GM Darcy Regier has been in front of the media spotlight for a few days now with the Christian Ehrhoff press conference on Wednesday and with a piece in the National Post on Thursday. One thing that continually was asked of Regier was how he was going to get the team under the salary cap ceiling of $64.3 million. Here is what he had to say to the National Post:
"I think we'll probably, more than anything, look toward the trade market and see what we can do there."
While most of us thought that Shaone Morrisonn and Ales Kotalik would just join the Americans, Regier will look to move some players off the roster to clean up that space. The question now becomes who are the players on the trading block.
The first has to be Shaone Morrisonn who had a less than spectacular season with the Sabres last year. Morrisonn had one goal and four assists in 62 games with the Sabres and has one year left at a rate of $2.075 million left on his contract. In his career, Morrisonn has only had one single digit point season when he played a full slate of games and that was last season. Morrisonn has the potential to score 10-15 points and only a handful of goals each season.
While this notion will seem ridiculous, another player that could be moved to clear some cap space could be Jason Pominville and his $5.3 million contract. Pominville does have a modified no-trade clause, which gives Pominville eight teams that he can't be traded to, which could make moving him slightly difficult. Pominville was an iron man for the Sabres, playing in every game for four seasons for the Sabres until two different injuries sidelined him this season. Pominville played in a total of 73 games this past season and had 22 goals and 30 assists during the season, his lowest point total since the 2005-06 season.
Pominville's production would be a great piece to add to any team, but his contract would be expensive for a salary dump type of trade as he has three years left on his contract. Other players such as Brad Boyes, Jochen Hecht, and Paul Gaustad each have one year left on their respective contracts and could be easier to move.
The Buffalo Sabres have to move some sort of salary by the start of the season and it seems that Regier is set to get some sort of value out of his players rather than stashing him in the minors. Only a handful of players have to be deemed safe by the organization and the rest of the team is on the chopping block. Whether he can pull off a deal is yet to be seen.