TSN/ESPN.com wrote a column about the Sabres this week and spoke to some people around the league in an effort to find out why the Sabres were off to a slow start.
One NHL scout told LeBrun part of the problem is the Sabres defense which the scout said was “too soft.” Tell me something I don’t know.
With Robyn Regehr sidelined by injury, the physical presence pretty much comes down to Mike Weber and the occasional hit from Myers. The lack of physical play on the back line is one reason why so many Sabre fans were excited to see Brayden McNabb make it up to Buffalo last season.
Pardy brings a good amount of NHL experience with him. He played in 183 NHL games over the last four seasons with the Calgary Flames and the Dallas Stars. The Newfoundland native even has six playoff games on his NHL resume, coming in 2009 with the Flames.
He won’t bring much offense. Pardy has managed just 4 goals and 29 points in those 183 games but the Sabres don’t need offense right now. They need someone to stand opposing forwards up at the blue line and knock some guys down in one on one battles, in addition to better decision making. Pardy showed all of that during his appearance in Ottawa.