I've been daydreaming some scenarios, feel free to dissect and ridicule. My formatting and layout suck, just so you know.
$6.25, 2.83 GAA, .913SV%
Destination: San Jose Sharks.
Miller could fit well on a team "Refreshing" their roster. they have some solid pieces and shoring up the Net presence with a proven performer whose stats are pretty respectable when you factor in the utter lack of team defense the Sabres have played all year is a solid move. The Sharks probably won't be on a no trade list from miller either which is a bonus.
Return: This was tricky. The obvious starting place is Couture, but I'm pretty confident that won't fly. The rest of the roster doesn't fill me with glee to be honest. There are a handful of 'ok' guys. How they fill the gaps in a Sabres roster seemingly devoid of real leadership and scoring I can't really speculate. Which is troubling if they're my top pick...
Pat Marleau went on a tear early on playing LW next to couture and has cooled off ( opposition Defense got their game legs back most likely ). He's good for an average of around 60 points a year across his career, topped out at 86pts in '05 and put up 44 goals in '09. Spread across a 15 year career, all with the sharks, we can safely assert he brings points.
Joe Thornton, puts up a bajillion assists every year. He's a big boy and a good leader. I could see him playing well with Otter.
Pavelski is worth 60ish points a year. Plays C/RW, currently C on their 3rd line, which seems a bit far down the chart for me, but I don't follow the sharks at all so for all I know that could be generous.
Wingells has a funny name, and I think it would be excellent to hear RJ call goals for him. but with a 0.3PPG average in his two seasons at the Sharks it's not going to happen every game. which will help maintain the novelty I guess... He's on $775, 000 til 2015 so he's inexpensive and could slot in nicely alongside the young group in place for the next few years at Buffalo.
Brent Burns puts up some respectable numbers and can play forward at a passable NHL level in a pinch. $5.76 (til 2015 ) seems steep though, but he is getting to that prime age for defense men and if the Sabres want to contend then getting a few "middle aged" ( career wise ) players could be handy.
Consider also: Chicago.
Both of the 'Hawks keepers are having pretty good years but last years playoffs saw both crumble pretty badly, Crawford in particular let in a lot of soft ones. If that happens again then Stan Bowman could look to upgrade.
Returns could include Saad, Leddy ( RFA this summer ), Stalberg (UFA this summer... ). Frolik?
Vanek. $7.142m til 2014. 16G, 33 Pts in 32 games.
I could see Vanek in New York. Rangers that is, although the islanders could certainly use that big fat salary when Tim Thomas' rights inevitably revert to Boston ( Boy that lockout sure did solve all that cap circumvention didn't it ), Not to say the islanders playoff push this year and surprisingly effective forward pack wouldn't improve with the addition of Vanek. I don't know why, I just think Vanek would fit Tortorella's system at the rangers.
Return: DelZotto is at the top of my list. There was trade banter with his name attached before the deadline. Mcdonough is a close second. Both put up good points, play at a +, Del Zotto slots in a little higher because he's a shade more experienced, which counts when we've got Pysyk, Ruhwedel and probably Mccabe on the starting lineup next season.
Also consider: San Jose. "Refreshing" their roster with a guy like Vanek could be a big step on the way to improving, especially if they ship out one or more veteran pieces over the summer.
Columbus could make a decent offer Also. They're a bit short of dedicated LW's. If they do it would be on Draft day. 1st rounder, mid range one and a decent prospect to fill space at Rochester. Plus I like Columbus.
Stafford. 4 mil til 2015. 13 points in 40 games.
I'm not going to cheat and say "Literally anyone that wants him". Drew's having a bad year. It happens, and it sucks for everyone because he's better than his numbers indicate. I blame the fight at the start of the year.
The Jets have three guys with more than 10 goals on the year. Add Stafford and you're a step closer to being in business. They're running Kyle Wellwood at 2nd line RW ( on April 11th anyway) ...
A new city that loves it's hockey team even though it sucks might do the trick to kickstart Staff. and they've got the cap space ( 11 mil ) to eat his contract whole and with 18 contracts going to free agency this summer they could stand to add a mid range contract and some scoring at the same time.
Also consider: Calgary could stand to add a decent point scorer while they rebuild, but theres nothing on that roster I'm excited about and what they got in return for their trades and their drafting position the last few years doesn't fill me with hope for their prospect pool.
Phoenix have a lot of UFA's this summer also, they might make an offer.
Columbus. They apparently had an offer on the table at the deadline but went with Gaborik instead. I would have too. Did anyone else notice they yanked Letestu's #10 jersey for Gaborik. and they just resigned ML too. I get attached to my jersey number and that would suck. Mine happens to be #10, so I guess I empathize.
Yep. I think he's a valuable trade piece. he's on a contract year next year, He's still young, a good talent that could thrive somewhere. I think he'd be better off on another roster, and could bring good return. Not saying I don't want him. I just think an Ennis trade could benefit the Sabres as much as an Ennis on the roster. Resigning Hodgson is a factor as well. He'll make money, tying the teams hands a little with Ennis, so ship him for cheaper
child labour entry level contract, like say Grigorenko, Girgensons, Larsson, Tropp, Armia.
Destination: Dallas. Dealing Morrow and Jagr should have put them hot in the running for a super high pick but they have somehow managed to keep doing well. Adding a guy like Ennis, who is probably a legitimate NHL C, to a team whose depth at C is not the greatest and Ennis' 26 pts for 2012/13 automatically ties him for second on the stars for scoring.
Return: I like Louie Eriksson, how available he is I don't really know. Cody Eakin might be a nice addition but with the depth at C the sabres have amassed lately he might be wasted if he or one of the other C's can't transition to wing. Outside of that there isn't a lot on the current roster that piques any interest, which is troubling if that's my pick for where to send him...
Also consider: Washington could stand to add a player like Ennis. Ribero comes off their books this year, and the rest of the C's aren't doing much to put points on the board. Return is less clear.
Florida need help, Huberdeau with Ennis could work. but they have nothing I want. Maaaybe Goc and a second.
San Jose again. if they're shipping out vets Ennis could fit in with a younger core group. again, as above return is tough to determine, it would have to be prospects and I have no idea what theirs are.
Enroth? RFA this summer.
With Miller almost certainly gone, Leggio playing respectable hockey in Rochester and Hackett coming aboard in the Pominville trade AND Ullmark, Lieuwen, Knapp and Makarov further down the line ( Read, the farm system looks OK... ) Enroth could have some value on the market.
Destination : No clear option. Keeping in mind I know nothing of these teams prospects pool these are simply potential candidates. Calgary could use a dependable backup guy while they replace Kipper with a developing prospect. Edmonton could do with replacing Khabibulin with a younger keeper.The Islanders backup ain't good. Chris Mason's stats as backup in Nashville are a nightmare. Brodeur and Hedberg could both retire leaving NJ with only prospects, see Calgary. If Vancouver buyout Luongo, or pull some sort of shenanigans where they trade him at the draft to someone who does buy him out or whatever the 'nucks could use a backup. Winnipeg have Al Montoya backing up Ondrej Pavlec....
Almost certainly bought out but I'd be impressed if Darcy managed to flip him to a team aiming at the cap floor.
Destination: Islanders. again, the Thomas contract is probably coming away and they'll buy out DiPietro. adding Leino could maaaaaybe work out for the Islanders, although they'd be mad to accept a trade when they could sign him for peanuts on a FA contract. but like I said, they're aiming at the floor so they could be nuts enough to take it, but that's being crazy optimistic.
Leave a comment, agree with me, argue with me, posit alternatives. whatevs.
Ten points of you read the whole thing.