The end of this week’s home stand could determine if the Sabres become buyers or sellers by next Monday’s trade deadline. Read on for the latest.
BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl on Sunday reported Sabres GM Darcy Regier acknowledged his team’s current six-game homestand, including four games this week, will determine if he’ll become a buyer or seller by the trade deadline next Monday. Any deals however won’t involve rental players and won’t include contract extensions. Regier would prefer to land players who won’t be unrestricted free agents this summer. Vogl suggested the most likely trade candidate on the Sabres is defenseman Craig Rivet, who hasn’t played since January 11th, has playoff experience and his $3.5 million salary and cap hit are now down to a more manageable $940K.
Bucky Gleason meanwhile reported the Sabres have an abundance of defenseman and teams like Montreal and Vancouver which could use them. Tim Connolly’s name has been linked to the Washington Capitals and LA Kings, while the Chicago Blackhawks reportedly had interest in Steve Montador in their search for a penalty-killing defenseman. He noted Craig Rivet spent 11-plus seasons in Montreal and their recent acquisition of Paul Mara from Anaheim as a “panic move”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres have lost their last three games so unless they win the remainder of their homestand they’ll be sellers. Connolly might be of interest to the Capitals but I think the Kings are looking elsewhere, perhaps at Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky or Dustin Penner. If Montador show no lasting ill effect from his concussion the Blackhawks might pursue him. Montreal’s acquisition of Mara was done in part to keep sufficient cap space available for adding perhaps more depth at the trade deadline. I doubt they have any interest in bringing back Rivet.