As training camp fast approaches the Sabres timetable to get under the cap continues to shrink.
Despite the obvious solution (sticking players in the minors), Darcy Regier continues to stand by his strategy of utilizing trades to clear the necessary cap space. Due to that apparent strategy, the rumor mill is back up and running.
Everyone’s favorite rumor monger, Eklund, floated the idea of a second trade between the Sabres and Flames. While it is an intriguing notion I doubt that either team could find a workable option.
Buffalo currently sits $3.6 million over the salary cap. The Flames are just about $1.5 million under the cap at this time. Given those numbers, I can’t find a may either team could work the payroll. The Sabres top trade prospects are Brad Boyes, Ales Kotalik, Shaone Morrisonn, Jason Pominville and Andrej Sekera. Sekera is the most attractive option based on his cap hit (2.75) and his skill level. Pominville is a close second based on his scoring touch, but his $5.3 million cap hit would require a lot of tweaking in a potential trade. Brad Boyes has a moderate cap hit and a moderate offense return, I wonder how attractive he would be for teams around the league.
As for the Flames, there are only a few truly attractive options based on the Sabres’ needs and salary constraints. Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross, Nik Hagman and Brendan Morrison. Certainly Sabres fans are hoping that the white whale, Jarome Iginla, is a target, but there is no way they could swig the trade based on their current cap situation.
Personally, I think Brendan Morrison helps this team quite a bit. Morrison is a serviceable center and he comes with a paltry $1.25 cap hit. If Boyes or Sekera are of interest to the Flames, the Sabres would be well on their way out of salary cap hell. Worst case scenario would be to trade Sekera for Morrisonn and only receive a million dollars in relief. At least then there Is the option of stashing only one player in the minors for the duration of the season. Regardless, Regier has at least two moves to make before he can breathe easy.