The best part of trade deadline day 2013 happened between 4pm and 420pm. It was at that point that we already knew that there was a deal sending captain Jason Pominville to Minnesota for a pair of young players and maybe some picks. That wasn't what had hearts racing around Sabreland, though it alone is quite significant.
No, what had our communal pulse racing was a report that Washington was scheduled to make what was thought to be a major announcement regarding a trade they had made. I had been hearing all day that the Sabres had been taking offers on Drew Stafford and that there was quite a bit of interest from a number of teams. But a Stafford trade couldn't be that big a deal in Washington, right?
Wheels started to spin and for a little while, I started pondering a major Sabres Capitals trade, perhaps even involving Ryan Miller. Obviously this did not happen, but the feeling I and many other Sabres fans had while we were dreaming about a Miller trade is powerful.
We are ready for change and lots of it. Pominville is a nice start and Regier did well in the deal to my eyes. But for how much longer are we going to give Darcy Regier high marks for trades while his team languishes near the bottom of the league?
Maybe the acquisition of a young goalie from Minnesota, Matt Hackett, tells us that the Sabres are willing to move Ryan Miller at some point soon. That's an awesome and energizing idea to me. But what if the inclusion of Hackett in the package for Pominville signifies nothing more than the Wild looking to move a goalie as part of the deal? I just read that sentence back and hate it more than when I wrote it.
Look, here's the deal. The Sabres under Regier are now talking about backing up and extending the timeline on being really good. This is happening a little more than two years from the time Terry Pegula took over the team talking about Stanley Cups and reasons for existence and stuff.
Holy cow! It has taken them this long to realize that the core of the team is flawed? How can Regier get away with selling his bosses on backing up when he was handing out 6 year contracts to Ville Leino the summer before last?
Thomas Vanek has already stated that he doesn't want any part of a long term rebuilding project. My money would be solidly on Ryan Miller feeling the same way. Does Regier sound at all to you like a man who is thinking about being a champion in the next year or two? That almost demands that you trade Vanek and Miller. Maybe Regier was talking about those two when he mentioned that he started his day on Wednesday thinking of moving other players before zeroing in on a deal sending Pominville to Minnesota.
So now we'll head for the summer with a pair of valuable high priced stars a year from free agency who don't care for the direction the team is taking. The urgency to trade Vanek and Miller should be high. If those deals don't happen before the season starts the sand really starts slipping through the hourglass on them. That begs one final question from me.
How valuable is to win all of your trades if you wait too long to make them?