Buffalo Sabres fans had huge expectations at the trade deadline and came away slightly disappointed. As always the fans were hoping for a splash and didn't get one. Darcy Regier was one of the most active GM's on trade deadline day but his deals consisted of signing Tim Connolly to a contract extension, acquiring Mikael Tellqvist to backup Lalime while Miller was out, trading Ales Kotalik and the biggest move was acquiring Dominic Moore.
Moore came to Buffalo as a hard working player that most people felt was over-achieving in Toronto. After having his best professional season with the Maple Leafs he has practically disappeared with the Sabres. It's strange that after the trade was made Darcy Regier said something along the lines of "Lindy wanted a Center and this was a player we targeted", he added "we basically traded position for position". It's strange because for a player that Lindy "wanted", he doesn't play very much.
Comparing Moore vs. Kotalik
#17 / Center / Buffalo Sabres
Aug 03, 1980
|2008 - Dominic Moore||78||13||32||45||-4||86||4||1||1||0||161||8.1|
|2008 - Dominic Moore||15||1||3||4||-3||17||0||0||0||0||29||3.4|
#21 / Right Wing / Edmonton Oilers
Dec 23, 1978
|2008 - Ales Kotalik||73||19||23||42||-5||34||9||0||1||0||201||9.5|
|2008 - Ales Kotalik||17||6||4||10||+2||6||1||0||0||0||48||12.5|
This was an awful trade for the Buffalo Sabres in more ways than one. The Sabres have been a team that has struggled offensively at times and Kotalik was an offensive player. Kotalik has done exactly what was expected of him in Edmonton while Dominic Moore has been invisible for the Sabres.
In addition to his offensive talent, Kotalik was a specialist in the shootout. The Sabres may miss the playoffs by one point, a point they may have earned in a shootout (I'm thinking of the blown lead to Atlanta in particular).
If you look at the stats it's easy to see that Kotalik has outplayed Moore since the trade deadline but that doesn't explain why. I haven't watched enough Oilers games to tell you the big difference with Kotalik although I would speculate that he is being utilized differently in Edmonton than he was in Buffalo.
I have watched every single Buffalo Sabres game and I can confidently tell you that Dominic Moore has not been utilized properly. Moore has been playing on a line with Adam Mair and most recently Daniel Paille, although he has played with Afinogenov. His line is usually not getting very much ice time in comparison to some of the others.
Although I don't blame Moore for his poor production and I don't think Kotalik would have put up the same numbers with the Sabres as he has with the Oilers, I still don't understand the trade. We were told that the Sabres needed to get a Center and that was the reason to bring in Moore yet we seen Jason Pominville taking face-offs on Monday night.
The verdict is that this trade did nothing to help the Sabres and it could possibly be one of the reasons this team is going to miss the playoffs.