Sabres Trade Deadline Winners
Although often criticized, Sabres GM Darcy Regier stole the show during yesterday’s trade deadline, acquiring a strong prospect and high draft pick.
Coming into Monday’s deadline, many believed the Sabres would be ‘sellers’ as they stood outside of a playoff position. Paul Gaustad, Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, and Jordan Leopold were just a few of names being mentioned as potential trade bait. After the smoke cleared shortly after 3 P.M, one expected name had been traded as well as a few surprises.
Paul Gaustad was traded to the Nashville Predators for a 1st round pick, a price in which many experts and analysts were surprised by (thinking Gaustad was worth maybe a 2nd or 3rd round pick). Though Regier can be rightfully chastised for being overly patient and valuing his own players too highly, this time it paid off. Nashville surrendered to the high price, believing Gaustad will help them make a run at the Stanley Cup.
Though the deadline to make trades was 3 P.M, many transactions will surface shortly after if the league offices are backed up on paperwork. This was the case yesterday, as news began to surface after 3 P.M. that the Sabres had sent forward Zack Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani to Vancouver for forward Cody Hodgson and defenseman Alex Sulzer. This proved to be the headline deal of the day, as both Kassian and Hodgson were and are highly valued young players.
Though it came at the expense of Kassian, the Sabres were able to pluck a player who may turn out to be their long awaited savior at Center, Hodgson. As rookie of the year candidate, Hodgson (nicknamed CoHo) has had a strong year despite limited playing time.
With the addition of the 1st round pick from Nashville, the Sabres now own two 1st round picks and two 2nd round picks, giving them flexibility if they decide to trade some of those picks for current players in the offseason. Overall, it was a strong day for Darcy Regier and the Sabres. They were able to finagle a high pick from Nashville in exchange for a player in Gaustad whose contract expires at the end of this season. Though it is a gamble, the acquisition of Hodgson may prove to be a home-run if he continues to develop. Skilled centers like him are not easy to find, and though Kassian had potential, it is null compared to Hodgson’s. This should keep the fans off of Regier’s back for a while, at least until the end of the season.