Sabres draft opens options for the offseason

Based on what Darcy Regier was able to pull off this weekend, there isn’t much debate about the Sabres coming out of draft weekend as winners. Based on a favorable calendar, last weekend’s action may just end up impacting this weekend and Buffalo’s direction for the rest of the offseason.

After snagging two highly-touted centers, one who might just be NHL ready, the Sabres effectively shored up their organizational deficiency down the middle. If Mikhail Grigorenko is to play next season, they will have also potentially found a solution for their immediate need for a number one center.

Terry Pegula welcoming the two newest assets to the Buffalo Sabres. (photo: @BuffaloSabres)

Whether or not Grigorenko will begin his NHL career immediately is up in the air. He is already working out with his team, has expressed interest in wearing number 89 in honor of Alex Mogilny (awesome) and being okay with going back to Quebec if he doesn’t make the big club. It certainly seems like he wants to make the jump right away, and his attitude seems to be right. But that choice will likely be steered by Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier, two guys who aren’t always keen on rushing players along.

However, Grigorenko’s natural ability and perceived skillset could make him a strong candidate for the Sabres roster this fall. Where he may fit on the roster may be determined as early as next week.

The assumed trade of Derek Roy is something just about every Sabres fan has probably thought about or discussed over the past few months. Without knowing if there have been or will be any offers for Roy makes most talk futile, yet there is certainly some flexibility regarding his status on the roster.

As it stands the Sabres aren’t short on centers, they just have short centers. With Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson and Roy on the roster, the need isn’t to get another center, it is to get a better center. They might just have that with Grigorenko.

If Grigorenko is to be kept around, he would be filling a spot on a line with scoring punch, which would likely mean moving Roy. The market for Roy is an absolute mystery, but he does have value and a manageable cap hit, which increases his value. If a home could be found for him, it would open things up quite a bit for the Sabres. Continue reading

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