The Buffalo Sabres announced they have traded Daniel Paille to the Boston Bruins for a third round draft pick and a conditional draft pick. The move effectively alleviates the Sabres roster dilemma when Andrej Sekera returns to the lineup.
There are always going to be positives and negatives when you make a trade. The trade means that Tyler Myers and Tim Kennedy should remain with the team for the season and that is good news. It also means the Sabres gave up on a former first round draft pick that was never really given a chance. It also gives a division rival a capable player that might be capable of more than we have ever seen out of him.
Paille was the Sabres first selection in the 2002 draft taken at number 20 overall. He played parts of the 05-06 season and parts of the 06-07 season with the Sabres but spent most of his time playing with the Rochester Americans. He joined the Sabres full time in 2007-2008 when he scored 19 goals and had 35 points. He was rewarded (sarcasm) for his unexpected goal total by playing as a bottom six forward when he was able to crack the lineup.
Despite playing mostly with checking line forwards and grinders, he followed up his 19 goal effort with 12 goals last season, all at even strength. His 12 even strength goals last season were less than only Thomas Vanek (18), Derek Roy (18) and Jason Pominville (13). He was tied with Clarke MacArthur and Tim Connolly who both scored 12 times at even strength last season. He had one more goal at even strength than Drew Stafford did and yet Stafford is looked at as a top six forward and Paille can't get a sniff of the lineup.
Every Buffalo Sabres player that scored double digit goals had at least three power play goals last season with the exception of Daniel Paille. Paille averaged exactly four seconds per game on the power play. Despite proving he had some offensive ability, he was never given a chance to play with a man advantage while players like Paul Gaustad and Jochen Hecht were able to increase their offensive numbers with the power play.
Paille was never a standout player but he did capitalize on some of his opportunities. His biggest issue was consistency and that led him directly into the Lindy Ruff doghouse. I always thought there had to be more than just on ice issues but we will probably never know if there was.
We do know the Lindy Ruff doghouse is not someplace a hockey player wants to be. Ales Kotalik (NY Rangers 9GP-3G-5A-8P) , Maxim Afinogenov (Atlanta 5GP-1G-2A-3P) and now Paille are all examples of what happens when you are in that doghouse. It is working out for Kotalik with the Rangers and Afinogenov is showing signs of improvement for the Thrashers. It will take some time before we see where Paille will fit in with the Bruins but I think they got a fine player that will fit in nicely.