According to the report, Ales Kotalik will return to the Buffalo organization, the place where enjoyed quite a bit of success as a power play point man and shootout specialist. Not the first player I would want to receive in a trade, but the Sabres needed to take on cap in order to make the deal attractive to the Flames. The option of shipping Kotalik to Rochester (Buffalo’s new-old farm team) is a very real possibility. I would say that is his likely destination based on the logjam Buffalo has on the wing. UPDATE: The Sabres also acquired Calgary’s second round pick in the 2012 draft. It was previously rumored that Buffalo had sent their second round pick.
The Sabres sent Chris Butler and Paul Byron to the Flames in exchange for the two veterans (Calgary Herald). It seemed as if Butler had plateaued as a sixth or seventh defenseman and Byron gave the Sabres one too many little guys. I contend that they still have too many mini-mites. By unloading these two players the Sabres have parted ways with two guys who probably didn’t have much of a future with the organization. There are numerous defensemen with more upside than Butler and it is obvious Darcy Regier wants to get bigger at forward, just look at their first round draft pick.
When the first reports came through, the rumors of Buffalo sending a pick may have discouraged some cynics who thought Buffalo had traded two prospects and a pick of a defenseman and a useless winger. Knowing now that the Sabres snagged a second round pick in the deal makes this a major win. Darcy Regier has always been a shrewd trader and he won this one as well. A top-four defenseman and a second round pick for two fringe prospects. Sure, you take on Kotalik, but the ease of hiding him in the AHL makes perfect sense to me. It is exactly the kind of attitude the Sabres need to run with as they approach July 1.