Sabres make multiple trades, re-vamp lineup. Sign others.

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Chuzwazza, Dec 30, 2006.

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  1. Chuzwazza

    Chuzwazza Registered User

    Mar 5, 2002
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    It didn't take too long for the Sabres to make another deal. Arguably the busiest franchise in HFNHL history on the trade front (certainly since Pitt's arrival in late 2001) Buffalo made two more deals over the last week.

    The first deal was a simple trade. The Sabres sent veteran blueliner Derian Hatcher to Phoenix for another blueliner...Denis Gauthier. The big reason behind the move was more for cap purposes, as the Sabres are trying to re-sign veteran All-Star blueliner Sergei Gonchar.

    "Losing Derian will hurt our chances at a cup this season." Sabres GM Joshua Pitt said. "He was going to be a key piece of our team this season and a real locker room presence, especially at playoff time, but we have to look at the future as well, and we decided that keeping our core intact was more important. We also like what Dennis brings to the table. His physical presence will combine well with Brooks to give us a bit more of an edgier feel."

    The second deal was a major one that involved Ottawa and Carolina. The deal saw the Sabres trade away Stephen Weiss and Eric Daze along with the Sabres 1st and 2nd round picks, plus cash for Carolina's top pick in '03, Nikolai Zherdev and a few picks. The Canes then moved both Buffalo's picks to Ottawa that saw Mike Peca, Daniel Tjarnqvist, Brett McLean, and Jason Allison change hands, along with a few picks and some cash.

    "We're excited about this trade." Said Pitt. With Jokinen, Briere, Stoll and Ruutu (if needed) down the spine, along with Zajac and Beech likely to come in next season we felt that gaining a winger was more important, and with Briere's rapid rise to all-star level, we felt like there wasn't going to be enough ice time for Stephen on our scoring lines. Nikolai is a supremely talented individual who should excite fans for many years."

    Once again the Sabres save some cash, unloading Daze's 1.75M for the likely 1-year rent-a-player his deal will become. Carolina were also apparently a little concerned over Zherdev possibly fleeing to Russia again if things weren't working out for him here.

    Line-ups have not been discussed, but many expect Zherdev to play along side Stoll and Hartnell who will compensate for his defensive deficiencies, with a likely top line of Nash-Jokinen-Jagr, and Frolov-Briere-Ruutu in support. Gauthier will probably be paired with either Berard or Bouwmeester, unless the Sabres run with a defensive oriented pairing of Hannan and Gauthier on the 3rd unit.

    In other news, Buffalo agreed to terms with potential Calder candidate Ryan Miller, who was basically all but guaranteed the starting job (despite never playing a minute of HFNHL hockey) from as early as this years draft. The Sabres have also come to terms with star forward Rick Nash, locking up the young star for 4 years, tying his contract in to Jay Bouwmeesters, where both will expire at the same time as Jaromir Jagr's freeing up enough cap space to sign them both when they hit 26 and just start to enter their prime. Brooks orpik also negotiated a new 4 year deal as well. The Sabres are apparently still in talks with Frolov, Gonchar, Hannan and Stoll.

    That's all...for now.

    Buffalo Bill
    Hockey Editor for The Buffalo News

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