A few days ago, we made a case for the Buffalo Sabres to be able to acquire Jeff Carter, who was subsequently dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. Now, its time to focus our sights on another center, Colorado's Paul Stastny. This isn't something new as the idea of Stastny coming to Buffalo has been debated since the trade deadline back in March.
Stastny finished last season with 22 goals and 57 points in 74 games. He would come into Buffalo with three years left on his contract with a cap hit of $6.6 million per year. The Avalanche really do not need to move salary as they have $34 million left in cap space and 14 players currently under contract. In fact, they would want to take salary on to make sure the team gets back to the salary cap floor.
Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post made the case for the Avalanche trading Stastny on Tuesday and in there, he said that the Avalanche would most likely trade Stastny for one major piece for their team, a goaltender.
The Sabres have two goaltenders that the Avalanche could be interested in, Jhonas Enroth and Ryan Miller. Colorado would want a franchise goaltender for sure, something that the team hasn't had since Patrick Roy graced the nets back at the start of the last decade.
The Sabres could trade Jhonas Enroth and a handful of players to Colorado for Stastny, but would the Avalanche really want Enroth. Yes, he has shown that he can be a fantastic goaltender as he helped the Sabres charge to the playoffs when Ryan Miller went down with a concussion at the end of the season. He has a career record of 9-3-3 in 15 games with a career .906 save percentage and 2.83 goals against average. Enroth could be a solid NHL goaltender and could turn into a franchise goaltender, but would the Avalanche want to take that chance again? They tried with Craig Anderson, they tried with Peter Budaj, they tried with Jose Theodore. If the Avalanche are going to trade Stastny, most likely they would want a solidified goaltender.
That brings us to Ryan Miller. Would the Sabres trade Ryan Miller? The deal would have to be Stastny and another player with a pick to trade for Miller. In fact, if this deal was going to go down, I would have believed that it would have happened before the draft for the Sabres to pick up the Avalanche's 2nd overall pick. Miller would be the franchise goaltender the Avalanche would need, but how exactly would the Sabres replace him. The free agent market for goaltenders is Tomas Vokoun, Dwayne Roloson and a bunch of backups . The Sabres would have to either have a lot of faith in Enroth as their newest franchise goaltender or make an offer to Vokoun that couldn't be refused.
Will Stastny likely be dealt to Buffalo, probably not. But never say never when it comes to what the front office does.