Don’t call it GM for a Day

On the eve of the 2011 NHL Draft, Darcy Regier spurred a deal with the Calgary Flames to acquire Robyn Regehr. Not only was it a trade that no Sabres fan would have seen under the former ownership, it was a trade none were expecting to see.

Regier’s action at last year’s draft set off a month-long string of moves geared towards making the Sabres a Cup contender. Tonight’s draft presents Regier with a very similar opportunity.

This isn’t supposed to be a GM for a Day post. It will certainly be similar to one, but it is more a genesis of the Pegula Puzzle posts I did last year.

If Bobby Ryan is to be acquired, it will likely come via draft day trade.

Considering that Regier has never been one to show his hand with regard to free agents or trades makes the likelihood of acquiring Jordan Staal or Bobby Ryan somewhat unlikely. In fact, there have been plenty who have noted that Regier hasn’t pulled the trigger on any trade that had been widely speculated, rather a trade that few were aware of.  That much was proved last year with the acquisition of Cody Hodgson and Regehr.

I fully expect Regier to make at least one trade this weekend. I also think there is the potential to acquire an impact player. However, I’m not in the position to speculate who he may chase. After all, this isn’t Xbox.

The idea of Bobby Ryan is nothing short of tantalizing. Buffalo may even have the pieces available to get him away from the Ducks. Some reports on Ryan’s availability mention Anaheim’s desire to acquire a number of pieces to help construct their roster. I would venture a guess that any package would require a first round pick and at least one roster player and one prospect. Perhaps two roster players.

If you’re spitballing, a combination of Derek Roy, Jordan Leopold or Andrej Sekera and a pick might be close, but still short on talent. The Sabres would probably need a top prospect to swing the deal. Continue reading

The Pegula Puzzle: Who to keep?

It is the first offseason under the Pegula Era and just about everyone is expecting to see significant moves made. This is the first part of a series aimed to focus on some of those changes. It is entitled “The Pegula Puzzle”. I will look at what will be taking place down at the corner of Washington and Perry during the summer months. The first portion will focus on which players are to be resigned before the July 1 free agency period begins.

The Sabres enter the offseason with 24 total free agents to resign. Many of these players (nine to be exact) played exclusively in Portland this past season. Of those nine, Dennis McCauley, Tim Conboy, Mark Parrish and Colin Stuart are unlikely to return. In addition, Tim Connolly, Patrick Lalime and Rob Niedermayer are unlikely to receive a contract from the Sabres as well.

Of the ten UFAs the Sabres have, I would only think Cody McCormick, Steve Montador, Mike Grier and Matt Ellis could return in 2011-12. Of those four, I would only extend offers to McCormick and Ellis. I would entertain the thought of bringing back Mike Grier for the veteran minimum in a limited fourth line role, but that wouldn’t be my first choice.

As for the RFAs, Darcy Regier has a little work cut out for him. He got off to a quick start by locking up Drew Stafford for $16 million before July was even within sight. There are also a couple names – Felix Schutz and McCauley – who he won’t need to worry about tendering with a qualifying offer. McCauely is a fighter and can be easily replaced, Schutz went back to Germany and will not receive a tender. I would also let Dennis Persson go. He has been passed by TJ Brennan and Drew Schiestel on the development track and Brayden McNabb isn’t far behind. Let Persson go back to Europe, outside of depth, he doesn’t offer much upside. Continue reading