I was just reminiscing about last year’s trade deadline…
Remember how Soupy completely fell apart right before the trade deadline, and somehow managed to be a minus 5 million in his last two games as a Sabre? Good times. I really enjoyed trade deadline day last year mostly because I never had a chance to get too attached to Campbell, and I was REALLY ready for his contract to stop being the focal point of the Sabres media coverage. It was a relief to be done with Soupy and his drama, and Bernier was a fun dude to have around for awhile.
This year feels a whole lot less dramatic, but we also have a much greater chance of being surprised at the deadline, because right now it’s not clear if the Sabres will be buyers or sellers. The Buffalo News is trying hard to drum up some intrigue surrounding Tim Connolly but personally, I think the Sabres will hold onto him. Especially without Miller, Connolly’s offense might be the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs for the Sabres this season. I might be a little nervous if my name were Tallinder, MacArthur, or Paille though. I think the Sabres CAN make the playoffs without one (or all) of those guys and they’ve all had the slightly fishy aroma of “spare parts with some value” lately.
At various times this year I’ve really thought the Sabres need to be totally dismantled. The “core” just didn’t seem like it was cutting it for a lot of the season. With the exception of a very few guys (Miller, Gaustad, Roy, Vanek) I think I could stomach seeing almost anyone traded. On the other hand, I think this injury to Miller might serve the same purpose as a big trade. This is the opportunity to if the team is capable of coming together and buckling down. We’re only two games into life without Ryan Miller, but I think the team has already shown signs that they are capable of adjusting. There might be hope for these guys yet. Maybe
If the team ultimately does need to be dismantled, that can be done just as easily this summer as it can be done now, and without the strong message to the fanbase that this season was a total waste.
I still think the team should being thinking “playoffsplayoffsplayoffsplayoffs”. A playoff appearance, even if it’s just a quick first round exit, is a step forward for this team. This sure doesn’t feel like a Cup year, so I don’t think the Sabres will be buying in the name of “making a run,” but I don’t think that means we need to sell off all the free agents either.
Look at me being all serious and hockeyish.